WAIVED NA PO ANG TOURIST VISA FEE FOR NEW ZEALAND!
True! Hindi po ito fake news. Before, it was mandatory to pay NZ$ 165. As of June 2017, A resolution has already been approved, stating that the Citizens of the Philippines do not have to pay anymore the fee or immigration levy for TOURIST/VISITOR VISA application, when coming to New Zealand for fewer than 60 days (Reference: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/).
However, point out ko lang po clearly, NZ is NOT VISA FREE. It is only the big amount of fee that was taken out. We still have to submit necessary requirements to the NZ Embassy for the issuance of visa prior to our trip.
Traditional method of submitting paper requirements is still being implemented today. However, NZ Immigration already formulated a “Passport Handling-Online Application” method, which has taken visa application to the next level of easiness. With this method, applicants are only required to completely fill up a form on their website and then submit online the scanned copies of usual visa requirements. For this convenience,however,applicants shall pay a fee of less than 1,000 Pesos for the “Passport Handling”, which shall be discussed later. This is relatively a small amount compared to the big chunk of levy that has already been relieved from us. Passport handling fees may also be bank transferred na. This has made the application process more convenient, especially for us living far away from Manila/Cebu where embassy offices are located.
This guide blog focuses solely on Visitors (Tourist) Visa via Online Application. For other types of Visa, refer to https://www.immigration.govt.nz.
So without further ado (Char), here is a step by step guide on how I completed my application.
STEP 1 : Gather the visa requirements,
- Photo – passport sized (900 x 1200 pixels minimum), light colored background(except white, ideally light gray), JPEG Format straight from file. Bilhin nyo yung file ng picture sa studio. scanned from printed photo is not allowed; file size between 500KB and 3MB
- Valid Passport – scan pages with personal information; PDF Format
- Government issued Identification Card – either driver’s license, PRC, SSS, GSIS, TIN, Philhealth; PDF Format
- Proof of Employment – letter of approved leave from employer ideally with salary and other details ; PDF Format
- Evidence of Fund – Bank Certificate with ADB; Bank Statements; Updated Passbook; PDF Format
- Evidence of Onward Travel – Airline confirmed booking(meaning, ticket reservation from a reputable travel agency); PDF Format ; pwede rin Airline ticket mismo if you already have one, but not advised.
- Cover Letter – letter of intention. You may also put here your proposed day to day itinerary ; PDF Format
- Other Financial Document – Credit card billing statement, ITR; ; PDF Format
- For Self Employed – business permit, SEC or DTI registration. Annual ITR for the employed; PDF Format
- Record of Previous Travels – Scanned copy of your past and current passport with all stamps
- Copy of other Valid First World Visas (If available) – USA, Schengen, Japan or others; PDF Format
Re bank funds, some successful applicants mentioned “100 USD per day x # days stay x 2” maintaining balance. I guess we should prepare the same na din (or more) to prove our capacity to visit their country.
Step 3: Create a RealMe Account which serves as your application form. This is where you will be uploading all your infos and scanned documents.
Step 4: Fill up RealMe Form in order that is given.
Step 5: Submit online your completed RealMe Form. In 24 hours, you will receive an email confirmation and instructions on where to submit your passport. This is not yet your approval.
Step 6: Payment of Passport Handling Fee thru Bank.
While it is most common for applicants to submit their passports personally, NZ offers an option to pay through Banco de Oro, which is very favourable for people away from Manila. Passport handling will be catered by VFS Global, which is NZ embassy’s partner agency. Details can be found at http://www.vfsglobal.com/NewZealand/Philippines/how-to-apply.html
For my application, I paid the 570 Handling fee plus 380 Courier Fee for them to return my passport after assessment. I did not avail the SMS assistance anymore, since the updates on my application can be monitored on my RealMe Account
Step 7: Submit Passport to VFS Office for Assessment and Verification
Photocopy Bank Deposit Slip/ Transfer Slip and submit this to VFS together with your valid passport, the printed and signed bank form, a printed copy of “thank you” page and the Email Confirmation. Applicants from the province may send their documents ti VFS via any preferred courier.
Step 8: Result
Once the result is released, VFS will send your passport back to your given address. Courier fee for the return is part of the prior payment.
NZ Visitor Visa issuance is indeed fast. I got my approval 4 days after submission of passport to VFS.
Points to remember:
As per website, results are released 20 days after the submission. However, most of the recent applicants got their results within 3 to 4 days!
Since this is an online application, no need to print and submit paper requirements. Unless your uploads are not clear, then they may ask for those.
You can apply as early as 6 months before the trip.
Grant on duration of stay varies. Wala talagang template for this. But definitely, your stay will not exceed 59 days at a time.
For online application, No more sticker on your passport. The approval certificate that will be emailed to you shall serve its purpose.
So there, hopefully this blog will be of help by the time you apply for your own. Though I am fully aware that this guide will not guarantee approval for everybody. Kaya sabayan nyo nalang din ng Novena for 14 days with miryenda cream bread and mayonnaise.
This guide,however, is focused purely on tourism/holiday visit. For other types of application, see https://www.immigration.govt.nz for details.
Re Waived visa fee, there is no information on until when this waived fee will last. So while we are enjoying the current privilege, might as well consider visiting this green country very soon.
Lastly, if you are unsure of your documents, or if you find the D.I.Y. online application too complicated, please get in touch na lang with a reputable travel agency to process your papers. Life is short, wag na pa stress!