NZ passport renewal appointments up 30 per cent in January as part of a package of reforms that the Government is pushing ahead with in an effort to boost the economy.
Key points: New Zealand is facing a shortage of passport holders to meet demand from its population of 8.5 million peopleThe New Zealand Government is working to ease visa restrictions and encourage more international tourismNZ’s passport numbers have fallen by about 30,000 since June.
The Government said the changeover in visa restrictions would allow passport holders from more countries to visit the country, including those that are not included in the visa waiver program.
The Government has announced changes to the visa regime, including a new visa waiver system.
“This change in visa rules is about ensuring that New Zealanders can access the New Zealand experience in ways that have never been possible before,” New Zealand Prime Minister Bill English said in a statement.
New Zealanders are being asked to register online and will also need to provide a travel itinerary for each destination they wish to visit.
It is a step towards a greater New Zealand’s economic growth and a boost to tourism.
People will still need to apply for a visa before they can visit the New England country, but they will be able to get a visa at the time of booking and have it valid for a maximum of three years.
Some travellers from the United States, including Americans and Britons, will be exempted from the new visa rules.
A new visa scheme will allow Kiwis from more than 60 countries to apply to renew their New Zealand passports, while those from those countries with visas issued by New Zealand will not need to do so.
Currently, about two million people from countries including China, India, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and Vietnam are able to renew passports annually.
Australia is one of the countries not included under the visa waivers program.