Before you travel
Avoid surprises — before you go, find and check your passport, pay your fines and check if there are any special travel requirements for the countries you’re visiting.
Check for travel restrictions during COVID-19
Documents you’ll need to leave NZ
You’ll need a passport. If your passport is damaged or close to expiring, you might not be allowed to enter some countries.
The name in your passport must match your tickets and your officially registered name.
Before you travel, check if the country you’re visiting has special rules.
Travel advisories from the NZ government cover security and safety concerns in 137 places around the world.
The SafeTravel website has tips to help you stay safe overseas, what to do if things go wrong, and how the New Zealand government can or cannot help.
Register with SafeTravel
SafeTravel is the official registration facility for New Zealanders travelling or living overseas.
If you’re registered, SafeTravel can:
- contact you if there is a major incident overseas
- send you updates about emergencies, natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
Get travel insurance
You should get comprehensive travel insurance before heading away. You need to make sure it covers everywhere you’re going, and everything you plan to do.
If you do not have travel insurance, you’ll have to pay any overseas medical costs yourself, including the cost of returning to New Zealand, which can be expensive.
If you have unpaid fines and try to leave or come into New Zealand, the police can stop you at the airport. You will be allowed to pay by credit card over the phone with a registrar.
If you’re travelling in the next 48 hours and you have fines or reparation you have not paid, call 0800 729 677 to pay with your credit card.
If you get a benefit
You must let Work and Income know your travel plans and your reasons for travel before you leave New Zealand. Partners travelling must also let them know. If you do not, your benefit might stop the day after you leave.
If you get NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension
You need to tell Seniors Services that you’re going overseas before you leave NZ.
If you have a student loan
If you do not meet your repayment obligations, you could be arrested when you return to NZ. Make sure you keep up your student loan payments while you’re overseas or you could be charged interest and penalties.
If you pay tax
You might need to file a tax return (IR3) that covers the period up to the date you leave NZ. You may also need to file a tax return at a later time showing details of any income you’ve earned overseas or from an NZ source.
If you have tax debt, contact Inland Revenue to discuss the options for paying your debt. The Australian Tax Office can help recover tax debt owed by New Zealanders who move to Australia.
If you pay child support
You must contact IR.