Updated July 2019 to include the info on the $35 IVL – International Visitor Levy. Yes you need to pay that if you are Filipino visiting New Zealand for tourism.

Filipinos have gained respect as world travelers so applying visas is not as horrible as it used to. I remember lining up at 5am applying for Japan visa in 2006. The reason I started writing about visa application in 2011 is because that was the biggest challenge for me to accomplish my dream to travel around the world. But anyway, I have done it.

Here is my experience applying for Tourist visa to New Zealand in 2017, but just updated July 2019 with new information and updated links. New Zealand is my 60th country. Thanks to online visa applications and third party agencies like VFS for making life simpler.

Here you go, simple steps in applying for New Zealand visa online.


Yes. Philippine Passport Holders can apply for New Zealand visa online. But it’s not easy to find the link online, so here it is –> this link

You will most likely find the link to VFS Global, a third party agency that handles visa application for New Zealand and other countries. You will be directed to download application form to fill, photo copy of all requirements, and submit to their Manila or Cebu office. This is just as good but,

New Zealand Immigration Online Visa Application is cheaper and paperless (technically, less paper since you still have to print 1 page).

Simply create a RealMe account; fill up the online form, and attach the requirements.

Create REALME account user interface


Here are the list of requirement and supporting document you will need to prepare. The best thing about applying online is that you will be submitting them in soft format. Save the Planet by printing less!

Required Documents
  1. Photo – passport size, light background, follow this specification for file size and photo ratio.
  2. Valid Passport – scan pages with personal information; don’t forget signature on page 3 (new passport)
  3. Government issued Identification Card – driver’s license, PRC, SSS, GSIS, TIN, Philhealth
  4. Evidence as bona fide applicant – honestly I don’t know what to put here, so I decided to write a cover letter stating my intention which I attached as supporting document.
  5. Proof of Employment – letter of leave from employer
  6. Evidence of Fund – Bank Certificate; Bank Statements; Updated Passbook
  7. Evidence of Onward Travel – Flight booking

Supporting Documents – these are not explicitly requested, but it can help establish your identity, intention, and ability to finance yourself

  1. Cover Letter – letter of intention and plans; this
  2. Driver’s License
  3. Other Financial Document – Credit card billing statement, ITR
  4. Self Employed – business permit, SEC or DTI registration, Annual ITR
  5. Record of Previous Travels – My passport is new so I scanned pages of my old passport showing visas and immigration stamps, otherwise just pages from your current passport.

There are more options as supporting document, so just choose those applicable to you. For myself, the above are what I submitted.

Note: All document except your passport photos (in jpg) should be in pdf format.


After completing the online application process, you will be directed to an acknowledgement page which you’ll need to print out.  This print out will then be submitted together with your passport to the VFS offices for processing.

You will receive an acknowledgement receipt email with more instruction on when and where to send your passport.

Mezzanine Floor, M01
Ecoplaza Building
2305 Chino Roces Avenue Extension
Makati City

9th Floor Keppel Centre
Samar Loop cnr. Cardinal Rosales Avenue
Cebu Business Park
Cebu City 6000

Is New Zealand Visa Free?

New Zealand Visa issuance is free (no charge) for Filipinos but there is new conservation levy all tourists should pay upon visa application. And also there is a handling fee to VFS. Here find the table of fees in applying visa to New Zealand

Passport Handling – Php 570
*Courier Service – Php 380
*SMS – Php 110

*Optional – i didn’t avail of these because you actually get email updates daily, and 380 is quite steep for courier so I just send my messenger. 

** If you decide to apply directly at VFS (not online), you’ll have to pay for the Application Fee of Php 760

International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) $35 – NEW

The number of visitors to New Zealand has grown strongly over the past few years, and growth is expected to continue. So in order to counter the long term environmental effect cause by tourism, the Government is introducing an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) .

Starting 1 July 2019, most international visitors entering New Zealand will be charged a levy of $35. It will be collected through the immigration system, with travelers paying the IVL alongside visa fees.

Yes, Filipino Tourists have to pay IVL

Some countries are exempted from the IVL, but since you are reading this blog, you must be a Filipino who wants to know if we are required to pay the levy. The answer is Yes. If you are traveling to New Zealand as a tourist, you will have to pay this $35 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).


The processing time varies from 3 days to 15 days depending on the season. But the website says 28 days so give enough time for processing. New Zealand summer is during Christmas season so the visa processing time would be longer starting September.  You can apply as early as 3 months before your entry date.

My Application Timeline = 7 days

Dec 1 – Submitted my application form online
Dec 4 – Received email instruction to send my passport to VFS
Dec 5 – Sent Passport o VFS
Dec 7 – Visa Approved


This document further states that an electronic record of my visa is with the Immigration New Zealand and that I do not require a visa label on my passport. Instead, I should print this document and carry it with me when I’m in New Zealand. This is like the Australian Visa I received in 2015.

That said, I don’t know why I needed to submit my original passport to VFS. I’m still waiting for advise as to when I can go claim my passport.

I got multiple entry visa valid for 2 years from December 7, 2017. I can stay in New Zealand for 60 days at a time.

Other Visa Posts

How to Apply Australian Visa in the Philippines
How to Apply Chinese Visa in the Philippines
How to Apply UK Visa in the Philippines
How to Apply Tongan Visa in the Philippines
How to Apply Korean Visa in the Philippines
How to Apply South African Visa in the Philippines
How to Apply Schengen Visa in the Philippines