Passenger & crew processing for arriving cruise ships

Disembarking passengers and crew will be jointly processed by Customs officers and the Ministry for Primary Industries officers. This will be done either en route or when you arrive in New Zealand.

Before the clearance process starts, our officers will liaise with the Chief Purser to obtain the following:

  • Disembarking passenger and crew lists.
  • Transit passenger and crew lists.
  • All crew and passengers’ passports or travel documents.
  • Evidence of outward ticketing for disembarking passengers and crew from non-visa abolition countries who intend to depart New Zealand by air after the cruise ship has departed from New Zealand.
  • A completed New Zealand Passenger Arrival Card for all disembarking passengers and crew. Translated versions will be available during processing.
  • A list of visitors to the vessel while in New Zealand (if available).

See also Information pack for cruise ships.

This description was last updated on: Monday, 16 July 2012

Detailed information related to Passenger & crew processing for arriving cruise ships

Processing en route means that Customs and Ministry for Primary Industries officers will go through clearances on the vessel, en route to its New Zealand port. It is merely a form of pre-processing where we pre-process passengers and crew before they arrive in New Zealand.

Customs and Ministry for Primary Industries officers will board the vessel at its last overseas port and arrange the best procedure for processing crew and passengers with the Chief Purser.

To process en route we will need the following:
  • Access to the vessel’s Internet facility or satellite phone for data transfer
  • Facilities or a secure area for our officers to interview or search baggage if required.

This detail was last updated on Monday, 16 July 2012

Visas are not required if passengers and crew leave on the same ship within 28 days of its arrival.

If, however, they depart New Zealand by other means – such as by plane – they will need to hold either:

Alternatively, where they neither come from a visa-free country nor possess a current visa, they can still depart New Zealand legally – without the need for a visa – provided they leave before the ship itself does. Their passports will be stamped as a formality.

The above visa requirements are the same for passengers and crew who join the ship in New Zealand.

Supporting documentation, such as airline tickets or onward passage details, must be produced if required.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 03 March 2011

Ship passengers and crew remaining on the vessel (those arriving and departing on the same ship within 28 days) are deemed to be entered. There is no data capture and no immigration/emigration process required.            

Ship passengers and crew permanently disembarking from the vessel are processed as follows:

  • Visa waiver nationalities – 3 or 6 month visitor visas will be granted.
  • Visa required nationalities – will be immigrated and issued a NZ Entry Stamp according to the visa held. If no visa is held, an outward ticket must be produced so that a Temporary Entry Class Visa (valid for your departure date plus two days) can be given. If outward tickets are not produced, the matter will be referred to the New Zealand Immigration authorities.   

Ship passengers and crew joining another vessel or departing through the airport will be emigrated as normal.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ship crew arriving by plane to join the vessel are processed as follows:

  • Visa waiver nationality – a 3 or 6 month visitor visa will be granted. Instead of onward plane tickets you will need to show proof of your onward passage.
  • Visa required nationality – will be immigrated according to the visa held and issued a NZ Entry Stamp. If no visa is held the matter will be referred to the New Zealand immigration authorities.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ship passengers arriving by plane to join the vessel are processed as follows:

  • Visa waiver nationality – a 3 or 6 month visitor visa will be granted.  Instead of onward plane tickets you will need to show proof of your onward passage.
  • Visa required nationality – will be immigrated according to the visa held and issued a NZ Entry Stamp. If no visa is held the matter will be referred to the New Zealand immigration authorities. Instead of onward plane tickets you should have proof of your onward passage.

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 24 February 2011

Phone: +64 9 927 8440 or +64 9 307 6516
Freephone within New Zealand: 0800 428 786
Cellphone: +64 29 359 6622
Fax: +64 9 307 6720​

This detail was last updated on Thursday, 24 February 2011

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