COVID-19 update 26 March: Temporary entry restrictions remain in place at the NZ border – for more information please refer to either the Immigration NZ website or the Ministry of Health website. The border is open ONLY to NZ citizens and residents, Realm countries, Australian citizens and permanent residents ordinarily resident in NZ, airline and marine crew. More Customs’ information in relation to COVID-19 is available on this website. For more information about the NZ Government’s COVID-19 response, please refer to the official COVID-19 website.
eGate is an automated way to get through passport control.
In New Zealand, you’ll find eGates at Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown airports.
You can use eGate if you are 12 years of age or older, and have an ePassport from:
- New Zealand
- the United Kingdom
- the United States
- China (excluding Hong Kong)
- South Korea.
Before you go through an eGate, you must still:
- get your boarding pass (for departures)
- complete a passenger arrival or departure card.
When a Customs officer cannot verify your identity with reasonable certainty in a visual check, they may ask you to go through an eGate.
How eGate works
eGate uses biometrics to match the picture of your face in your ePassport with the picture it takes of you at the gate.
To make sure eGate can do this, you must make sure you look as similar to your ePassport photo as possible. Avoid headwear – including veils, scarves and hats – that obscures any part of your face.
You can leave your glasses on if:
- you are wearing them in your ePassport photo
- they have thin frames.
eGate can handle minor changes in your face, for example if your weight or hair has changed.
eGate and privacy
When you use eGate, Customs, Biosecurity and Immigration officials will use the information you provide – including your photo – to clear you and your items across NZ's border.
We keep your biometric information for three months before destroying it. We keep your other information, including about your movements across NZ's border indefinitely. Your information will be handled in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993, or as the law authorises. This might include your information being used by or shared with other law enforcement or border control authorities.
You can find more privacy information on the passenger arrival or departure card.
Relevant NZ legislation: