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NZ Electronic Travel Authority for non-citizen British passport holders

K.D. Thwaites made this Official Information request to Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

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From: K.D. Thwaites

Dear Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment,

Section E2.1(k) of the Immigration New Zealand operational manual states that, in addition to British citizens, any British passport holder (e.g. the holder of a British National (Overseas) passport) who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom is waived of the requirement to hold a visa permitting travel to New Zealand (if seeking a Visitor Visa current for not more than six months, and if the purposes of the visit does not include medical consultation or treatment). However, such people are required to hold an Electronic Travel Authority unless exempt, pursuant to E12.

I would like to point out that, currently, it is only possible for British citizens to request a traveller ETA. A British passport holder who is not a British citizen (e.g. a British National (Overseas), British Overseas citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen, British protected person or British subject) is not able to request a traveller ETA: if the questions "Are you an Australian permanent resident" and "Are you travelling to New Zealand on a cruise ship" are answered in the negative and the question "Will you be staying in New Zealand" answered in the affirmative, the message "You are not eligible for an NZeTA. Apply for a Visitor Visa" is displayed. This is despite the fact that it is entirely possible for such people to hold right of abode in the United Kingdom or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom, and such people therefore meet the definition of a British passport holder who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom, and therefore ought to be able to request a traveller ETA.

Effectively, the Electronic Travel Authority system therefore does not permit a non-citizen British passport holder, who can produce evidence of the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom, to travel visa waiver to New Zealand. This is contrary to the provisions of E2.1(k). This can potentially be resolved by the Electronic Travel Authority system asking an additional question of non-citizen British passport holders: "Do you have the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom", and allowing them to request a traveller ETA if the question is answered in the affirmative.

I would like to point out this discrepancy to Immigration New Zealand, and request under the Official Information Act why such a discrepancy exists. While the Official Information Act may not be designed to be used in this manner, I can not find a more appropriate manner of contact for this, as INZ's complaints form only allows one to complain about this if they are directly affected by this discrepancy, which I am not.

Yours faithfully,
K.D. Thwaites

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From: Ministerial Services
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Ref: 2021-1422

Dear K.D. Thwaites,

On behalf of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment I
acknowledge your email of 02 February 2021 requesting under the Official
Information Act 1982 (the Act), the following:

“Section E2.1(k) of the Immigration New Zealand operational manual states
that, in addition to British citizens, any British passport holder (e.g.
the holder of a British National (Overseas) passport) who can produce
evidence of the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom is
waived of the requirement to hold a visa permitting travel to New Zealand
(if seeking a Visitor Visa current for not more than six months, and if
the purposes of the visit does not include medical consultation or
treatment).  However, such people are required to hold an Electronic
Travel Authority unless exempt, pursuant to E12.

 

I would like to point out that, currently, it is only possible for British
citizens to request a traveller ETA.  A British passport holder who is not
a British citizen (e.g. a British National (Overseas), British Overseas
citizen, British Overseas Territories citizen, British protected person or
British subject) is not able to request a traveller ETA: if the questions
"Are you an Australian permanent resident" and "Are you travelling to New
Zealand on a cruise ship" are answered in the negative and the question
"Will you be staying in New Zealand" answered in the affirmative, the
message "You are not eligible for an NZeTA.  Apply for a Visitor Visa" is
displayed.  This is despite the fact that it is entirely possible for such
people to hold right of abode in the United Kingdom or indefinite leave to
remain in the United Kingdom, and such people therefore meet the
definition of a British passport holder who can produce evidence of the
right to reside permanently in the United  Kingdom, and therefore ought to
be able to request a traveller ETA.

 

Effectively, the Electronic Travel Authority system therefore does not
permit a non-citizen British passport holder, who can produce evidence of
the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom, to travel visa
waiver to New Zealand.  This is contrary to the provisions of E2.1(k). 
This can potentially be resolved by the Electronic Travel Authority system
asking an additional question of non-citizen British passport holders: "Do
you have the right to reside permanently in the United Kingdom", and
allowing them to request a traveller ETA if the question is answered in
the affirmative.

I would like to point out this discrepancy to Immigration New Zealand, and
request under the Official Information Act why such a discrepancy exists. 
While the Official Information Act may not be designed to be used in this
manner, I can not find a more appropriate manner of contact for this, as
INZ's complaints form only allows one to complain about this if they are
directly affected by this discrepancy, which I am not.”

Your request is being processed in accordance with the Act and a response
will be sent to you in due course.

Please note, due to ongoing COVID-19 response work, requests are currently
being triaged and those relating to Covid-19 processed as a priority.
Remaining requests are being assessed as per the Ombudsman’s guidance
(which can be found here:
[1]www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/chief-ombudsmans-statement-official-information-response-times-during-covid-19-emergency)
and processed accordingly.

If you have any enquiries regarding your request, or its urgency, feel
free to contact us via email at [2][MBIE request email].

Nâku noa, nâ

MINISTERIAL SERVICES

Corporate, Governance and Information

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Level 4, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140

NZBN 9429000106078

 

[3]www.govt.nz - your guide to finding and using New Zealand government
services

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References

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1. http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/...
http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/news/...
2. mailto:[MBIE request email]
mailto:[MBIE request email]
3. http://www.govt.nz/

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From: Margee DO
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment

Dear KD

Thank you for your email of 2 February 2021 to the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (the Ministry) requesting information under the Official Information Act 1982 (the OIA).

The Ministry has decided to extend the period of time available to respond to your request under Section 15A(1)(b) of the Act as further consultation is required.
You can now expect a response to your request on or before 19 March 2021.

You have the right, under section 28 of the Act, to ask the Ombudsman to review my decision to extend the time available to respond to your request

Sincerely,

Margee Do
Senior Advisor

Business Management, Immigration New Zealand
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
[email address] |
Level 1, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington, New Zealand
NZBN 9429000106078

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Link to this

From: Margee DO
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


Attachment 10032021144855 0001.pdf
134K Download View as HTML


Dear KD

Please find attached response to your information request.

Sincerely,

Margee Do
Senior Advisor

Business Management, Immigration New Zealand
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
[email address] |
Level 1, 15 Stout Street, PO Box 1473, Wellington, New Zealand
NZBN 9429000106078

show quoted sections

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