New Zealand Embassy Paris, France

Travel within France and Europe

Paris metro station

Visa Requirements

New Zealanders are advised that only the country they plan to visit can provide up-to-date information on specific visa requirements and the associated costs and procedures for obtaining these. Travellers should therefore contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of the countries they intend to visit, well in advance of departure from New Zealand. The New Zealand Embassy cannot assist with obtaining visas or providing information on the application process, either before or after departure from New Zealand.

Holders of Working Holiday Visas should note that these visas are only valid for work in the country of issue (ie) a France Working Holiday Visa allows the holder to work in France only, for the period stipulated, and not in other EU or Schengen Zone countries.

Border Controls in Europe

New Zealanders should be aware that border controls have been eliminated among European countries that are full members of what is called the “Schengen area”. Once you enter one of these countries from outside the Schengen area, you can move to other countries inside the Schengen area without going through border controls. These countries are:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland

Note that the following European countries are not part of the Schengen area:

(Western Europe) Ireland, United Kingdom
(Central/Eastern Europe) Albania, Belarus, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine.

If you move between any of these countries, or from one of these countries into the Schengen area, you will therefore have to go through border controls.

The European mini-states (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, San Marino, Vatican City) are not formally part of the Schengen area, but can be entered from the neighbouring Schengen area countries without going through border controls.

Visa-free access for New Zealand visitors to Europe

New Zealand passport holders are able to spend up to three months visa-free in most European countries, and up to six months visa-free in the United Kingdom as visitors. The only European countries that require New Zealand passport holders to have a visa for a stay of less than three months are Belarus, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine.

Visa-free access for New Zealand passport holders intending to stay for more than 3 months in the Schengen area is complicated.

Schengen area countries permit most holders of passports from outside the Schengen area to stay visa-free in the Schengen area as a whole, regardless of the particular country or countries, for no more than 3 months out of a 6-month period. (This is sometimes expressed as 90 days out of a 180 day period.)

However, New Zealand has bilateral visa waiver agreements with many of the individual countries in the Schengen area.  These visa waiver agreements allow New Zealanders to spend up to three months in the relevant country, without reference to time spent in other Schengen area countries. The European Commission has confirmed that these agreements continue to be valid.  These agreements thus effectively override the Schengen area restriction (which would otherwise be imposed on New Zealand passport holders) of no more than 3 months out of a 6-month period in the Schengen area as a whole.

The countries with which New Zealand has bilateral visa waiver agreements are:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden

You can, therefore, move visa-free among the above countries for periods of up to 3 months in each country. If, however, you move to other countries in the Schengen area, the restriction of no more than 3 months out of a 6-month period in the Schengen area as a whole applies. If you have already spent 3 months in one or more of the above countries, your presence in a Schengen area country with which New Zealand does not have a bilateral visa waiver agreement may be challenged by local border control, police or other authorities.  You may also be accused of being an overstayer when you leave the Schengen area, or when you enter another country outside the Schengen area.

These visa waiver agreements, and the overall Schengen area visitor visa waiver, are not work visas or work permits.

Note: Hungary has special requirements. Even if New Zealanders have already spent up to 3 months in the Schengen area, they may enter Hungary and remain there visa-free for up to a further 90 days. However they must then leave the Schengen area from Hungary, and must not go to other Schengen countries during their stay in Hungary if they have already spent 3 months elsewhere in the Schengen area.

Despite confirmation from the European Commission that the visa waiver agreements continue to be valid, border and immigration officials in Schengen area countries are occasionally unaware of this and question New Zealanders’ rights to stay visa-free in the Schengen area for longer than 3 months.

Before you embark on your travel, you should contact the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen area countries you plan to visit (not the New Zealand Embassy once you are overseas) to get the latest update on visitor visa requirements if you plan to stay in the whole Schengen area for more than 3 months.

Of interest

United Nations Handbook 2014-15

United Nations Handbook
2014-15

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Prime Minister's media release | www.beehive.govt.nz

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