Exemption from transiting New Zealand

You may need an exemption if you're transiting through New Zealand to another country. This allows us to understand your requirements and helps us protect the New Zealand public from COVID-19.

Who can apply

Everyone who is intending to be in New Zealand for between 24 and 72 hours on the way to another country, must apply for a transit exemption.

Other exemptions because of exceptional circumstances, for medical reasons, or to join someone

What transit exemption is

A transit exemption allows us to understand your requirements when transiting New Zealand.

Transit of less than 24 hours

If you are in transit for less than 24 hours you will stay airside. This means you will remain at the airport and not enter New Zealand. Face masks must be worn.

You do not need to apply for an exemption.

Transit between 24 and 72 hours (3 days)

If you are in transit for between 24 hours and 72 hours (3 days) after landing in New Zealand, you will need to go to a managed isolation facility. You will need to have a health assessment and be assessed as low risk of having or spreading COVID-19 before you leave.

Transit longer than 72 hours (3 days)

For stays in New Zealand longer than 72 hours (3 days), you will also need to stay in managed isolation. Before leaving you need to:

  • get a negative COVID-19 test, and
  • be confirmed as low risk of having or spreading COVID-19.

People granted a transit exemption will be provided with transport to and from managed isolation facilities. You must wear face masks and physical distancing must be observed.

Information for travellers from Immigration New Zealand(external link)

How to apply

We encourage you to apply before you book and leave for New Zealand to allow us to organise your transit requirements. Failing to do so may result in your travel being interrupted, and having to complete 14 days managed isolation in New Zealand.

Get the information you’ll need ready

You’ll need:

  • the full name on your passport you use to enter New Zealand and check into the facility
  • your date of birth
  • your passport number
  • your planned date and time of arrival in New Zealand and the flight number
  • the city you’re arriving at and the country you left from
  • where you are departing to and the date and time
  • your departure flight number from New Zealand
  • a copy of your electronic flight tickets.


Apply online if you intend to be transiting in New Zealand for greater than 24 hours.

Apply for exemption from transiting in New Zealand(external link)

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If you need help completing the form or for any other enquiries please email IsolationExemptions@mbie.govt.nz.

What happens next

Your application will be assessed. We’ll contact you if we need more information. 

We’ll then let you know the outcome of your application and what to do next.

If your application is successful

You will be contacted and told what the next steps are.

If your application is unsuccessful

New information

If your application is unsuccessful but you now have new information that supports your application, you can resubmit it for assessment. Send your new information to IsolationExemptions@mbie.govt.nz.

Your rights

If you believe you have been treated unfairly, or if you have not received a decision promptly, you can complain directly to the Ombudsman.

Last updated: 11 August 2020