I'm from New Zealand and I am planning a trip to Japan next year. The flights I'm looking at have short layovers in Australia where I don't plan on leaving the airport so I don't think I need a visa for that, but will I need one for Japan?


As a New Zealand citizen you won’t need a visa for Australia as you don’t plan to leave the airport and will only be there for a few hours. If you do choose to take a longer layover (8+ hours) or leave the airport you can get a SCV visa on arrival by filling out a landing card.

You don’t need a visa for Japan either as you are going for 90 days or less, but you will need an onwards/return flight as detailed in Timatic, the database used by airport staff:

The following are exempt from holding a visa: Nationals of New Zealand for a maximum stay of 90 days.

Important: Visitors not holding return/onward tickets could be refused entry.

  • note that some things (criminal record, untreated tuberculosis) may disqualify NZ citizens from a SCV; anybody who falls into those categories needs to make arrangements in advance. – Geoffrey Brent Oct 15 '19 at 4:58
  • I don't have a record or sickness so that's fine, thank you! – kelly summers Oct 15 '19 at 8:11

NZ citizen here.

You don't need a visa for Australia as you're in transit, and even to visit don't require one.

As a tourist in Japan, you need a flight/boat trip/etc out of the country, but otherwise can have up to 90 days.

Source: Have visited, transited and lived in Aus, and visited Japan four times, on a NZ passport.

  • @kelly summers Enjoy your stay + unless you go for the Olympics, better avoid that time, as it will be more crowded + expensice. Just in case you happen to check also elsewhere and get worried as you may see that a "tourist visa" is required. If so, the "tourist visa" refers to the permission to stay in Japan during max 90 days that you are "automatically" granted open arrival [unless you e.g. have some "bad past history" like having overstayed in Japan earlier, are under some criminal they want to arrest etc.] No preparations needed to get it. – Tuomo Oct 14 '19 at 12:18
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    Technically NZ citizens do need a visa to visit Australia, but most automatically qualify for a Special Category Visa on arrival. As I noted on Uciebila's answer, some NZ citizens don't qualify for a SCV and will need to make other arrangements. – Geoffrey Brent Oct 15 '19 at 4:59

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