New Zealand! I am coming!


Yes, finally one of my wish-list traveling to New Zealand is happening soon! Let’s begin by saying applying visitor visa is kind of nightmare for the stateless person holding a ‘Certificate of Identity’ document especially traveling to the western countries. Being there in Australia got stuck for half an hour questioning by the customs officers and explaining what document we are actually holding. When will the governments or our Sultan of Brunei plan to replace our travel document into a real passport? To be honest, I don’t really see much hope in this country. No matter, my priority in life is enjoying traveling to some favorite countries first.

Now, the question is. Is applying visitor visa to New Zealand very hard? Not hard but enough to make you sleepless and into bad mood during the processing waiting. My brother got the tickets and paid both hotels and places we plan to visit in advance. It will be a big blow to us if not approve.

The procedure of applying visitor visa is now recommended by the embassy submitting through the official immigration online service. You no longer need to go through the hard way paying extra service charges to the local travel agencies for help process visitor visa. But my recent experience tells me these days the travel agencies hardly wanted to provide such services anymore or even want to entertain the stateless person's customers on the visitor visa. Some of them have condition require buying tickets from them and some would charge an insane amount enough to piss you off.

Another question is, do you require sending physical travel document to the nearest embassy after you submitted online? Yes, I did and went nuts after the embassy requires my physical travel document in order to continue processing the visitor visa application. The worst part, they start counting the 20 days from the date submitted. Without wasting any time, the best way to deal with this is using fast delivery services like DHL sending to the nearest visa application centre (I choose Singapore). It cost me $110.00 together with insurance and the prepaid envelope for returning (*a must) to Brunei. Drop them an email to inform my physical travel document is on the way.

The next day, I received a phone call from centre require me to fill the form paying the passport and handling fee for SGD$32.00. I was clueless about the charges. But after finding out they need to arrange to send to the main branch in Thailand. Man, I should have just sent there directly to avoid the fee. Still, it’s hard to say and had to close one eye on the additional fee.

The funny part, my sister did not receive any letter require her to send the physical travel document and even got approved after two weeks. After mine also got approved and check the visitor visa letter information for any mistake like nationality and passport numbers. Then, I found out what’s happening here. Well, I got a multiple entry visa for one year instead of a single entry visa for one month. My sister told me there are two options to choose from actually, which is weird not seeing these question when filling the application and only remember to tick the checkbox for holiday/vacation. Next time, I have to do a triple recheck.

Alright, let’s break down some requirement when you are using New Zealand immigration service for applying visitor visa application online:-

  •  You need to upload the latest passport photo (white or blue background), scan travel document and identity card (*must translate Malay to English), full details of your visit and hotels you will be staying, airline tickets, company letter and at least six-month bank statements.
  • May require uploading Australia visitor visa letter document. Only if you transit from Australia to New Zealand. *, DO NOT apply transit visa for Australia. My sister contacts the immigration, and their feedback requires the stateless person to apply for a visitor visa (around AUD$140.00) even we just only transit.
  • You can upload additional documents, for example like different bank statement etc.
  • NZD$165.00 (currently) visitor visa fee. Pay using a credit card.
  • If required by the embassy, you will need to send your physical document to any nearest New Zealand Visa Application Centre. I believe only when applying for multiple entry visas. Find out which embassy process your visa application at the online and preferable sending there directly. *Recommend using fast delivery service like DHL, FedEx etc. Make sure you buy insurance and prepare returning envelope. Drop an email to inform the embassy your travel document is on the way. Also, includes the sending and return tracking number in an email.
  • Once your visitor visa letter is approved, check your nationality and travel document number. The nationality must not be listed as BN because we are not Brunei citizen. Request the embassy to update to 02 in the system. This shitty code is for a stateless person.

I hope the information provided here is helpful to my stateless fellow.