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Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse and Customs Minister Nicky Wagner have today announced three new initiatives to make it easier for Chinese visitors to come to New Zealand.

“China is New Zealand’s second largest market and has made a valued contribution to the strong growth in New Zealand international visitor arrivals and expenditure over the last few years,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“In 2016, Chinese visitors to New Zealand spent $1.67 billion and by 2022 this number is projected to increase to $5.3 billion.

“It’s important we ensure New Zealand continues to be an attractive place to visit, which is why we’re making a number of changes to streamline the process and make things easier for Chinese visitors.”

The changes for Chinese nationals include:

Extending the multiple-entry visa for Chinese visitors from three years to five years from 8 May. Extending the use of SmartGate facilities to Chinese passport holders. Enabling visa applicants to pay for online visa applications using the popular UnionPay debit and credit cards.

“The Government has introduced a number of measures in recent years to facilitate the growing number of Chinese nationals visiting New Zealand, and these new initiatives build on that,” Ms Wagner says.

“SmartGates make the Customs process faster and more intuitive, delivering a better visitor experience.”

Alongside the introduction of UnionPay in February this year, eVisas have already been implemented for Chinese nationals applying for visitor, student and work visas. In addition, Chinese visa applicants can also apply online using a Chinese version of the RealMe logon service.

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