An interesting article recently appeared on news website Stuff, describing the situation of luxury private jet-owners wanting to travel with their crew and passengers in and out of New Zealand.
The article describes that the private jet market to New Zealand has been growing, from 44 aircraft in 2000 to a total of 391 visitors in 2015. The article explains that in around 10 to 15 years’ time these numbers could have doubled, particularly with planes from Asia, where there is a growing middle and upper class of premium travellers.
I find this all very interesting as I have never really thought of New Zealand too much as a private jet destination.
The problem of course from an immigration perspective is what Visas passengers and crew travelling to New Zealand by private jet need to apply for and hold. By virtue of travelling by private jet, these travellers avoid the usual customs and immigration processing areas founds in our airports.
Apparently the Super Yacht industry has managed to secure a special Visitor Visa which allows Super Yacht crew members to travel in and out of New Zealand. The article describes that the private jet industry has been pushing Immigration New Zealand for something similar for aircraft crew, specifically a special type of Work Visa, but without any luck.
It would seem to this writer that the passengers and crew of private jets can be catered for under existing Visa categories. They can and should apply for a Specific Purpose Work Visa or a Visitor Visa in the usual way. Their purpose for visiting New Zealand should be described. As long as their purpose for visiting New Zealand is legitimate, there should be no problem. The private jet owners affected are welcome to contact Laurent Law and we will see what we can do to assist!