New Zealand refuses entry to Israelis for fear of illegal employment


Israeli tourists refused entry & deported by New Zealand immigration authorities as country clamps down on illegal employment.

Following multiple incidents, the Israeli Foreign Ministry issues unusual travel advisory explaining how to avoid deportation.

By Itamar Eichner



New Zealand’s immigration authorities have started stepping up their enforcement in recent weeks and have been deporting Israelis from the country immediately upon landing. The reason: Fear of Israelis arriving at the country to work illegally in shopping malls carts.

New Zealand – Photo: AP

Last week at least six Israelis were not allowed to enter New Zealand, Yedioth Ahronoth learned. They were taken to a lengthy questioning session at the airport, at the end of which they were put on the first flight back to the destination from which they came. And they are not alone: Recently several other Israelis were caught in immigration authorities raids, aimed at locating illegal workers at shopping malls, and they too were deported.

During their questioning, the travelers claim, they were questioned in regards to the planned duration of their stay, amount of money in their possession, and were even requested to show a return ticket – all to prove they are indeed in the country for the purpose of traveling. Those who were deemed not credible were removed from the country, and their entry to New Zealand was banned for at least five years.

This is a drastic change in New Zealand’s approach towards Israeli travelers. In 2011, Israel and New Zealand signed an agreement that allows Israeli backpackers below the age of 26 to work legally in a variety of fields for a year so they could fund a trip in the country. However, the agreement states that only 200 Israelis could be granted work permits, while it is estimated that hundreds of Israelis applied for the permit.

Due to the increased flow of Israeli youths who came to the country in search of work, New Zealand’s authorities began giving them a less-than-warm welcome: Israelis who were deported from the country said that immediately upon landing they were taken to lengthy investigations at the airport.

The multiple cases of deportation brought the Israeli Foreign Ministry to issue a travel warning to New Zealand. The goal is to ensure that Israelis who plan to visit the country conduct careful examination prior to boarding the plane there.

The statement, in which the causes that may arouse immigration authorities’ suspicion are noted, in fact provides Israelis with tips on how to avoid deportation. Among the recommendations: Demonstrate proficiency in planned trip route, arrive with a return ticket and carry enough money for the entire duration of stay in the country.


View original Ynet publication at:,7340,L-4453172,00.html


  1. Rotem says:

    Kia ora kotou

    There’s nothing is wrong with NZ in this case. This author tries to make Drama in the wrong issue and obviously know nothing about NZ.

    Each tourist who come to NZ is being questioned, about your intention in your visit, how are you going to pay for your stay, how much money you have (the limitation is 10k NZ$),They also ask if you have any organic food and if you been in farms recently , as they try to minimize as much as possible germs from other countries, which may cause an irreversible damage to it’s delicate ecology.

    People who work illegally in any country other country are usually banned for good and not for only 5 years.

    Farmers in NZ usually need working hands so you can have a legal Working visa or “Working Holiday Visa” (if you are under 26) for any agriculture jobs jobs outside the major cities: Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

    Therefore, if someone is stupid enough to work illegally, in a state where he can work legally, that’s their problem! The people who’s been deported had probably had some goods in a commercial amount.

    I think it’s time for the Israel police to put more effort to STOP those illegal work-companies abroad, as they only make damage to the diplomatic relations with other countries and also violates the working law (too many hours, small fees only for sales or no minimum wage etc) which considered as a crime, in the Israeli law.

    So why work for criminals, when you can have a decent and legal temporary jobs, with insurance and a paycheck???

    *Itamar, please write objective articles and leave the biased media for the BBC and NZ-Herald.

    Ka kite Ano

  2. Prick Turpin says:

    Because they are all Mossad agents? LOL

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