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New Zealand passports | Uruwhenua Aotearoa

The Department of Internal Affairs | Te Tari Taiwhenua


SmartGate self-processing through passport control


Logo of the New Zealand Customs Service

SmartGate can be used by Australian and New Zealand e-Passport holders, aged 12 or over when travelling on a passport from New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom and United States of America.


On this page:

What is SmartGate?

Look out for the SmartGate logo when you are next at an international airport in New Zealand or Australia.

The SmartGate logo used in New Zealand

SmartGate gives some travellers the option to self-process through passport control. It uses the data in the e-Passport and face recognition technology to perform the customs and immigration checks that are usually conducted by a Customs officer.

An e-Passport has a microchip embedded in a hard plastic page and an international e-Passport symbol on the front cover. The microchip contains the same personal information that is on the photo page of the e-Passport, including an electronic copy of your photograph.

Using SmartGate is a two step process. Scan your passport, then proceed to the SmartGate where your identity will be verified.

SmartGate is a simple, two-step process involving a kiosk and a gate.

Step 1: Kiosk
  • Insert your e-Passport into the kiosk and follow the instructions on the screen.
  • If you are eligible to use SmartGate, the kiosk will issue you a ticket, which you’ll need for step 2.
  • If you’re not eligible to use SmartGate, you will be processed manually by a Customs officer.
Step 2: Gate
  • Insert your ticket from the kiosk.
  • Look straight ahead while your face is compared to your e-Passport photo.
  • If you’re successful, retrieve your ticket and proceed through the gate.
  • Collect your luggage and proceed to the Customs check-point.
  • Hand in your ticket and passenger arrival card.

More about SmartGate

More information about SmartGate is held on the New Zealand Customs website: SmartGate