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Working Holiday Visa New Zealand

August 6, 2023
Myer Lipschitz

New Zealand offers a fantastic opportunity for young travellers to explore its stunning landscapes and unique culture through the Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand. As a young adventurer looking to experience life in the country, this visa allows you to work, study, and travel at your own pace, making it an excellent option for those seeking to immerse themselves in the Kiwi lifestyle.

This Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand is designed for people between the ages of 18 and 30, or up to 35 for specific countries, who want to gain a once-in-a-lifetime experience of working and living in New Zealand. With the freedom to choose from various job opportunities and even study or train for up to six months, you can truly immerse yourself in the local culture and create memories to last a lifetime.

Whether you’re drawn to the bustling cities or the beautiful countryside, Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand can help turn that dream into a reality.

travel and work with Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

Understanding Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

Definition and Purpose

A Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand grants the holder permission to travel, work, and engage in short-term study within the country. Designed specifically for young travellers, this visa provides a unique opportunity to fully experience life in New Zealand while gaining valuable work experience.

Some of the key advantages of a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand include the chance to explore the country’s breath-taking landscapes, acquire significant work experience across various industries, and improve English language skills. It’s an opportunity to make new friends, expand your global network, and experience the excitement and independence of living abroad.

Advantages of Having a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

  • Explore New Zealand’s breath-taking landscapes and unique culture.
  • Gain valuable work experience in various industries.
  • Make new friends and expand your global network.
  • Improve your English language skills.
  • Experience living abroad and become more independent.

Who is it For?

The Working Holiday Visa is primarily designed for individuals aged between 18 and 30, with the age limit extended to 35 for a select few countries. The length of stay permitted under a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand depends on the agreement between New Zealand and the eligible country, generally ranging from 12 to 23 months, with an extended duration of up to 36 months for UK citizens.

For each country, the rules are a bit different. It’s important to check these rules for your country before you apply for a visa. These rules tell you:

  1. How old do you need to be to apply.
  2. How long you can stay in New Zealand.
  3. How much money you should bring for your trip.
  4. Any other work-related rules that apply specifically to your country.

Eligible Countries

The following are the countries that have established a working holiday visa agreement with New Zealand:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States (USA)
  • Uruguay
  • Vietnam

Length of Stay Allowed

Depending on the country you come from, the length of stay allowed under a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand for up to 12 months.

Work Restrictions

While you are on a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, you cannot take up permanent employment. It is expected that you work in temporary or seasonal jobs and may have several jobs with different employers during your stay.

Traveling to and from New Zealand during the Visa duration

Your Working Holiday Visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means that you are free to leave New Zealand and return as many times as you like during the visa’s validity. However, keep in mind that any time spent outside of New Zealand will not be added to your allowable visa duration.

Eligibility Criteria for Applying

Age Requirements

When applying for a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, you need to meet certain age requirements. Generally, the age range for eligible applicants is between 18 and 30 years old. However, in some select countries, the eligible age is extended to 35 years old.

Financial Requirements

As a potential Working Holiday Visa holder, you must have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand. This includes being able to show proof of at least NZD 4,200 in available funds to cover your living expenses. Additionally, you must have an onward travel ticket or the financial means to purchase one.

Health and Character Requirements

While applying for a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, you must meet specific health and character requirements. Good health means you should be free from any serious medical conditions, and good character means that you do not have any recent or significant criminal convictions.

Meeting these requirements is essential to show your commitment to complying with the visa criteria and ensuring your stay in New Zealand is safe and trouble-free. Keep in mind that citizenship, ordinarily resident status, and onward travel plans are also factors considered when assessing your eligibility for a Working Holiday Visa.

Application Process

Documents Needed

Before starting your application process, gather the necessary documents to help expedite the process:

  • A valid passport with at least three months validity beyond your expected stay in New Zealand
  • A recent passport-sized photograph
  • Evidence of available funds, such as bank statements or payslips
  • A completed and signed Working Holiday Visa application form

It’s a good idea to consult with immigration lawyers if you’re unsure about your eligibility or need assistance with your application.

Online Application Steps

Follow these steps to apply for your Working Holiday Visa:

  1. Visit the Immigration New Zealand website and create an account.
  2. Fill out the online application form accurately, providing all required information.
  3. Upload scanned copies of your necessary documents.
  4. Submit your application and wait for an email notification regarding the status of your application.

Application Fees

The application fee for a Working Holiday Visa varies depending on your country of residence. You can find the specific fees and payment methods on the New Zealand Government website.

Visa Processing Time

Visa processing times may vary depending on your country of origin and the volume of applications. Generally, it takes a few weeks for your application to be processed. Stay updated on your visa status through the Working Holiday Visa processing updates page.

explore while on a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

Navigating the New Zealand Work Culture

When embarking on your Working Holiday Visa journey in New Zealand, it’s essential to understand and adapt to the local work culture. This will ensure a successful and enjoyable experience during your stay.

New Zealanders, also known as Kiwis, are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. You’ll likely find that your co-workers and supervisors are approachable and eager to help. To make the most of your working holiday, make an effort to connect with your colleagues and embrace the collaborative atmosphere.

In the workplace, Kiwis value punctuality and professionalism. Arriving on time for meetings and appointments is important, as is dressing appropriately for your job. While in the office, maintain a good balance between respecting your colleagues’ boundaries and engaging in friendly conversation.

During your time in New Zealand, be prepared to encounter some differences in business communication. Kiwis tend to be more direct and pragmatic compared to some other cultures, so don’t be surprised if your colleagues are straightforward in their feedback or requests. Embrace this candor and respond in a similar manner to facilitate productivity and understanding.

One distinctive aspect of the New Zealand work culture is the importance placed on work-life balance. It’s common for employees to enjoy flexible working hours and take extended breaks, particularly in the tourism and horticulture industries. Make the most of this flexibility to explore the country, participate in outdoor activities, and recharge during your time off.

Adapting to the New Zealand work culture will positively impact your working holiday visa experience. Make an effort to understand and appreciate the local customs, values, and communication styles, and you’ll find yourself feeling right at home in no time.

Extending a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Working Holiday Visa provides an incredible opportunity to explore the country’s unique landscapes and culture while gaining work experience. If your adventure feels too short and you wish to stay longer, there are options to extend your Working Holiday Visa.

If you are a UK citizen currently in New Zealand on a 12-month Working Holiday Visa, you are eligible for an extension under certain circumstances. As a UK citizen, you may extend your working holiday to cover the balance of the 36-month maximum duration using the same visa extension scheme.

To extend your Working Holiday Visa, you will need to complete the Working Holiday Scheme Subsequent Work Visa Application form (INZ 1223). It’s advisable to read through the document carefully to ensure you meet all the criteria before applying.

If you’ve completed 3 months of seasonal work during your stay, you could be eligible for a 3-month extension of your Working Holiday Visa, even if you don’t meet the requirements for the second work visa. Seasonal work can be in various industries such as farming, forestry, orchard work, packhouses, vineyards, and tourist hotspots.



Myer Lipschitz

Myer Lipschitz was born in Johannesburg and is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand. In 1985 he was conferred the degree Bachelor of Laws. Myer completed his Articles of Clerkship with Ivor Trackman, Attorneys and was admitted as an Attorney to the Supreme Court of South Africa in 1988. Myer immigrated to New Zealand in 1989 and was admitted to practice law in New Zealand as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand...

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    1. Post

      Hi Robert

      In principle you can however you need to make sure that the position you are offered is an approved occupation for a temporary skill shortage visa subclass 482 (there is a list of occupations) or else the position is in regional Australia and on the list of occupations suitable for an employer nominated subclass 494 visa.
      The last option is if the occupation is in a region covered by a designated area migration agreement (DAMA).

      As can be seen from the above it’s all about list of occupations that are suitable for different visa types.