General Information on the Working Holiday Visa
If you want to work and travel in New Zealand you will need a valid Working Holiday Visa visa. You can only apply for it ONLINE through Immigration New Zealand – and have to do so BEFORE you enter the country. In order to qualify for the Working Holiday Scheme you need to be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of your application and you need to be a citizen of one of the countries listed under the Working Holiday Scheme. There are varying requirements for each country such as spaces available.
Once you have been granted your visa you need to enter New Zealand within a year, otherwise it will become invalid. You WON’T be able to re-apply.
Where can I apply for my Working Holiday Visa?
Please follow this link the New Zealand Immigration website in order to apply:
Duration and Extension
The Working Holiday Visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for 12 months from the day you first enter the country. You can travel anywhere in New Zealand and either work for one single employer for the entire time or change employers as often as you wish. You are eligible to work in any occupation regardless of your profession.
You will be able to extend your Working Holiday Visa for another 3 months by applying for a Working Holiday Maker Extension Visa. However, to be eligible you will have to prove that you have been working in the horticulture or viticulture industry for at least 3 months.
What else do I need to know?
While on your Working Holiday Visa you are allowed to leave and re-enter New Zealand as often as you wish until your visa expires.
In order to be granted entry into New Zealand you will need your Working Holiday Visa, your passport (needs to valid at least for another 3 months until AFTER your visa expires) as well as either proof of financial security (at last $4200, e.g. in traveller checks or a copy of your bank account) or a return/onward journey ticket.
Most Working Holiday Visas are approved within 5 work days. However, you should calculate at least 3 to 6 weeks and there is never a guarantee that you will be granted a visa. Therefore applying for your visa should be the very first step when planning your trip. There is no use in buying plane tickets and such if you are denied entry into the country.
If unsure check the New Zealand Immigration website for further information.
Summary of Requirements
In order to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa you need to:
• be between 18 and 30 years when applying
• be a citizen of a country approved by the Working Holiday Scheme
• meet health and character requirements
• remember you can only apply ONCE
• pay the appropriate fee
• proof that you have sufficient funds to finance yourself while in New Zealand ($4200)
• enter New Zealand within 12 months after your visa has been granted
While on your Working Holiday Visa you can:
• enter and re-enter New Zealand multiple times
• work for one employer for the entire time or change employers
• work in any occupation anywhere in New Zealand
• extend your visa meeting certain critera
Tourist and Visitor Visa
If you don’t plan to work in New Zealand you can also apply for a tourist or a visitor visa.
Depending on your citizenship you can get a 90 day tourist visa at the airport. It allows you to stay and travel in New Zealand for up to 3 months. You need to have a valid passport, a return or onward journey ticket and proof of sufficient funds ($1500 per person).
You will find more information on the New Zealand Immigration website.