The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

visa application
Updated 2020-01-23 13:16

The idea of living overseas for a year or so, working small jobs to pay your way as you travel sounds like a dream. And for anyone between the ages of 18-30, this dream can become a reality, thanks to a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). 

How to obtain a WHV

New Zealand is one of the countries that offer a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) program, and it's thanks to reciprocal agreements with your home country that you can benefit from it. The criteria to apply for this visa varies from one country to another, but for the most part, once you have the visa, you will have 12 months to work and travel across New Zealand, with unlimited entries so you will be able to visit more of the South Pacific while you are there as well.

There are a few exceptions, like the UK and Canada whose citizens are eligible for a 23-month long visa, Australians receive only six months. Some countries also allow for up to 35-year-old candidates to apply.

Countries whose citizens are currently able to apply for the Working Holiday Visa are Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam. There is also a six-month work exchange programme for Singaporeans.

The best place to look for information for your home country is the New Zealand Immigration website. Some countries have limited numbers; others have unlimited visas. If your country does have a quota, you will need to look up the numbers, and the date applications open to get yours done as quickly as possible for a better chance of receiving a visa.

Conditions for obtaining a WHV

You will be able to apply from the day you turn 18, to the eve of your 31st birthday (or 36th if you have up until you're 35). You will need to apply on the NZ Immigration website, and there will be a processing fee. You are only allowed to apply for one Working Holiday Visa in your lifetime, and you are not allowed to bring children. If you are planning on travelling with your partner, they must apply for their own visa.

From the day your application is approved, you will have 12 months to enter New Zealand, and the validity of your visa will start the day you arrive. You are required to arrive into the country with a passport valid for your entire stay, and either a return flight home or proof of funds to pay for your flight. You will need to have roughly $4,200 to support yourself during your stay.

 Good to know:

Whilst you are legally able to work, the main purpose of your visit must still be travel, so you cannot accept a permanent job on the Working Holiday Visa. Besides, some nationalities can only work for the same employer for a maximum of three months. You can study or train on this visa, but not for more than six months in total. Also, do not overstay your visa.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.