The process to get a NZ Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is much more straightforward than similar programs…I’m looking at you, Canada and the UK! Read on to find out how you can fly off to New Zealand to work and travel for up to a year!

WHV Eligibility

If you’re fortunate to be a citizen of the participating countries (Canada, many EU countries, USA, UK et al) then you can get a one (1) year Working Holiday Visa (WHV), easily available from the New Zealand government’s immigration website. When I say easily available, I mean for most countries there is no upper limit to the number of visas given out, and you can apply online and often here within the week whether you have been successful. Note – Do not apply for the visa through any other site – it will be a scam and/or a rip-off.

The conditions for this usually state that you must; be over 18 and under 30 (though some schemes allow people up to 35); have a clean criminal record; have a valid passport. You are also required to have a minimum amount of money, to show you are able to support yourself until you find work.


12 or 23 months?

For UK participants only, at the time of application you need to select a 12 month or 23 month visa. If you want the 23 month visa you will need to get a medical/x-ray certificate – find more info about this on the immigration website. If you select the 12 month visa option and then once in New Zealand want to stay longer, you must apply for the extension while in country and while your first visa is still valid. You will still need to get the medical/x-ray certificate. Note that you can still only work for 12 months, no matter whether you choose the 12 or 23 month option. One bonus is that if you originally travelled to NZ on the 12 months and want stay longer, you can apply for the extension within New Zealand before your first visa runs out.

Just visiting?

If you want to visit New Zealand for a short amount of time and not work, then most travellers from North America and Europe can take advantage of the Visa Waiver agreement and stay in New Zealand for up to three (3) or six (6) months. For Brits, it’s six (6). Otherwise, have a look at the New Zealand government website here.

Got your visa? Now onto the working holiday planning


One half of a Canadian/British couple currently living in Penticton, British Columbia. Gemma is happiest with a paddle in her hand, on the trail or planning the next big adventure.

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