How to Apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

The process to get a NZ Working Holiday Visa is much more straightforward than some of the other working holiday programs (looking at you, Canada). Read on to find out how you can fly off to New Zealand to work and travel for up to 12/23 months.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa 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 are unlimited places (no quota) and you can apply at any time of the year. The application is online and it is not unusual to hear within the week whether you have been successful.

The conditions for the working holiday visa application 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 passport valid for 3 months beyond the visa length you are applying for
  • be of good character and health
  • have proof of funds (to support yourself) to show on arrival
  • Proof of onward flight from New Zealand or enough extra funds to pay for one
  • Have not participated in the working holiday program for New Zealand before

Note that working holiday applicants do not need a job lined up in New Zealand.

wellington view new zealand

12 or 23 months working holiday visa?

British citizens and Canadians are able to select a 12 month or 23 month visa at the time of application. For the 23 month visa you will need to get a medical/x-ray certificate.

If you select the 12 month visa option and then once in New Zealand want to stay longer, you can apply for the extension if your first visa is still valid. You will still need to get the medical/x-ray certificate. Even with the extension, be aware that you still can only work for 12 months.

Just visiting New Zealand?

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.

Check out these other posts about New Zealand next

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