New Zealand Working Holiday Visa – Process and Requirements

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa – Process and Requirements

The working holiday visa is an ideal option for those who plan to work in New Zealand while on vacation there. It's popular among backpackers and digital nomads looking for opportunities to earn money while staying longer in the country. The working holiday visa allows you to live and work in New Zealand for up to a year, with the option to extend. If you are looking to visit for leisure, a New Zealand eTA may be needed.

New Zealand is one of the world's most beautiful countries, with picturesque landscapes and friendly people. With so many incredibly stunning attractions in the country, you may need to spend at least a year to discover many of them. So, if you're lucky enough to come from one of those countries that qualify for the New Zealand working holiday visa, you should grab this opportunity.

Here's everything you need to know about this visa, including the requirements and process of applying for the visa.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

About the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is a type of visa issued to citizens of specific countries. It's a visa that allows people aged 18 to 35 to stay in the country for 12 months or one year and have the opportunity to take up work while living in the country.

With a working holiday visa, you will have enough time to see everything New Zealand offers while working in between. Like applying for any visa, you must meet the qualifications and requirements to get approved for the working holiday visa. Also, it's only available to citizens of specific countries. Refer to this link for a list of these countries.

You can apply for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa online, and the process should not take a long time as long as you meet the qualifications and have all the required documents.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

Requirements for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

Aside from being a citizen of one of those countries that are eligible for the visa, you also need to meet the following requirements:

  • Must be between 18 and 30. Some nationalities can be eligible for up to 35 years old.
  • A passport that's valid for at least six months.
  • Have enough funds to support your stay in New Zealand, which should be around NZD 4,200.
  • Be in good health and of good character.
  • Will not be accompanied by any dependent children.
  • Must have a return ticket to leave New Zealand once the visa expires or funds to purchase the ticket.
  • Have not previously entered New Zealand on a working holiday visa.
  • Adequate health insurance to cover the entire duration of your stay in the country.
  • Must be based outside of New Zealand during the application and approval of the visa. 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

Applying for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

If you believe you qualify for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa and are interested in it, refer to the steps below to guide you through the application process.

1. Gather Your Documents

First, you must prepare the documents required to apply for the visa. Prepare your passport, another form of ID such as a driving license, and a Visa or MasterCard to pay the application fee. Once you have them ready, refer to the website of the Immigration of New Zealand.

2. Create a New Account

When you're already on the website, click the link “Working Holiday Schemes.” After that, you need to register to create an account. To do so, refer to “New Users” and click “Create a New Account.”

3. Provide your Details

When creating an account, you must fill in the details in all fields that have “red marks.” Remember the password you provided since you will need that to log in later. Once you provide all the necessary details, click “register.”

4. Wait for an Email

After you click “register,” wait for a few minutes to receive an email. Open the email and click the link that will take you to the immigration website. Once you're on the website, log in with your username and password.

5. Begin the Application

Now, you can start with the application for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. Refer to “Working Holiday Schemes,” and click on the link that says, “click here to apply.” Begin by choosing your country of origin from the drop-down list. When you do this, you'll see if the quota for your country's working holiday scheme is still available since some countries have limited availability for working holiday visas. If the quota for your country is closed, you cannot continue with the application. But if there are still slots available, you can click on “Apply Now.”

6. Fill in the Required Information

After you click “Apply Now,” a page will appear asking you to enter your details. Fill in the required information. Click save to proceed to the next page. Fill out the “Personal Details” tab. Provide the details, then click on the Occupation Tab. It's optional, so you don't necessarily need to fill this out. Next, you will reach the tabs for “Health,” “Character,” and “Working Holiday Specific.”

7. Confirm your Working Holiday Visa Application Submission

After you provide the necessary details, you will reach the final page asking you to confirm the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa application by clicking on submit at the bottom.

8. Pay the Application Fee

After submission, get your card to pay for the application fee. They will only process your application after making the payment. When done, you will get an email from the Immigration of New Zealand to confirm that they receive your application and are already processing it. All you will do at this point is wait.

Within 20 working days, you will receive an email asking you to log in to New Zealand Immigration's Online Services to verify the vis status. Once approved, you can download the visa, print it out, and present it for entry to New Zealand. 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

Jobs to Consider When Working in New Zealand

Now that you have a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, the next question is – what kind of work can you apply for while in New Zealand. Here are some of your options:

  • Retail Work – Working at a shop is among the easiest jobs to get while on a working holiday visa in New Zealand, especially if you have experience working in retail and have a flair for customer service. During busy seasons, many shops in New Zealand require more staff. You can take advantage of this opportunity if you come here during these seasons, such as at Christmas.
  • Hospitality – Like retail work, hospitality jobs are among the easiest jobs to find for those on a working holiday in New Zealand. Examples of these jobs include bartending and working as a server in bars, restaurants, and cafes. You can find this job everywhere in New Zealand, but they are most in demand in urban areas, particularly in touristy places like Auckland, Queensland, Wellington, etc. Be aware that some jobs may require you to have experience.
  • Au Pair – Au pair or childcare is another popular job for those on working holiday in New Zealand. It's a wonderful opportunity to live with a local family and get free food and accommodation while earning a decent wage. Usually, this job requires you to have childcare experience.
  • Construction Work – Given the increasing building developments around New Zealand, many construction sites need helping hands. So, if you have experience in construction work, you should grab this opportunity. You can apply for construction jobs through recruitment agencies.
  • Farm Work – New Zealand has a thriving agricultural industry. Thus, you can expect various farm work opportunities, especially dairy farming. Many farmers around the country require helping hands during the lambing and calving seasons. You do not necessarily need to have experience working on a farm to be accepted for this job, although having experience will give you an edge.
  • Horticulture – Working in the horticulture industry is popular among young travelers on working holidays in New Zealand. The job requires you to work with crops in an orchard or vineyard. What's great about working in horticulture is that it doesn't require prior job experience. The job is usually in high demand during the picking season.
  • Hostel Work – Many hostels in New Zealand employ backpackers and young travelers staying with them and decided to extend their stay under the working holiday schemes. Some hostels also offer the option to “work for accommodation,” which means you can stay at no charge while working for them. You can take different jobs, from reception to housekeeping, kitchen staff, etc.
  • Tourism – If you have experience in the tourism industry, you can try your luck in New Zealand's thriving tourism industry. It's the perfect job for those who are fond of meeting people from around the world while taking up fun activities to discover the great outdoors. Depending on the job, some companies require you to have past experience.
  • Ski Field Work – Ski fieldwork is a seasonal job requiring you to work from the end of the autumn season until the start of spring. After the ski season is over, you can look for opportunities elsewhere. Working on a ski field has many perks, such as free ski lessons, lift passes, etc. Others even provide free accommodation. Depending on your skills and experience, there are various jobs you can take. You can assist lift operators, work as a parking warden, etc.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

FAQs on the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

How Much Will It Cost to Apply for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

The cost to apply for the New Zealand working holiday visa will depend on the country you are from. For instance, for those who came from the UK, the cost is £215. You will need to pay for this online with your Visa or Mastercard. 

How Long Can I Stay in New Zealand while Holding the Working Holiday Visa?

The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa will allow you to stay in the country for one year or 12 months from the day you enter the country. If you are from the UK or Canada, you can stay in the country for up to 23 months.

How Long is the Processing Time for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

The visa processing will take around 20 working days from the time you apply online. You should receive an email within 20 working days regarding the visa status. Once approved, you will receive a copy of the visa, which you can use to enter New Zealand.

Can I Extend My New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

The New Zealand Working Holiday visa is only valid for 12 months. If you want to stay longer, you can apply for another visa as a temporary worker, student, or resident. Those visiting under the UK Working Holiday Scheme are eligible for a 12-month stay but can extend the stay for up to 23 months.

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

About The Author

Carolyn Boston

"I’m an avid traveller who has been travelling the world on a budget for several years now. Recently, I quit my 9 to 5 job so I can discover more of the world without having to worry about limited vacation leaves!

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