Working Holiday Visa New Zealand - A Comprehensive Guide to Applying
Published by GAFFL
Last updated - 05:11 PM
What is GAFFL?

GAFFL connects travelers in New Zealand who have similar itineraries to share costs and experiences as the backpack around the country. Simply type the destination you are traveling to, connect with travelers and locals, chat, meet up, and explore together!

New Zealand attracts tourists from all over the world through its mountains, glaciers, and forests, and this is only a few of its natural beauties. Not only that, but it also attracts backpackers with it’s hiking, skydiving, caving, bungee jumping, and skiing opportunities. New Zealand’s working holiday visa is a great option if you want to explore this gem of land without breaking your bank since you can work and fund your travel here through the working holiday visa!

The working holiday visa allows you to get experience working abroad. You can work so you are able to afford to travel for longer and experience and see more of the country than what an average tourist sees. So let’s get down to what the working holiday visa in New Zealand is all about.

Users
Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 170 countries to plan trips and travel together!
Try GAFFL

Table of Contents [hide]

    What Is A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

    A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is a permit that allows you to work in New Zealand and travel, so you can pay for your expenses around the country for 12 months (or 24 months if from the UK or Canada). You can also apply for a possible extension visa if you complete 3 months of the required horticulture/farm work. You must provide a General Medical Certificate if you apply for a 23-month visa. Working holiday visas are available to people usually aged 18 to 30, but 18 to 35 in a few selected countries.

    How Do I Apply For A Working Holiday Visa?

    You can submit an online application on the Immigration New Zealand website.

    What Countries Are Part Of The Working Holiday Visa Program?


    What is Required To Be A Working Holiday Visa holder in New Zealand?

    A few rules that apply for applicants in order to be a working holiday visa holder in New Zealand are: 

    • All applicants from all countries must have a passport valid for at least three months after the planned departure from New Zealand.
    • Be at least 18 years old and not older than 30 (or 35 depending on the nationality). The age range for UK citizens is 18–30, but it’s 18-35 in a select few countries. You can find more information about specific requirements for your country here
    • Meet the health and character requirements.
    • You can’t bring any children or a partner with you
    • You must be in good health
    • You’ll need to get insurance when you arrive in New Zealand. Having travel insurance (including medical coverage) is mandatory for a working holiday in New Zealand. 
    • Have not previously visited New Zealand using the Working Holiday Scheme visa (or been approved for one).
    • Be coming to New Zealand for a holiday, with working being the secondary reason for your visit.
    • You must have sufficient funds.
      •  As stated on newzealand.com, you generally need to be able to show a minimum of NZ$350 a month or NZ$4200 for 12 months to meet living costs requirements while you’re here. A copy of your bank statement may be sufficient evidence of your available funds. (Keep in mind that your actual costs may vary)
      • You must have a ticket for a return flight or enough money to buy one later

    What Is The Age Requirement?

    Working holiday visas are available to young people, usually aged 18 to 30, but 18 to 35 in some selected countries such as Argentina, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay. The age range for UK citizens is 18–30. You can find more information about specific requirements for your country here

    What Are The Character Requirements?

    According to New Zealand’s immigration website, the Character Requirements for applicants for all visas, including the working holiday visa  are as follows: 

    • Applicants must be of good character, not pose a security risk and not threaten New Zealand’s international reputation.
    • People with serious character issues can’t be granted any visa or entry permission, except in very special circumstances.
    • People with other character issues must have the good character requirement waived before they can be granted a temporary visa.

    You can't be granted a visa if you:

    • have ever been convicted of an offense for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 5 years or more
    • have been convicted in the last 10 years of an offense for which you were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 12 months or longer
    • are prohibited from entering New Zealand
    • have ever been removed, excluded, or deported from any country.

    You will also not be granted a visa if there is reason to believe you:

    • are likely to commit an offense in New Zealand that is punishable by imprisonment
    • are likely to be a risk to security
    • are likely to be a threat to public order
    • are likely to be a risk to the public interest.
    • If you have a serious character issue, you are normally ineligible to be granted a visa unless we grant you a special direction.

    Character issues that require a character waiver

    You will also not meet the character requirements for a temporary visa if you:

    • have ever been convicted of an offense against immigration, citizenship or passport laws in any country
    • have ever made or provided false or misleading information, or withheld material information when applying for a New Zealand visa, or when supporting another person’s New Zealand visa application
    • have ever been convicted of an offense for which you have been imprisoned
    • have ever been convicted of an offense in New Zealand for which the court had the power to imprison you for three months or longer
    • are under investigation, wanted for questioning, or have been charged with an offense which, if you are convicted, has a term of imprisonment of 12 months or longer.
    • If your character may prevent New Zealand from granting you a visa, you should provide a full explanation about your character issue with supporting evidence when you apply.

    This information will be used to consider waiving the character requirement or granting a special direction for very serious character issues. For more information, you can check out New Zealand’s immigration website

    What Are The Financial Requirements?

    • You must have sufficient funds in order to be granted a visa. 
    • As stated on newzealand.com, you generally need to be able to show a minimum of NZ$350 a month or NZ$4200 for 12 months to meet living costs requirements while you’re here. A copy of your bank statement may be sufficient evidence of your available funds. (Keep in mind that your actual costs may vary)
    • You must have a ticket for a return flight or enough money to buy one later

    What Are The Health Requirements?

    If you are applying for a working holiday visa you may need to have a chest x-ray or medical examination as proof of your good health.

    What you need to provide depends on your situation. You can find more information about it here

    What Are the English Language Requirements?

    The NZ immigration website states that there may be an English language requirement for some work visa categories such as Working Holiday Visas. A certain level of English language knowledge will be expected so that you can undertake your employment in NZ. The level required will depend on your employer's requirements and the job description. Your immigration officer will need to be satisfied that your level of English is sufficient to perform your duties correctly and this will be assessed during your application process

    Differences Between The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa & Other Visas

    • While anyone can apply for a non-working holiday work visa, only citizens of specific countries can get a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand. However, not everyone is guaranteed a visa. A lot of factors are taken into consideration before granting a visa. 
    • According to gooverseas.com, Working Holiday Visa holders probably won't need to show evidence of English language ability, educational qualifications, or to undergo a full medical (there are exceptions to all of these).
    • A Working Holiday Visa will only be granted for 12 months for most nationalities, or 23 months for travelers from the U.K. or Canada. 
    • A permanent job cannot be accepted while on this visa. 
    • No subsidized access to healthcare facilities. 
    • If you want to move to New Zealand permanently, you'll need to apply for a different category of work visa. Click on this link to Compare New Zealand Visa Types

    How Long Does It Take To Get A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

    90% of applications are processed within 31 days. Newzealand.com states that it usually takes up to 20 working days from the time you successfully submit your application online. You’ll receive an email either approving your visa or asking for more information. You must enter the country within 12 months of the visa being approved.

    How Much Does A Working Holiday Visa Cost?

    The Working Holiday Visa costs NZ$245, however fees are subject to change. You can find out more about fees, decision times, and where to apply on this link. This article “What is the Cost of a Working Holiday in New Zealand?” suggests that you arrive in New Zealand with around NZ$5,500 so that you have a bit of travel money to get started and still have enough for a return travel ticket. 

    What Types Of Jobs Can I Get With A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

    • Horticulture – fruit picking
    • Farm work
    • Retail
    • Working in a hostel
    • Bar work/hospitality

    How Much Is The Pay? 

    The amount you get paid depends on the job you have. The minimum wage in New Zealand is currently NZ$ $18.90 per hour. You can either get paid per bin when it comes to fruit picking work or by the hour.

    Most apple and summer fruit orchards pay their pickers on a “per bin” basis and the bin rates can vary from NZ$24.50 to $32 per bin.

    Can I Extend My Working Holiday Visa?

    The New Zealand immigration website states that “People who are already in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa can make a one-off application to stay an extra 3 months if they have completed at least 3 months of seasonal work in the horticulture or viticulture industries. Seasonal work can include planting, maintaining, harvesting, or packing crops. You don’t have to have a job offer to apply.”

    The website also states some points to note about extending your Working Holiday Visa such as:

    • You can only be granted one Working Holiday Extension Visa.
    • Your seasonal work doesn’t need to be continuous or for the same employer.
    • You don’t have to have a job offer to apply.
    • If approved your extended visa will retain the same conditions as your initial Working Holiday Visa.

    You can find more about the 11 Jobs That Qualify to Extend Your Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand on this link. 

    You can find some useful guidelines on How to Extend Your Working Holiday Visa on this link. 

    How To Find A Job For Your Working Holiday

    You can apply for this visa without having an offer from an employer beforehand. You can apply for jobs after you reach. You can look for jobs or apply online on employment-related search engines such as indeed. You can also print out copies of your resume/CV and give it to local restaurants, bars, hostels, etc, or places that are hiring. Most hostels have job boards for backpackers that you can also check out. Joining Facebook groups with job listings is also a good idea. 

    How To Get A Tax Refund From Your Working Holiday In New Zealand

    Most backpackers will need to file a return in their first year on a working holiday visa in New Zealand.  To get your tax refund, a final payslip or a summary of earnings is required. New Zealand’s tax year runs from 1st April to 31st March, and you can apply for the tax refund after the 31st of March if you worked in New Zealand during that period. There are two ways to file a tax return. You can do it yourself through the Inland Revenue Department or choose an external company to do your tax refund for you.

    Important Things Consider:

    • Make sure your phone is unlocked since a local mobile phone number is important for finding work so that employers can reach you after you have applied. 
    • Set up a bank account: You can open a bank account with proof of your visa status and your passport. 
    • Apply for an IRD number: You will need a tax number to start getting paid from your employer. You can either pick up a form at your local post office or apply online. Having an IRD number also protects you from getting too much tax deducted. You can find a step by step guide here

    If you want more information about the working holiday visa, you can check out this list of Frequently Asked Questions here. 

    Users
    Tired of traveling alone? Connect with users from over 170 countries to plan trips and travel together!
    Try GAFFL

    Comments

    Leave your comment here