Working Holiday Visas to New Zealand

If you want to travel to New Zealand to visit, explore or work during your Gap Year, you can apply for a Working Holiday Visa.

Working Holiday Visa

If you're between 18 and 30 years old, you can travel and earn money in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa. The Working Holiday Visa is designed for gap year workers who want to experience everything New Zealand has to offer.

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

If you want to explore New Zealand and work to supplement your travel funds, then a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is a perfect choice. With a Working Holiday Visa, you can live, work and travel in New Zealand as you wish.

What You Can Do

You'll have up to 12 months to enter New Zealand after your visa is granted. After you arrive, you can stay for up to 12 months - 23 months if you're a UK passport holder. It's important to note that whilst you are free to enter and leave New Zealand as often as you like, any time you spend outside the country cannot be claimed back towards the 12 months you're allowed to stay.

Once in New Zealand, you're free to take up just about any employment you like, as long as you don't plan to make it permanent. To start permanent employment, you should apply for a New Zealand Work Permit.

If you're the academic type, you can enrol in one training or study course for up to 3 months whilst you're in New Zealand.

What You'll Need

To apply for a Working Holiday Visa, you'll need to have a valid passport. It's best to make sure that your passport is valid for at least one year after the end of your visa. If your passport is set to expire soon, it's a good idea to renew it and make your visa application on a fresh passport.

You'll also need to be between 18 and 30 years old (inclusive), have no dependent children, and you must never have been approved for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa before.

You'll need to be able to show an immigration officer that you have enough money to support yourself in New Zealand, and that you have either a plane ticket out of New Zealand, or enough money to buy one. They'll want to see that you have at least $4200 NZD (about £1650) in your bank account. If you don't have a return plane ticket, you'll need to show another $1000 NZD - about £390. The Immigration Officer won't accept a bank statement printed from your online account, so make sure you get a certified copy from your bank before you leave.

If you have a passport from any of these countries, you can apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa:

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, Uruguay, United States.

Health and Character

You'll need to be of good health and character to apply for a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand.

Generally, as long as you are unlikely to be a danger to New Zealand public health, and you're unlikely to be a burden on New Zealand health services, you should be able to meet the health requirements easily.

Exceptions include people who require dialysis treatment, have Tuberculosis, have a mental disorder or intellectual disability that meant you were in hospital or supervised residence to more than 90 days in the last 2 years, or you need full-time medical care.

Good character is determined by a clean criminal history. However, even if you have a minor criminal record, you can likely still apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday visa, even without having to go through a police check.

How to Apply

New Zealand Working Holiday Visas use an online application system so that applicants can start their application quickly. Working Holiday Visas are usually processed within about eight weeks. However, for most applicants from the UK and Ireland, the processing time is closer to two weeks.