Working holiday frequently asked questions

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Below are answers to the frequently asked questions for the Working Holiday Scheme visa.

How do I apply for a working holiday visa?

You’ll need to submit an online application on the Immigration NZ website, unless you’re already in the country (see below).

Can I apply for the Working Holiday visa if I’m already in New Zealand?

Yes you can, but you’ll need a New Zealand postal address. You may also be asked to undertake a chest x-ray and medical examination once Immigration New Zealand receives your application. Applying while you’re already in the country means your visa application will take about four weeks to process (as opposed to five days or less if you do it online before you come), so plan ahead.

How much does a working holiday visa cost?

This will depend on which country you’re from. For example, it costs €175, or £125 for people from the EU or UK. You will need a valid Visa or Mastercard to submit your application – this is the only way to pay the fee required. You are able to find out how much your specific country’s working holiday visa costs by working through the application steps.

How long does it take to get the visa?

It usually takes five working days or less from the time you successfully submit your application online. You’ll receive an email either approving your visa or asking for more information.

Do I need to have a job to receive a Working Holiday Scheme visa?

No, you don’t need an offer of employment to get your visa, and can find a job once you arrive. If you decide not to work while you’re here under the Working Holiday visa, that’s fine, as long as you have the money to fund your stay.

How much will I get paid in my job?

This obviously depends on what job you have, but the minimum wage in New Zealand is currently $14.25 an hour. Do your due diligence to make sure you’re being offered a fair rate by a potential employer.

Can I have more than one job while I’m in New Zealand on the Working Holiday visa?

You may like to have more than one job to supplement your income while you’re in New Zealand – especially if you’re working part time or for minimum wage – and this is fine. You can work as much as you like while you’re here. Different tax rates can apply to income from secondary jobs, so make sure to find out what taxes you may be eligible for. The Inland Revenue Department website can help.

What do I need to give my employer to prove I can work in New Zealand?

You can show your employer a print out of your electronic work visa, log in to the Immigration New Zealand website to show them your visa, or they can call Immigration New Zealand to check that you’re allowed to work in this country. Your employer can also verify your entitlement to work using Immigration New Zealand’s online Visa view service.

You’ll need to get an IRD number (which you can apply for online at ird.govt.nz) to give to your employer for tax purposes.

What if my country isn’t a member of the Working Holiday Scheme, or if I exceed the age limit?

You could be eligible for another type of visa that allows you to work in New Zealand based on your skills. The Immigration NZ website is a good resource to help you research alternative options.

How much money do I need to bring?

This differs by nationality, but for Immigration purposes, 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.

However, keep in mind that this is only the amount that Immigration New Zealand requires to prove you have enough funds to sustain your time in New Zealand. Your actual costs will vary based on what job you obtain and the amount of travel to do.

Do I need insurance?

This depends on your country’s Working Holiday Scheme requirements. You may need to get medical and comprehensive hospitalisation insurance for the length of your stay. Please refer to your country’s specific requirements on the Immigration New Zealand website.

What happens if I leave New Zealand for a while and then come back?

The Working Holiday visa is a multiple-entry visa. That means your Working Holiday visa is activated when you first arrive, but you’re free to leave New Zealand and return as many times as you like. Any time you spend outside of New Zealand will not be added to the total time your Working Holiday visa is valid for.

How many times can I get a Working Holiday Scheme visa?

The Working Holiday visa only applies once during your lifetime. If you want to stay for longer once you’re here, you can apply for another type of visa as a temporary worker, student, or resident. Check out the Immigration NZ site for more information.

If you’re visiting New Zealand under the United Kingdom Working Holiday Scheme for a 12-month stay, you may be able to extend your stay for up to a total of 23 months.

Looking for more information?

You’ll find full details about the Working Holiday Scheme visa and your specific country requirements at Immigration New Zealand, including the online form to apply.

Need a bit more guidance? 

There are companies who can help you with your working holiday visa application, for a fee, like Working Holiday Starter and Work N Holiday.

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