How to apply for a working holiday visa for New Zealand

Work, travel and have an invaluable gap year.

The working holiday visa is your gateway to having a gap year experience in New Zealand. It's a chance to improve your English, immerse yourself in the Kiwi culture, see a wonderfully diverse country, and gain some valuable work experience. A working holiday visa is a 12-month (in most cases) visa that allows you to work in New Zealand.

Your visa is valid from the date that you arrive in New Zealand. This visa is multi-entry, which means that it will allow you to leave and return to New Zealand as many times as you want during those 12 months. It provides the perfect opportunity and freedom to travel around!

Do I qualify for a working holiday visa?

A super easy way to check whether you qualify for a working holiday visa is by taking our Free Visa Check.

But generally, you cannot apply for a working holiday visa in New Zealand if:

  • You already have had a working holiday visa in New Zealand.
  • You are not from the list of selected countries.
  • Your application was already denied.
  • You do not meet the health requirements.
  • You are under 18 years old.
  • You are over 30 years old (35 years old for selected countries).

How do I apply for a New Zealand working holiday visa?

In most cases, you can submit an electronic application for a work visa under the working holiday scheme by using the Immigration New Zealand website. It takes 15-30 minutes only and the process is much faster than a paper application. You just need your details including those in your passport and payment details. Then answer questions on your health, character and travel plans. You will have a response in a few days. Click here to see a free guide on how to apply.

When should I apply?

Some people leave things to the last minute and some are organised a year in advance – everyone's different. Generally, it's good to have your working holiday visa 3-4 months before you plan to arrive in New Zealand. Once you have that step sorted, it becomes real: you are going to New Zealand!

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