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Working Holiday New Zealand – The Visa


The first step to start the New Zealand Working Holiday is to get a visa. This process is very simple and is completely online.

The first thing to do is connect to the New Zealand Immigration website and, in particular, to the Visa section: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa

Once you have entered your country of origin where required, you will just need to follow the instructions, register a new account on the site, and finally complete all the required fields step by step. During this procedure you will have to enter all your personal data and, above all, the Passport number (which must be valid for at least fifteen months at the time of your future first entry into the country).

The last part is the Visa payment which, for European citizens, currently costs 208 NZ$ (less than 120 €), to be paid online by credit or debit card.

Once registered on the site you will receive a confirmation via email; through the link in it – or by accessing the site with user ID and password that you initially decided – you can keep track of your visa application.

Within a few days (three, in my case) another email will notify you of the actual approval of your request and, from that moment, you will have 12 months to enter New Zealand.


Besides the aforementioned requirement about the passport, which must be valid for at least 15 months at the time of the first entry in New Zealand, there are others equally important.

The most important detail is the age. A Working Holiday Visa can only be requested by people aged between 18 and 30 (included). The fact that “the 30 years old” are included is very important, because it means that it is possible to apply (and obtain approval) until the day before the 31st birthday. From that moment you have 12 months to enter the country, which means you could arrive in New Zealand just before turning 32.

Another requirement – though it is never checked – is that you should have an exit ticket from New Zealand, or prove you have at least 4,200 NZ $ and you’ll be able to “survive” during the first weeks. Usually nobody checks none of these two rules.

During the visa application it is also required to fill in a questionnaire about your physical health and your criminal record. When particular situations arise in these points (especially for criminal records) the visa can be easily refused.

The screenshot of the New Zealand Immigration website, first step to obtain the WHV.

Italians who have obtained the Working Holiday Visa will be able to work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, and to study or take courses up to a maximum of 6 months. The same rule is still valid for the most of the other countries in the World, like Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, USA, etc. (you can check your criteria clicking the link above).

People from United Kingdom and Canada can choose between a 12 month Visa or a 23 month Visa (Commonwealth rules I guess). Plus, if they choose a 12 month Visa and decide they want to stay longer, they can apply later for the balance of the 23 month period.

Also, for Canadians the limit age is 35 years old.

Once you’re in New Zealand with the WHV you can work for the same employer up to 6 months, and you cannot accept a permanent job, though nobody really check about the six months rule.

If you decide to work for three months in the agriculture you can get a visa extension of another three months (for this reason the passport must be valid for at least 15 months).

Unlike Australia, you cannot get a second year Visa in New Zealand by working in farms or in remote areas.

In the next article, I will talk about the first things to do once actually landed in New Zealand!



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