How long will my New Zealand visa take to process?
As soon as we receive your application it takes us just 48 hours (two working days) to process your visa. In a small number of cases the New Zealand Immigration Authorities may request further verification of personal details before granting a visa, thus delaying the processing time. In such cases we will notify you of any further requirements for your New Zealand Visa application as soon as we can.
Visa First advises you to apply for your NZ Working Holiday Visa at least two weeks before you plan to leave to allow for any possible delays.
What nationalities are eligible to apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?
If you are from any of the following countries you can apply for a NZ Working Holiday Visa: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, Uruguay and USA. Apply online for your NZ Work Visa today.
How long is the visa valid for?
Then length of this New Zealand Visa depends on your nationality.
For British citizens, you will be able to choose between a 12-month and a 23-month* Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand.
For citizens of Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey and the USA, your visa will be valid for 12-months.
For citizens of Austria, Malaysia and Singapore you will receive a visa valid for 6 months. Apply for your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa today.
* NB: If you are from the UK and would like to apply for a 23-month visa for New Zealand, a chest x-ray and medical examination may be required as part of your visa application. In such cases your application will take about 4 weeks to process from the date that your results are forwarded for assessment. Once we receive your application we will contact you with respect to the above. Should the Immigration Authorities impose additional health requirements, additional processing fees may apply.
How do I apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?
Complete the New Zealand Visa
application form, taking time to answer each question in full.
If you are applying for your visa in Ireland, post your application form, including the fee payment of €175 to: Visa First, 12-14 College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.
If you are applying for your NZ visa in the UK, post your application form, including the fee payment of £125 to: Visa First, First Floor, 277-281 Oxford Street, London, W1C 2DL, United Kingdom.
You can pay by enclosing a cheque made payable to Visa First Ltd or by completing the credit card section of the application form. Do not send cash.Register online now
to start the application process.
Can I apply while in New Zealand?
Yes, you can apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa
from within New Zealand.
Please note that if you lodge your visa application while in New Zealand, you must provide a New Zealand postal address on this application form. In such cases a chest x-ray and medical examination may be required, and your visa application will take about 4 weeks to process from the date that your results are forwarded for assessment. Once we receive your application, we will contact you with respect to the above if necessary.
The processing fee for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (including all embassy fees) is €175/£125/CA$305.
How do I know what's happening with my visa application?
Visa First is the only company with an online visa status engine through which you can check the status of your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa application 24/7. Check your NZ visa status here
When do I need to enter New Zealand?
Once your New Zealand WHM Visa is granted, you will have 12 months from the date of issue to arrive in New Zealand.
Do I need proof of funds to apply?
No. You will not need to provide proof of funds to apply for this NZ Visa. However, upon arrival in New Zealand you may be required to show evidence of available funds to support yourself while in the country, plus an onward airline ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one. The funds required are:
- British citizens: Minimum of NZ$350 per month of stay in New Zealand.
- Citizens of Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Uruguay and USA: Minimum of NZ$4200 available funds for the full period of stay in New Zealand.
- Citizens of Austria, Malaysia and Singapore: Minimum of NZ$2250 available funds for the full period of stay in New Zealand.
- Citizens of Thailand and Turkey: Minimum of NZ$7000 available funds for the full period of stay in New Zealand.
- Citizens of Peru needs to either have a minimum of NZ$4,200 available funds to meet your living costs while you are here, if you produce evidence that you hold an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) level 5 or over in speaking and in one of the other three skills areas OR have a minimum of NZ$7,000 available funds to meet your living costs while you are here if you do not meet the English language requirement above
There is no official deadline for applications for this New Zealand Visa
. However, there is a limit on the number of visas issued each year per country so it is a good idea to apply for your visa as soon as possible to ensure you don't miss out.Apply now for your visa to New Zealand.
What happens if I leave New Zealand for a few months and go to Australia?
The working holiday visa for NZ is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can leave and re-enter New Zealand as much as you like while your visa is valid. Please remember however that all time spent outside of New Zealand after your initial date of arrival into New Zealand is considered part of the total time your NZ Work Visa is valid for.
Do I need a job in order to get an NZ Working Holiday Visa?
No, you do not need an offer of employment to apply for a working holiday visa.
Over 30,000 customers every year choose Visa First to organise their working holiday visas because:
Apply online for your NZ Visa with Visa First today.
- We make getting the visa you need fast and hassle-free.
- We are the only company with an online visa status engine which allows you to check the status of your visa 24/7. Check your visa status now.
- We're visa experts and have organised over 130,000 visas for people like you.
- Our visa guarantee means no visa – no fee!*
- We don't just do visas, we sort out everything you'll need overseas – from accommodation, bank accounts, airport pick up, jobs advice and much more.
How many times can I go on the New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme?
You can only go on the NZ WHM Programme once. After you have used your working holiday visa you will not be eligible to return to New Zealand for another working holiday.
Visit our New Zealand Visas
section for information on other visas to New Zealand.
How do I open a New Zealand Bank Account?
Visa First makes sure you can start working and getting paid as soon as you get to New Zealand. Our partner Traveltowork can start organising your New Zealand bank account before you leave home which means you can transfer money in advance and access it as soon as you arrive. Apply for your NZ bank account today.
How do I get a New Zealand IRD Number?
To work in New Zealand, you will need a New Zealand Tax Number – called an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number. Without an IRD number you will pay tax at the emergency rate of 48%. The Visa First NZ Taxsaver Pack gives you step-by-step instructions for getting your NZ IRD number fast so you can start earning and pay tax at the normal rate of 29%. Apply for a New Zealand Taxsaver Pack today.
What's the best transport option?
The eternal question!! The best thing about New Zealand is that there are loads of great ways to get around. Compared with the UK, buying and running a car is a LOT cheaper. You can get a backpacker's car from around 200 dollars, insurance from 100 dollars and petrol is around 40p a litre! If you are going with friends you can share the costs, or why not buy a campervan and sleep in it as well? Another good transport option is to get a hop on hop off bus pass which allows you to travel around NZ but jump off when you see somewhere you like!
What's my luggage allowance?
Right, your luggage allowance is currently based on one thing - whether you fly through America on your way out or Asia (eg Hong Kong, Singapore etc). If you fly through Asia your maximum luggage allowance is 20kg and 7kg for your hand luggage. If you fly through America you have an allowance of 32 kg for your luggage and 7kg for your hand luggage. Hong Kong and Singapore are great places to have a stopover on the way out. Also, airlines such as Singapore Air offer a great flight service. If you are thinking of taking over 20kg – Don't!!
Are there any music festivals in New Zealand?
Certainly are! Every January the biggest Australasian music festival, the Big Day Out, comes to Auckland. This two day event has some great bands as well as lots of local Kiwi talent for you to check out. For example, in 2006 The White Stripes, Franz Ferdinand, Kings of Leon, The Magic Numbers and The Subways hit the stage. The event lasts for 2 days. For more details check out http://www.bigdayout.com.
There are also a few more local festivals and different types of festivals such as the Winter Festival down in Queenstown and the Food Festival in Hokitika.
How much are flights to New Zealand?
Well, that depends... Based on the time of year you want to travel and the current offers available with the airlines, it can be between £600 and £900. It's also worth looking into a round the world ticket which will let you visit a lot more countries for not much more money.
What are the hostels like?
Hostels are the main accommodation that travellers stay in when in NZ and they offer both long term and short term accommodation. If you've ever been to a hostel in the UK you might be thinking of raincoats, old men with beards and birdwatchers! Well, in New Zealand they are great places to stay with cinema rooms, internet, decking, bbq areas and spa pools. You can choose to have your own room or share with others and you all cook and socialise in well-equipped areas.
How much will I get paid in NZ?
Obviously it depends on what sort of work you are doing, but the basic pay rate for hotel or shop work is around $10-12 an hour. For office work expect around $14-20 in the cities. The current minimum wage in New Zealand is $9.50 an hour so you won't get paid any less than that!!
Where should I start in New Zealand?
The classic place to start your trip would be in Auckland as it used to be the only real international airport. Being the largest city means there is a good chance of getting work and it's a great place to base yourself to explore the North Island. However, you can now get some great deals flying into Christchurch and this can be a much nicer, smaller city (500,000 versus 2 million) to start off in. You are then based in the South Island and can see this area first if it takes your fancy more.
Can I drive in New Zealand?
If you have a valid UK drivers licence and an International Driving Permit then you are eligible to drive in New Zealand for up to a year without doing anything else. After this time, you would need to take an NZ driving test. Be aware that it is against the law not to have your licence on you while driving.
There are loads of rental car companies in New Zealand offering very competitive rates so you could hire a car for a weekend or a few months! In general, drivers have to be a minimum of 21 but some will let 18 year olds hire a vehicle.
With petrol and insurance being so cheap, many backpackers buy a car to travel around New Zealand then sell it on when they leave.
What's the drinking age in New Zealand?
The drinking age in New Zealand is 18, the same as the UK. You'll also be happy to know that you can go on drinking throughout the night. While we're on the subject of drinking in NZ, unless you go to an Irish or UK style bar, beer is served in 'handles' rather than pints, which are a bit smaller at 440ml. New Zealand also has an enormous range of its own beers so you won't have any problem in that camp!! Some of you may heard of are Speights, Monteiths, Lion Red, Export Gold, Tui, Macs Gold, NZ Lager (!), Steinlager. So many to choose from!!!!
Can I leave New Zealand and re enter at a later date?
Provided your visa allows multiple entry (as does the holiday visa) and you re-enter before the visa expires then you can. Always check with immigration first if you are unsure because if you are not permitted to re-enter they will send you home.
Can my employer sponsor me to stay longer?
If your company is willing to keep you on they can apply for a 4 year work permit for you. This allows you to work for that company for up to four years. Beware though...If you leave or are terminated your visa expires immediately and you have to leave New Zealand.
What vaccinations will I need?
You will need to visit your GP or nearest travel clinic for vaccination advice. Please ensure you allow sufficient time to obtain any vaccinations or boosters you may need before travel.
Can I apply for my NZ WHM while outside Ireland/ UK?
If you hold an Irish passport you can apply from outside your home country. If you hold an UK passport, you can apply from outside the UK only if you are using a temporary visa and your stay outside the country is not over 24 months.
I am 24 and my partner 31, I am hoping to get a 12 month working holiday visa, what are the options for my partner?
Your partner can apply for a tourist or sponsorship/migration visa.
Can I apply for a working visa if I am already on holiday in New Zealand?
Yes, you can, however you will need to pass some medical examinations, before the visa can be approved.
Do I need travel insurance for my New Zealand working holiday visa?
Yes, you will need insurance for the whole 12 month stay (you can book policies for a longer duration if you are visiting other countries before and after your New Zealand holiday). Read the policy cover details carefully to ensure you have the right level of protection, bad cover is worse than no cover at all.
Am I restricted in the type of working I do in New Zealand on my visa?
No. Working holiday makers on a holiday visa for working are permitted to do any kind of work of a temporary or casual nature. However, if you intend to work in your occupation in New Zealand, you should be aware that registration or licensing may be required.
NB: Passport holders from the list below may only hold a job for a length of 3 months with each employer.
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Chile passport holders may only hold a job for a length of 6 months with each employer.
Spain passport holders must not work for a period exceeding six months.
UK passport holders must not work for a period exceeding 12 months
Can I undertake studies on my New Zealand Working Holiday visa?
Passport holders from the below listed countries are permitted to study or train for up to 3 months:
- Belgium - 3
- Brazil- 3
- China- 3
- Denmark- 3
- Estonia- 3
- Finland- 3
- France- 3
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region- 3
- Ireland- 3
- Israel- 3
- Italy- 3
- Korea- 3
- Latvia- 3
- Malaysia- 3
- Malta- 3
- Mexico- 3
- Netherlands- 3
- Norway- 3
- Peru- 3
- Poland- 3
- Singapore (work exchange programme)- 3
- Slovenia- 3
- Spain- 3
- Sweden- 3
- Thailand- 3
- Turkey- 3
- United States of America- 3
Passport holders from the below listed countries are permitted to study or train for up to 6 months:
- Argentina - 6
- Austria- 6
- Canada- 6
- Chile- 6
- Czech- 6
- Germany- 6
- Japan- 6
- Slovakia- 6
- Taiwan- 6
- United Kingdom- 6
- Uruguay- 6
Can I break my holiday to visit countries other than New Zealand?
Yes. You can leave and re-enter New Zealand within the 12 months from the date of initial entry to New Zealand on your visa for holiday and working. However, if you depart New Zealand during your 12 month stay, you are not able to recover in any way the period of time spent outside New Zealand.
Can I work for the whole 12 months period while on my New Zealand working holiday visa?
You can work for the entire 12-month period as long as your labour contract does not state "permanent" - your contract has to be for a fixed period of time that does not exceed a 12-month period.
- If you are a British citizen and have been granted with a 23-month visa, you can't work for more than 12 months while on your Working Holiday permit. This can be in a consecutive period, or interspersed throughout your 23-month stay.
- Passport holders from the list below can work for the entire 12-month period as long as their labour contract does not state "permanent" but they need to change their employer every 3 months (can't work for more than 3 months with each employer):
- Czech Republic
- Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Do I need a return ticket when I apply for a New Zealand working holiday visa?
Yes, or at least evidence that you have sufficient funds for a return fare. You should provide evidence like a bank statement or savings book. The minimum amount you need to show is $5000 New Zealand dollars (at current exchange rates this is around £2000)
Is an interview necessary for my New Zealand working holiday visa?
No, all you have to do is to fill in our simple online form. You don't even need to send us your passport. We will confirm all the details over the phone.
Can I apply if I have a criminal record?
Yes, however there will be additional documents required and there will be a delay.
How do I pay the application fee?
You can use a debit or credit card. Alternatively you can send us a postal order or bank draft.
Can I work in New Zealand on my Australian working holiday visa?
No. You need a New Zealand Working holiday visa to work in New Zealand.
Can I get a NZ WHM if I have a child?
Yes. You just do not have to bring your children with you.
Does the 12 months take affect when you receive the visa or when you actually arrive in New Zealand?
The visa starts running from the date you enter NZ. You have 12 months to activate it.
I want to apply for a 23 month working holiday visa, so I need a chest X-ray and medical examination, how do I go about arranging these and is there a fee involved for these?
There is a med fee paid to us and you should cover the expenses on the examinations as well. As soon as an application is lodged email with instruction will be emailed to you. If you are Irish however you cannot apply for 23 months visa. Only UK pp holders can.
I am going to New Zealand on WHV. What documents will I be asked for on arrival in New Zealand and do I need a proof of onward flights?
When you arrive in New Zealand you need to have your original passport, your visa confirmation letter and a bank statement, confirming that you have enough funds to support yourself. The required minimum of funds is NZ$ 4200 but if you don't have a return ticket outside of New Zealand you need to have enough funds on the top of this to be able to purchase one when you're due to leave.
Can I bring my kids and wife on my New Zealand working holiday visa? And can they go to school?
When you're applying for a working holiday visa to New Zealand there is a requirement that you must not be accompanied by children otherwise you will breach your visa conditions and might be deported from the country. Your wife can come with you but she needs to apply for a separate visa for herself.
As a South African educator, am I eligible for a two year NZ WHM visa?
Only UK Passport holders are eligible to obtain 23-month working holiday visa which allows them to work for not more than 12 months in total. If you hold a South African passport you are not eligible for a working holiday visa to New Zealand at all. You should consider different type of visa.
I applied for the visa when I was 30, but turning 31 pretty soon. Do they still grant me the visa even though I am 31? In my case there were some problems and it is been a month since I applied for it.
If your application was lodged while you were still 30 there should be no problem at all.
Hello, can I lodge my application from outside of my country of residence? If so, will it be possible to download my visa confirmation letter (or would I need to have it sent to my UK address and then forwarded)?
There is absolutely no problem to apply outside of your country of residence. We'll simply need to confirm your passport details and ask you a couple of questions and will be able to start your application straight away. Once the visa is granted, you will receive your visa confirmation letter by email as this type of visa is electronically attached to your passport details and no visa label is required to be placed in your passport. Please bear in mind that UK and US passport holders can apply for the New Zealand visa from outside of the UK only if they haven't spent more than 2 years abroad at the time of the application.
Do I need to have a medical or chest examinations if I wish to come on a 12 month WHV? I'm from the UK.
Basically you don't need to undergo a medical examination or a chest x-ray if you will be staying in New Zealand for 12 months. However those might be required if you have any medical conditions or if you have been in any of those countries considered as 'risky' for more than 3 months.
I have a drink driving offence, after providing a police certificate, is it likely my visa application will be accepted?
There should be a problem for the visa to be granted. You will need to provide a police check certificate and a person explanation on what exactly happened. Please be advised that in such case it takes longer for the visa to be granted.
Because I had to do a bankruptcy a little ways back, if that would jeopardize my eligibility for a working holiday visa? I have managed to save up more than $4000CAN for my trip after I purchase my visa and airfare.
There is no problem to obtain a working holiday visa for New Zealand as long as you have the required minimum of sufficient funds for your stay there and a return ticket or enough funds to purchase such when you're due to leave the country.
I'm going to stay with someone who is going to financially support my stay and travel expenses, how can I state that in lieu of my own financial records?
Basically upon arrival in New Zealand you might be required to provide proof of sufficient funds and either a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase such when you're due to leave the country. If someone else will be supporting you financially I'd advise you this person to transfer the required funds to your account so that you could get a bank statement confirming that you have the required minimum of funds available upon arrival in New Zealand.
How do I make a complaint?
At Visa First we do everything we can to make sure you receive the best possible service. If you feel that we have not achieved this goal we have set up a complaints handling process:
- Where an official complaint is received by Visa First, the company will record the nature of the complaint and issue an acknowledgement email to the client within 5 business days of receiving the complaint. The acknowledgement will provide the client with the contact name who is responsible for dealing with the complaint. The official complaint must be made by email (you may also write, although this will slow down the process), and confirm that the client wishes to enter this process. Please email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Visa First will investigate the complaint as swiftly as possible and where applicable, the complainant will receive a regular written update on the progress of the investigation at intervals of not more than 20 business days.
- Visa First will try to resolve the complaint within 40 business days of having received the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved within 40 business days, the Firm will write to the complainant notifying them of the anticipated timeframe for the conclusion of the investigation.
- Within 5 business days of the conclusion of the investigation of the complaint, Visa First will issue a resolution letter detailing the outcome of the investigation. This letter will include, if applicable, an explanation of the terms of any offer that the company is prepared to make in settlement of the complaint.