New Zealand Working holiday visa over 30

New Zealand skilled migration

Is there a way to receive a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa if you are over 30 years? The short answer is “No, you can’t.“. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t go to New Zealand. Many people don’t realize that there are a lot more options to work in New Zealand except for the Working Holiday. You can easily obtain either New Zealand skilled migration visa or General Work Visa and get there.

Here is a real example: One of our visitors had an interesting query about New Zealand Working Holiday visas.  In short, the person is interested whether there is a way for him to travel on the Working Holiday Program despite the fact he is 34 years old. As you already read – he is not eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand, however, he has several alternative options. Please, read down to find out what they are.

  • Veronica: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today?
  • VisaFirst client: I will be travelling to New Zealand for a holiday next month and wanted to know if there is a way to qualify for the Working Holiday visa if I am over 30.
  • Veronica: We can help you get a visa through sponsorship or applying for residency.
  • Veronica: Unfortunately you cannot qualify for the Working Holiday visa if you are over 30.
  • VisaFirst client: I don’t really want to apply for residency, I only plan on being there for 6 to 9 months. What would I need to qualify for sponsorship?
  • Veronica: What occupation do you hold?
  • VisaFirst client: I have been in restaurant and retail management for the past 10 years.
  • Veronica: OK, would you by any chance be able to find an employer in New Zealand willing to sponsor you?
  • VisaFirst client: Probably, but not until I arrive there. Would I need to have a sponsor before arriving in New Zealand?
  • Veronica: Unfortunately you will need to find one before arriving in New Zealand
  • VisaFirst client: Would the position have to begin right after arriving in NZ? I was hoping to be able to travel around the country for the first 6 weeks or so.
  • VisaFirst client: Also, would it have to be with a company in my industry or can it be with any company?
  • Veronica: You can travel beforehand as long as it is under the period that is allowed under your tourist visa for New Zealand.
  • VisaFirst client: My tourist visa is for three months, so as long as I find a sponsor within that time frame, I should be able to qualify?
  • VisaFirst client: How long would the process take from the time I found a sponsor to the time I would be eligible to begin work for them?
  • VisaFirst client: Or are you saying I have to have the sponsor before arriving in NZ, but I don’t have to begin working right away. My start date would have to begin before my 3 months was up.
  • Veronica: That’s correct, you don’t have to work straight away, but it would be best to organise the sponsorship before you get there
  • VisaFirst client: Given I only have 2 1/2 weeks to find sponsorship ahead of time. If I do find sponsorship, would that be the only employer I would be able to work for or could the sponsorship be transferred if I found something else while in NZ? Also, does that start date have to be specified on the sponsorship application or can it be a time frame?
  • VisaFirst client: You are being very helpful, by the way, and I appreciate it.
  • Veronica: You must stay with your sponsor throughout the whole period it is valid for.
  • Veronica: Declan Clune is our sponsorship/migration visa specialist. Can you please phone him on his UK number 0207 659 9180, the Irish phone number 01 878 3329 or the Australian phone number 01 928 0468 or alternatively email him at with some brief details of your query and he will get in contact with you to answer your questions
  • VisaFirst client: Very good, thank you for your time and have a wonderful day.
  • Veronica: You’re welcome!
  • Veronica: You too!

Sometimes its harder to put your plans into action, however, most of the time there is away. Professional advice can prove invaluable when given at the right time. If you have any queries please e-mail us at

Updated: December 2012


Hi, i will be turning 31 on the 27th of this month. If my visa application is accepted, does my 1 year start from the acceptance date of form when I enter the country like in Aus? thanks,

HI Vernica, I am currently 30 years old but will turn 31 in 2 weeks. Can I apply for a working visa?

Hi Andrea, in this case we are talking about specific case - New Zealand. Otherwise you are right - there are options for some countries/from some countries to get Working Holiday Visa until the age of 35.

Hi James, Yes, you can, if you apply and get your visa accepted before you turn 31. You can check all of the available Working Holiday options here:

hi iam irish but have uk passport but iam 30 yrs old can i still get Working visa??

Just check out the relevant countries' sites. Being Canadian you are at a great advantage though - Canada lets people get a work&travel until they're 35, and since it is usually reciprocal, that means most countries have an age limit of 35 for Canadians as well ...

Do you know if this applies to Canadian citizens? Since I turned 31 I was under the impressions I couldn't go anywhere to work/live/travel without going through the regular visa application process, as if I were planing to live there permanently. Love any advice. Thanks! Oh and I'm open to considering going anywhere.

Completely wrong info here ! if you are from UK you can get 23 months Holiday working visa even if you are 35 and some other country 12 months. Here are the info from New Zeland immigration office Working holiday visas are available to young people, usually aged 18-30, but 18-35 in a select few countries. They let you travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you’re from the UK. You need to have a return ticket, or enough money to pay for one, and be coming mainly to holiday, with work being a secondary intention.

hi just wondering how I get a visa to see NZ for a month (For a holioday). I am living in UK under srilankan passport. What are the options I could get? I have a wine shop in Uk.

Anyway, if you have some information regarding job opportunities in New Zealand or Australia , feel free to forward them into my inbox: I appreciate your help and time. Kind Regards, John

Hi Veronica, I am currently seraching for new opportunities Information and Technology/human resources field within Australia or New Zealand. Could recommend some? I look forward to hearing from you soon Regards, John

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