News report | | 05/02/2024 | ±6 minutes reading time

New Zealand offers a special visa to young adults who wish to discover the country and work there temporarily: the Working Holiday Visa. This New Zealand visa is valid for 12 to 36 months. Read this page to find out who is eligible for the visa, how to apply for it and what activities are allowed.

Working and travelling in New Zealand

Several countries offer a special visa for young adults who want to discover a new country and work there for a few months or years. This formula, called Work and Travel, has become very popular among young adults who have plenty of time but little money to explore the world. Countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada are popular destinations for a Work and Travel experience. In fact, these countries are particularly attractive for young adults partly due to the relatively high wages and the fact that they are (mostly) English-speaking countries, but also thanks to the special Working Holiday Visa that they offer.

New Zealand boasts one of the most comprehensive Working Holiday programmes, making it a popular destination for this category of travellers. The availability of a specific Working Holiday visa is not the only reason why New Zealand is and ideal Work and Travel destination. In fact, its fantastic landscape, hospitable inhabitants and high standard of living make it very popular among both working travellers and tourists. The Working Holiday Visa is not required for tourism or holidays. For these purposes, it is indeed sufficient to apply for an NZeTA online.

Requirements of the Working Holiday Visa

Nationality

New Zealand has made agreements with 45 countries regarding the Working Holiday Visas. Travellers holding a passport of one of these 45 countries (26 of which are in Europe) can apply for this visa. In the table below you will find a list of the 26 European countries eligible for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. Note: the table does not contain all 45 countries with which New Zealand has made agreements, but only the 26 European countries.

European nationalities eligible for the Working Holiday Visa
Austria Belgium Croatia
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
Finland France Germany
Hungary Ireland Italy
Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg
Malta Netherlands Norway
Poland Portugal Slovakia
Slovenia Spain Sweden
Turkey United Kingdom

Age

Generally, applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand. However, for travellers from the United Kingdom, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia, and Czech Republic, the maximum age limit is 35.

Proof of financial resources and insurance

To be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa, applicants must prove they will be able to support themselves financially during their stay in New Zealand. In most cases, applicants must possess at least 4,200 New Zealand dollars (about 2050 GBP) for a one-year-stay, but the exact amount may vary according to the applicant’s nationality. Moreover, travellers must be able to show their return flight ticket, unless they can prove that they possess enough money to buy one. Finally, each applicant must take out health insurance to cover all medical expenses in New Zealand, including hospitalisation costs.

Medical and legal background

All applicant must be healthy. Therefore, you might be asked to provide a medical certificate during your visa application. Moreover, applicants might be asked about possible past criminal convictions during the application process. Usually, the application will be rejected if the applicant has a criminal record, although minor offences are generally not taken into account. New Zealand’s immigration service may still ask for evidence regarding criminal convictions.

How to apply for the Working Holiday Visa

It is possible to apply for the Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand online. To apply, you must fill in a digital form, submit certain documents, pay the fee of 420 NZD (About 205 GBP) and the tourist tax of 35 NZD (about 17 GBP). It will take at least 8 weeks for your application to be processed. The documents required may vary for each applicant, but it is always wise to have a digital copy of:

  • your passport;
  • proof that you have sufficient financial resources (e.g. a bank statement);
  • your insurance policy;
  • a booking confirmation of your return flight from New Zealand (if already booked)

Limit on the number of visas issued

For some nationalities, there is a cap on the number of Working Holiday Visas issued each year. As soon as the maximum limit is reached, no more applications will be accepted from that specific country. The New Zealand immigration service always announces well in advance when a new round of applications will begin for these nationalities. These restrictions apply to travellers from the United Kingdom, but also from Austria, Spain, and Luxembourg. For UK travellers, the limit is set at 15,000 visas per year. This restriction does not apply, among others, to travellers from Ireland, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, and France.

Allowed activities and validity

The Working Holiday Visa is valid for one year. Travellers must arrive in New Zealand within the one-year validity period, and are allowed to stay in the country for up to 12 months from the time of arrival. In some cases, travellers are only allowed to stay in New Zealand for up to 6 months. British travellers may also apply for a Working Holiday Visa which allows them to stay in New Zealand for up to 36 months. Throughout the authorised duration of the visa, you may stay in New Zealand to travel and work in the country. You may also attend courses or training programmes in New Zealand for up to 6 months with this visa.

Holders of a Working Holiday Visa can work in any sector, except for sex work, and are not required to find a job before departure. During their stay, travellers can work for different employers and sign several employment contracts, as long as the work is legal and complies with the New Zealand law. Travellers from certain countries may not work for the same employer for more than three months. However, this restriction does not apply to travellers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, or Austria. Regardless of their nationality, holders of a Working Holiday Visa are not allowed to sign permanent employment contracts.

Alternatives to the Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa is not the only visa suitable for longer trips to New Zealand. For tourism or business trips in the country, New Zealand offers the NZeTA. The NZeTA can be applied for in a few minutes and is valid for two years. During the validity period of this visa, holders may spend up to 3 consecutive months in New Zealand. NZeTA applications are processed faster than Working Holiday Visa applications. Moreover, the cost of the NZeTA of £64.95 is a lot lower than that of the Working Holiday visa. However, the NZeTA is not suitable for travellers who want to work in New Zealand.

Apply here for the NZeTA

e-Visa.co.uk is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the New Zealand visa. e-Visa.co.uk acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (58 NZD per visa, via nzeta.immigration.govt.nz). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.co.uk, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 58 NZD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as £36.99 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous New Zealand visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.