Tucked away in one corner of the world, New Zealand is truly a hidden gem for travellers. This country is blessed with snow-capped mountains, rolling hills, ancient glaciers, and copious amounts of wine! While getting into New Zealand requires a fair bit of planning and a healthy bank balance, we promise you it’s all worth it. In a bid to attract more visitors each year, the government has started issuing a working holiday visa in New Zealand. This allows travellers to see the New Zealand working holiday experience.
What Is A Working Holiday Visa In New Zealand?
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A working holiday visa in New Zealand is essentially an agreement between New Zealand and other countries that allow visa holders to work and live in New Zealand for up to a year or two. This visa is longer than a standard New Zealand visitor’s visa, which allows you stay for nine months out of an 18 month period – unless you’re from a visa waiver country. Also, unlike a visitor visa that only allows you to travel to New Zealand only on your holiday, the Working Holiday Visa In New Zealand allows you to work in any job.
Eligibility Criteria Of A Working Holiday Visa In New Zealand?
Every year, hundreds of young students apply for a working holiday visa in New Zealand, in hopes of living and working in the country for up to 2 years. However, in order to receive this coveted piece of document, there are several criteria that must be met.
A working holiday visa in New Zealand is usually given to young applicants, usually between the ages of 18 to 30. However, in a select few countries, applicants up to 35 years of age can also receive this visa. A working holiday visa in New Zealand allows you to travel and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months, or 23 months if you are from the UK or Canada. In case you apply for a 23-month visa, you will need to provide a General Medical Certificate.
Furthermore, you will need to –
- Come to New Zealand with the primary intention to holiday, with work being a secondary intention.
- Have enough financial resources to pay for a return ticket to your home country.
Here is an exhaustive list of all the countries who have entered into a Working Holiday Visa Agreement with New Zealand –
Here are some working holiday visa in New Zealand rules that are applicable to everyone –
- Have a valid passport for at least three months after your planned departure from New Zealand.
- Be at least 18 years old and not older than 30 (or 35 depending on your nationality).
- Meet the health and character requirements of New Zealand.
- Not bring children with you.
- Hold a return air ticket, or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket.
- Have not previously visited New Zealand using the Working Holiday Scheme visa.
- Coming to New Zealand for a holiday, with working being the secondary reason for your visit.
However, there are some working holiday visas in New Zealand rules that are applicable to certain countries. For instance, if you are a citizen of the UK, who’s under 30 years old and are accepted for the visa, you can live and work in New Zealand for up to 23 months.
If you are from the United States of America, Germany, France or Japan, you can be up to 30 years old, and if you’re accepted can live and work in New Zealand for up to 12 months.
Also, some countries have quotas which means that only a certain number of people will be able to get a working holiday visa in New Zealand. For instance, Brazil has the same age and timeframe restrictions as the countries above (up to 30 years-old and a 12-month stay allowed), but there’s a quota capped at just 300 people each year. So, ensure you get your application in quickly once the visa application process opens up.
How To Apply For A Working Holiday Visa In New Zealand
The application process of a working holiday visa in New Zealand is fairly straightforward. All the visa applications must be applied on the New Zealand working holiday visa online application. Before applying for a working holiday visa in New Zealand, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria (mentioned above).
The next step would be to register and create an account for Online Services. Once you have registered, you can start your application process. You will see a list of all the available New Zealand working holiday visa online application. Locate and select the country you are from. The ‘country box’ will indicate if the visa is open or closed at that time.
You also have the option of coming back later to complete the application process. In order to do this, simply click the ‘Login’ option located at the top right-hand side of the Immigration New Zealand website. Then select ‘Working Holiday visas’ from the options. Once you are successfully logged in, you will be able to see your current visa application and hence, edit it, if required.
How Much Does A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Cost?
The exact New Zealand working holiday visa cost depends on the country you are from. For instance, the cost of the visa for people from the UK is £215. You will require a Visa or Mastercard to submit your application, as this is the only way to pay the fee. You can view how much it will cost by choosing your country and viewing the visa details for that Working Holiday visa.
How Long Does A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Take?
Typically, it takes around 20 working days from the time you successfully submit your application online. You will receive an email either approving your visa or asking for more information.
Things To Do In New Zealand
New Zealand is the undisputed adventure capital of the world. Adventure junkies can find a wide range of extreme sporting activities to do, ranging from bungy jumping to skydiving to white-water rafting.
If skydiving is your cup of tea, you can do it anywhere in New Zealand. However, if you’re aching to do ziplines, bungy jumps, caving, zorbing, transalpine hiking, paragliding, and more, head over to Queenstown.
Here is a rough estimate of how much these activities will cost you –
- Bungy jump – 150-220 NZD
- White-water rafting – 120-200 NZD
- Zorbing – 105 NZD
- Skydiving – 350-550 NZD
- Paragliding – 205 NZD
Visit Abel Tasman National Park
Tasman National Park is the home of beautiful beaches and azure water that will make you feel like you are in Thailand! This is a wonderful hiking destination, with huge, lush trees; giant ferns and a temperate climate. There’s also the Abel Tasman Coastal Walk (an absolute must-try!), a 60km hike and one of the 9 Great Walks of New Zealand.
You also have the option of exploring the park beyond its hiking trails by renting a kayak (60 NZD per day). This will allow you to visit the tiny coves and beaches that make this area so special.
Glacier Trekking On Fox & Franz Josef
Franz Josef in New Zealand is famous for one thing and one thing only – glaciers. It is highly recommended that you hike these glaciers, as it makes for an unforgettable experience. However, due to climate change, the glacier caves and walks have been shut down. The only way up is via heli-hike (a half-day or full-day helicopter/hiking experience). Though this activity is on the costly side (485-499 NZD), it is an experience that no other!
Conversely, you can just go on a helicopter tour without the hiking (they last about twenty minutes and cost around 200 NZD) or just hike to the glacier face and take photos from a distance.
Learn About Maori Culture
The Maori were the original inhabitants of New Zealand, arriving from Polynesia between 1320-1350. This best place to witness the Maori culture is Rotorua. While there you can visit some noteworthy sites like Tane Mahuta, Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the Te Papa museum.
The Maori exhibition shows usually last around 2.5- hours and include a tour of a traditional village, performances, and a meal. You can buy tickets that range from 99-150 NZD.
Check Out the Glow Worms
Undoubtedly one of the coolest things to do in New Zealand! The Waitomo glow worm cave is pitch dark and has a river flowing through it. When the time’s right, the walls of the cave illuminate, resembling a starry sky. Fun fact: This phenomenon exists because the gnats on the walls glow due to a chemical reaction as they attract food.
Tickets for this cost around 150 NZD for the 3-hour rafting trip and 260 NZD for the 5-hour trip.
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