So, you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and want to be able to work and explore the country. One of the first things that Ag Work will introduce you to is your visa options. Ag Work will help guide you through your application and be on hand to assist you if you have any questions or need any help. We often get enquiries regarding the SSE visa and other visa options. Currently, we are only able to help applicants who are from countries who are eligible for a working holiday visa. We can’t accept applications from countries not in the working holiday program.

A working holiday visa is a fantastic option for those wanting to travel abroad whilst being able to earn money. All Ag Works placements are offered on a working holiday visa basis. If you are planning on undertaking any work in New Zealand on a voluntary or paid basis, you will need a working visa. This would include any backpacking jobs where you might be working in exchange for a few dollars or accommodation.

How To Apply For A Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand?

You can easily apply online for a working holiday visa. You can find links on the Ag Work website. When you work through Ag Work NZ, we will make sure your working holiday visa application is completed before you set off for New Zealand. The application is open for 18-30-year-olds with the exception of some countries that offer it up to the age of 35 (the United Kingdom being one of the countries offering this). You can only ever have one WHV, so it is important you make sure you are aware of what you want to do on your trip and how long you are hoping to be in New Zealand. You can apply for the visa once in New Zealand, but it does take significantly longer, and you will be required to submit medical information.

What Are The Requirements and Costs of The Working Holiday Visa?

When you are applying for a working holiday visa, you need to meet certain requirements. You need to be able to show you have proof of funds to buy a return ticket home, and money to support your stay if you choose not to work. Make sure you have at least $350 per month. This can be a pay slip or a screenshot of a bank account.

If, on your original application you are deemed to be from a country with a TB risk or have a health condition, then you may be required to provide a general health certificate or chest X ray. You will generally not be asked to provide a chest x ray or police certificate in a first instance 12 month visa application. Make sure you hold a valid passport and be a citizen of the country you are applying from. You may also be asked to provide details of your permanent place of residence. Make sure you have documents on hand that show your permanent address that is not in New Zealand.  

If you are applying from the UK then the cost of the visa will be around £200, if you are applying from Ireland then it will be roughly €230. Currently there is a quota of 15,000 visas available for people from the UK and an unlimited amount if you are from Ireland. Therefore, it is beneficial to plan ahead and talk to the Ag Work team about your visa application. As previously mentioned, you can only ever apply for one WHV, and multiple applications will be rejected.

Once your application has been received by Immigration New Zealand, they will review your application and if successful, issue your visa within a time frame of up to 5 weeks. In our experience, some candidates have had their visas back within the first 48 hours with others taking the full 5 weeks. Be prepared as busy travel times such as the southern hemisphere summer can cause some delays for immigration. Once you have had your visa issued, you will have a date that you must travel and be in New Zealand by, this can be up to a year, giving you plenty of time to plan your trip. Your 12 months will commence from the date that you enter the country, not the date that your visa is issued. For example; if your visa is issued on the 1st August and you travel to New Zealand on the 1st October, your 12 months will start from the 1st October not the 1st August. A working holiday visa is a multiple entry visa, so you can leave and re-enter the country whilst your visa is still valid.

Why A Working Holiday Visa?

By working in New Zealand, you will be able to immerse yourself fully in the country’s culture, get pally with the locals get away from the tourist-heavy hotspots, and gain country insights that will be individual to your experience. Your working holiday visa is valid for 12 months and it is important you leave the country when your visa expires. If you are from Canada you will be able to extend your visa for up to 23 months and if you are from the United Kingdom you can extend it for up to 36 months. When extending your visa (if eligible), you may need to do a paper application and provide details not included in the first application including an x-ray and a police certificate. If you are looking to extend your visa and you are eligible to do so, Ag Work will be able to advise on the next steps. We advise all new applicants to apply for a 12-month visa to start and apply for the balance at a later date if needed.

Final Recommendation From The Ag Work Team

When travelling to New Zealand, we recommend having paper copies of items such as your passport and travel insurance, as well as proof of funds or ticket home and permanent address. You will not be stopped and asked at immigration, but random spot checks are carried out. You will also need to complete a digital travel declaration form.

Ultimately, a working holiday visa is a fantastic way to be able to experience New Zealand first hand whilst gaining valuable once in a lifetime experience. If you are starting to plan your trip abroad then the visa is one of the first places to start. Further visa links are available on our website and if in doubt, book a call with one of our advisors today.