new zealand working holiday visa

How To Get A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

I first visited New Zealand in 2008 when I went on a 3 week rugby tour. We did a lot of cultural things and I always knew I wanted to come back on a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa to explore more of the country and hang out with the friendly Kiwi’s!

That opportunity came in January 2015 when I was granted my New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. Sandy and I lived, worked and travelled in The Bay of Islands, Northland, for almost 3 months. The scenery was truly epic up there and we only touched the surface in terms of experiencing this epic country. Our time in New Zealand was cut short due to our spontaneous travel decisions and so traveling more of New Zealand is definitely still the cards for the future.

new zealand working holiday visa

(Auckland, New Zealand)

So after scrolling though your Instagram feed and seeing all those stunning pics of your friends doing a year in New Zealand, you’re probably curious as to how you too could get a working holiday visa for New Zealand, right?

So here’s everything you need to know about the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa…

What Is The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

The New Zealand working holiday visa allows you to travel to New Zealand for 12 months whilst having the ability to pick up work to supplement your travels.

Note: This visa can be extended to 23 months if you are from the UK however you can still only work for a maximum of 12 months…that means more time for travel!

Who can apply?

You have the opportunity to obtain a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa if you are from the following countries:

Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Republic of Korea (South), Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay and Vietnam.

What Are The Requirements?

  • Must be between 18-30 years of age (or 35 if you are from Argentina, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary and Uruguay)
  • Must be able to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself (approx. NZ$4200 in cash, cheques, bank statements, etc)
  • Have return flights or ongoing proof of travel (or sufficient funds to book)
  • Have no dependent children with you
  • Have never been on a Working Holiday to New Zealand before
  • Your main intention for entering New Zealand must be for travel; work being your second
  • Must have evidence that you hold adequate medical insurance for your time in New Zealand

Note: Each country has it’s own specific requirements for obtaining the New Zealand working holiday visa. For the exact requirements for each country, see the official immigration website.


At the time of writing this, the current cost of the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is $208NZD, payable by credit/debit card. This is pretty cheap considering you’ll have 12 whole months where you can work, travel and create epic travel experiences.

Note: This price is subject to change so please check the official immigration website for updated information.

How to apply?

You can apply for your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa by visiting the official immigration website. It is super easy to follow the instructions and do the application online.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with the New Zealand immigration, I just enjoy sharing something that feel passionate about. All information in this post is correct at the time of writing, however, visa regulations and prices change frequently. For the most up to date information refer to the New Zealand Immigration website.


Being able to get a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is a huge privilege. For those eligible to obtain this visa, you can only ever get it once in your lifetime so make the most out of your experience in New Zealand.

If you’re planning on going to New Zealand for just a short trip (less than 6 months) then I would highly recommend just getting the tourist visa. You never know when you might want to extend your trip and when a Working Holiday Visa could come in handy in the future.

The New Zealand Working Holiday Visa is also a great opportunity to combine with your Australian Working Holiday adventure if you’re not ready to go home yet.

I hope you gained some good info from this post and have an awesome time living, working and travelling in New Zealand!

Was this article helpful? Do you have any questions? Leave us a comment below…

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11 thoughts on “How To Get A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

  1. After a variety of experiences with Immigration here in NZ, this post is so useful to summarise all the info you need. We all know the immigration site can be confusing!

  2. Bit too old for that now, but nice info you’ve put together! How long does it take for the visa to be approved and how far in advance should one apply?

    1. Thanks Brooke. I guess it is different for each country but I would suggest to apply somewhere between 3-12 months outside of the date you plan to go to New Zealand just to be safe 🙂

  3. wow! i love it! i am actually planning to go to new zealand next year and experience living all by myself and this post has just given me an idea about it! I am worried about the medical insurance though, I am not sure if I am still eligible to get one ;(

  4. That’s how I ended up in NZ 🙂 with a Working Holiday Visa! I found a job and ended up staying for about 3,5 years! Love New Zealand. Thanks for sharing the tips.

  5. Oh man, this is such a good idea. Too bad I am too old otherwise I would totally do this, even though it seems expensive. Wish I was oneofthe countries where the age was extended to 35.

  6. This is so useful! I wish this existed a few years ago when I was contemplating Australia or New Zealand – would’ve been so useful. Forwarding it to all my friends planning on working in NZ soon 😀

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