04 May New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide
SO WHAT IS A WORKING HOLIDAY VISA (WHV)?
- You must be at least 18 years old and no older than 30
- You are allowed to take employment (or study for 6 months) within the country
- Can’t take up permanent employment (unless you apply for and are granted an ordinary visa)
- The visa is valid for one year upon entering New Zealand (you have one year to enter the country and as soon as you set foot in NZ, your visa starts counting down to the expiry date)
- Usually be permanently living in the United States of America
- Be a U.S. citizen & have a U.S. passport that is valid for at least 3 months after your planned departure from NZ
- Must be at least 18 – 30 years old
- Can’t bring children with you
- Must have a return ticket OR sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket
- You must possess a minimum of $4,200 NZD (~$2,893 USD) in your bank account to meet living costs
- Meet the NZ immigration health and character requirements
- Have health insurance
- Come to NZ to holiday, with work and study as second intentions for your visit
- You haven’t been previously approved for a working holiday scheme before
SHOULD I PAY FOR A SERVICE TO HELP WITH MY APPLICATION?
HOW MUCH DOES A WHV COST?
WHAT TO DO BEFORE ARRIVING IN NEW ZEALAND
1. Apply and get approved for a WHV on the New Zealand immigration site (can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks, or a few days for some)
2. Buy travel insurance. Here are a few popular ones: Allianz (after some research, I went with this) World Nomads Travelex
3. Buy a ticket to New Zealand (find out how I only paid $100 for my ticket to Auckland)
4. Unlock your cellphone. If you plan on using the same cellphone in NZ and you don’t have free roaming, consider unlocking your phone so you can just pop in a new sim card
5. Start looking into what jobs you want to take up
WHAT TO DO AFTER ARRIVING IN NEW ZEALAND
1. Apply for a NZ bank account I found that opening a FREE UP Kiwi Bank account was the easiest since it’s usually right next to a Post Mates (a post office). So after you’ve opened a bank account, you can just mail your IRD (Inland Revenue Department tax number, see #2) application right away.
2. Apply for an IRD tax number (usually takes 2 weeks )
3. Buy a cellphone (or a sim card if you plan on using the same phone) so that future employers can get a hold of you
4. Buy an AT HOP Card if you plan on using public transportation
5. Start job hunting (see below for job resources)
SHOULD I BUY A CAR? HOW’S THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?
IMPORTANT AIRPORT CHECKLIST
RESOURCES FOR FINDING WORK
RESOURCES FOR FINDING A FLAT (or flatmates)
THE CHICKEN AND EGG SITUATION
- Power, phone or other utility bill
- Bank statement or letter issued from another registered New Zealand bank in the last six months
- Document issued by a government agency with your name and signature issued in the last six months
- Store account statement
- Letter from a GP
- Letter from a school or tertiary institute
- Tenancy agreement
- Employment agreement
- Letter from another financial institution
- Letter from electorial office
- Letter issued by a solicitor or accountant
I’m probably the worst planner out there, believe it or not, but the whole New Zealand Working Holiday Visa process was pretty simple. I didn’t go through any third-party services and I didn’t have any issues with it. If I could do it, I’m sure you can too. So if you’re looking into getting a working holiday visa, I definitely recommend doing one in New Zealand.
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