New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide | Here & Air

This guide is focused solely on applying for a working holiday visa in New Zealand from the United States.

 

I’ve realized that not everyone is familiar with working holiday visas. If you don’t know what a WHV is, I hope this changes your life in some way or another. If you already know what is it, but don’t know to get your hands on it, feel free to skip to “How to apply for a working holiday visa in New Zealand”. If you, however, already know how to do all the above, *high five, you’re awesome!

 

SO WHAT IS A WORKING HOLIDAY VISA (WHV)?

 

The way a WHV in New Zealand differs from other visas is that:

 

  • 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)

 

Basically, it allows people to work in a foreign country to supplement their travel funds and to fully experience living in a foreign country. The expenses of finding work sponsorships and whatnot are pretty much eliminated.

 

So whether you’re a recent graduate looking to feed your wanderlust before settling down, or curious about living in another country, or if you’re just someone looking to find more meaning in life, then consider becoming an expat in another country.

 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide | Here & Air 

REQUIREMENTS

 

This is for those applying from the U.S.

 

  • 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?

 

NO. NO. NO. Please do not get scammed or persuaded into paying for a third party service package to “facilitate” the process of your visa. It’s completely unnecessary. Save that extra $500 on something else. You can do it all by yourself, it’s super easy.

 

HOW MUCH DOES A WHV COST?

 
The WHV should’ve cost about $165. For some reason, my visa was waived so it was completely FREE for me. I’m not entirely sure why. I think there are certain agreements between the U.S. and New Zealand.

 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide | Here & Air 

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)
Optional:

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)

 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide | Here & Air

SHOULD I BUY A CAR? HOW’S THE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?

 

If you’re confident driving on the left side of the road, learning NZ’s traffic rules, and if you’ve got sufficient funds, then by all means buy a car if you must. It might be best for those planning to take plenty of road trips. If you’re going to be living around Auckland, the public transportation is pretty decent. You can get around Auckland via bus, ferry, or train with an AT HOP Card. I’m getting around just fine without a car, but will probably rent a car for future road trips.
 
 

IMPORTANT AIRPORT CHECKLIST

 
So once you’ve completed everything and are ready for the ultimate WHV adventure, make sure to bring these important documents and paperwork to ensure a successful trip!
 
  Airline ticket
  Passport
  Insurance policy card/booklet
  A bank statement to show sufficient funds
  Return ticket or bank statement showing you have enough to purchase a return ticket
  Driver’s license
 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide | Here & Air

RESOURCES FOR FINDING WORK

 
 
 

RESOURCES FOR FINDING A FLAT (or flatmates)

 

 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Guide | Here & Air

THE CHICKEN AND EGG SITUATION

 
So in order to open a bank account in NZ, you need to show them a proof of address (a letter/bill with your name and address), which I didn’t have. And in order to apply for an IRD number, you need to have a fully functional New Zealand bank account. Ay yi yi.

 

According to Kiwi Bank, here are examples of a valid proof of address:

 

    • 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

 

So before opening a bank account, make sure to get a hold of one of items above.

 

 

OVERALL

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. 

 

If there’s anything else you want to know about Working Holiday Visa Schemes in New Zealand, please don’t hesitate to ask me! If you think I missed anything, let me know by commenting below! 🙂

 

xx,

signature-2

FREE LIGHTROOM PRESET

Morocco-sample-preset

The Morocco Preset creates the perfect dreamy blue hues and is great for bringing back overexposed skies. Sign up to get instant access now!

Powered by ConvertKit

You Might Also Like:

4 Comments
  • Amy Jones
    Posted at 11:02h, 11 May Reply

    This should be a super good guide! Thanks for sharing!

  • Brooke Nolan
    Posted at 14:05h, 10 May Reply

    I can’t wait to see New Zealand later in the year! It’s worth people knowing that you can apply any time up until you’re 31. I just snuck my visa in before I was over the age limit. Thanks for a really useful article. Bookmarked for when I arrive!

  • alice
    Posted at 02:58h, 06 May Reply

    I have been working and travelling in Spain for the last 2 years but New Zealand is certainly an option I’m looking into as my next move. thanks for the post!

  • Stella @ Travelerette
    Posted at 17:12h, 05 May Reply

    This seems like useful information for anyone interested in working and traveling at the same time. I have lots of French friends working in the USA so I know visas can get very complicated. I did use a visa support service when getting a Russian tourist visa, but I’m glad that I did because of the language barrier issues. This visa seems much less complicated. Thanks for sharing!

Post A Comment