Tips For Getting A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

If you want to work at any point in your travel you are going to need a visa. Well if you want to work legally that is. The process itself is pretty simple for a working holiday visa. There are plenty of different types of visa’s but most people will get a working holiday.

The working holiday visa is meant specifically for travellers who want to work to supplement their travels. It is not meant for individuals looking to fully relocate and move to the country. If you want to move there you will have to do a bit more research on which visa will best suit you. You can find loads of information on the Government of New Zealand’s Immigration Website. But like we said most individuals will most likely be applying for a working holiday. So here are some tips for getting a New Zealand working holiday visa.

How Do I Apply?

+++If you are from a commonwealth country, like we are as Canadians, the process is really straight forward. There are two ways to apply, in person at a NZ embassy or online. We did our application online just to skip the hassle of trying to locate an embassy in our area. Not to mention who knows if there even is one in our location. The entire online process took around 20 minutes which wasn’t too bad at all. You will need to plan out a few things before moving to NZ though and before completing the application. Most specifically when you plan on arriving in the country. Also have your passport handy because you will be required to input some information from it. Make sure to check your passport will be valid for your entire stay in NZ, otherwise you will be declined for entry. The application will also ask a series of questions regarding your character, health, education, criminal background, and if you’ve had a visa before.

Is it Expensive?

No, it’s not that bad. The only part that can be challenging is ensuring you have enough money saved when entering the country. The application fee itself is around $165CAD (as of 2015). We were required to have a minimum of $4000NZD in our account upon arrival. That amount is just to ensure that they know you can support yourself while you’re visiting. Honestly, bring double that amount. Why do we recommend having double? NZ is EXPENSIVE and has a limited amount of jobs. If you bring just the bare minimum you could really end up in a sticky situation.

Okay I’ve Applied What Now?

GET EXCITED! No seriously, just wait for your confirmation e-mail. It should only take around 3 business days depending on your answers. Once you have received your acceptace make sure to SAVE THE E-MAIL. You will not want to lose that thing because it holds a lot of information. Like deadlines for when you need to enter the country and visa paperwork that is required at the airport.

Don’t go in and print off the paperwork right away though, there’s no point. We recommend doing it a few days before you leave for your adventure. Why is it important to print off this paperwork? Because every single official there wants to know you are legit and any potential jobs may require a copy of it. Or at least some numbers off of it. We bought a booklet to keep all our important documents in.

Now you’re ready to start planning on the things to do on the north and south island of NZ!

Now that you’re all excited and perhaps have an itinerary the date for departure is here! Bring your visa paperwork with you when you board the plane and let the clerk know you have a working holiday visa. They will ask for the paperwork and begin inputting some information into the system for you. This was probably our favourite part of the visa process because it made everything so easy. They literally did all the work for us. They put in all our information in Canada and when we got to NZ all we did was go through baggage and that was it. It saved us so much time when we arrived!

So you’ve made it on the plane and landed in NZ…

+++When you reach the customs officer inform them about your visa as well. They will take a brief look and send you on your way. Sometimes they will ask you more questions or ask for bank records of the amount of money you have. We didn’t run into this at all. Like every other airport we went through customs and they checked through our bags. Afterwards the customs officer simply stamped our passports and sent us on our way.

They won’t give you any additional paperwork, you already have everything you need. We were super confused when we received nothing else upon arrival. So that means DO NOT misplace your printed visa.

Our first day in New Zealand.

You made it!

+++The last thing you need to do to be a genuine NZ worker is get an IRD number, which is essentially just a tax number. While you work in NZ you will still need to pay taxes like every other citizen.

Get on this process as soon as possible because it does take some time to mail off the right forms and get your number. You can just head into a post shop to do this. You just need to fill out one form and take it up to the clerks. The clerks will help you finish the rest and mail it off for you.

If you don’t have a set address you can get it mailed to a post shop of your choice that is easiest for you. So plan ahead a little bit when you are selecting which post shop to send your IRD number to. You don’t want to get it shipped to one town and then all of a sudden you find yourself somewhere else and unable to collect your tax number. Worst case scenario if you do find yourself in this position you can call the government and get them to give you the number over the phone.

It takes between 3-4 weeks to receive your IRD number.

+++We seriously recommend getting a working holiday visa. It will allow you to replenish some of the money you will spend and help you travel through the country a bit more comfortably. Not to mention it’s also a great way to meet some of the local people and experience life as they do.

If you want anymore information or want to apply here is the link to NZ Immigration:

Tips For Getting A New Zealand Working Holiday Visa