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10 Most Common Questions When Getting A Working Holiday Visa For New Zealand



New Zealand is a wonderful place to live and work, with its amazing balance of natural beauty, wide open spaces, vibrant cultures, and diverse career opportunities. In 2022 the New Zealand Government issued over 170,000 work visas, and declined 6,000 applications.

If you are considering getting a working holiday visa for New Zealand, here are some of the most common questions you need to investigate:

1 What types of working visas are available?

You'll need to gather information about the different categories of working visas, such as Skilled Migrant Category, Essential Skills Work Visa, Working Holiday Visa, and Specific Purpose Work Visa. Completing this visa form on the NZ Immigration website is a good start.

2 What are the eligibility requirements for a New Zealand working visa?

The next step is to find out the details about the criteria that need to be met for each type of visa, including age, qualifications, work experience, job offers, and English language proficiency. You can find eligibility criteria on the New Zealand government website.

3 How do I apply for a working visa in NZ?

There are a number of steps involved in the application process, including gathering necessary documents, completing the application form, and submitting the application online or through a visa application centre.

4 What documents are required for the application?

Before starting the application process it pays to ensure you have all the documents asked for by the New Zealand government. Take the time now to get things right, so that you don't have delays later on because you are missing something or provided the wrong information. The list of documents needed will include a valid passport, job offer letter, proof of education and formal qualifications, proof of work experience, medical certificates, and police certificates.

5 How long does the application process take?

Information on the processing times for different types of working visas and any factors that may affect these times can vary greatly. For example, at the time of writing this article in 2024 the New Zealand government is telling its own citizens that we have to wait ten weeks simply to have a passport renewed. At the start of the process when you first make contact with a Government employee in NZ, or a professional immigration consultant, be sure to ask what the current wait-time is for processing, and then be prepared to add on at least a month to be safe.

6 What are the costs involved with obtaining a working visa for New Zealand?

It is important to learn about the visa application fees and any additional costs, such as medical exams or document translations. Be careful to do due diligence on any immigration consultants to check they are legal and credible and not going to charge you extra fees or mess up your application. The official NZ Immigration website has a good breakdown of costs as well as potential timeframes.

7 Can my family members accompany me?

Many people wanting to live and work in New Zealand seek information on whether dependents, such as a spouse or children can accompany the visa holder, and what type of visas they would need. It is also common to see a family move to New Zealand on a working visa, and then gain residency, and then encourage the grandparents to also shift here to live.

8 What are my rights and obligations as a working visa holder in NZ?

It is important to get a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities when coming to New Zealand on a working visa. This goes both ways so that you understand what is expected of you as an employee, and also so you are aware of your own rights and are not exploited or bullied. Key information you should be aware of includes work conditions, duration of the visa, possibility of extending the visa, and pathways to permanent residency.

9 What happens if my application is declined?

As previously noted, over 6,000 working visa applications can be declined in a year. Some of these might be due to police or security reasons, or lack of qualifications or training for certain roles, and a small number might be from incorrect applications or simply lack of information. It is important that you are aware of the steps to take if the application is not approved, including appeal options or reapplication.

10 Am I allowed more than one job in New Zealand?

A final common question that people applying for NZ work visas is whether they can have more than one job here? Some jobs require shift work or seasonal work, and allow time for a second job. Other people on working visas simply want to have another job or a part time job to earn as much as possible, and this is fine. The key is to check with the New Zealand Inland Revenue department to ensure that you are using the correct tax codes and paying the right taxes. View the IRD website section on paying tax if you are on a working holiday visa.

We hope these questions have made you aware of the information you need to gather if intending to come to New Zealand. We've helped thousands of people gain insurance for working holiday visas for NZ so get in touch if you'd like some expert help.


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