How to Get a Working Holiday Visa

To get a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) to New Zealand you simply go to the New Zealand Immigration Website and many of the visas can be applied for online. At the start of 2013 the New Zealand government offers the WHV to 39 countries as diverse as Chile, Latvia, Israel and Vietnam.
This visa is for 18 to 30 year olds (with some exceptions) and the length of stay in New Zealand is generally for 12 months. It can usually be applied for online.
For many countries there is an annual limit to the number of visas issued and it will be a case of first in first serve. Requirements to get a visa will generally include proof of available funds, meeting medical and health standards.

Immigration New Zealand has a comprehensive website and a handy frequently asked questions guide.

 What to consider

  • You only get this visa once and upon entering New Zealand your 12 months of working holidaying begins. You cannot put the visa on hold. If you only plan to come to New Zealand for 12 weeks you might be better off coming on a holiday visa as opposed to a work visa and maybe wait until you have more time to use your work visa.
  • The reason that you require proof of funds (usually NZD$4,200) is so that you have money set aside to get through times when you may be job hunting. It is also for buying bus tickets, a car or campervan, maybe a side trip to Fiji or Rarotonga, skydives, rafting, surf lessons, ski passes, hobbiton tours, concerts…the more money you save the less pressure you will be under to work.
  • New Zealand is about as far away as you can travel but for the worried parent you might be saying goodbye to, you can set their mind at ease by letting them know that New Zealand is well connected with internet access and mobile coverage. You can be in touch with them from the moment you touch down to the moment you depart New Zealand. On saying that IF you are going to stay in a remote place or go hiking, let them know that you will be out of touch for a few days so they do not worry.
  • You might be eligible for a working holiday in Australia, so for an epic working holiday you might work in New Zealand for a year and then head to Australia for a year.
  • It will not be the same as your homeland, the coffee will taste different, the cost of some things may be annoyingly high, buses and trains might run late. Come with an open mind and a relaxed attitude and you will have a much easier experience.
  • Most people look back on a working holiday as one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives. The fact is that your 20’s are a perfect time for exploring the world and having new experiences. You do not want to be in your thirties kicking yourself that you didn’t make the most of visas while you were young enough to get them. Sure, travelling is going to be out of your comfort zone. There will be lonely days and frustrating moments and at times you might wonder what you were thinking to put yourself in a foreign country, possibly speaking a new language.

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

In Summary:

Head to Immigration New Zealand’s website for all the info you need.