1New Zealand WHV: conditions of participation, cost and processing times

Steps to apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa (WHV)

Step 1- Set up an account on the Immigration New Zealand website

Step 2 – Fill in the Working Holiday Visa application form. Use our tutorial below, as many errors can be avoided by reading it (for example, you must not use accented letters in your first name, last name, city…) 🙂

Step 3 – Pay the visa fees (NZ$455)

The Working Holiday Visa allows you to spend one year in New Zealand (up to 23 months if you’re Canadian), with the right to travel and work. Under conditions you can even extend your visa by a further 3 months.

What are the conditions for taking part in a Working Holiday

  • You must be between 18 and 30 (up to 35 for Canadians). You can apply for a visa up to the day before your 31st (or 36th) birthday. But beware of the time difference: you must still be 30 (or 35) on New Zealand time. If you apply for your Working Holiday Visa in the afternoon, the day before your 31st (or 36th) birthday, you will have already reached the age limit in New Zealand and will no longer be eligible for the WHV.
  • You must not have had approval for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa before.
  • You must have a full medical insurance for the length of your stay. You should expect to pay around €400 (CA$600) for one year. You only need to take out this insurance a few days or weeks before your departure.
  • You must have at least NZ$4,200 for your stay.

Before starting your visa application, make sure you have :

  • Your passport and a second proof of ID (we’ll get back to this in chapter 4 ). Your passport must be valid for at least 15 months from your expected date of arrival in New Zealand, otherwise you must have a new one made before applying for your visa.
  • A bank card to pay for your visa fees online (Visa or Mastercard only).

We’ve provided this tutorial to make sure you fill in your visa application correctly, and to help you understand the questions you’ll be asked, as well as the consequences of some of your answers, particularly regarding your health and professional plans. Many stages are common to all nationalities but some may change slightly.

How long does it take to apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

Allow around 30 minutes to an hour to complete your visa application, following our step-by-step tutorial.

When should you apply for your Working Holiday Visa?

You can do it whenever you like, but we don’t recommend doing it:

  • Too early: once your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa has been granted, you have 12 months to activate it by entering the country. If you apply for your visa too early, you might change your plans and you might end up not going. If you don’t go to New Zealand within the allotted time, you’ll lose your Working Holiday Visa and you’ll never be able to apply for one again for New Zealand.
  • Too late: as we all know, Working Holiday Visa applications are often processed within a few days, but don’t play with fire by applying for your visa just a few days before your departure!

For example, apply for your visa 4 months before your departure, so you can be fairly sure that your plans won’t change and that you have enough time to deal with any issues that may arise during your visa application.

How much does the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa cost?

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa application fees cost NZ$455: NZ$ 420 visa fees + NZ$35 International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).

For more information, check the Immigration New Zealand – Working Holiday Visa page.

Tutorial originally published on 24 July 2012, last updated in August 2023.

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Voyageuse belge depuis 2012, j'ai vécu aux USA et aux Bahamas avant de m'envoler vers la Nouvelle-Zélande où je vis depuis 2019. Je partage avec vous mes meilleurs tips NZ grâce à pvtistes.net et vous accompagne dans votre préparation au départ, avant de moi-même prendre à nouveau mon envol...

Belgian traveler since 2012. I have lived in the USA and the Bahamas and I have now been living in New Zealand since 2019. I share my best NZ tips with you and I help you prepare for your big adventure. I will soon be going on to my next one myself...

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