As long as you are not riddled with diseases and a shady criminal, getting your working holiday visa for New Zealand is easy for a UK citizen. My experience of applying for a visa was straight forward, with an approval received three days later.
Brits can apply for a 12-month visa under the United Kingdom Working Holiday Scheme through the Immigration New Zealand website, which looks like this:
As lovely as it is to see the New Zealand local time at the top, it makes me feel a bit gippy thinking of the jet-lag I will have.
First step is to register. Once you have your username and password, you have access to Immigration New Zealand’s Online Services including finding a visa.
The slight annoyance of logging in with a username and password is that despite it saying ‘Do not hit enter’, I keep hitting enter so can’t log in. Then it is a web of disaster afterwards because I try several different passwords that are all wrong. Basically, it takes me 15 minutes to log in because I am daft. In conclusion, click the ‘login’ button.
If you have a UK passport, click on “working holiday” under “Work” then “United Kingdom”. The website provides tonnes of useful information such as links to job sites. Make sure you read through the health and character requirements carefully, relevant questions will be asked during your online application. There are different requirements depending on whether you are applying for the 12-month or 23-month visa.
I won’t list everything here (because you can have a look here), but the main points to be eligible for the UK Working Holiday Scheme are:
- Be aged between 18 and 30 years old.
- Have a UK passport (valid for at least three months after planned departure from NZ).
- Have at least NZ$350 of support funds for every month you stay in NZ – that’s NZ$4,200 for the year – that’s £2,179.22. You may need to provide evidence of this on arrival to NZ.
- Have a return flight from NZ or provide evidence of sufficient funds.
- Bring no kiddies.
- Not have been approved for the scheme before.
- Need to have evidence of your medical insurance on arrival to NZ.
The cost to apply for a visa is £85. BUNAC say it’s £109 including an admin fee, that admin fee must be BUNAC’s fee because only £85 was taken from my bank account.
You will need to have your passport information at hand and your bank account details to pay for the application. Most questions are about your medical history and criminal history (hopefully you don’t have one). Are you male or female, if female, are you pregnant? This application doesn’t hold back.
The visa conditions are:
“The holder shall not study for more than 6 months in total. Visa valid for further travel for 12 month(s) from first arrival. This visa expires 12 month(s) after first arrival. When entering NZ, stay is subject to grant of entry permission. You must leave New Zealand before the expiry of your visa or face deportation. Return/onward ticket not required. The holder may work as part of a Working Holiday Scheme in any employment but not for more than 12 months in total.”
Once approved by receiving an email with the subject: Working Holiday Scheme Approval (Your name and application number), remember to print out your visa by logging into Immigration New Zealand and clicking on “my application” at the top right of the page. A new window will open. Click on “view details” to open your e-visa. You will be met by the anti-climatic design/layout of your NZ visa. It’s plain. It’s boring. But it’s your visa.