After my visit to STA, making a decision to spend four months in New Zealand, they recommend I get myself a Working Holiday visa. This means you can legally work and earn wages in the country for up to a year. It’s a good idea if you want to spend a long time in the country, it allows you to live and work and get to know the real locals.
Citizens from most countries can only apply for one 12 month visa, unless you’re from the UK where you can now apply for a 23 month visa, if only that had been the case while I was there! I could only get one year… Once I arrived I decided that four months was a waste of this precious visa, so I extended my flights and gave myself that full year. You can of course apply for other visas, but a lot of people don’t qualify for Business or Family visas, or don’t want to commit to residency without experiencing it all first.
I used Visa Bureau to get my visa, it was a quick and simple process. Just fill in a form online to see if you are eligible. You must:
- be between the ages of 18 and 30
- be a citizen of a country which has a working holiday agreement with New Zealand
- meet basic health requirements and specific criteria based on your country of origin
- have enough funds to support yourself and a flight out or extra funds to purchase one
Simply complete the forms online, wait for a phone call, pay over the phone (it cost £160 in 2009), and boom: Working Holiday visa. The easiest one I’ve ever applied for. They even send you a starter pack in the post full of information on accommodation, bars, clubs and activities in the country, as well as their Platinum Card:
The Visa Bureau Platinum Card gives you over NZ$250 worth of freebies and discounts on your New Zealand Working Holiday, ranging from free nights in some of the country’s best hostels to discount camper van rental, savings on your travel insurance, half-price bungy jumping and much, much more!
It’s really that easy, and it will be the start to one of the best years of your life.
If you want to deal with a little more work but want to save a bit of money you can apply straight through the New Zealand immigration site here where you can find out all the information regarding the application and get it started.