Do you dream of leaving the 9-5 rat race behind and eloping to the other side of the world? Have you ever thought about relocating to New Zealand? Find out how you can make the move with our ultimate guide to New Zealand’s Working Holiday Visa.
Step 1: Applying for a working holiday visa
So you’re going to take the leap and head to New Zealand? First things first, you will need a working holiday visa. Head to Immigration NZ to find out all the information you will need. They have a simple step by step process, where you enter your age, nationality etc, and it gives the options that are available to you.
Requirements for a working holiday visa
- UK age range = You need to be between the ages of 18 – 30
However, the age range is 18-35 in a select few countries – Check your country here
- Have a passport from an eligible country
- Not have any dependents, ie. children.
- Be healthy
- Have enough capital to back up your move – NZ wants to see that you have enough funds in your bank to cover your trip, or at least have enough money to book a flight out of the country.
But I’m from the UK & nearly 30?
Don’t worry, once you get the visa you will have a year to activate it, so if you apply when you’re nearly 30 you can still enter New Zealand within 12 months. However, if you’re from the UK and have already celebrated the big 3-0 you should look into a BUNAC visa. You can even apply for this visa if you’ve already been on the Working Holiday Visa. BUNAC allows you to stay and work in NZ for 12 months, however, these visas are limited.
How much does it cost?
The current fee is £106 GBP. However, this price has risen, so it might go up. This cost covers your 12-month visa, including entries in and out of New Zealand.
How long can I work in NZ?
The working visa lasts 12 months, once this completed, you then have the option to extend this visa for a further 11 months. Alternatively, if you know you’ll want to stay for 23 months you can apply for this visa directly, but you will have to have medical certificates to show that you are in good health to qualify. You will also only be allowed to work for the first 12 months of your visa, which you could see as a blessing, giving you 11 months to do the ultimate New Zealand road trip!
Step 2: Start saving!
New Zealand needs you to have at least $4,000 NZD in your bank account, which is expected to cover you for your 12-month stay. You need to make sure you have a minimum of $350 NZD in savings per month to cover your cost of living and help you get set up in NZ. To show evidence of your savings, you will need to submit a copy of your bank statement.
Step 3: It’s time to book your flight
You’ve got your visa sorted and your savings are in the bank, it’s time to take the leap and book that flight. Look out for cheap flights at Skyscanner or kayak. You can also add a flight notification so this will tell you when the cheapest or most expensive time to book your flight is.
Step 4: How to get work
It isn’t hard to find a job in New Zealand. Tourism is a big business and companies are looking for young people like you to be part of the team. You can choose to work in anything from hospitality, to trade or retail.
Depending on your job you will expect to earn from $16.50 NZD to $25 NZD per hour. If you have a specialised trade you can expect to earn a lot more.
Step 5: The essentials you need for life in NZ
Here are a few essentials you need to sort out when you arrive safely in NZ:
Apply for an IRD number
This is a tax number that you will need to have in order to get paid. You can pick up a form at a post office or apply online here.
Set up a bank account
Pop into any bank, such as ANZ, BNZ or Westapac, with a proof of your visa status and a passport. The bank will set up an account for you and bingo, now you have somewhere for your paycheck to go!
Get a sim card
Essential to keep in touch with the family at home and your new found friends in NZ. Check out a variety of suppliers, but Skinny mobile offer good rates for backpackers. Enjoy making all your friends back home super jealous with your Instagram snaps.
Pack for all seasons
In New Zealand, you will experience all four seasons. In summer it’s guaranteed to be warm, however, in winter you might get snow, with the South Island hitting minus temperatures. So remember to pack your thermals along with your flip flops.
You need to get travel insurance. Do not travel to New Zealand without it. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Print your documents
Print your documents before you leave your home, this means that you will have all the proof you need to sail on through customs. Visa, travel insurance and bank statements are normally what the officers like to see. Also, include any accommodation you have booked that you will be staying at.
Consider luggage shipping
Wondering how to transport your life down under? That’s where we come in. My Baggage offers effective, efficient courier service, allowing you ship suitcases and double walled boxes that weigh up to 30kg. Have them delivered from home, direct to the door of your new location. Skip the wait at the carousel and travel light to your new life in New Zealand. Find out more here.
Step 6: Never want to leave?
Well, you don’t have to! Many people on the working holiday visa will fall in love with New Zealand and never want to leave. If you have a good job a supportive employer you can apply for a work visa and be sponsored by your company.
Work to residency
Have you decided that New Zealand is the country you want to call home? Well, you can become a resident if you have a trade such as construction or find your job on the skills shortage list. You can apply to be a resident with a good residency agency company, who will support you throughout the process. Your dream could become a very real reality!