NZ - Working Holiday Scheme announced with US

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The NZIS has announced a new Working Holiday Scheme that allows young citizens of the United States to travel to New Zealand to holiday and work to supplement their travel for a period of up to 12 months. There will be 500 working holiday visas made available to US citizens every year from 1 May to 30 April.

The multiple-entry visas will entitle holders to travel to New Zealand within 12 months from the date of issue and to enter and exit freely during this period. The nature of work authorised can only be casual or part-time to help support the holiday in New Zealand. Visa holders will not be able to work for the same employer for more than three months. US citizens may also enrol in one training or study course for up to three months during the course of the visit. Working Holiday visa holders must leave New Zealand before the work permit expires and only one such visa can be obtained within a lifetime.

US citizens must meet the following requirements to be eligible for a working holiday visa:

  • you must be resident in the USA at the time of application
  • you must be between 18 and 30 years old (both inclusive) at the time of application
  • you must have a valid USA passport
  • you must have a return airline ticket, or hold sufficient funds to purchase one
  • you must have sufficient funds for your maintenance (at least NZ$4200 or US$2700)
  • you must not be accompanied by any children on your visit
  • you must show that your primary intention is to holiday in New Zealand, with employment being an incidental rather than a primary reason for the visit
  • you must agree to hold medical and comprehensive hospitalisation insurance to remain in force through your stay in New Zealand.

One should apply by post to the New Zealand Immigration Service Office in Washington DC or Los Angeles, depending on your state of residence with your original passport, which must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date from New Zealand.