What is the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?

U.S. citizens between 18 and 30 have access to a Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand, which is a government authorization letting you travel and take on paid seasonal work for up to one year. It’s a pretty quick online application and you’ll need to pay NZD $35 to the New Zealand government at the time of applying.

You can read more on the concept of a working holiday or reach out with any questions.

What types of jobs are available?

Most jobs on a working holiday tend to be short-term and seasonal. These jobs are typically in fields of travel and tourism, hospitality and resorts, food and beverage, retail, manual labor, and event set up. Jobs can range from one day to a few months. Some jobs might be work-for-accommodation positions at hostels with very part-time hours required and there are various volunteer opportunities available as well. That being said, it is sometimes possible to find more professional work. Just speak with our in-country partners about your work goals and they can point you in the right direction and provide resources for your search.

Do you help me find a job?

As part of your arrival week you’ll attend a job-hunting workshop.

The New Zealand staff are knowledgeable about the seasonal job market throughout New Zealand including hospitality, office temping jobs, farm work, and other positions, allowing you the freedom to work for a few weeks or months and then take time to explore! While you will ultimately line up your own job, friendly staff are available for consultation about your working goals.

Many jobs don’t require previous experience so don’t worry if you don’t have a ton of experience. If you have applicable experience or specific skills, there are jobs that would help boost your resume (e.g., wait staff and chefs). Our partner can also review your resume and provide advice and job recommendations.

Can I get a job placement before I get to New Zealand?

Most employers will not hire before a participant is in the country and often prefer a face-to-face interview, but it never hurts to do some initial searching and outreach beforehand.

How much will I earn?

Most jobs pay upwards of NZD $21.20 per hour. Certain jobs (like farm work or resort work) may adjust pay to some extent if housing is included.

How do I find housing?

Most people stay in hostels here and there while they travel around, but if you are planning on settling into a city for a few months, you might want to arrange a place for a longer stay. Many shared rooms in apartments rent week to week or month to month, so you don’t have to sign into anything for too long. Here are some other accommodation options you can consider. WWOOFing is also a great add-on option, especially if you like being outdoors. The support team can help you if you’re stuck.

How much does housing typically cost?

You’ll probably pay around $250 NZD per week for a shared room if you are in short-term accommodation. If you want your own room, it’ll cost more.

If you are staying in a town or city, it’s worth thinking about staying in an apartment, or sharing an apartment. It’s generally cheaper to do this, and you’ll be paying by the week rather than by the day.

When can I start?

You’ll want to arrive on one of the dates listed on the website or earlier if you’d like more time to settle in. If you prefer to arrive a day or two earlier, we can arrange accommodations for those extra nights. Many participants purchase a one-way ticket initially, allowing ultimate flexibility.

How does the application process work?

Our online application is free to start and easy to complete. Just a few forms and documents and we’re always here if you have any questions. Once we approve your application we’ll send you instructions for getting your visa, which is a simple online process. If you have any questions about the process we’re here to help.

Can I leave New Zealand and re-enter?

Yes. The Working Holiday Visa is a multiple-entry visa, which means you can leave the country and come back during the 12 months your visa is valid. Make sure you are aware of entry/exit requirements for any other countries you visit.

Do I have to stay in New Zealand for 12 months?

No. You can stay as long as 12 months, but there’s no minimum stay. We recommend staying for at least 6 months in order to get the full experience. If you can only do 3 or 4 months, you might want to contact us for some ideas so we can make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running when you arrive.

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
The International Coalition for Global Education and Exchange
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation