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A Dummies Guide to Working in New Zealand

Do you want to grab hold of your life and give it a thorough shake? Do you want to start planning the kind of adventure that could end up changing you as a person and give you memories that will last for the rest of your life? Then consider a working holiday, more specifically, consider a working holiday in New Zealand.

This is quite possibly the most beautiful place in the world, but also, the most action packed. Don’t be fooled by it’s size, New Zealand packs a serious punch when it comes to adventures and working holiday opportunities. So the only thing you need to worry about is deciding which awesome corner of the country to base yourself in.

We’ve produced this handy guide to help you with those frequently asked questions about working holidays in New Zealand, read it through, soak it up, and you will be well on your way to your own adventure.

Take a break from the norm and take the plunge on a working holiday in New Zealand.

All you’ll ever need to know to kick start your working holiday in New Zealand

Step 1: Book an Appointment with a Travel Expert

Booking an appointment with one of our Travel Experts is the best thing you can do to get yourself on the right track when arranging your working holiday. Appointments are free (in fact we’ll give you £30 off your trip if you book one!), and we promise you’ll come away feeling better informed, with a plan that suits you, a tonne of tips and advice and raring to go!

Step 2: Get Your Working Holiday Visa

If you plan on working in New Zealand then you’re going to need a Working Holiday Visa. They’re pretty simple to get, but there are forms to complete and we can help you with those and make sure your application goes smoothly.

What are the requirements?

You will need to:
- Be between 18-30 years old
- Have a British Passport valid for at least 3 months past the date you are to leave New Zealand (Other nationalities may also be eligible)
- Not have any dependant children
- Meet health and good character criteria
- Be able to show sufficient funds in your bank account upon entry (we’ll come back to this later)

How much does a working holiday visa cost?

The working holiday bought through us here at STA Travel, which includes the full support of our visa service, costs £158, and will give you the flexibility to stay up to 23 months in New Zealand (including multiple entries into the country.)

How long does it take to process?

Depending on your application, you’ll be given a decision on your visa within 14 days. However, further queries or information may be needed and therefore could delay the process.

How long will the working visa last?

If you have a British passport you can stay up to 23 months with multiple entries into the country, allowing you to leave and return during the validity of the visa.

Once you have been granted your visa, you have 12 months to enter the country from the date of issue.

There is no deadline for your visa application, but bear in mind that there are a limited number of visas issued each year per country, so make sure you apply for your visa as soon as you’ve made the decision to go!

Is there an option to take a working holiday if you are over 30?

Yes! Very excitingly, there is an option to get a working visa past 30, if you’re aged between 18-35 you can apply for an IEP Work Exchange Visa. An IEP visa is a once in a lifetime visa available exclusively from our friends at working holiday specialists BUNAC – for New Zealand only. You can apply for this visa even if you’ve previously had the standard Working Holiday Visa.

The IEP visa is a programme visa, and as such is only available as part of BUNAC’s Work New Zealand programme, so it is not possible to purchase this visa separately. That said, if you’re over 30 or have already used a working holiday visa for New Zealand and want to go back again, this is a great option.

The good news is that the application process for an IEP visa is open now! (or as per the date of this post). The bad news is, visas are very limited, so don’t wait!

For an IEP work exchange visa the cost is £189 and allows you to stay up to 12 months.

You could soon be waking up to surroundings like this - makes for a better commute to work at least.

Step 3: Book Your Flights

What’s the cheapest time to fly to New Zealand?
In terms of getting the cheapest flight, the best time to head out to New Zealand is April/May. Flights are available around 11months prior to the date of the flights and generally speaking you’ll always get the best flight price the earlier you book.

Don’t forget that we have a flight price guarantee here at STA Travel though, meaning whenever you decide to fly, you can be sure you’ll get the cheapest price on the market – and that’s a promise.

Step 4: Start Saving!

Do I need to have a certain amount of money in my account to be allowed into the country?

If you have applied for a working visa, the government in New Zealand requires you upon arrival to have NZ$350 for each month in the country, equivalent to NZ$4200 for 12 months. As well as sufficient funds for a return flight home, if you do not already have one booked.

On the other hand, if you have applied for the IEP Work Exchange Visa you will need NZ$3000 when you apply for the visa, and an additional NZ$3000 when you arrive into the country.

Step 5: Preparing for Work

When you arrive in New Zealand there’s no doubt you’ll be super excited to start exploring, meeting new people, and taking in all that you can! So consider getting yourself set up with a Job Search Starter Pack before you leave the UK leaving you able to do that all on arrival with less worry about how you are going to find a job and generally set yourself up in your new home.

Some Key features of the Job Search Starter Pack include:
- Pre arranged airport transfers
- A comprehensive work and travel pack
- Mail holding and forwarding service
- Luggage storage for 1 month
- Relevant information on how to apply for tax number and bank account
- New Zealand work info on USB and SIM card.

How do I find a job?

With the starter pack, you will get a one on one job consultation with a guide who will talk your through the different kinds of jobs available in New Zealand. Additionally, the guide will help you compile the perfect CV; you will also receive a 12 month New Zealand job search registration to help you find the perfect job.

How much can I expect to get paid?

To give you a very general idea of the standard wages you can expect to earn on a working holiday, we’ve listed a few of the most common jobs travellers find and how much you can expect to be paid.

Chef/Bartender – from $15-$20 per hour
Administration Assistant –from $25 per hour
Retail Assistant – from $23 per hour
Cook/Kitchen Hand
– from $15 – $18 per hour
Secretarial work– from $17-$19

You can earn in the region of $20 an hour as a bar tender in New Zealand.

Step 6: Get the Essentials

A little bit of research and pre planning before you leave the UK could make your life a heck of a lot easier on arrival in New Zealand at a time when you’ll probably just want to start having fun! Consider a STA Travel Prepaid MasterCard Cashcard
or an STA Travel ISIC Prepaid MasterCard Cashcard to help you manage your money more effectively.

One hugely important factor to consider is your insurance – yes, you will need travel insurance if you’re doing a working holiday and yes, you need to get this before you leave the UK. It’s not the most interesting thing to arranged, but it is one of the most important. So it’s a good gob we have a selection of policies that we can set up for you in no time at all. Come and have a chat about your insurance with one of our Travel Experts to make sure you’re covered for exactly what you need.

Step 7: Enjoy your time in New Zealand!

After completing all of these steps you’ll be well on your way to an amazing working holiday in New Zealand – an amazing chance to enjoy some of the very best the world has to offer.

It’s a lot to think about, we understand that, but we’ve been sending enthusiastic travellers on working holidays for years and you can believe us when we say, it will be one of the best things you’ll ever do – good luck!

If you’re considering a working holiday in New Zealand, be sure to book an appointment with one of our stores and let our Travel Experts help you arrange every aspect as well as offering loads of tips and advice along the way.
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Showing 16 Comments

  1. ginny

    Hi
    Do you by any chance know how long the waiting list is for iep visa ?
    I’ve emailed and rang them but I can’t get a response ! Help

    907 days ago
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