New Zealand Work Holiday Visa: New Visa Rules

New Zealand Work Holiday Visa: New Visa Rules

New Zealand will make provisional changes to its immigration rules seeking to attract thousands of workers over the next year with a working holiday scheme designed to fill labour shortage.

The government of New Zealand announced changes to the Working Holiday visas on 21 August 2022. The new rule aims to double the numbers under the working holiday visa scheme.

The Working Holiday Visa scheme allows qualified adults to enter and work from New Zealand for a period of up to 12 months, or sometimes even more.

Changes on the Work Holiday Visa

Authorities introduced new measures for applicants under the Working Holiday Visa Scheme

Changes include a temporary extension of working holiday visa validity by six months, an opportunity for those who previously held the visa but didn't travel to New Zealand because of COVID, and increasing the number of applicants permitted to apply for a Working Holiday Visa.

Those already in New Zealand under working holiday makers visa expiring between 26 August 2022 and 31 May 2023 will be extended for 6 months. 

The doubling of the Working Holiday Scheme cap for 2022/23 will see an extra 12,000 working holiday makers able to enter New Zealand. The cap will be raised gradually, by first opening the first four largest cap schemes with the highest demand. This includes raising the cap for applicants from Malaysia, Chile, Argentina, and Taiwan.

“COVID brought the world to a standstill,”  Immigration Minister Michael Wood has stated, adding that a workers' crunch was being felt most by New Zealand's hospitality and tourism sectors that traditionally rely on international workers.

New visas will be issued beginning in October 2022 allowing them to enter New Zealand by 31 January 2023. This visa will allow them to be in New Zealand for 12 months.

Record Low Unemployment Rate

New Zealand's unemployment rate remains at record lows, at around 3.3% in the second quarter which runs from April until June, according to Statistics New Zealand.

Annual growth in private-sector wages increased at the same time to 3.4% in the second quarter, their most rapid increase in 14 years.

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