• Megan Outside

NZ How To: Extend a Working Holiday Visa

Updated: Mar 7, 2019


With spots like this, why would anyone want to leave?

It’s a common story, you came to New Zealand on a working holiday visa, planning to spend a year, or maybe just a few months. Slowly, you realized just how amazing this country is. Or maybe you wanted to work and save some money and settled down for a couple months, but when you started travelling you realized you need a few more months...or maybe a year. You’re in luck, there are a few ways to extend your visa and enjoy this country even longer. There are two ways to extend a working holiday visa (listed below). If those don’t apply to your situation, scroll down a little further to see how you can stay in New Zealand by switching to a good ol’ tourist visa.


WHV General Extension:

Anyone who works in agriculture, as a fruit picker, a packer, or in a vineyard (legitimate paid work only) for three months, and who is still in New Zealand can apply for a three-month extension on their visa. You will need to be able to provide proof of this employment, but it does not need to be continuous or from only one employer. Head to Immigration NZ, type "Working Holiday Extension" into the search field, and follow the prompts for your country. You will need to print the form they provide as visa extensions cannot be done online.

**don't have a printer? The local library will let you use theirs for a small fee.

You will need:

- A valid passport

- Two recent passport photos

- Onward ticket or sufficient funds (1200$NZD for 3 months)

- Neat tidy writing


Fill out all fields on the form, and mail it and your supporting documents to your closest immigration office.



Canadian WHV Extension:

Canada is one of two lucky countries that can apply for up to 23 months on a working holiday. If you originally only applied for a 12 month visa, you can now apply for the balance of the 23 months, or any number in between as long as you are 35 years or younger when you apply. Grab the form off of the immigration website (see above) and print it out.


You will need:

- A valid Passport

- Two recent passport photos

- Proof of Medical Insurance (I recommend Orbiprotect for inexpensive annual insurance, but whatever you choose, make sure it covers any extreme adventures you might try out.)

- Medical Examination Certificates (or the electronic number to write on your form)


The actual application process is fairly easy, but anyone planning to stay in New Zealand for more than 12 months must have an immigration medical and chest x-ray done before they apply. The cost of these exams can be as low as $200 if you are getting them done in Auckland. Most other places in the country will charge anywhere from $400-$600, so if you know you will be near Auckland, get it done there. You must have these exams done by an approved physician. Find the closest office here.


Fill out all fields on the form, and mail it and your supporting documents to your closest immigration office.


United Kingdom WHV Extension

Those with a UK passport can also apply for up to 23 months on a working holiday. If you originally only applied for a 12 month visa, you can now apply for the balance of the 23 months, or any number in between as long as you are 30 years or younger when you apply. Grab the form off of the immigration website and print it out (see above).


You will need:

- A valid Passport

- Two recent passport photos

- Proof of funds ($350/month) plus the funds for a flight out of the country

- Medical Examination Certificates (or the electronic number to write on your form)

As with the Canadian extension, anyone planning to stay in New Zealand for more than 12 months must have an immigration medical and chest x-ray done before they apply. The cost of these can be as low as $200 if you are getting them done in Auckland. Most other places in the country will charge anywhere from $400-$600. Click here for a list of approved physicians.


Fill out all fields on the form, and mail it and your supporting documents to your closest immigration office.


Tourist Visas

Those who have run out of time on their Working Holiday Visas, but don’t want to leave yet can apply for a three month (or nine in some cases) tourist visa. You will not need to leave the country to switch visas, but if you are staying longer than 12 months, you will need to get a medical and chest x-ray. The cost of these can be as low as $200 if you are getting them done in Auckland. Most other places in the country will charge anywhere from $400-$600.

Depending on your existing visa and status, you may be able to bypass this by leaving the country and reentering on a tourist visa.

See if you are eligible for a visitor visa here.


As always, it is your responsibility to check with immigration NZ for updates and changes to these guidelines. Good luck and happy travels!

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