Work in New Zealand Requirements

To pick apples or work casually in New Zealand you need a;

Working Holiday Visas

Visa applicationThe Working Holiday Visa is a specific travel visa which has been created to help backpackers earn money as they work their way around New Zealand. The visa allows you to undertake casual work and travel around New Zealand for up to one or two years.

It is currently available to citizens of the following countries;

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Hong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, United Kingdom, USA, Uruguay.

If you are not from one of these countries then you will only be able to obtain a visitor visa to enter New Zealand and will not be able to work.

If you are planning a long trip to New Zealand, it’s worth getting hold of this visa in case you get short of money. However, be aware that you can only get one working holiday visa in your lifetime so make the most of it!

The requirements for obtaining a Working Holiday Visa are different for each country. For the exact requirements for your country’s scheme, please see NZ Immigration Working Holiday Section.

General Requirements

In general, the following requirements apply:

  • Be at least 18 and not more than 30 years old
  • Be able to show you have sufficient funds to support yourself (approx $4200 in cash, travellers cheques, bank draft or bank statement)
  • Have a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one
  • Have no dependent children with you
  • Never been on a Working Holiday to New Zealand before
  • Main reason you’re coming to NZ is to holiday; work being your secondary intention
  • Evidence you hold adequate medical insurance for your time in NZ

    Click here for more Insurance information

    1. You have to pay for medical care in NZ. Whether it’s a quick trip to the doctor with a cold or scraping you off a valley floor, your insurance company will pay the bill.
    2. Although New Zealand is a very safe country, there are still opportunist thieves who can’t pass up the chance of swiping an unguarded iPad, so make sure your insurance covers any belongings you don’t want to lose.
    3. As a backpacker, plans can change and unforseeable events occur, so cover yourself for missed departures and cancellations so you don’t precious dollars while trying to make it to the next place on your itinerary.
    4. If you are going to NZ on a working holiday, you are required to have adequate medical insurance to qualify for the visa.
    5. New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world, so you will be doing lots of crazy things! Insurance will cover you in case things get out of hand.

In addition, the Working Holiday Schemes for each country have their own unique requirements, such as limitations on the number of visas issued each year and restrictions on the length of time you can work for each employer. You may be asked questions and be required to provide evidence that you meet the above requirements before being allowed into NZ, so make sure you have all the relevant documents with you! Most citizens can now apply for their Working Holiday Visa over the internet, although citizens from some countries must apply by completing an application form and sending it to your local NZ Immigration office. Check out what your options are available to you here.

How to Apply Online

  • To apply for your Working Holiday Visa online, you must first register here with the NZ Immigration website. You can then follow the directions on the site to apply for your visa.
  • Alternatively, you can use an independent visa agent, who can help you with your application.

How to Apply Manually

To apply manually for your visa, follow these steps:

  • Obtain the NZIS form 1085 (Application for a New Zealand Working Holiday) either by contacting your local NZ Immigration office and requesting an application pack or by downloading it from the NZ Immigration website. Click here to download it.
  • Complete the application form using your own personal details. You are not asked to provide evidence of funds at the time of application but you may be required to do so on entry to New Zealand. Remember to attach a recent passport photo to your application form and sign it!
  • Obtain the address of your local NZ Immigration branch and the fee charged to process this at your branch. To do this click here.
  • Check if you need to complete a Temporary Entry X-Ray Certificate. For information on countries who need to complete this, see the NZ Immigration Health Requirements Leaflet.
  • Send your completed application form through to your local NZ Immigration branch along with:
    • Details of how you will leave NZ after your Working Holiday (return flight or funds available)
    • Any evidence thats shows you meet the requirements of a specific scheme
    • Your attached passport photo
    • A valid passport
    • The fee for processing your Working Holiday Visa (click here to view fees)
    • Your Temporary Entry X-Ray Certificate if needed (see point 4).

Obtaining a Tax Number in New Zealand

In order to work and to get taxed properly in New Zealand, you need to obtain a tax number from the New Zealand Government. You can apply for this when you arrive in NZ. The process is relatively simple;

  1. Download the Tax Number Application Form (IR595) from the Inland Revenue website ( For a direct link to the application form click here.
  2. Print out and complete the application form you have downloaded.
    • Please note: you need to have a permanent address in New Zealand to get a tax number.
  3. You now need photocopies of 2 supporting documents such as your passport and international drivers licence – see the form for a list of suitable documents.
  4. Now take the completed form and photocopies of your supporting documents to either a New Zealand Post Shop, Automobile Association offices or PickNZ offices.
  5. Your IRD number confirmation will be sent to the postal address you supplied within 8-10 days. Alternatively you can ring up to obtain your number. You can then give this to your employer when you start working. For more info on income tax see the NZ Inland Revenue website.