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How to Extend Your Working Holiday Visa

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Don’t let your gap year end just yet!

Enjoying your working holiday in New Zealand so much that you want to stay a little longer? With three months of work in horticulture and viticulture (working with crops) in New Zealand, you can extend your visa for a further three months. This will still have the conditions of your original working holiday visa, enabling you to carry on working to fund your travels in New Zealand.

This guide will tell you about the application form you need to manually fill out and the evidence required.

UK people check out: How to Extend Your Working Holiday Visa for UK Backpackers. For further information on visa extensions, WorkingHolidayNewZealand.com explains things very well.

Get a Working Holidaymaker Extension visa.

We’ve devised this guide to help you understand the application form and what documents you need to provide. The sections covered are as follows:

  • The conditions of the working holidaymaker extension visa.
  • How to fill in the application form, including evidence.
  • What you don’t need to include.
  • Where to send your application.

Finally, see where you can get advice for other visas in New Zealand.

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Conditions of extending a working holiday visa.

If you are on a valid working holiday visa in New Zealand, you can apply to extend your visa for another three months. This is called the working holidaymaker extension visa and can be applied for by manually filling out the SSE/WHE Work Visa Application (INZ 1153) and sending or handing it into your nearest Immigration NZ office. You cannot apply online.

The conditions of the visa are:

  • You must be already in NZ on a valid working holiday visa.
  • Have evidence that you have worked in the horticulture and viticulture industry for a total of 3 months – not necessarily full-time work, but at least part-time on a “regular basis”. The positions must be planting, picking, maintaining, harvesting and packing crops.
  • Have evidence of a outward travel ticket or sufficient funds for one.

The working holidaymaker extension visa holds the same conditions as your working holiday visa allowing you to work temporary jobs in New Zealand. The three months begin from the day your working holiday visa expires.

extension visa form

Fill in the form and provide the evidence.

To apply for a visa extension you  must fill out the SSE/WHE Work Visa Application (INZ 1153), which you can download from the Immigration NZ website or pick up from an Immigration NZ office.

What will you need for this application.

  • Two passport photos taken in the last six months. They must be 4.5cm high and 3.5cm wide. You can get these taken in pharmacies in NZ, usually costing around NZ$20 for eight photos.
  • Your passport – you must attach your genuine valid passport.
  • Evidence of  three months work in the horticulture and viticulture industries. If you have already undertaken this sort of work, list the employer contact details, your job position, and start and end date of the horticulture and viticulture job in the application form. Evidence can be a letter of an employment offer or tax statements.
  • Evidence of outward travel ticked or a bank statement showing sufficient funds for one.
  • A method of payment, which can be a bank cheque, personal cheque, credit card (Visa or Mastercard). Immigration NZ offices accept EFTPOS if paying in person.
  • A pen!

The details asked for on the form are much like the ones you provided when applying for a working holiday visa. This is what to expect:

  • Personal details – full name, passport details, partnership, etc.
  • Contact details – home country address, address for correspondence about application (this should be your current address in NZ), and contact in NZ.
  • SSE work visa – this is a different visa so this section does not need to be filled out by people extending their working holiday visas.
  • Working holidaymaker extension visa – you date when you started your working holiday and list the employers in your horticulture and viticulture work, attaching evidence. Then provide evidence for an outward travel ticket or funds for one.
  • Character details – like the working holiday visa application, it asks about any criminal or immigration convictions.
  • Health details – questions asking on the state of your health. For this application you do not need to provide medical certificates.
  • Sign and date!

If you used an immigration advisor then the next section is for them to fill out. If not, leave it blank. Make sure your immigration advisor is licensed or the application will be returned to you.

Use the checklist, ticking the boxes on the right-hand-side to make sure you have attached all relevant evidence, payment, passport, and passport photos. Perhaps more importantly, tick the box to whether you want your documents returned to you by secured post or if you want to collect them from the office.

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Just to make it clear…

Because the application form incorporates two types of visa it can be pretty confusing which parts apply to you. This is what you need to know if you are applying to extend your visa for three months using the working holidaymaker extension visa.

  • You do not need to provide a police certificate unless you are in New Zealand for two years or longer, which you cannot do with a working holiday visa and extension.
  • You do not need to provide a medical certificate on the Working Holiday Extension visa regardless of how long you are in the country.

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Hand it into or send it to Immigration NZ.

After all that filling in, attaching evidence and your passport, you are finally ready to submit your application to Immigration NZ. Find your local Immigration NZ office here then either send the application by secure post (you want to keep track of your passport) or hand it in in-person at the office.

Congratulations! You have applied for a working holiday visa extension to stay a little longer! We hardly blame you!

Other ways to stay longer in New Zealand

To extend your time in New Zealand with another type of visa you will have to work a lot more extensively with Immigration NZ. You can seek assistance from an immigration adviser, a lawyer, or friends. Just in case you have one of those dodgy friends, it is illegal for a friend or family member to charge you for immigration advice.

The fees for an advisor can vary greatly so it is a good idea to shop around to save money. Immigration advisors must be licensed and provide an invoice describing what they did for each time they ask for your money.

This list outlines where you can go for help:

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