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Applying for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa from Singapore

Moving out of Singapore for a working holiday in New Zealand can be an exciting opportunity to explore a new country, gain work experience, and broaden your horizons.

However, the process of applying for a New Zealand working holiday visa can be a bit complex if you’re applying for it for the first time.

When I was applying for the visa, I encountered some problems that resulted in a couple of inconveniences, and me wasting about S$150 due to improper planning and the lack of guidance. I hope that this article provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process so that you will save both time and effort when applying for the visa.

Source: Unsplash 

To begin with, it is important to understand what a working holiday in New Zealand entails and whether you are eligible to apply for it as a Singaporean. This article will provide an overview of the eligibility criteria and application process for a working holiday visa in New Zealand, and insider tips to ensure that you get your visa with the least effort and money spent.

Understanding Working Holidays in New Zealand

New Zealand Working Holiday Singapore

Source: Unsplash 

If you’re a Singaporean looking to travel and work abroad, you might want to consider going on a working holiday in New Zealand. This programme allows young people to work and travel in New Zealand for up to 12 months. Here’s what you need to know about working holidays in New Zealand.

Eligibility

To be eligible for a working holiday in New Zealand, you must:

  • Be a Singaporean citizen
  • Be between 18 and 30 years old
  • Have a valid Singapore passport
  • Have a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one
  • Have at least NZD $4,200 in available funds
  • Do not bring any dependent children with you

Application process

The application process for a working holiday in New Zealand is straightforward. You can apply online through the New Zealand Immigration website. You’ll need to provide personal information, education and employment history, and evidence of your funds.

Furthermore, you will need the following documentation:

  • Passport and NRIC
  • A Scanned Transcript of Your University Education Results
  • Chest X-Ray Scan (3 months validity)

Visa conditions

Once you’ve been approved for a working holiday visa, you’ll need to abide by the following conditions:

  • You can work for up to 12 months
  • You can study for up to 6 months
  • You can leave and re-enter New Zealand as many times as you like
  • You cannot work for the same employer for more than 3 months
  • You cannot engage in permanent employment
  • You must have medical and travel insurance for the duration of your stay

Tips for Singaporeans looking to apply for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

As mentioned, I’ve encountered some challenges when applying for my WHV. Here are some practical steps that I would take in hindsight:

New Zealand Working Holiday Singapore

Source: Unsplash 

1. Apply for the Working Holiday Visa before going for a Chest X-Ray Scan

One of the biggest mistakes I made was to do a chest X-ray scan prior to my application. As I was doing full body health screening a couple of weeks before my application, I thought that getting my chest X-ray done prior to the application would save me some time and the hassle of going back to a clinic for the chest scan.

Unfortunately, it was only after the application that the New Zealand Immigration Authorities informed me that the chest X-ray has to be done by a radiologist from their panel clinics.

This meant that the previous scan was invalid, and our visa application would not have gone through unless we visit a panel clinic to get another scan done according to their requirements.

They are pretty strict about these criteria, so make sure you visit a panel clinic for your chest x-ray scans.

2. Compare prices of chest x-ray scans between panel clinics

After making the mistake of going to the wrong clinic to get an X-Ray scan, I wanted to ensure that I do not spend more than necessary to get the correct documents.

As such, I called up all the panel clinics in Singapore to suss out the prices of their X-ray scans. Here’s the list for your reference:

Panel Clinic Name Panel Clinic Address Cost of Chest X Ray Scan
SATA CommHealth AMK 715 Ang Mo Kio Avenue
6 #01-4008/4010
Singapore
560715
Singapore
$220 before GST

By appointment basis
SATA CommHealth Bedok 351 Chai Chee Street
SATA CommHealth Building
Singapore 468982
$220 before GST

By appointment basis
Radlink Diagnostic Imaging Pte Ltd 290 Orchard Road
#08-08 Paragon Medical Suites
Singapore 238 859
$70 before GST

Only walk-ins allowed
Point Medical Group Paragon Building
290 Orchard Road
#11-04
Singapore
238859
NIL - Did not answer my phone calls

The information is updated as of July 2023

The prices for Chest X-Ray Scans differ quite greatly between panel clinics. I personally went with Radlink Diagnostics Imaging Centre, and their service was great. The waiting time is a little long, so do bring something to occupy yourself while waiting for your scan.

3. You may apply for the visa even if you’re not a fresh graduate

 

Many people have the misconception that a Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand is only open to fresh graduates. While this may be true in the past, the requirements have been relaxed over the years. You will most likely be able to get your visa if you’re between the age of 18-30 years old and have graduated from a university.

4. Have a rough timeline on when and where you’d like to start your working holiday

 

time

When your visa is approved, it is valid for 12 months from the date of approval. This means that you will have to be in New Zealand anytime within the first 12 months of your visa approval date.

For example, I applied for my visa on 19 June 2023 and it was approved on 20 July 2023. My visa will be valid until 20 July 2024, which means I have to be in New Zealand anytime between 20 July 2023 to 20 July 2024.

My 12 months stay starts from the day I land in New Zealand.

As you plan, it is good to take note of the seasons in New Zealand, so that you are adequately prepared for the weather. We will share more about how to plan for the trip in subsequent posts.

Frequently Asked Questions on the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Singapore

New Zealand Working Holiday Singapore

Source: Unsplash 

Can Singaporeans apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

Singaporeans may apply for the Working Holiday Visa to New Zealand if there are still available spots. As long as you are between the age of 18-30 years old, and have proof of tertiary education and a valid passport, your application will be considered. You should also have enough to pay for the NZ$455 application fee.

Can you apply for a working holiday visa extension? 

You may apply for a working holiday visa extension in NZ only if you’ve worked for three months in horticulture work. This allows you to stay in New Zealand for another 3 months.

Where can Singaporeans go for a working holiday?

Singaporeans can consider going for a working holiday in New Zealand or Australia. This allows you to work and travel in the host country for up to 12 months.

That said, there are other opportunities such as WWOOF , Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme, and Work and Travel USA  that allow you to experience living and working overseas for a period of time!

Is a Working Holiday Visa hard to get?

This depends on the number of visas issued by the host country and the demand for working holiday visas locally.

In Singapore, getting a WHV is relatively easy given that there is not a big demand for it. For countries like Malaysia, where fewer visas are issued by New Zealand and where applications volume are higher, it may be a bit more difficult obtaining a working holiday visa.

Leave your comfort zone and try going for a working holiday

 

hiking

A working holiday in New Zealand can be a great way to travel, gain work experience, and meet new people.

By understanding the eligibility requirements, application process and visa conditions, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your working holiday experience. Good luck!

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