New Zealand, the land of sheep and Lord of the Rings film locations. In all honesty, it's more than that, it's RAD. Although it sits close to Australia, it couldn’t be any further away in terms of overall experience. Perfect for those still young enough to not have any responsibilities and can simply pack up and leave, New Zealand has something for everyone. Surf? New Zealand’s got you covered. Snow? New Zealand’s got you covered, play video games all day? Well you’re a lazy shit who should get outside more but I’m sure New Zealand’s got you covered.
We’ve covered the Canadian Working Holiday and now let’s get started with New Zealand. This process is no way near as stressful as the Canadian visa. To save time and hassle, apply for your visa through statravel.co.uk. UK residents aged between 18 - 30 years and 11 months old can live in New Zealand for up to 23 months, however can only work for 12 months. This visa requires you to save just that little extra if you're planning to stay for the full 23 months, weird rule I know, basically it’s a cheeky way to boost more money into the economy from your hard-earned foreign savings. As of 2019, the visa costs £205 which seems pretty reasonable still. Once you have applied, the visa should be approved within a few days, and you have 12 months from approval to enter the country.
Travel insurance and proof of funds
So apparently travel insurance is a must when going to New Zealand. Full disclosure, I certainly did not have any travel insurance when I lived there, I was younger and reckless possibly? Anyways, take this one with a pinch of salt as it's up to you if you do or don’t, but if you do, comparethemarket.com will take care of you, for a price. You may be required to show proof of your funds when you arrive, this didn’t happen to me or anyone I know but just keep a copy of your bank statement with you just in case.
Arriving in New Zealand
Arriving in New Zealand was quick, easy and funny considering I arrived at 3am. Immigration officers here are just so friendly and really won’t try and interrogate you etc. I arrived with my guitar and coincidentally Fleetwood Mac had just arrived for their Auckland show. I was mistaken for a band roadie and greeted with a few laughs and smiles, a few quick questions and my passport was stamped and away I went. From Auckland airport to the city was also a breeze, the kind nature of Kiwis really showed when the bus driver asked which hostel I was staying at and drove off his route right outside the hostel so I wouldn’t get lost. Rest easy knowing that when you arrive you are certainly be made to feel welcome.
This is where it starts to get rocky, it can’t all be rainbows and butterflies, to put it simply getting a bank account can be a nightmare. There are a few banks to chose from so have a look around and see which bank appeals to you the most, you'll need to book an appointment to open an account which can take up to a week due to high demand. This is the really shit part, some banks will ask you to deposit money into the account, I was asked to deposit $500 when I opened an account with ANZ which was slightly annoying. The reason for the bank deposits is due to people opening bank accounts and just simply not using them. When you open a bank account your need proof of an address but don’t panic, if you’re in a hostel, simply ask them for a letter proving that you're staying there and you should be set.
You'll need an IRD number if you want to work, it's pretty simple and easy to apply online. You will need a NZ bank account first however, also you'll need your passport details, your most recent overseas tax number and your Immigration New Zealand Application Number from your visa letter. Processing times can take a couple weeks so go and explore while you wait for your number. For more information visit www.ird.govt.nz/how-to/irdnumbers/individuals/yourirdnumber.html#03.
In short, this process is pretty easy considering you're moving to another country, the most difficult part is getting a bank account. Just remember to save if you're planning to stay the full 23 months as you can only work for 12 of those. New Zealand really is the place to go while you're young and run fucking wild, from snow to tropical surf, it’s all there. For more information or if you have any questions regarding the visa process feel free to get in contact.