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Extending Your Working Holiday Visa

So you have been working your way around New Zealand and having a great old time, but your Working Holiday Visa is about to expire. Which means the good times might come to an end. Fear not you can extend your visa by another 3 months.

Who Can Extend Their Visa and For How Long?

You can extend your working holiday visa for another 11 months if you are a UK or Canadian passport holder with a 'Working Holiday Scheme - Second Work Visa'. If you come from any other country a 3 month extension is possible with a 'Working Holidaymaker Extension Visa' but you will need to have completed and be able to show proof of working in the horticulture or viticulture industries for a total of 3 months. Read our 'UK & Canada' guide if you are from either country to find out how you extend your visa. 

All visa extensions will offer the same conditions of work and travel as your original visa.

Conditions for Working Holiday Visa Extensions for Citizens of all Countries (except UK and Canada)

  • You must be already in New Zealand and in possession of a current working holiday visa.
  • You must be able to fulfil the conditions of your original working holiday visa.
  • You must show that you have undertaken and completed at least 3 months work in the horticulture and/or viticulture industry in the areas of planting, picking, maintaining, harvesting and packing crop. 
  • You must have a ticket for onward travel or enough funds to purchase one.
  • You will have to complete a manual application form before your original visa expires.
  • You will need to pay a fee.
  • You will need to supply various other documents which include passport, passport photographs and original visa documentation.

The Application Form Step-by-Step for Working Visa Extensions (other than UK and Canadian citizens)

You will need to complete the form INZ 1153/SSE/'WHE Work Visa - Application' before the expiry of your existing visa. Download the form from or collect one in person from an immigration office.

There are no online completion and submission options – the form has to be completed by hand and in capital letters.

NOTE: The form you will be completing is used for more than one purpose and can be a little confusing on the 'what you need/what you don’t need to provide' front. So, to make an important point absolutely clear for you – you do not need to provide medical certificates on a 3 month work visa extension regardless of how long in total you will be in the country.

Page 1 and 2 – information only pages.

Section A – ‘Personal details' – asks for name, gender, date of birth, passport number etc

Section B – 'Contact details' – asks for your home address, your New Zealand contacts' addresses (if you have them) and an address for correspondence which will be your address in New Zealand.

Section C – 'SSE work visa' – If you are applying for a working holidaymaker 3 month visa extension you do not have to complete this section.

Section D – 'Working holidaymaker extension visa' – asks for the start date of you existing working holiday, a list of your employers and their contact details related to the horticulture and viticulture industry and your outbound travel ticket. (See supporting documents.)

Section E – 'Character details' – asks you about any criminal convictions or previous immigration issues. Note – you are not required to provide a police certificate unless your stay in New Zealand extends to 2 years or longer which is impossible on this type of visa.

Section F – 'Health details' – asks a few health-related questions but remember – you do not need to supply medical certificates under this type of visa extension.

Section G – 'Declaration' – includes a written declaration which you must read and then sign and date.

Section H – 'Immigration adviser's details' - to be completed by your immigration adviser or left blank if you don’t have one. 

Section I - 'Declaration by person helping the applicant to complete this form' - if at any point you have used an immigration adviser or otherwise asked for advice, assistance or translation in the process of application this person must complete this section. If nobody has assisted you during the process you can leave this section blank.

'Application checklist' – this helps you double check you have completed everything you need to and attached all the supporting documentation required. 

'Returning your documents' – asks you whether you wish to collect your documents or have them sent to you.

'About the information you provide' - Deciding whether you are eligible for a visa' etc – an information only box.

Section J - 'Paying your application fee and immigration levy' - asks for details of your payment method and advises the recommended payment types. The fee you will be required to pay can be found at 

Supporting Documentation and Inclusions to Send with Your Application

  • 2 passport photos less than 6 months old.
  • Your passport – which will be returned complete with your visa extension.
  • Evidence of onward travel from New Zealand – flight tickets/details for example – or proof that you have sufficient funds to buy a ticket. (Recent bank statements are the most common form of proof.) 
  • A letter from each of the employers listed at Section D or an IRD tax statement which shows your employment history within the horticultural/viticultural industry.

Submitting Your Visa Extension Application

Once you have completed the SSE/WHE Work Visa Application form and attached all required supporting documentation you can either send the form by secure post or deliver it in person to an Immigration New Zealand office.

What Happens Next?

See previous section - this is exactly the same as for UK and Canadian citizens work visa extensions. The new 3 months extension takes effect from the day your original working holiday visa expires. 

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