We understand many migrants are interested in Working Holiday Schemes (WHS).  

New Zealand has Working Holiday Scheme agreements with many countries. Visas granted under these schemes allow visa holders to work, study and explore the country.

31 countries have a cap on the number of Working Holiday Scheme visas that can be granted each year. 14 other countries have no cap. 

In April 2020, the Government deferred the opening of capped Working Holiday Schemes, as part of New Zealand’s response to COVID-19.

The Government will continue to defer the opening of all capped Working Holiday Schemes. These include:  

  • Capped schemes that were due to open from 9 April 2020 to 17 September 2020 (previously deferred)  
  • Capped schemes due to open from October 2020 to March 2021.  

This decision will be reviewed in 2021.  

Uncapped Working Holiday Schemes remain open, however only people already in New Zealand can apply. 

INZ continues to work with temporary migrants and sectors affected by the COVID-19 border restrictions. 


Which Working Holiday Schemes are continuing to be deferred?
The Government has decided to continue deferring the opening of all capped WHS included below.

Capped WHS that were due to open between April 2020 and September 2020 that were previously deferred:

  • Estonia, Hong Kong, Slovenia, Spain, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Luxembourg, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Malta, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Croatia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina.

Capped WHS due to open between October 2020 and March 2021:

  • Chile, Uruguay, Singapore, Israel, Lithuania, Malaysia, Philippines, Latvia, Poland, Czech Republic, Portugal, Mexico.

Which Working Holiday Schemes are still open/not being deferred?

While the uncapped WHS technically remain open, due the suspension of all new temporary visas from offshore only people who are already in New Zealand are able to apply.

Note that the New Zealand border remains closed to most travellers apart from New Zealand citizens and residents and people who have a critical purpose to travel to New Zealand and are granted an exception to come here.

Uncapped WHS:

  • Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, United States of America, Ireland, Sweden, Japan, Norway, Finland, United Kingdom, Belgium.

How long are these WHS being deferred for? When will they open up again?
The opening of capped WHS has been deferred until further notice. This decision will be reviewed in 2021.

How many people were granted WHS visas in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic?
During the 2019 calendar year, 11,749 people were granted WHS visas under the capped WHSs and 47,460 were granted WHS visas under the uncapped WHSs.

Source: INZ

Christmas closing times

Our offices will close on Thursday 16 December 2020 at 17:00 and re-open again Monday 11 January 2021 at 11:00.  Wishing you and all your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, prosperous and safe New Year!

TNC E-books

The Terra Nova e-book page contains publications in e-book and e-news format containing comments and reviews from Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd, and other contributors, that relate to a number of issues from immigration to operating a business.

Some of the Terra Nova e-books e-book and the Terra Nova e-news issues we believe may be quite helpful for prospective immigrants.

Check back regularly to find new editions of our Terra Nova e-book and Terra Nova e-news range.

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Contact Details

Terra Nova Consultancy Ltd
14 Glanworth Place, Botany 2106
Manukau, Auckland 2106,
New Zealand

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Please arrange visit by appointment.

Mobile: +64 275 706 540

Postal Address:
PO Box 58385, Botany
Manukau, Auckland 2163,
New Zealand

Licensed Immigration Adviser

Johannes Petrus (Peter) Hubertus Cornelis Hendrikx

License number: 200800214

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