News centre

Working Holiday Schemes reopening 12 March 2022

Working Holiday Schemes are reopening from Monday 14 March.

From Monday 14 March, employers across the country will have access to more workers and the tourism sector will benefit from more visitors with the Working Holiday Schemes (WHS) reopening.

This is part of step 2 of the Government’s plan to reconnect New Zealand with the world.

Reopening the New Zealand border

Visa applications for all the schemes will reopen in stages, with all uncapped schemes, which account for around three quarters of all working holidaymakers, opening for applications at 10am on Monday 14 March (NZ time) and capped schemes being staggered after that.

All schemes will reopen by 13 September.

Before COVID-19 New Zealand welcomed around 50,000 working holidaymakers to New Zealand each year. Reopening our border to working holidaymakers will provide seasonal sectors like tourism, hospitality and the primary industries with access to more workers.

Approximately 19,500 people offshore who previously held a Working Holiday Visa but were unable to use it because of the border restrictions will be granted a new visa on 13 March. They will need to travel to New Zealand within the next six months (before 13 September 2022).

These people will receive an email saying they have been granted a new visa on 14 March.

Working holiday scheme reopening dates