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Working Holiday Visa survey data to support Aotearoa’s industries and sectors 3 November 2022

Every year thousands of young people from around the world apply for working holiday visas and spend a year or 2 working in Aotearoa New Zealand.

To better understand the intentions of people coming into New Zealand on Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) Visas, we set up an ongoing survey targeting those who had or have recently been approved for a WHS visa. A sample of visa holders were sent a survey to complete 7 days following their WHS visa approval confirmation.

The purpose of this survey is to get a long-term view of the travel and work intentions of this group of visa holders and to identify trends and seasonal variations. Right now we are primarily using the information collected to understand what industries WHS visa holders intend to work in and which regions they intend to visit while they are in the country. 3,919 visa holders who had their visa applications approved between 20 July and 21 September responded to the survey. 

Here are some of the key findings:

  • 32% of respondents were planning on arriving in Aotearoa in September – October 2022, and 26% are planning on arriving after March 2023.
  • The top 3 places they intend to visit are Auckland, Wellington, and Otago.
  • They have a desire for action and adventure, with travelling, nature and wildlife, and adventure listed as the top 3 types of activities that they’re most keen to take part in.
  • Most visa holders are planning to work in the agricultural/fishing/forestry, tourism, or hospitality sectors.
  • The country with the highest amount of visa holder respondents was France (574) and the lowest was Estonia (1).

Working Holiday Scheme Visa Holder Survey Report - October 2022 PDF 336KB