Knowledge base articles

When does my working holiday visa expire?

A working holiday visa becomes valid on the date your application is decided. This visa allows you to enter New Zealand within 12 months from when it is granted.

If you do not enter New Zealand before the "first entry before" date stated on your visa, the visa will expire. You may not be able to travel to New Zealand on this date, and will not be able to travel to New Zealand after this date (unless you have already travelled here to activate the visa).

Generally, this visa cannot be extended. You should make sure that you apply for your Working Holiday visa close to the time you intend to travel to New Zealand. Often 2-3 months in advance of your intended travel date is ideal.

Once you enter New Zealand on a valid working holiday visa, this is when your stay begins. If your scheme validity is 12 months, you will be allowed to stay in New Zealand in line with any limitations of your scheme, and will be allowed further travel for the 12-month validity of the visa.

For example: 

A German citizen applies for their 12 month working holiday visa online and the visa is granted on 16 January 2020.

This means they must enter New Zealand before 16 January 2021. If they arrive in New Zealand within this timeframe, they can be granted a stay of 12 months.

If they arrive in New Zealand on 1 December 2020, they may be able to stay in New Zealand until 1 December 2021. This is 12 months from their arrival date.

A working holiday visa is a once-off opportunity, so you cannot apply for a second one.

There are two scenarios in which further time may be granted to a working holiday visa holder:

  • If the working holiday visa holder has completed at least 3 months of seasonal work while holding the working holiday visa; or
  • If the working holiday visa holder is a United Kingdom or Canadian citizen and meets specific requirements 

In these cases, the visa holder may be able to apply for an extension to their working holiday visa.

Working holiday extension work visa

Canada working holiday visa

UK Working Holiday visa

All other working holiday visa holders can only remain in New Zealand longer if they obtain a further visa allowing this.

Explore NZ visa options