Knowledge base articles

I hold a working holiday visa but want to enter New Zealand as a visitor - is this possible?

If you have already been granted a working holiday visa, it is not possible to enter New Zealand as a visitor for a short time, then leave, then return at a later time (within the validity of the working holiday visa) to start your working holiday.

If you enter New Zealand with a valid working holiday visa, your working holiday will be activated automatically at the border.

If you insist on entering New Zealand as a visitor instead, your working holiday visa will automatically be cancelled if you are issued a visitor visa at the border. Please note, however, that not everyone is eligible for this and you could be refused entry.

If you are granted a visitor visa at the border and your working holiday visa is cancelled, you will not be able to apply for another working holiday visa. You can only ever be granted one of these in your lifetime, regardless of whether or not you use the visa. 

It is important to plan your trip to New Zealand so your working holiday visa is activated when you want it to be.

Working holiday visas