New Zealand Working Holiday (Part 29) : How to Apply & Get a Working Holiday Extension Work Visa in 10 Working Days

Did you know? People who are already in New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa can make a one-off application to stay an additional 3 months if they have completed seasonal work in the horticulture or viticulture industries.

So, once I have completed 3 months’ worth of seasonal work (in a kiwifruit/avocado coolstore and a blueberry farm/packhouse), I submitted my Working Holiday Extension Work Visa application and Immigration New Zealand approved it within 10 working days! 😀


New Zealand Working Holiday Extension Work Visa

Immigration New Zealand grants the Working Holiday Extension Work Visa to those who have met the criteria and requirements of the visa, and the seasonal work by definition can include planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops. For your info, horticulture or viticulture industries are fruit, vegetable and flower-growing businesses.

Good news is a job offer is not needed to be granted the visa extension, however, each applicant can only be granted one Working Holiday Extension Visa. The criteria and requirements for the Working Holiday Extension Work Visa are as follows:


Criteria / Requirements Information / Evidence to Provide



Must provide proof of identity:

.        2 acceptable photos of your head and shoulders

.        Your passport or certificate of identity (original document or certified copy)


Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after you plan to leave New Zealand


Must be in good health


No evidence of your good health is required, unless Immigration NZ ask you to



Must be of good character



You may need to provide police certificates (Certificate of Good Conduct) as proof of your good character


If you’re aged 17 and over and will stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months, you must provide police certificates from:

·         Your country(s) of citizenship

·         Any country(s) you’ve spent more than 5 years in since turning 17

You do not need to provide a police certificate (Certificate of Good Conduct) if you have provided it to Immigration NZ with an earlier visa application, and it was issued in the past 24 months


Bona Fide

Must genuinely intend to meet the conditions of your visa:

·         When you apply for a visa, Immigration NZ will assess if you are bona fide or genuine. They will look into your reasons for coming to New Zealand and whether you intend to leave New Zealand at the end of your stay.


Immigration NZ will consider all of the information that:

·         You provide to support your application

·         They have about your personal circumstances and any previous applications


To consider you are bona fide, Immigration NZ must believe that:

·         You genuinely intend a temporary stay in New Zealand

·         You are coming to New Zealand for a lawful purpose

·         You will comply with the conditions of your visa once in New Zealand

·         You will not remain in New Zealand unlawfully

·         You will be able to leave New Zealand at the end of your stay



Must be already in New Zealand


Working Holiday Visa

Must have a current working holiday visa


Seasonal Work

Must have done seasonal work in New Zealand:

·         You must have spent at least 3 months doing seasonal work in the horticulture or viticulture industries while on your current Working Holiday Visa

·         Evidence can include letters from employers, payslips and tax records


Seasonal work can include planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops which includes flower/fruit picking, pruning, thinning, weeding, spraying, and packing/re-packing to name a few


Shucking oysters, packing or labelling processed/canned food or wine bottles, shearing sheep, milking cows, construction work, and such does not fall into the horticulture or viticulture seasonal work criteria

Onward Travel

Must have a ticket to leave New Zealand or enough money to buy one:

·         Evidence can include your travel ticket and proof you have enough money to buy a ticket out of New Zealand, in addition to the funds you have to live on


No Previous Extensions

Must not have been granted a Working Holidaymaker Extension Work Visa before




How to Apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Extension Work Visa

Simply download and complete the ‘SSE/WHE Work Visa Application’ form and send it to the nearest Immigration New Zealand branch in your region along with your application fee, immigration levy, and supporting documents. In my case, I chose to send my application to Immigration New Zealand’s branch in Palmerston North because it was nearer to where I was.

P.s. It is better and wiser to send your SSE/WHE Work Visa application to an Immigration NZ branch that is near to you, and one that is not located in big cities such as Wellington or Auckland. The reason: They most probably receive numerous applications in a day, and that might prolong the time it takes for them to process your application.

The fee for Immigration New Zealand to process my Working Holiday Extension Work Visa application was NZD208. An immigration levy is payable and is included in the total amount above. I paid the processing fee by credit card. You may choose to send a bank cheque/draft or a personal cheque addressed to New Zealand Immigration Service.

If you pay by personal cheque, your application will be held for 10 working days to allow the cheque to be cleared. This delay will increase the time needed for Immigration New Zealand to assess your application. Most applications are processed and completed within 25 working days. I submitted my Working Holiday Extension Work Visa application and received good news from Immigration New Zealand within 10 working days – yes, it was that fast and efficient! 😀

In fact, some of my friends got theirs within 10 working days too, but some took longer time because the branch that they sent their SSE/WHE Work Visa applications to was busy. Feel free to visit Immigration New Zealand’s official website for more details about the Working Holiday Extension Work Visa.


Interim Visa

An Interim Visa allows a person to legally stay in New Zealand while Immigration New Zealand assesses his/her application for another temporary visa. Depending on your situation, you may be able to continue working or studying on an Interim Visa.

Kindly note that you must have applied for another temporary visa before your previous visa expired. For your info, we cannot apply for an Interim Visa, it is automatically granted by Immigration New Zealand.

An Interim Visa may allow us to continue working or studying in New Zealand – depending on the visa we have applied for and the visa we had before.  An Interim Visa will be valid from the day your current visa expires, up until the day Immigration New Zealand makes a decision about your new visa application, or up to 6 months.


In a Nutshell

To increase the success rate and ensure that my Working Holiday Extension Work Visa application was approved by Immigration New Zealand, I submitted not 12 (as required), but a total of 15 pay slips just to be safe. 😛 My wages were paid on a weekly basis; 1 pay slip equals to a week’s worth of work, so 3 months = 12 pay slips. Also, I made sure to submit my application at least 30 days before my current Working Holiday Visa expires.

Since I provided all the necessary supporting documents and met the criteria and requirements for the SSE/WHE Work Visa, my Working Holiday Extension Work Visa application was approved by Immigration New Zealand within 10 working days instead of 25 working days as stated on their website. With that, I got to stay, work and play in New Zealand for another 3 more months and I could not be happier with the good news. 😍👍


Up next: A visit to the stunning Te Mata Peak, the Giant among Us


2 Comment

  1. Johan Anyi says: Reply


    Thanks for taking the time detailing your experiences in New Zealand. I have just recently got my NZ WHV too and will be heading to NZ soon!

    I have been devouring your content these past few days and must finally leave a comment that your posts have gave me great insight on what to expect

    Thank you once again.


    1. Hi Johan,

      Thank you for the kind words and compliment, it totally made my day. I am happy to know that it helps. 😀

      And congratulations on getting the NZ WHV! I wish you a safe journey and a wonderful trip to New Zealand. Keep an open mind and enjoy the experience. All the best to you!

      Best regards,

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