If you are up for an adventure and looking for work then New Zealand might be your answer. As a US citizen you can legally work and travel throughout New Zealand for up to 15 months! Jobs available include horticulture, viticulture, and hospitality.
Here's how you can apply.
1. You must be a permanent resident of the United States of America and have a valid passport.
2. Like Australia, they only accept people aged 18-30 years of age.
3. You can't have any kids with you.
4. You must have a minimum of $4200 NZ as well as sufficient funds to leave the country after your trip is up. They do require proof of this upon your arrival. Get exchange rates.
5. You must also have health insurance for the duration of your trip as well as a pre arrival medical check to ensure you don't infect the country. Additional health requirements may include a chest X-Ray and form to be filled out by a radiologist.
6. And finally, New Zealand wants to make sure you are there primarily for travel and secondarily to work.
The application requirements for a working holiday visa into New Zealand are very specific, so start tracking these items down and plan your timing. Some things could take weeks to get.
As with other working holiday programs they will assess whether or not you are of sound character by looking at police records and prison history.
Applications for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa can be filed online at no cost. After getting all of your paperwork together you can file your application here.
After you submit all of the correct information online you can expect a response within a couple of days. After you are granted the Visa, you can arrive in New Zealand within 12 months and will be able to come and go multiple times but only for the following 12 months.
You shouldn't spend energy worrying about finding jobs before traveling to New Zealand. If there wasn't sufficient work available, then they probably wouldn't have let you in. If you don't find a job you like, just remember, you are here to travel and they are letting you work to help offset the cost. Sweet as, bro!
New Zealand Government - The government Web site with resources for finding work.
Working and traveling in New Zealand is also not a free pass from paying taxes. When you arrive you will be given a tax number or an IRD number. With this they will deduct the correct amount from your pay while in New Zealand.
Even the Kiwis have an Uncle Sam.
As you get to the end of your working holiday period, you can apply for the 3 month visa extension but you must have worked in horticulture for at least 3 months. At that time you can apply for the Working Holiday Permit. You must send the form via the mail while you're in New Zealand and will be subject to certain application fees.
New Zealand is a great country with a lot of sights to see. Even spending 15 months there you may not be able to get everything.
One valuable point that the government makes sure to stress is that your purpose of being here is to travel, thus the name Working Holiday, they are allowing you to work to offset the costs. Enjoy it.
Australia work and holiday program - for citizens from UK, USA, Canada, and other countries around the world
Contact Us - If you are a New Zealand employer looking to hire backpackers. We can list your opportunity here.
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