As I am approaching 31, I am thinking of giving working holiday a go. I am considering New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Would it be possible to apply for all three and then keep switching countries later? I know that once I get the Australian one, I have 12 months to use it, which theoretically would enable me to spend 2 years in those three countries. Does that 12 months buffer also apply to New Zealand and Japan?

I am a German citizen.

  • 2
    For my Japanese work (not working holiday) visa I had a 2 month period in which I could enter Japan to activate it. I'm not sure if it's the same with the WH visa. Note also that you must apply for the visa before your 31st birthday. Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 10:49
  • FYI, you cannot work as a software developer on these visas, as far as I know: expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/10591/…, in case that's the kind of job you wanted to get.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 13, 2020 at 21:18
  • @JonathanReez I think there is a difference between "it is hard" and "it is not allowed", as far as I see there is nothing official preventing such jobs. You just need to convince the company to accept giving you a job limited to 6 months. Or am I missing something?
    – Mehdi
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 10:25
  • It's usually 3 months as far as I know which could be difficult with many companies. If it's 6 months for your nationality not should be feasible!
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Jan 14, 2020 at 15:52

1 Answer 1


The 12 month period between grant and use also applies to New Zealand. From Germany Working Holiday Visa Conditions:

You must come to New Zealand within 12 months of the date your visa is granted.

After you arrive in New Zealand, you can come and go from New Zealand as many times as you like before your visa expires.

I can't find documentation that clarifies this for a Japanese working holiday visa (on https://www.de.emb-japan.go.jp/konsular/ferienarbeit.html).

  • Thanks, but do you know if the embassies care if another working holiday visa is already in your passport?
    – Mehdi
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 13:54
  • @Mehdi: No, they do not care. Provisions like the 12 month period to arrive are specifically designed for the purpose you describe - planning a multi-year multi-country working holiday. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 17:53

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