I am from the UK and have heard rumors that if you go to NZ on a twelve month working holiday visa, then you are only allowed to work for six months of your stay. Is this true? I can't seem to find anything online indicating this.

1 Answer 1


The official page is the United Kingdom Working Holiday Scheme page.

Working Holiday visa holders from the UK are an exception to the usual rules, where you are able to extend your total stay to 23 months (the normal maximum for visitors from most other countries is 12 months without the ability to extend).

The only restrictions on employment are:

  • You must not take up permanent employment (unless you apply for and are granted an ordinary work visa while you’re here).
  • You must not work for a period exceeding 12 months.
  • You can enrol in one or more courses of training or study of up to six months’ duration in total during your visit.

The second point means that you cannot work for the same employer for a time greater than 12 months.

Working Holiday schemes for visitors from other countries may have different restrictions. For example, visitors from Hong Kong cannot work for the same employer for more than three months. These restrictions change from time to time, and when you get a visa it should state on the visa itself what your restrictions actually are.

  • Very helpful, you see I wasnt sure if the "You must not work for a period exceeding 12 months" applied to the 12 month stay, 23 month stay or both. If I go for 23 months will the 12 month limit still apply?
    – kmil
    Mar 8, 2016 at 19:36
  • @kmil: Yes, the 12 month maximum period condition applies no matter how long your total stay is. Mar 8, 2016 at 19:37
  • Oh, this is an interesting interpretation! When I was reading the government website I thought this meant not working for more than 12 month in total during the 23 month stay...
    – kiradotee
    Jul 9, 2020 at 21:45

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