In attempt to help ease casual workforce shortages, the New Zealand Government recently announced[1] several changes to the Working Holiday Visa which will benefit the tourism industry over summer and beyond.

Immigration Minister Michael Wood revealed a ‘revitalised and streamlined immigration system’ that would help relieve workforce shortages by temporarily increasing access to working holiday makers by extending visas of those already in the country and making an additional 12,000 spaces available to those looking to travel to New Zealand.


Summary of the changes:

  • Extending the visas for working holiday makers already in New Zealand with visas expiring between 26th August 2022 and 31st May 2023 by 6-months from date of expiry.
  • Providing additional opportunity for those who previously held a working holiday visa but did not travel due to Covid-19 to come to New Zealand. New visas will be issued to people from October 2022 allowing them to enter New Zealand by 31st January 2023. This visa will allow them to be in New Zealand for 12 months.
  • Doubling the capped number of working holidaymakers allowed from 13 countries, to recognise the spots that were unused last year due to the border restrictions.  This could mean up to 12,000 more working holiday makers may come to New Zealand over the next 12 months or so.


The cap increase will be rolled out gradually by the end of September 2022, opening the 4-largest capped schemes with the highest demand. This includes:

  • Malaysia
  • Chile
  • Argentina

The remaining smaller capped schemes will then be rolled out by January 2023. This will ensure each country gets the benefit of this year’s allocation.

If you are needing guidance and assistance with your plans to travel to New Zealand be sure to contact us for professional advice and representation.