New Zealand restarts working holiday visa
New Zealand has decided to lift the suspension on its Working Holiday Maker visas, provided applicants to the programme are currently in Australia.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) suspended the programme last year due to the pandemic.
However, applicants from 14 countries – Norway, Sweden, UK, USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Denmark, and Canada – are now welcome to apply to the programme if they wish to move to New Zealand from Australia.
The decision to restart the working visa programme was welcomed by employers, who would have access to a pool of offshore workers to help them scale up operations to prepare for the return of tourists, said Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).
Employers have been reporting major staff shortages in areas hit hard by the pandemic, which includes cities like Queenstown and Te Anau, said TIA Chief Executive, Chris Roberts, according to media publication Hotel Management.
“This is great news for tourism and hospitality businesses struggling to find additional staff, especially temporary and part-time roles,” he said.
INZ has said that it will process applications within its usual time frame.