Guide To Extend Your Visa
Congratulations! Now that you have gotten the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa, the next thing you should figure out is how to extend your visa for another 3 months! Surely we can all agree that 6 months is never enough to fully enjoy New Zealand!
When you head over to the New Zealand Immigration Website, you will come across all the conditions and criteria that they have listen down. I’m sure you are intimidated by all the things that you need to prepare and how to fill up the form.
Fret not, I’m here to help you out!
If you already know what to prepare, or have the necessary documents with you now, feel free to skip straight to how to fill up the form.
Things to prepare:
Now, now. First things first, you need to get these things for your application.
Click on them to jump right in:
Meeting the criteria, application form, and fee:
Next, remember to check the criteria for the application form as well as the fee!
Click on them to jump right in:
1. Identify and health
For this section, you need to provide 2 NZ passport photos and your passport (original or photocopy)
As I was constantly moving around, I did not want to risk sending in my original passport, hence I went to a local Justice of Peace to certify it. Locating a local Justice of Peace is the easiest way you can certify your passport.
I’ve met 2 different Justice of Peace because I needed to certify my passport to renew my passport in New Zealand as well as to certify my passport for visa extension. They’re extremely helpful and don’t ask for anything in return (because they’re not supposed to). Give them a call and you’re set!
If you don’t want to meet a JP because you’re shy or introvert (which I doubt it), then send in your original passport, which I think can be quite risky.
2. How to certify your passport (certified copy) with a local Justice of Peace (JP)
First, head over to their website (link provided above), then type in the city/suburb that you’re in on the left hand side search bar, and a list of Justice of Peace officers will turn up in the search result. Choose one that’s nearest to you! Finally, send him/her a text or make a call before you go!
3. Where you can take a NZ passport photo
You can take your NZ passport photo in the local pharmacy! It’s really the easiest and the cheapest as well. They will set up a gray wallpaper behind you and take your photo with a point-and-shoot camera and print it out with a photo kiosk. It’s the simplest way to do it and we paid less than $10 for the pictures.
If you are worried, you can also take a picture in the local photography shop, which is way more professional but can cost a lot of money. I took my Malaysian passport photo and I remembered it was really expensive, but of course, with better quality.
For this part, the NZ immigration quoted:
“You may need to provide police certificates as proof of your good character. If you are aged 17 or older and plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (including any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from: any country you are a citizen of.”
However, we were only planning to stay for a year, which is 12 months, as opposed to the 25 months stated there. Therefore, we did not hand in any proof and basically skipped this part. They did say that you may need to hand in. If they ask for a proof, they would just send your application back and indicate that you need to do so. However, it is highly unlikely.
5. Genuine intentions, location and working holiday visa
You can basically skip the genuine intentions as they include the things you write in your application.
Make sure that you are in New Zealand when you apply for the extension, and that you have photocopied your e-visa, attaching it together with your application form.
6. Prove that you have done 3 months worth of seasonal work
Seasonal work includes "Planting, maintaining, harvesting or packing crops."
If you are working in restaurants, bars, cafes, construction sites, dairy farms, or anything not related to horticulture and vitculture, then I’m sorry, you won’t be able to extend your visa.
Anything related to fruits, vegetables, vineyards, and flowers are fine.
Do I need to work FULL 3 months? What if I am always out of work because of weather conditions?
It does not necessarily mean that you have to work full three months in order to send in your pay slips (scroll down to see the pay slips examples – of longer and shorter working hours).
For a few times in the kiwifruit orchard, we have worked only 2 or 3 days a week. Hence, it is ridiculous if the seasonal work is constantly unavailable due to weather conditions. Does that mean that we would risk not being able to extend because we were constantly out of work?
Luckily, other backpackers clarified that for us. As long as we have 3 months’ worth of pay slips, which is about 13 pay slips (that you get over 13 weeks regardless of the days you worked and the days you did not). You are fine as long as you have 13 pay slips. However, I would strongly recommend that you throw in more just to be safe.
A friend told us that he submitted his tax records (IRD). It was accepted by the NZ immigration nonetheless. By doing so, he did not need to print so many papers as we did when we handed in more than 13 pay slips.
7. Examples of pay slips
8. Evidence that you have enough money to leave NZ
If you are like me, unsure of the date when you will be returning home, then show them evidence in the form of bank statement. That you have enough fund to buy a ticket home.
9. Where you can download the application form
At the end of the criteria list, you will see the button “check process & fees“. Click on that and you will see the following page:
Yes, the application is $280, as of 2020.
You can download the application form as you scroll down further. Click on the PDF link, download it and print it out. Make sure you have access to a printer. If not, then make a list of all the things you need to print and print out all the documents in one go. In case you’ve missed it, I’ve prepared a list at the start of this post.
10. Filling up the application
I’ll just say this once: USE CAPITAL LETTERS. I had to waste paper and reprint another one because I filled it in small caps.