Over the past few years, the competition for New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysians is fierce. The official website was even crashed in 2018 after the application for Malaysians opened. Everyone is snatching for the limited seats as if there will be no tomorrow.
I assume you’re here because you’re interested in applying for one. And I’m sure you know it’s very difficult to secure a spot, without the right skills.
In this article, you will get all the tips and skills I used to secure my spot for New Zealand Working Holiday back in 2016. I assure you all the tips provided are practical, useful and of course, updated.
I’ll go through a brief introduction of the visa before the application procedures. Feel free to skip the former part. I’ll discuss everything from the perspective of Malaysians. Let’s dive in.
Not convinced for the visa? Check out these 69 New Zealand Photos I took there!
In 2018, the official website crashed due to huge influx of visitors into the website, therefore the application postponed.
In 2019, I guess they upgraded the website so that it can handle more visitors at one time. The 1,150 slots ran out around 1 hour after the application opens. No crash issues that year.
In 2020, all 1,150 slots were filled up in less than one hour. No crash issues as well.
New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysian
So what is the New Zealand Working Holiday visa?
This visa is issued by the New Zealand government to allow young people between the age of 18-30 to travel and work in New Zealand. The validity of the visa varies among different nationalities, i.e. 6, 12 or 23 months.
The visa is available to 42 different nations. Some of the nations have limited quota while some do not. Malaysia belongs to the latter category, with a limited 1,150 successful applicants a year.
During your stay, you can also study in New Zealand.
New Zealand Working Holiday visa is extendable for an additional 3 months with extra fees.
For New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Malaysia, the application date usually falls in late January. It opens at 5 am midnight, but you will have trouble logging into the website at 3 am.
Want to get inspired? Read these things to do in New Zealand South Island!
Are You Eligible?
As the visa is open for youngsters, the age requirement for the visa is between age 18-30 for Malaysians.
You should also have at least NZ$2,250 to cover all your expenses in New Zealand.
One person cannot apply for the working holiday visa for more than one time.
Be able to speak English. You do not need to be fluent in English language but please understand the basics. Though you will still be able to survive without knowing any English in New Zealand, your life will be easier if you can speak the language.
How Do I Apply For the Visa?
For Malaysians, the procedures are the same as in other countries. For the complete and detailed application procedures, head over to:
I have attached screenshot photos for every step, which will definitely help you understand the procedures a lot better.
The reason why I wrote the procedures in another article is that it will make this article way too long and stuffed with photos. So bear with me.
New Zealand Immigration official website had gone through a major update, causing big changes to the website interface and layouts. The procedures have also changed after the update.
It’s really important to follow an updated version of the guide so that you will never miss out on anything.
Tips For Securing Your Spot For New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysian
Now the main point. I’m sure some of you came solely for these tips. The tips provided are very practical, as some of my friends in New Zealand also use similar tricks to secure their spot. Long words short, let’s get started.
Tip 1 – Use Mobile Phone
Yes, it’s true. This question might come to your mind.
“Why? My laptop always loads faster than my phone!”
Well, I’m not a tech guy so I couldn’t give you a precise answer. But it’s true. Some of my Malaysian friends in New Zealand applied through their phones too. The same goes for me.
It seems like the phone has a stronger will to keep going and load the page. The laptop browser often gives up after 10 seconds, and you will need to refresh the page like a madman.
If you know the answer to this phenomenon, feel free to comment below. I love to be educated.
With that being said, it’s safer to use more than just your phone to apply. Read on.
Tip 2 – Use More Than One Device
“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” they said.
Yea I know it’s not that relevant. What I’m trying to say is that it never hurts to use more than one device to apply.
On the day of application, apply from your laptop, desktop and mobile phone. See which one gets into the website first, then you’ll know which device you should focus on.
In my case, the mobile phone.
If possible, connect your mobile phone to mobile data so that it will not compete with other devices for Wi-Fi.
You might think that there’s not enough time to fill in the details in the application form after you logged in. What to do? Read Tip 3.
Tip 3 – Prepare All Your Details Beforehand
On the day of application, once you passed the login stage, things should get a bit smoother. Now all you got to do is fill in the details as fast as possible.
As you have to click “Save” for every section you filled, you have to compensate for the time needed to load those pages again before proceeding. And it can be dreadfully long.
What I suggest doing is preparing all the details in a notepad. It can be in Google Docs, Microsoft Excel, Notepad, whatever.
Once you get to the application form, all you have to do is copy and paste the details you wrote in your notes. If you’re using a phone, referring to the notepad in your laptop can make your life easier.
I highly recommend doing this, unless you prefer typing and double-checking the details yourself in a stressful situation. You can find all the required fields and details in the guide I provided at the start of the article.
Below is an example, feel free to use it:
Immigration advisor: NO
Comm method: Email
Master Card or VISA : YES
Passport expiry date:
12-years old birthday: (Your birth year +12)
All NO except “in the five years prior to…countries NOT considered to be low risk for TB (YES)
Ignore ‘If you can prove…”
4. WH SPECIFICS_
Have you ever been issued… NO
Enough NZD2,250? YES
Date of departure: xx-xx-2019
Sufficient fund to purchase outward ticket: YES
Meet specific requirements: YES
(MASTERCARD OR VISA)
Card number: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
Valid through: xx/xx
Security Code (3 digits):
Check out this 10 Days New Zealand South Island Itinerary!
Tip 4 – Prepare Multiple Credit Cards
After you successfully filled in all the information into every form of every section, you will be prompted to make the payment. So unless you make the payment, your spot for Malaysian New Zealand Working Holiday Visa will not be secured, because it’s not completed yet.
And the worst thing that could happen is reaching the final steps just to realize your credit card isn’t working. Nightmare.
My advice would be to prepare at least two or three credit cards besides you just in case the first one is not working. The website has asked for a credit card but I heard that some of my friends paid successfully using a debit card.
Anyway, to play it safe, I recommend credit cards over debit cards more. Three of them would be optimum.
Tip 5 – Log In Earlier
Well, this doesn’t always work but it’s well worth a bet. It’s a life-changing experience right. And you want to secure yourself a seat.
I’ve seen people logged into the Immigration website at 12 am but failed to snatch a slot. I logged in at 3.15 am, it took me until slightly before 5 am to successfully log in.
What you can consider doing is log into the website hours before 5 am, then wait for the application to open. You save the troubles of logging in at peak hours.
Tip 6 – Ask For Help From Your Friends
One of my friends was “brother” enough to wake up in the middle of the night and fight with me.
He didn’t want to apply for the Malaysian New Zealand Working Holiday visa, he’s just helping me. And I’m still thankful for him, even though I was the one who applied successfully.
The application requires credit card information, so make sure your friend is very trustworthy!
Tip 7 – Join Malaysians’ New Zealand Working Holiday Facebook Group
Yes, technically this group does not help you on your application. But Facebook groups are perfect platforms for you to see how others are doing.
Has the website gone crashed? How many people applied successfully already? How many quotas were left?
We can’t deny that there will definitely be a lot of fake news inside, but you can get a grasp of what’s happening on the battlefield.
Just search for them in Facebook groups, there are plenty of them. This group is one of them.
Facebook groups can come in super useful once you applied successfully. You can find job offers, accommodations and even people selling their cars there. Make full use of it.
20 Frequently Asked Questions on New Zealand Working Holiday For Malaysian
It’s totally understandable if you have doubts or questions in your head now. If I didn’t answer your question below, feel free to ask me in the comment section, through my email or Facebook page. I’m more than happy to help
Application date for New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysian 2020
The application date for New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysians will be opened on 23rd January 2020.
How long is the visa valid for?
Let’s say you successfully filled up everything and got ahead of everyone else. You’ll be prompted to make the payment to secure your spot. If you don’t, your information will be saved, but your spot is not secured until you made the payment.
After you make the payment, you will receive an email from the authority for the successful payment. Within a few days, you will receive another email telling you that your visa is approved. Note that after your payment, your visa has not been approved yet. But in most cases, it will be approved, provided that you filled up everything correctly.
Once you receive the email, you will have to travel to New Zealand to start your program within ONE year. For instance, your Malaysian New Zealand Working Holiday visa got approved on 26th January 2019. You will have to travel to New Zealand before 26th January 2020. It doesn’t matter when you return to Malaysia, all it matters is when you set foot on New Zealand land.
You can arrive in New Zealand on 20th January 2020, and leave on 15th July 2020.
What’s the pay for my job there?
Most participants in the New Zealand Working Holiday program work basic jobs, like in orchards, waiters, etc. Almost all of these jobs pay minimum wages. The government last increased the minimum wage by NZ$0.75 to NZ$16.50 as of 1 April 2018. It’s not likely to increase for another year but I’m not sure.
When I was working there, the minimum wage was around NZ$14.50.
How many hours will I work every day?
This depends on what kind of jobs you work. Most of the orchard jobs will require you to work around 8 hours per day for 5-6 days a week. Sunday will be an off-day for all employees.
How often do I get paid?
In New Zealand, you will receive your salary every week instead of every month in Malaysia. It will take a few business days to receive the money. If you found the job via a job agent, it might take a day more. The tax will be automatically deducted from your salary slip.
How do I file a tax refund?
This is probably the most confusing thing to do after your program ends or during your program. The overall process is a bit tricky but it wouldn’t take much of your time if you know what to do.
There are several agencies that help in tax refund but trust me, you can do it yourself.
New Zealand tax year begins on 1st April to 31st March every year. If you work anytime between 1st April 2018 to 31st March 2019, you can apply for the tax refund after 1st April 2019.
First, you need to register a MyIR account on the IRD website. You should have an IRD number at that time. Fill in the boxes as instructed. You’ll be able to see how much income tax you paid since you began working in New Zealand in the account. By the end of May, you will receive an IR3 Form. Fill in as instructed.
For more information, go here.
Do I Need X-Ray Scan For The Visa?
No, you don’t need one. I’ve contacted the New Zealand Immigration regarding this issue. Since an X-ray scan is only needed for visitors with a visa of more than 6 months, Malaysians do not need them since the working holiday visa is for 6 months.
If you plan to extend the visa for another 3 months (9 months in total), you still do not need one. For the extension, all they need is your passport and a fee. Nothing more.
In short, you don’t have to worry about X-ray scans for your visit to New Zealand.
What are the documents needed?
Passport, Malaysian driving license (remember to renew to at least after a year) and e-visa, which will be provided by the government after a successful application. Getting an e-visa also means that you secured yourself a spot.
You need to print out e-visa when entering New Zealand. I recommend printing several copies.
Should I look for jobs before going?
It’s a good idea to look for jobs before arriving in New Zealand. The best platforms would be Facebook groups and BackpackerBoard. I only recommend this after you confirmed your flight date.
I was jobless for my first month in New Zealand because I had no idea how to look for a job. My friend gave me a number of Malaysian job agents, Terry. He got me my first job, and a small number of my weekly wages were deducted for his company.
Should I go with my friends?
It’s best if you could go with your friends. But here’s the sad truth. It’s not likely that both you and your friends will secure a spot and get the visa. You and your friends have to consider the situation if only one or some of you applied successfully.
When is the best time to start my New Zealand Working Holiday?
It really depends on what you want. I have not much information about corporate, restaurants, or jobs like those. But here’s some information about orchard jobs.
Fruit harvesting usually starts in summer and autumn. Some fruits have very different harvesting seasons though, but apple harvesting starts in late summer or early autumn. Kiwifruits harvesting usually starts around mid-Autumn.
Winter orchard jobs (which are dreadfully tough) like apple trees pruning start on early winter or mid-winter as soon as all the leaves dropped off.
Best time to travel around New Zealand? Summer of course, but remember that almost all accommodations will be booked out because of the tourists. It’s the worst part of the travel experience but there are a lot of hikes and treks open during this season.
I did my month-long road trip during winter, where there are almost no tourists at all. My travel partner and I had most of the attractions to ourselves. Pretty cool, huh? But remember, the winter there is crazy cold. Sneaking out of my sleeping bag in the car is the most difficult thing during my road trip.
What to bring to New Zealand?
New Zealand is generally cold throughout the year, especially in South Island. That includes the summer, which is colder than Malaysia’s weather.
Things I recommend bringing are down jacket, warm gloves, warm socks, and a good sleeping bag if possible. I didn’t bring any of those back in 2016. So I bought all the clothing and accessories in New Zealand. It’s cheaper, but you get to know what you really need before making any purchases.
It’s not wise to bring something there just to realize it’s not enough to protect you from the weather.
What kind of jobs are available for Malaysians under New Zealand Working Holiday Visa?
Most of the Malaysians will go for orchard jobs because it’s easier to find a job in that field. Of course, working in hotels, restaurants and constructions are also available.
But I personally feel that orchard jobs are more fun and eye-opening. It might be tough for some people though. Don’t be too picky about the jobs.
Don’t expect to find a job there easily. I used to think like that and I was jobless for one month before I started my first job picking apples. Read my #5 Looking For A Job in Motueka – Mission Impossible?
New Zealand North Island or South Island?
It’s easier to find non-orchard jobs in North Island because big cities are in the north. For orchard jobs, it’s available in both North Island and South Island. South Island has more orchard job opportunities than North Island.
Are the foods and accommodations provided by employers?
As far as I know, orchard employers never provide food and accommodations. You will need to find yourself an accommodation, in a motel or shared-house and cook your own food. Some companies are generous enough to provide free coffee and snacks.
Do I need International Driving License?
No, you don’t need one. I applied for International Driving License for RM150 in JPJ back in 2016 before I knew it’s not necessary. As long as the driving license is valid and in the English language, it’s good to go. And our Malaysian driving license is in the English language.
Should I buy a car? Where do I buy a second-hand car in New Zealand?
It depends on yourself. Having a car definitely brings a lot of advantages and convenience. For example, when I was working in Temuka, South Island, we paid NZ$4 to the driver for every return trip to the orchard form our accommodation.
NZ$4 is way more than the gas money so the driver is making money by a little.
Having a car also comes in handy when you go for your road trip after work. The best way to explore New Zealand is by self-driven cars, no other way else. If you’re planning to do that, check out my 5500+ words Ultimate Guide to New Zealand Road Trip.
I talked about how to purchase a second-hand car in the article too.
And if you’re planning a road trip in South Island, check out 25 Otherworldly New Zealand South Island Attractions.
Malaysian New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Extension & Maximum stay period
New Zealand Working Holiday Visa for Malaysian is valid for 6 months starting from the date you enter the country. Visa extension is available with a small amount of money and some paperwork.
Upon successful application (I’ve never heard anyone failing to extend their visa), you will be able to extend for another 3 months. You are allowed to work throughout these 3 months.
That makes the maximum stay period of 9 months. If you want to stay longer, you can do so. Here’s how.
Fly to Australia, the nearest country and then fly back into New Zealand, you will be able to travel as a tourist for less than 3 months without a visa. If you have a car, simply park it somewhere safe and retrieve it after you get back to New Zealand.
That makes the maximum stay period near 12 months.
Is there a lot of Malaysians?
There are, indeed more Malaysians than I imagined. Most of the time, you’ll find Malaysians and Asians from Taiwan or China at your workplace, especially in orchard jobs.
And usually, Asians will gather and live together because there is no language barrier and the culture is much more similar.
Is it okay to apply for the Malaysian New Zealand Working Holiday Visa at the age of 30?
Yes. The eligibility for the visa is age 18-30. You can still apply at the age of 30 but not more. Even though your 31st birthday falls right after the application date, as long as by the time you apply, you are 30 years old.
You can still fly to New Zealand to start the program at 31 years old given that you got the visa at 30 years old.
Are You Ready For Your New Zealand Working Holiday Trip?
Hopefully, you found the information above useful for applying the Malaysian New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. It’s a bit longer than I expected but thanks for finishing the article. Should you find any useful information that I missed out, feel free to comment below! Looking forward to your reply.
Good luck and all the best for your New Zealand Working Holiday Visa!