UK and New Zealand expand schemes for young people to work abroad
Among the large number of young people Australasian have helped find work; we have supported many aspiring New Zealanders to find London-based roles. Fortunately, there are some new and positive changes for young New Zealanders using working holiday visas to increase potential opportunities.
In July 2022, both the UK’s and New Zealand’s Prime Ministers announced they would be expanding the visa parameters for eligibility and length of stay. This will effectively allow citizens from both countries to travel and work in each other’s countries for longer periods of time.
Previously, the Youth Mobility Scheme (YMS) allowed UK citizens aged 18-30 to stay in New Zealand for up to 23 months, with the option to work for up to 12 months, while Working Holiday Scheme (WHS) allowed young New Zealanders aged 18-30 to live and work in the UK for up to two years.
Under the newly enhanced scheme, the age limit for both countries will be increased to 35 years, and the maximum stay period will be extended from two to three years. The length of time individuals can work will also be extended, allowing for full-time work throughout their three-year stay.
Brits wishing to stay in New Zealand for 12 months or longer will need to provide health certificates, with a requirement of both health and police certificates for those wishing to stay for 24 months or longer. The UK and New Zealand will also set an increased annual cap of 15,000 visas per year for the WHS, in order to manage expected interest and growth.
As this policy change is delivered ahead of schedule; the UK will move to its enhanced scheme from 29th June 2023 and New Zealand from 1st July 2023. Current eligible Youth Mobility and Working Holiday visa holders will be able to apply for an extension to their stay for up to three years, with the option to work for the remainder of their stay.
To maintain a smooth transition, travellers currently holding valid Youth Mobility and Working Holiday visas will have the option to apply for an extension. This allows the option to remain in the UK or New Zealand for three years and work until their visa expires.
Overall, these changes to the WHS and YMS will create exciting opportunities for young people from both countries to experience new cultures and gain valuable work-life experience overseas.
More information will be available upon further updates.
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