New Zealand relaunches and expands Working Holiday Scheme with Singapore

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking in Singapore.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaking in Singapore. Photo credit: Newshub

New Zealand is relaunching its Working Holiday Scheme with Singapore, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced on her first international trip since COVID-19. 

The number of Working Holiday Scheme visas available to SIngaporeans will rise from 200 to 300 and it will expand from people aged 18-25 to 18-30. 

The visa length will be extended to 12 from six months and applicants no longer need to be university students but must have undertaken tertiary study in the previous two years.

The Working Holiday Scheme will commence from May 5. 

"Working holidaymakers are also tourists during their stay and tend to visit multiple regions, which will be beneficial for the tourism sector, hospitality, retail and local economies throughout New Zealand," Ardern said. 

"The scheme is not only good for New Zealand businesses but also gives working holidaymakers a chance to experience the culture, food and landscape of Aotearoa. These people-to-people links are important in bringing countries closer together."

New Zealand has had a Working Holiday Scheme in place with Singapore - our fifth largest trading partner - since 1999 but Ardern said it's time to expand it to meet growing demand. 

"We very much look forward to welcoming Singaporean working holidaymakers back to New Zealand," Ardern said. 

Ardern said the idea is for Singaporeans to "come over and experience" New Zealand. The Working Holiday Scheme enables them to earn a living at the same time.

"It's only been in recent years, pre the closure, that the 200 were met. But in those recent years we did see good demand and so it made sense for us to increase and meet that demand."