UK and New Zealand expand working holiday visas

By Jennifer Meierhans
BBC News

  • Published
Stock image of a woman photographing mountains and lake, Queenstown, Otago, New ZealandImage source, Getty Images

The UK and New Zealand will allow more younger people to live and work in both countries for longer.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his Kiwi counterpart Jacinda Ardern agreed to extend the Youth Mobility and Working Holiday schemes.

The age limit for applicants will go up from 30 to 35, and the maximum length of time people can stay in the host country will now be three years.

It follows similar deal to allow young people to work and travel in Australia.

The UK-New Zealand scheme was previously open to 18-30 year olds.

Home Secretary Priti Patel said the move "will give even more young Brits and New Zealanders the opportunity to develop their skills, make life-long connections and contribute to their host country".

Image source, Reuters
Image caption,
Boris Johnson and Jacinda Ardern met for talks at Downing Street

Ms Ardern, who is in London for talks with Mr Johnson, said New Zealand had long advocated for improvements to working holiday visas.

The NZ Labour Party leader previously lived in London when she worked in Whitehall as a senior policy adviser before entering politics.

"I was one of many Kiwis to enjoy living and working in the UK, and we look forward to offering Brits the same wonderful experience in New Zealand," she added.

The prime ministers met at Downing Street following the Nato summit in Madrid which finished on Thursday.

Ms Ardern said the pair would be discussing the free trade deal signed last year as well as the response to the war in Ukraine

Mr Johnson praised the "very strong line" New Zealand was taking, and Ms Ardern said: "We have also provided our military aid via our partnership with you,"

The Home Office said more information on the Youth Mobility and Working Holiday scheme will be announced next year.