How to get the Italian Working Holiday Visa for New Zealanders

Italian Working Holiday Visa
My Italian Working Holiday Visa

Italy and New Zealand signed a Working Holiday Visa agreement in 2001. There is a quota of 250 visas available each year, and an embassy staff member shared with me that it often have about 150+ applications per year. So it’s one of more the popular working holiday schemes for New Zealanders.

Fancy some extended time soaking up the art, history, food & wine of Italy? Then read on…

This guide is based on my experience, if you’ve had a different experience let me know in the comments.

Quick Facts

WHV Agreement since: 2001 [1]
Agreement signed by: Phil Goff and Dr Lamberto Dini [1]
Date agreement implemented by Denmark: 2002
Number of visas available for New Zealanders: 250 [1]
Average annual quota used: 150 (as of 2016)
Processing time: 1-15 working days
Visa length: 1 year
Visa fee: NZD$191
Age requirement: 18-30 inclusive [1]
Difficulty to get visa: 1/10 – Easy (Note getting the visa is easy, but getting the Permesso di soggiorno once in Italy takes 3-4 months)
Time allowed before entry: 3 months
Can apply outside of NZ: No (Well, it’s possible by mail, but risky)
Extra immigration steps: Yes, Permesso di soggiorno which takes 3-4 months.
Work/Study restrictions: TBC


The Italian-New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme Agreement (full agreement PDF, 507kb) was signed in January 2001 by Phil Goff, then Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his Italian counterpart Dr Lamberto Dini at the Embassy of Italy in Wellington. It was New Zealand’s 11th working holiday agreement, and Italy’s first.

The agreement allows citizens of each country travel to the other’s country for 1 year, with the ability to work for 3 months per employer, and study up to 6 months. New Zealand has increased the quota of visas available to Italian nationals under this agreement from 250 to “unlimited” 1.

Note the Italian visa is a National visa, and does not change a New Zealanders ability to stay in the Schengen region.

Application requirements

The full list of requirements for the Working Holiday Visa (PDF, 25kb) can be found on the Embassy of Italy in Wellington website.


The main documents required to apply are:

  1. A completed application form.
  2. Proof of funds.
    • You need to show you have a minimum of $5.5k.
    • If you have more than $7k shown on your bank statement or proof of account balance, you do not need to show proof of return flights back to New Zealand.
      • Quick tip: Using a proof of account balance issued over the counter at a bank branch, does not show historical transactions that a normal bank statement would. This can be handy if you don’t want to show how you got this balance to meet this requirement.
  3. Flight reservations.
    • Flights need to originate from New Zealand. If you are visiting other countries for a short period first, that is okay, but you need to show all flights from New Zealand to Italy).
    • See my article on making flight itineraries for visa applications.
  4. Proof of travel insurance.
    • Your travel insurance needs to show:
      • That it covers Italy
      • It covers the validity of the visa (365 days). Note most travel insurance companies will only give 365-day cover, so this gets tricky if you want to be covered for your travel before arriving in Italy.
      • It includes unlimited hospital and medical cover
    • See my article on how to have the right travel insurance for visa applications.
  5. Pay the application fee – $191
    • Payment options are:
      • Bank cheque via mail or in person
      • Cash in person only
  6. Proof of employment.
    • Note this is only required if you declare that you are employed in your application, and a letter on the business letterhead will suffice. An easy way to get around this is to write “Unemployed” in your application, which does not affect your chances of getting the visa, as you prove you have cash in the bank.
  7. One passport photo.
  8. Confirmation of your first accommodation.
    • This can either be a hotel booking (easiest option) or an invitation from an Italian citizen.
  9. Your passport (valid for two more years at time of application)

Things to be aware of

Be aware you will need to have some of the above documents with you when you arrive in Italy. These are:

  • Proof of travel insurance
  • Confirmation of your first accommodation

Once your visa is issued, these documents will be stamped and given back to you. You are expected to have them with you when you arrive in Italy.

Once you have collated all the requirements for applying for the visa, you can either send the application via courier or book an appointment at the Embassy in Wellington. This is only possible because the working holiday visa is treated as a national visa, not a Schengen visa, which means that you do not need to have fingerprints taken.

Book an appointment

This step is only needed if you intend to submit your application in person at the Embassy of Italy in Wellington. You can apply via mail if you cannot or do not want to visit the Embassy. If you are not going to pick up the visa you also need to include a return courier bag. You are required to be in New Zealand when applying for this visa so the courier should be sent to a New Zealand address.

Step 1: Registration

The first step to booking an appointment is to register on the Embassy of Italy in Wellington’s booking website.

Embassy Of Italy In Wellington Home Page
1. Click book your appointment on the website menu


Book Your Appointment Page
2. Click “Book your appointment” on the Book your appointment page


Login Screen
3. Click “New user registration” if it is your first time to make an appointment.


Registration Form
4. Fill out the registration form and click “Confirm”.

You should receive a confirmation message on the screen and via email.

STEP 2: Booking

Once you have registered successfully, you will need to book an appointment for a national visa application.

  1. Log in to the account you just created.
Make Your Reservation
2. Click on “Make your reservation”.


Visa Appointment
3. Click on “Visas”.


Visa appointment form
4. Fill the form as above and adding your own details. Note the Working Holiday Visa is a National Visa.


Appointment Date
5. Choose a date that suits you.


Appointment Times
6. Choose a time that suits you.

Once you have confirmed the time, you should see a confirmation message, and receive a confirmation email.

That’s it!

Next stop – Italy!!

Processing time is quoted as “up to 15 days”. My visa was processed in 1 day. The consular staff at the Embassy of Italy in Wellington were really friendly and welcoming 🙂

The next steps:

  • Go to Italy!!
  • Get a residence permit (Guide coming soon)
  • Explore & see the sights
  • Learn some Italian language
  • Get a job(?)
  • Send a thank postcard to Phil


1. Immigration NZ – NZ WHV for Italian citizens

  1. [1] NZ in world first working holiday scheme with Italy |