In less than 24 hours, 100 places will again open for young Filipinos wanting to stay in New Zealand for 12 months. More information about the requirements can be found here.
There had been recent excitement over New Zealand Immigration offering the Working Holiday Visa to Filipino Citizens and some even claim that this is the “easiest pathway” to New Zealand.
However, it is important to note that this is a TEMPORARY visa and the expectation is that you will RETURN to the Philippines once the visa period ceases.
There are three major caveats with regard to this visa:
- The target age group of this visa of 18-30 years old is also the group of people with the highest unemployment rate in the country. Government estimates 20% or 1 out of 5 young kiwis have no jobs. Being allowed to work is one thing but actually securing work is another thing.
- Part-time, fixed-term work is hard to find. Usually 3 months temporary work can be found in far-flung farms doing fruit-picking and other labour intensive jobs. Not only is it back breaking work, but it is usually paid minimum wage of $14.75 per hour (or $12 after tax) that is not enough to sustain your living costs here.
- Immigration requires that you need to have $4,200 to meet your living costs. But as above, if you are unable to find a job, there is no way you are living here with that sort of money. I would say you need to have at least $200/week to survive in the city centres. Multiply that 52 weeks in one year and you would need $10,400 (around P331,000) for the whole duration of your visa. The present reality is that there are heaps of long-term unemployed in New Zealand (some spanning multiple years) living off taxpayer subsidies. Look into the jobs and careers section of the Trade Me forums and there is plenty of discussion about that.
Knowing these facts, the working holiday visa would be more suited for someone who is:
- Boy/girl with wealthy parents who can finance their holiday.
- Those seeking first world training and a bit of overseas experience and then come back to the Philippines to use this to benefit their careers.
- Those who can avail of free accommodation from relatives/friends and spend this time for reunion and bonding.
The working holiday visa is called as such because it is really meant for young people doing their holiday with a chance to earn a bit of money on the side if they are lucky. If you are to apply for a work permit after your visa expires, you will go under the same tedious process (i.e. proving that there is no Kiwi for the role) like everyone else but not on equal footing, as you have already spent heaps after one year.
Truth be told, this is actually an opportunity for New Zealand not only to boost their tourism revenue but also supply the remote, low populated regions with cheap, youthful and energetic labour on a seasonal basis.