New Zealand’s Young Person Digital Nomad Visa

New Zealand's Digital nomad visa

As the world opens back up and Covid restrictions start to ease, more and more Americans aspire to become digital nomads: remote workers that leverage technology to live and work from anywhere. 

To adapt to this trend, countries worldwide are adopting “digital nomad visas” to allow remote workers to stay in their country for up to a year (sometimes even more!). New Zealand is just one example, with their working holiday visa

With this in mind… for those considering trialing life in New Zealand, we wanted to pull together helpful information around some commonly asked questions: 

  • – Why move to New Zealand? 
  • – What is New Zealand’s young digital nomad visa? 
  • – What are the requirements to apply for the young digital nomad visa? 
  • – Must I still file a US tax return while in New Zealand? 

Why move to New Zealand? 

New Zealand is one of the countries with the highest satisfaction rates among expats. According to a survey by HSBC, over 90% of expats in New Zealand recommend living there. It’s an English-speaking country, making it easier for American digital nomads to assimilate and get comfortable in the local culture. 

Did you know that the Lord of The Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia were filmed in New Zealand? That’s because the country is home to some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. New Zealand is rich in natural diversity, like mountains, lakes, and even glaciers that adventurous nomads can explore. 

Why move to New Zealand

New Zealand also fosters a healthy lifestyle & supports residents with the necessary tools to stay healthy. According to the 2021 Legatum Prosperity Index, its ranks 24th in the world for health. For perspective, the US ranks 68th. 

What is New Zealand’s young digital nomad visa? 

New Zealand’s working holiday visa allows people aged 18 to 30 to work and travel in the country for up to 12 months. Nomads from certain countries, such as the UK or Canada, can stay for up to 23 months if they provide a General Medical certificate. 

Here’s the complete list of countries whose citizens are eligible for New Zealand’s working holiday visa:

ArgentinaHong KongPhilippines
AustriaIrelandPoland
BelgiumIsraelPortugal
BrazilItalySingapore
CanadaJapanSlovakia
ChileKoreaSlovenia
ChinaLatviaSpain
CroatiaLithuaniaSweden
CzechLuxembourgTaiwan 
DenmarkMalaysiaThailand
EstoniaMaltaTurkey
FinlandMexicoUnited Kingdom
FranceNetherlandsUSA
GermanyNorwayUruguay
HungaryPeruVietnam

If you ever need to travel in and out of New Zealand during your 12-month stay, it doesn’t impact your working holiday visa status. 

An important thing to mention is that you can’t accept a permanent work position (in new Zealand) during your working holiday visa visit to New Zealand. Also, you can only apply for a working holiday visa once. When it expires, you’ll have to use other visa options if you plan on staying longer in the country.

What are the requirements to apply for the young digital nomad visa? 

You must fit specific criteria to qualify for the working holding visa. Here are the conditions you must meet to qualify for New Zealand’s working holiday visa:

  • – You are between the ages of 18 to 30. Though if you’re from either of these countries below, you can be up to 35 years old and still qualify:
    • – Argentina
    • – Canada
    • – Chile
    • – Czech
    • – Finland
    • – Hungary
    • – Uruguay
    • – Slovakia
  • – You have a passport that will be valid for more than 15 months from the time of your application. 
  • – You do not have any dependent(s) traveling to New Zealand with you. 
  • – You have a minimum of NZD 4,200 (around $3108 with the 2021 exchange rate) to support yourself in New Zealand. 
  • – You must be able to document that you have return flight arrangements. 

You’ll have to submit your application for a working holiday visa through the official website of the New Zealand government. 

Must I still file a US tax return while in New Zealand? 

As a digital nomad in New Zealand, a mistake you want to avoid is falling behind your US tax filing obligations. The United States is one of the few countries worldwide that applies citizenship-based taxation

So in other words, regardless of where you live, you must still declare your worldwide income to the IRS. 

On top of filing a US tax return, you may also have other tax requirements, such as the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR). If you hold more than $10,000 in a New Zealand bank account at any point in the tax year, you’ll have to report the account using Form 114. 

Kick Off Your New Zealand Adventure on the Right Foot

When you work remotely, the world is yours! New Zealand offers an exciting opportunity for nomads searching for new experiences and adventures.

To prepare for your move to New Zealand, be sure you comply with all the requirements, such as a valid passport and sufficient bank account funds. Next, apply for a working holiday visa through New Zealand’s government website. (And don’t forget to stay up-to-date on your taxes once you’re there!).

Register now, and your Bright!Tax CPA will be in touch right away to guide you through the next steps.

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