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NZers right to work on UK OE extended

NZers right to work on UK OE extended

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that from next month young New Zealanders heading to the United Kingdom for their OE have had the amount of time they can work extended from one to two years.

“This is great news for New Zealanders aged 18 – 30- wishing to experience life in the UK. The current two-year Working Holiday Visa limits New Zealanders’ right to work to one year of their stay in the United Kingdom,” Helen Clark said.

“This will be replaced on November 27 by a new visa category under the Youth Mobility Scheme which will allow New Zealanders to work the length of their two-year stay.

“The new arrangement was formally recognised this week in an exchange of letters by the British and New Zealand Governments following many constructive exchanges over the details of the new scheme.

“British Ministers and officials have recognised the low risk and high value New Zealanders bring to the UK during their travels,” Helen Clark said.

“The British Government has been conducting a wide review of its immigration system. The New Zealand Government worked hard to maintain and improve the good level of access New Zealanders have traditionally enjoyed to Britain.

“The Youth Mobility Scheme is based on reciprocal visa provisions, and the number of countries able to participate in the new scheme is significantly fewer than under current settings.

“Approximately 5000 New Zealanders go to the UK annually on a Working Holiday Visa.

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“Young New Zealanders work in schools, hospitals, law firms and financial institutions, as well as in the pubs and restaurants many of us used to associate the kiwi OE with.

“The opportunity to build their skills is highly valued and of wider benefit to New Zealand when our young people return home, bringing their skills and experience with them.

“We appreciate that the British Government has taken our views into account in its new migration system, and we welcome the decision to extend the right for young New Zealanders to work to the full two years of the new Youth Mobility Visa,” Helen Clark said.

As well as starting the Youth Mobility Scheme, the UK government has recently made two welcome decisions on New Zealanders' access to the UK:

New Zealanders continue to have visa free access to the UK for up to six months Those with British ancestral links can continue to live / work in the UK for up to five years on an ancestry visa.

To learn more about the changes visit or


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