Happy New Year everyone! I hope you had a great holiday season. I have had some spare time so to be productive I collated the Philippine Working Holiday Visa frequently asked questions in this blog so here it is.
Before Anything Else…
Have you read the main Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand for Filipinos post yet? Please read that first before reading this as then you would know the basics and so that we can avoid repetitive questions, which plague the comments sections of this blog.
I will update this FAQ as necessary (if I get new questions or remember more tips or details).
Before Application Day
1. I am currently in my fifth (or third or fourth) year of study, will I meet the three-year tertiary requirement?
– No. The Philippine Working Holiday Visa information page in the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website clearly states that “You must have a tertiary qualification.” In other words you need to have graduated first before you can qualify for the visa. Tertiary education definition and study length period may vary depending on different countries so they put you must have studied for the qualification at least three years as this is the standard in New Zealand.
2. I am a Filipino citizen living outside the Philippines, can I still apply?
– Yes as long as you meet all the requirements. The Philippine Working Holiday Scheme fortunately does not require an applicant to be ordinarily resident of the country named in particular working holiday scheme and to be living in the country of citizenship upon application (like China).
3. I currently live outside the Philippines, can I process my application in the nearest visa application centre (VAC)?
– No. Ever since the Philippine Working Holiday Visa Scheme opened, applications had always been handled by INZ Manila unless the applicant is currently in New Zealand on application day. In the latter’s case, the application will be handled by a New Zealand INZ branch.
Update: In 2018 INZ Bangkok handled the applications for the Philippine Working Holiday Scheme. Who knows if it might change this year?
4. I have family in New Zealand, can they sponsor me for this visa?
– The rules clearly stipulate that you must have the funds. If you need your family’s help in securing the funds, they must send you money and you should keep that money in an account in your name.
5. I cannot comply with keeping the money for three months or one year as mentioned in your blog, what should I do? / I have only opened my bank account recently, does it mean I cannot apply?
– I submitted a year’s worth of bank statement just to show I have held the money for a while and that the money really is mine. I want them to have no doubt. You do not have to do this. This was MY preference. Your circumstances may be different from mine so nope, you do not have to keep your money for a year. Just make sure when asked by the Case Officer where you got your funds, you are able to answer truthfully.
6. I am turning 31 this 2019, can I still apply?
– As long as you are still 30 years old on 7 February 2019, you can still apply.
7. Can I use a Philippine-based medical insurance provider?
– I think you could but do you not think it is better to use a New Zealand-based one just in case? It will be easier to claim against a New Zealand insurance company while in New Zealand.
8. Is there another payment method other than paying by credit card, debit card, or prepaid card with Visa or MasterCard logo?
– There is none. There is a question on the form whether or not you have a Visa or MasterCard card. If you answer no, then the system will not let you proceed.
9. Can I use another person’s credit card or debit card?
– Yes and please make sure you have the owner’s permission to use it. Please also make sure that the card has enough balance.
10. My passport is expiring this 2019, can I still apply?
– No, the system will not let you proceed. There is a question on the Working Holiday Specific section that asks when you want to travel to New Zealand. For example in 2019, the earliest date you can choose is the day after application day, 8 February 2019. From this date your passport must be valid for at least 15 months (12 months stay on WHV, 3 months allowance). So in this case, your passport must be valid until 8 May 2020. If your passport is expiring earlier this date then you must renew your passport as soon as possible and provide the new passport’s details in the application form. Note: Getting an appointment date is not enough.
11. I still have a valid visa in New Zealand, can I apply for this visa? / I am currently in New Zealand on a temporary visa, can I apply for this visa?
– Yes, as long as you meet all the requirements and except if you are holding a limited visa.
12. Can I practise on another country’s working holiday form?
– No. Someone I know practised on a visa fee free country and her application went through. She is not a citizen of that country. When she was able to get a slot in the Philippine working holiday scheme, her application had been denied due to false declarations. So nope. Do not do it.
13. Will they refund my application if the application is declined?
– No, there is no such thing as refunding application fees when the application is declined. There is no guarantee of visa approval when you get a slot and that does not mean there will be a refund.
14. I have filled out a form for last year’s application, can I use it this year?
– No, the system will delete the previous year’s form before the application opens for the current year.
15. Do I need to upload any documents during application?
16. Is there an interview?
– There is none. None that I know about.
17. What can I submit as proof of funds?
– Bank statements, credit card statements (with enough balance), bank drafts, traveller’s cheques. You cannot use investment portfolios and similar products.
18. Will I get the application fee back if I am not part of the 100 applicants?
– You will not be able to pay anymore if there is no slot available. No payment, no slot.
19. What can I use as National ID?
– The Philippines does not have an official National ID so you may use any other ID apart from the Driver’s Licence issued by the government. (e.g. PRC ID, UMID, voter’s ID, etc)
20. The birth certificate does not have an issue date.
– The issue date is printed on the receipt. If you do not have a receipt anymore, maybe you can choose your birthday.
21. I have family in New Zealand, can they apply in my name?
– I would not recommend this to be fair to everyone but I do know people do this. It’s your risk to take.
22. Do I need to register on the website before application day?
– Definitely. You would not have enough time to register on the application day itself. Please check this page to know how to register for the website.
23. Do you have an idea what answers will be asked on the form?
– Yes, have a look in this page.
24. Do I need to have the medical and IELTS before securing a slot?
– No for the medical. Your money will be wasted if you don’t get a slot and you won’t have anything to use the medical for. Yes for the IELTS or any other English exam if you cannot provide a certificate of medium of instruction from your school.
After Application Day
1. Do I need to submit a copy of the secondary ID I selected?
– No, they do not require the secondary ID to be submitted in my experience.
2. Do I need to send proof that I already have purchased medical insurance?
– No, in my experience I only needed to attest that I will buy travel insurance if my visa is approved. Although there had been reports from 2018 applicants that the Case Officer had asked for an actual insurance certificate like. Be ready to comply with the requirements, just in case.
3. If I am granted a visa, can I change my intended travel date?
– Yes, plans change all the time.
4. Do I need to submit an airline booking with my documents?
5. How long until they decide on my application?
– As long as the INZ needs.
6. I have a certified copy of a document issued many years ago, can I still use it?
– Yes, certifications technically do not expire. There are New Zealand institutions though that require certifications to be recent so be mindful of that in the future. INZ is not one of those institutions, in my experience. Although they will update you if they will not accept your documents and just comply within their stated deadline.
7. My transcript of records shows ‘for employment purposes’ (or insert any other purpose here other than visa application), can I still use it?
8. Can I send copies of my documents through email?
– No, please follow the instructions.
Update: As per the 2018 batch’s experience, they were required to submit the scanned documents through email. To be safe, just wait until you have instructions from your Case Officer.
9. How long do I have to submit my documents?
– 15 calendar days.
Please note that I am not a licensed immigration adviser so do not consider the information listed in this blog as professional advice. I am only answering out of my personal experience and my experience may not be similar with yours.