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Snow gods bless the Land of the Long White Cloud

by Giles 15/08/2008 10:33:00

It's summertime in Britain and (surprise, surprise) it's cloudy again.  But, we mustn't complain because we are not alone in the world of the dark and gloomy weather.  Storm clouds have covered New Zealand for some time now, but instead of moaning about it, the Kiwis are begging them to stay.

In New Zealand there's a different kind of cloud cover at this time of year – a much more refreshing, more exciting, more exhilarating cloud; a cloud which has left skiers and snowboarders to revel in the best snow conditions in eight years.

Already thousands of Kiwis and Aussies have hit up the country's Southern Alps to play on the new world-class terrain parks and explore the famous back-country slopes.  Mount Hutt, the southern hemisphere’s highest ski field, is wallowing in a nearly 2.5m base with a soft powder surface. Nice. As the Ski Area Manager of Mount Hutt put it so perfectly, "the snow gods have truly blessed us this winter."

It doesn't seem to be a one-eyed opinion either - skiing superstar and World Cup champion Bode Miller, along with the Norwegian and Austrian downhill ski teams, have caught on to the rush and headed to Mount Hutt to train. 

If the thought of missing out on that fun strikes a chord of jealousy, then you’ll be pleased to hear New Zealand offers extended working holiday visas for UK nationals.  Even though the season has already started, if you are keen to hit the slopes than a NZ working holiday visa is the best way to do it.  You'll be able to work, ski, and travel for 12 months, and then apply for an 11 month extension if you find it too hard to tear yourself away. 

In a place like Queenstown, where adventure sports thrive all year round and snowfields turn into hiking playgrounds, leaving to come home won't be as easy as you thought.

- Jessica Bird is a writer for the New Zealand Visa Bureau, and has spent more than her fair share of time on the slopes.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

A Second Crack at a Working Holiday Visa

by Giles 08/07/2008 17:29:00

I'm very, very excited about a piece of news that we posted the other day: working holiday visa holders can apply for a second working holiday visa if they work in construction.  It's about time!

We find that most of our clients want to go for a second round in Australia. Who wouldn't?  It's warm, sunny, and huge! It's hard to cram the entire country into a one year visa, especially when you want to earn a few bucks while you travel.  One of the most common questions we're asked is "can I apply for another working holiday visa?" I always hate saying no. Thanks to the new announcement from DIAC I won't have to say no so often.

A few years ago, DIAC caved into pressure from travellers and agricultural companies who needed workers.  They allowed anybody who worked for at least three months as a "seasonal worker" in "regional Australia" to apply for a second working holiday visa once their first one expired.  (Translated out of government-ese, that means to get another working holiday visa, people needed to work on a farm way out in the middle of nowhere.)  Up until now, people who didn't really want to bend bananas in the sun for a few months have been out of luck.

I'm happy to see that construction and building workers are getting in on the act.  The construction industry in Australia is so desperate for workers, they successfully lobbied the government to get the same rights as the agricultural sector. Working Holiday Visa holders who work for three months in construction or building can now apply for another Working Holiday once their first visa expires.

As great as it is (and it really is great for a lot of our clients) I want the program to go even further. Construction and agriculture aren't the only industries that need young workers.  Working holiday makers make up a pretty hefty chunk of the temporary work force in Australia - and I don't just mean bar staff!  Child-care workers, nurses and other skilled pros often call us to head down under on a Working Holiday Visa.

I can't wait for the day when they can apply for another chance to explore Australia.

- Amanda Gripske is a Working Holiday Visa Manager with the Australian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.