Working Holiday Visas- Everything You Need to Know to Get Started
Published by GAFFL
Last updated - 04:24 PM
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If you're looking for a way to travel in a country for a year or longer, there's really no better option than a Working Holiday Visa. Working Holiday Visa is really popular among younger travelers because it lets them experience a destination in a much deeper way than a regular tourist visa.

If you want to know more about these visas, whether you're eligible, and how you can apply, this guide can help.

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    What is a Working Holiday Visa?

    A Working Holiday Visa is a type of residence permit that lets you work (and also sometimes study) in the issuing country as a way of funding your travel. This type of Visa is targeted towards younger travelers, usually between the ages of 18-30, and in some cases 18-35. A working holiday visa will usually let you stay in the country for 12 months, however, there are scenarios where you may be permitted to stay longer.

    What Countries Can I Get a Working Holiday Visa in?

    There are several different countries that offer a Working Holiday Visa. Most of these countries have a reciprocal agreement with each other to encourage travel and cultural exchange between their citizens. I’ve detailed a few requirements as well as ways to get started for some countries below. Remember that these requirements are always being updated and you are encouraged to do more research before applying. Additionally, my list does not consist of every country that offers a WHV program, so more research will need to be done by you if you don't want to visit any of the countries below. With that being said, I've listed some great choices.

    Australia

    In Australia, the age requirement is 18-30 years, and 35 for Canadians. 12 months is the duration of the working holiday visa in Australia. 

    You can apply for a WHV in Australia under subsection 417 if you are from the following countries:

    UK, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Republic of Korea, Ireland, The Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Hong Kong, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Taiwan, Estonia, Italy, Cyprus, and France.

    Passport holders in several countries, including the United States, Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Argentina, Indonesia, Chile, and more can apply for a working holiday visa under subclass 462, which has a few differences from SC 417, including some additional educational requirements.  

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in Australia, you can click here.


    New Zealand

    In New Zealand, the age requirement is mostly 18-30 years, but there are some countries where citizens who are between the ages of 30-35 years are permitted. Australians of any age are able to work in New Zealand indefinitely. 12 months is the duration of the working holiday visa in New Zealand.

    You can apply for a WHV in New Zealand if you are from the following countries:

    Canada, UK, USA, Germany, France, Netherlands, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Philippines, Argentina, Austria, Ireland, Brazil, Portugal, Poland, Belgium, Israel, Italy, Singapore, Thailand, Estonia, Malta, Chile, Slovakia, Slovenia, Latvia, Spain, Croatia, Lithuania, Sweden, Luxembourg, Taiwan, Denmark, Malaysia, Turkey,  Czech Republic, Mexico, and Finland.

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in New Zealand, you can click here.



    Canada

    In Canada, the age requirement is 18-30 for most countries, but there are a few countries whose citizens between the ages of 30-35 years are permitted. 12 months is the duration of the working holiday visa in Canada.

    You can apply for a WHV in Canada if you are from the following countries:

    UK, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Taiwan, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Italy, Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland, Estonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Chile, Belgium, Austria, Ukraine, and Poland.

    Citizens of the US who are full-time students or have been in the last 9 months can also apply for a WHV in Canada with the SWAP organization. 

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in Canada, you can click here.



    United Kingdom

    In the UK the age requirement is 18-30 years. 24 months is the duration of the working holiday visa in the UK.

    You can apply for a WHV in the UK if you are from the following countries:

    Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, and British Overseas Territories. 

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in the UK, you can click here.



    Hong Kong

    In Hong Kong, the age requirement is 18-30 years. 12 months is the duration of the working holiday visa in Hong Kong.

    You can apply for a WHV in Hong Kong if you are from the following countries:

    Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, and Sweden. 

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in Hong Kong, you can click here.



    South Korea

    In South Korea, the age requirement is 18-25 years. 12 months is the duration of the working holiday visa in South Korea.

    You can apply for a WHV in South Korea if you are from the following countries:

    Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, USA, Brazil, Germany, France, Belgium, Austria,  Taiwan, Sweden, Romania, Portugal, Mexico, The Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Israel, Hungary, Hong Kong, Czech Republic, Denmark, and Chile. 

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in South Korea, you can click here.



    Japan

    In Japan, the age requirement is 18-30 years for most, 18-25 years for Canadians Australians, and Koreans. 12 months is the duration for the working holiday visa in Japan. 

    You can apply for a WHV in Japan if you are from the following countries:

    Australia, Canada, UK, New Zealand, Iceland, Germany, France, Korea, Hong Kong, Portugal, Chile, Argentina, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Taiwan, Norway, Denmark, and Ireland.

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in Japan, you can click here.


    Singapore

    In Singapore, the age requirement is 18-30 years. 6 months is the duration of the working holiday in Singapore. 

    You can apply for a WHV in Singapore if you are from the following countries:

    Australia, UK, New Zealand, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, and the US.

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in Singapore, you can click here.


    Argentina

    In Argentina, the age requirement is 18-30 years. 12 months is the duration for the working holiday visa in Argentina

    You can apply for a WHV in Argentina if you are from the following countries:

    Australia, New Zealand, France, Denmark, and Ireland.

    For more information on how to get started with an application for a WHV in Japan, you can click here.



    Europe

    In Europe, the Schengen Area is comprised of 26 European states that have free and mutual borders. Thus, getting a working holiday visa in one of its countries covers the visa holder for travel throughout the whole region. Of the 26 Schengen countries the ones I've listed below also have a working holiday visa program. 18-30 years is the age requirement for the below programs (35 for Canadians in Germany, France, Italy, and Spain) and the visas all last for a duration of 12 months.

    CountryOther Countries AcceptedHow to Apply
    GermanyAU, NZ, CA, JP, TW, HK, KR, BR, UY, IL, CLDeutschland.de
    FranceAU, NZ, CA, JP, TW, KR, BR, UY, CL, RU, MX, CO, and AR France-Visas.gouv.fr
    ItalyAU, NZ, CA, KREmbassy
    HungaryAU, NZ, JP, KR, TH, CLHungary-Immigration.com
    GreeceCAMfa.gr/Canada
    Czech RepublicNZ, CA, TW, KR, CLMzv.cz
    DenmarkAU, NZ, CA, JP, KR, ARNyidanmark.dk
    FinlandAU, NZMigri.fi
    LithuaniaNZ, CA, TW, KR, CL
    Embassy
    NetherlandsAU, NZ, CA, KR, ARInd.nl
    PolandAU, NZ, CA, JP, TW, KRPoland.gov.pl
    PortugalAU, NZ, CA, JP, KR, AR, CL, PE, USVistos.mne.pt
    SpainAU, NZ, CA
    Embassy
    SlovakiaAU, NZ, CA, JP, TWMzv.sk
    SloveniaNZ, CA, TW, KR, CLMzz.gov.si
    SwedenAU, NZ, CA, HK, KR, UY, CL, ARMigrationsverket.se


    For clarification on the country codes above, you can click here.

    What Type of Jobs Can I Do With A Working Holiday Visa?

    The type of jobs that you can have while on a working holiday are limited due to your obvious time constraints. Many employers do not want to invest in backpackers that they’ll likely lose in a few months. Also, some countries have strict restrictions on how long you can be employed. For example, in Australia, you cannot stay with one employer in the same location for more than 6 months.

    You have to remember that the purpose of a working holiday is for your work to fuel your holiday, so you never want to work for more than a few months at a time anyway. Luckily there are many options for you to find temporary work abroad.

    Hospitality and Tourism

    Hotels and Hostels around the world are always looking for additional staff and helpers. You can expect to do anything from housekeeping, concierge, guest services, food, and beverage handling, etc. Finding work in this industry isn’t particularly difficult and jobs are usually very flexible but turnover rates are high, so make sure to plan for that. Some places might not actually offer you money, but instead a free place to stay in exchange for work.


    Retail

    Accessibility to retail work really depends on the country you are visiting. If you are visiting places like Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or countries in Europe, finding retail work should be relatively easy during seasonal rushes. This is important to note if you are looking to work in this industry. Retailers hire more aggressively in the summer months and leading up to Christmas, so time your travels accordingly. If you show up at the wrong time you might not be able to find work in the retail space.


    Food Services

    This industry mimic’s retail with its demand for seasonal workers. Again, the summer months and the months leading up to Christmas are great times to look for employment in a restaurant or bar. Working as a server, bartender, or barista is a great way to meet locals and travelers alike.


    Au Pair

    If you aren’t familiar with what an Au Pair is, it’s essentially when you work for a host family as a domestic assistant. Your responsibilities could include childcare and household chores. Depending on the arrangement, usually in exchange for a job well done, au pairs get a place to stay and some spending cash.


    Farm Work

    Working on a farm is another way to fund your travels during a working holiday. The work you put in is a lot more labor-intensive than any of the other jobs on this list, and as a result, I would not recommend this type of work. However, if you plan to travel to Australia on a working holiday, doing this type of work for a total of 88 days will earn you a second year in the country. Because of this, regional farm work in Australia is very high in demand. 


    You should now have an idea of where you can go and what jobs you can do while you're on a Working Holiday. Your focus can now turn to explore your host country in the best way possible. 

    I’m hoping this guide has excited you to travel the world. If you have any questions about anything you have read here, please feel free to leave them in the comments below.

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