What You Need to Know about Working Holiday Visas
So, you’ve heard that there are these programmes called working holiday visas that allow you to work abroad. But you aren’t quite sure what they are or how they work? Here are some answers to some of the commonly asked questions about working holiday visas.
What is a working holiday visa?
A working holiday visa is a type of visa that will allow you to live in another country for an extended period of time, and work locally to fund your travels.
Requirements for a working holiday visa
The exact requirements of each visa is different, some allowing you to stay only 6 months while others offering 18-24 months. The visa is usually limited to young people, with the common age limit being around 30-35 years old at the time of application.
Why you should get a working holiday visa
This type of visa is a fantastic way to travel the world for long periods of time and work so that you can keep your travel fund topped up.
It is also a great way to get to know the local culture in a deeper and more meaningful way than you would experience if you were merely a tourist.
Which countries offer working holiday visas?
There are many countries that have working holiday visa agreements with each other. The key is to find out which ones are applicable for your country of origin. For example, Canadians have over 30 countries that offer them working holiday visas, while Americans only have 5.
Some countries that allow working holiday visas are:
Not all of these countries offer working holiday visas for many countries, but those looking for a work visa from Canada, Australia, and New Zealand have the most options.
The working holiday visa agreement is usually reciprocal – which means that if you are allowed to work abroad on this type of visa in a particular country, young people from that country are permitted to work abroad in your home country under similar rules.
Americans looking for a working holiday visa should focus on the following countries:
Of course, there are many more combinations, with so many recent graduates and young professionals looking to work abroad. Take a look online to see if your country of choice offers a working holiday visa option for you.
Who can apply for a working holiday visa?
Most of the time these visas have an age limit of either 30 or 35 depending on your nationality. They are designed to facilitate a cultural exchange between younger people – so apply for them before you decide to “settle down.”
With certain visas, you just have to be within the age limit at the time of your application, but always triple check before applying.
There are a few of the visas that will require you to be recently graduated (within 6-12 months) or currently studying, so check the particular requirements of the country you are considering travelling to.
How do you apply for a working holiday visa?
The application process for each Working Holiday Visa is unique, but almost all of them require you to fill out an online application or mail in a form that can be found on the official government immigration website for that country.
Often you will also need to send in supporting documentation, such as:
- proof of funds from your bank to show you can support yourself
- a criminal record check
- copies of your passport and other information.
Read over the requirements carefully to make sure that you don’t make a mistake – or you’ll have to start your application over!
What kind of job can you find with this visa?
The sky's the limit when it comes to finding a job in another country while staying on a Working Holiday Visa – there are usually no restrictions on the type of work you can do. However, since you are only there temporarily you might find it more difficult to find a job in your field.
Most travellers find casual work in the hospitality industry such as at hostels, hotels, bars and restaurants – as this type of work is more suited to those who are only moving through the country.
Other popular jobs for those on working holiday visas include temp jobs, retail, fruit picking, fundraising, events work, festival jobs, customer service, tour guiding, farm work and much more.
At the time of writing, for those interested in moving to Australia for 1-2 years, taking on work in the agricultural sector will earn you that extra year. Don’t panic if you’re not fond of manual labor or the great outdoors, working on vineyards count, too.
Put yourself out there and be flexible and you’ll be sure to find work to sustain you during your working holiday visa adventure.