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Which Countries Offer Working Holiday Visas for Canadians?

Which Countries Offer Working Holiday Visas for Canadians?

Hey fellow Canucks… have you ever dreamed of working abroad? Perhaps you have gotten bored of the same scene you have always known in Red Deer, Winnipeg or Halifax and you are thinking about switching things up and living somewhere else for a while? Maybe you have a burning desire to travel, but you know that if you are ever going to be able to afford it you will need to work along the way to support yourself? If long term travel is your goal, then obtaining working holiday visas for Canadians is your ticket to adventure.

Bon Voyage, Home and Native Land! I've got some travelling to do!

Bon Voyage, Home and Native Land! I’ve got some travelling to do!

Perhaps you didn’t even know that working holiday visas for Canadians were an option, or how they worked? Don’t worry, that’s what this post is for. We have compiled and comprehensive list of all of the countries in the world that offer working holiday visas for Canadians, so that you can choose where you want to work abroad and start planning your trip.

A working holiday visa allows you to work and travel in that country for a period of time, usually between 12-24 months. The idea is that you are working to support your travels, rather than coming there with any long term career prospects in mind – travel should be the main focus of your trip. You will need to show proof of having enough support funds in your bank account so that you can take care of your primary expenses until you start earning money from your job.

You don’t have to stay the entire time, but once your time is up you must return to Canada. Once you have used a Working Holiday Visa for that country once, you cannot apply for the same country’s program again.

Be sure to add the obligatory Canadian flag on your backpack! - photo credit: nep via photopin cc

Be sure to add the obligatory Canadian flag on your backpack! – photo credit: nep via photopin cc

Working Holiday Visas for Canadians are Ideal for Long Term Travel

Think about it. Your 20s are a time for travel, self discovery and freedom – a chance to see the world and craft your own identity. What better way to do this than by working abroad in another country? You will make great friends, build your skills, increase your confidence and make memories that you will never forget.

You could work in a pub in Ireland, teach English in Italy, pick fruit in New Zealand or work at a resort in Costa Rica. The adventure is up to you! It’s an experience that will change your life! Trust me. A working holiday visa to New Zealand was the start of an adventure that led to meeting my life partner, finding my dream job and so much more.

 

Countries that Offer Working Holiday Visas for Canadians

So without further ado, here are the 32 countries that young Canadians can work abroad in, as well as information about applying for your working holiday visa. Remember that when you are making your application, you will need to apply for each visa with the corresponding country’s government – so every application process will be a little bit different.

*Please note that this information is subject to change and might vary, so further research into your destination of choice is recommended.*

*All prices are in Canadian dollars.*

If you are over the age limit of 30/35 for these Working Holiday Visas, click here for some other exciting travel opportunities for all ages.

Have fun and bon voyage!

Australia

Canada and Australia have signed a mutual agreement that allows young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30 to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. This means that while your friends back home in Calgary are digging their way out of the driveway and picking icicles out of their eyelashes, you will be celebrating Christmas with a beach barbecue. Sounds pretty sweet, eh?

The fee to apply for Australian working holiday visas for Canadians is $350. You must show proof that you have a minimum of $4,792 in your bank account. Also, although the program is usually only one year, you can be granted a second year if you do three months of specified work in regional Australia.

Helpful Links:

Australian Department of Immigration – Working Holiday Visa

Backpacker Job Board Australia

Seven Reasons to Do a Working Holiday in Australia

Belgium

If the abundance of fantastic beer and chocolate wasn’t enough of a reason to work abroad in beautiful Belgium, what about the gorgeous architecture of the quiet medieval villages? Canada is a little short on the Medieval stuff, so get your history fix here.

The age range for the visa is 18-30, it’s valid for up to 12 months, the fee for the application is $253.50 and you must show proof of $3,400 in funds.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Canadian Consulate General of Belgium

JobsInBrussels.com – English Speaking Jobs in Belgium

Meet Belgium: The Most Underrated Country In Western Europe

Chile

Canada and Chile have a working holiday agreement, which allows Canadians between the age of 18-35 to travel and work in Chile for 12 months. The fee for this program is $160 and you must show proof that you have $2,500 in your bank account.

chile

photo credit: @Doug88888 via photopin cc

Stretching across the southern half of the west coast of South America, surrounded by the Andes and the Pacific Ocean, Chile is famous for its excellent wine, absolutely mind-blowing landscapes and an ecosystem that ranges from arid desert to glacial fields and everything in between.

Helpful Links:

Apply via The Embassy of Chile in Canada 

How to Find Work in Chile 

iTravelChile Blog

Costa Rica

The Republic of Costa Rica is known for its lush flora and fauna – it contains only 0.03% of the landmass in the world yet is home to 5% of the planet’s biodiversity. In short, it’s a nature-lover’s paradise.

Costa Rica and Canada have an agreement that allows Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Costa Rica for up to 12 months. The fee is $120 and you must provide proof that you have $2,500 in your bank account to participate.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Costa Rica Embassy 

Finding a Job in Costa Rica

 TheRealCostaRica.com

Croatia

Beautiful Croatia is said to be like the “Mediterranean As it Once Was”, with elegant old fashioned seaside charm and friendly people. You could be swimming in the clear waters, walking through picturesque fishing villages or even going rafting in the rugged wilderness of the interior.

photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc

photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc

Canadians between the age of 18 and 35 are allowed to travel and work in Croatia for up to 12 months. The fee for participating in Croatian working holiday visas for Canadians is $95. Here are the requirements for the amount of money you must have in your bank account:

  • Students staying under 6 months – $1,100
  • Students staying more than 6 months – $2,200
  • Other applicants staying under 6 months – $2,200
  • Other applicants staying more than 6 months – $4,350

Helpful Links:

For Info on Applying – Contact the Embassy of Croatia in Canada

How to Find a Job in Croatia as a Foreigner

LikeCroatia.com – Tips for Moving to Croatia

Czech Republic

Imagine spending the year living in an apartment in Prague, sipping coffee with your hip friends from all over the world, checking out art museum openings and dancing until the sun comes up. If you dream of living the modern bohemian lifestyle, you can obtain a working holiday visa for the Czech Republic

There are working holiday visas for Canadians aged 18-35 available for the Czech Republic. They will allow you to travel and work there for up to 12 months. The fee to participate is $130 and you must supply proof that you have $2,500 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Canada

How to Find a Job in the Czech Republic as a Foreigner

GirlinCzechland.com - A blog about living in the Czech Republic

Denmark

Working abroad in Denmark is a great opportunity to get to know this modern, stylish and cultured country. The economy of Denmark is booming at the moment and it has the highest GDP per capital of any country in the European Union. Copenhagen is an artistic, sophisticated city with fine architecture and excellent dining and outside of the capital you will find beautiful small villages with medieval churches and Renaissance castles. Statistically, it’s one of the happiest places in the world to live – and it’s easy to see why.

photo credit: tango- via photopin cc

photo credit: tango- via photopin cc

Denmark and Canada have an agreement that allows working holiday visas for Canadians aged 18-35. This visa will allow you to work and travel in Denmark for up to 12 months. The fee to participate in this program is $260 and you must prove that you have $2,800 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Danish Embassy in Canada

How to Find a Job in Denmark as a Foreigner

Work in Denmark

Canadian in Denmark Blog

Estonia

There are also working holiday visas for Canadians available for the European country of Estonia. This visa allows you to work and travel for 12 months, as long as you are between the ages of 18 and 35. The fee is $110 to participate and you must show that you have $2,500 in your bank account.

Be prepared for plenty of people to ask you, “You’re working abroad where?” Although this tiny Baltic country isn’t very well known, it is filled with beautiful castles, lovely country villages and 14th century architecture. Tallinn is quite a hip place these days and there are plenty of cool restaurants, cafes and nightclubs where you can hang out with your new Estonian friends.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Embassy of Estonia in Canada

How to Find a Job in Estonia as a Foreigner

Estonian Moments – a humour blog about life in Estonia

France was the first country I travelled to outside of North America. It was awesome!

France was the first country I travelled to outside of North America. It was awesome!

France

Chatting in chic Parisian coffee houses, lounging on beaches in the French Riviera or working on a picturesque Provence farm – France is the stuff of travel dreams. Of course, when you go you will realise that France is somewhat like our romanticised idea of it – and also nothing like it at all. Either way, you’ll have a great time.

If you are between the ages of 18 and 35, you will be able to travel and work in France for 12 to 18 months. There is no fee to apply, but you must prove that you have $3,000 in your bank account to apply.

(You will have an added advantage if you are from Quebec or you are one of those Western Canadians who actually remembers what we learned in high school French classes!)

Helpful Links: 

Apply With the French Embassy in Canada

Ten Tips for Finding Work in France

Life Lessons From One Year in France

Germany

Germany is such a cool country and a great place to travel. The cities are full of great culture and dining, the history – both modern and medieval – is interesting and multi-layered, the countryside is vast and green, the beer is superb and the trains are fast and comfortable.

An experience working abroad in Germany will a great travel adventure and if you are between the ages of 18 and 35 you will be able to travel and work in Germany for up to 12 months. There is no fee to participate and there is no specific amount of money you must have in your bank account. You must simply sign a declaration form that states that you have enough money to cover your initial living expenses.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Germany in Canada

 Find a Job With Expatica Germany

Lessons Learned from One Year Abroad in Germany

Greece

Imagine spending a summer serving drinks at a nightclub on the beach on a sun-soaked Greek Island? Or perhaps you want to spend your time serving in a taverna, learning how to make the perfect spanakopita from a little old grandmother? Or maybe you want to delve deep into Ancient Greece and work in a museum or as a tour guide? Whether you are in love with the food, the culture or the party scene, Greece will be a lot of fun.

photo credit: mariusz kluzniak via photopin cc

photo credit: mariusz kluzniak via photopin cc

Greece and Canada have signed a bilateral agreement that permits Canadians between the ages of 18-35 to travel and work in Greece for up to 12 months. You can participate in this program twice! The fee to participate is $155 and you must prove that you have $2,450 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Greek Embassy in Canada 

Info for Non-EU Citizens Seeking Jobs in Greece

Living in Greece – a Practical Guide

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is an amazing bustling, glittering metropolis – it’s like the New York of Asia. Spending a while working abroad in Hong Kong, completely immersed in a completely different culture and enjoying some of the world class cuisine will be a fantastic experience. Also, Hong Kong is a great base for cheap flights to many different destinations in Asia.

There is a bilateral agreement between Hong Kong and Canada that allows Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30 to travel and work in Hong Kong for up to 12 months. It costs $15 to apply and you must prove that you have $2,045 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Hong Kong Immigration Department

Working in Hong Kong – What Jobs Are Available

HK in HK and This Girl Abroad - both great blogs written by Canadians living in Hong Kong

Ireland

ireland

photo credit: Franck Vervial via photopin cc

Ireland is known for rolling green hills, toe-tapping music and wonderfully warm and friendly people who know how to drink and have a good time. A Gap Year working abroad in Ireland might not be good for your liver, but it will certainly be good for your soul and you are guaranteed to have a good time.

Canadians are allowed to work and travel in Ireland for up to 12 months, between the ages of 18 and 35. It costs $425 to participate in the program and you must show proof that you have $2,500 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Ireland in Canada

Backpacker Jobs in Ireland 

A Year in Dublin – A blog written by a Canadian in Ireland

Italy

What about spending some time working abroad in Italy? Italy is rich with gorgeous art and architecture as well as mouth-watering food – both which are held in equally high regard in the culture.

Canadians are permitted to travel and work in Italy for up to 6 months, as long as they are between the ages of 18 and 35. You must pay $146 to participate and you will need to show that you have $1,630 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Italian Embassy in Canada

English Speaking Jobs in Italy 

Italy Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt

Japan

Oh Japan… land of ancient Samurai culture and modern manga weirdness, of traditional hot springs, “pod” hotels, octopus flavoured ice cream and so much more. It’s super-futuristic yet old fashioned in a way that will fascinate you every day you are there.

photo credit: jessleecuizon via photopin cc

photo credit: jessleecuizon via photopin cc

Japan and Canada have signed a bilateral agreement that allows Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30 to travel and work in Japan for up to 12 months. There is no fee to participate and you must show that you have $2,500 in your bank account prior to your departure.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Japan in Canada

How to Get a Job in Japan

Sushi and Maple Syrup – The blog of a Canadian Living in Japan

Korea

Living abroad in South Korea will be a truly memorable experience, whether you are exploring the busy urban chaos of Seoul or the peaceful countryside and beautiful mountain ranges. Of course, there is also the wonderful pleasure of Korean food, including kimchi, bulgogi, and much more.

There is a bilateral agreement that allows Canadians to travel and work in Korea for up to 12 months, as long as they are between the ages of 18 and 30. It costs $80 to participate in the program and you must show that you have at least $3,000 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Embassy of Korea in Canada

One of the main ways to get a job in Korea is to teach English, however, you can also Get Non Teaching Jobs in Korea

Read this Vancouver Observer interview with a Canadian couple living in Korea – creators of the “Eat Your Kimchi” website

Latvia

Latvia is located in the Baltic region of Northern Europe, on the coast of the Baltic Sea. You might not have heard much about Latvia, but it is home to Riga (the beautiful World Heritage Site capital city, the beautiful soft sandy beaches along the coast, Europe’s widest waterfall in Kuldiga and plenty of medival castles and ruins. There are also plenty of nature trails and parks for hiking and exploring.

Canadians between the age of 18 and 35 can travel and work in the Republic of Latvia for up to 12 months. It costs $200 to participate and you must show that you have at least $1,800 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Latvia in Canada

How to Find a Job in Latvia as a Foreigner 

Based on this comparison of living costs in Canada and Latvia, you will save a lot of money living in this cheap country for a year.

Lithuania

Located next to Latvia in the Baltic region of Europe, this is a country with a fascinating history – from pagan roots to Catholic devotion. The capital city feels like a small town and offers ornate architecture, a quirky arts community and much more. There are also plenty of beautiful forests where you can wander, explore and pick berries.

The Republic of Lithuania and Canada have a bilateral agreement that permits Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work for up to 12 months. The fee to participate in the Lithuanian Working Holiday program is $82, but there is no fee to participate in the Coop program and young professional. Before you leave, you must show that you have $936 in your bank account for the Working Holiday program and $1,870 for the Coop program and young professional.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Embassy of Lithuania in Canada

 How to Find a Job in Lithuania as a Foreigner

Things to See and Do in Vilnius, Lithuania

Mexico

photo credit: greenkozi via photopin cc

photo credit: greenkozi via photopin cc

Tired of the cold and snow in Canada? Why not spend some time working and travelling abroad in Mexico? The weather is fantastic, the food is spicy and delicious and you will have plenty of fascinating ancient Mayan ruins to explore.

There are working holiday visas for Canadians available in Mexico. You must be between the ages of 18 and 29 and you can travel and work in Mexico for up to 12 months. It costs $195 to participate and you must prove that you have $2,500 in your bank account before you leave.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Mexico in Canada

How to Find a Job in Mexico as a Foreigner

Journey Mexico Blog

 

Netherlands

The Netherlands is much more than just the coffee shops and red light district of Amsterdam (although that part is quite fun!). There is the beautiful countryside, excellent art galleries, delicious pastries, bike-friendly streets and the general healthy love for walking and other outdoor pursuits – it’s truly a great place to spend a year abroad.

The Kingdom of the Netherlands offers working holiday visas for Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30, allowing them to travel and work for up to 12 months. You must pay $57 to participate and must show that you have $2,000 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Canada

Finding a Job in the Netherlands 

Canadutch – A Canadian girl in The Netherlands

Stuff Dutch People Like – A very entertaining blog written by a Canadian

New Zealand

In my opinion, I think New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to take a working holiday, especially if it is your first time. In fact, I wrote a blog post about why New Zealand is such a great destination for a working holiday, so check it out! (Perhaps I am biased, because it’s where I met the love of my life.)

Lee and I on a beautiful beach near Auckland

Lee and I on a beautiful beach near Auckland

New Zealand offers working holiday visas for Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35, allowing them to work and travel for up to 12 months. It costs $140 to participate and the amount of money you must prove that you have in your account is $3,480.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the New Zealand High Commission

New Zealand Backpacker Job Board

Destination NZ Blog

Norway

Norway is similar to Canada in a lot of ways – it’s vast, cold, sparsely populated, liberal and known for it’s gorgeous and varied scenery. Of course, when you live abroad you will learn that it is very different than Canada in a lot of fascinating ways, such an language, culture and traditions. Oslo is a very fun city with plenty of great museums, fun night-life and festivals and there are also other interesting cities to consider working abroad in, such as Bergen, Alesund and Stavanger.

Norway and Canada have an agreement that allows Canadians between the ages of 18-35 to travel and work in Norway for up to 12 months. The fee to participate is $240 and you must show that you have at least $4,750 in your bank account to apply.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration

How to Get a Job in Norway

30 Things You Should Know Before Moving to Norway

Poland

Why not spend some time working abroad in Poland? You will find beautiful forests, medieval architecture, delicious comfort food, cool museums and so much more.

Work abroad in Beautiful Poland - photo credit: NicoTrinkhaus via photopin cc

Work abroad in Beautiful Poland – photo credit: NicoTrinkhaus via photopin cc

Working holiday visas for Canadians are available in Poland, as long as you are between the ages of 18 and 35. The visa allows you to travel and work for up to 12 months and it costs $81 to participate. You must show that you have $31 CAD per day over 90 days in your account.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Poland in Canada

How to Find a Job in Poland as a Foreigner 

From Canada to Poland: Five Reasons to Get on the Next Plane

Slovakia

Slovakia is a landlocked country in Central Europe, surrounded by the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria. You probably haven’t heard a lot about it, but I can tell you from experience that Slovakia is a great place to visit! It’s very affordable to travel there and the architecture in Bratislava is gorgeous.  It also has plenty of outdoor adventures to enjoy and beautiful landscapes (with 9 national parks covering most of the country!). Also, Slovakia has the highest number of castles and chateaux per capita in the world.

There are working holiday visas for Canadians available to Slovakia. You must be between the ages of 18 and 35 and you will be allowed to travel and work in Slovakia for up to 12 months. It is free to participate in the program and you must show that you have $2,403 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply With the Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Canada

How to Find a Job in Slovakia as a Foreigner

Five Places to Visit in Slovakia 

Slovenia

This tiny Eastern Alpine country in Central Europe has charming cities, interesting museums and amazing opportunities for hiking, skiing, rafting, mountain biking and kayaking in the mountains and the rivers of the Alps. If you love history and the outdoors, you will have a great time!

photo credit: Iztok Alf Kurnik via photopin cc

photo credit: Iztok Alf Kurnik via photopin cc

Slovenia and Canada have a bilateral agreement that provides working holiday visas for Canadians between the ages of 18-35. The visa will allow you to travel and work in Slovenia for up to 12 months. It costs $210 to participate in the program and you will need to show that you have $2,100 in your bank account.

Helpful Links:

Apply With the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia in Canada

Finding and Applying for a Job in Slovenia

Slovenia – A Land of Bears, Bees and Bountiful Nature

Spain

Why not say goodbye to Canada for a while and live abroad in Spain? Endless sunshine, gorgeous beaches, tall glasses of sangria, great night-life and afternoon siestas are calling you.

There are working holiday visas for Canadians available in Spain, allowing those between the ages of 18-35 to travel and work in Spain for up to 12 months. The fee to apply is $150 and you must hold $2,100 in your bank account prior to departure.

Helpful Links:

Apply With the Embassy of Spain in Canada

Work and Jobs in Spain - from SpainMadeSimple.com

My Spanish Adventure - A great blog about living abroad in Spain

Sweden

Sweden is another beautiful, liberal, peaceful, cold northern country known for its stunningly beautiful landscapes, somewhat like Canada. Of course, once you live abroad in Sweden you will get to know the many interesting differences in tradition and culture. If you visit during the summer solstice, you will get to have the amazing experience of 24 hours of daylight (and plenty of parties and festivals).

photo credit: Ulf Bodin via photopin cc

photo credit: Ulf Bodin via photopin cc

Sweden and Canada have a bilateral arrangement and Canadians between the ages of 18-30 are allowed to travel and work in Sweden for up to 12 months. It costs $155 to participate and you must show $2,340 in your bank account before you depart.

Helpful Links:

Apply at the Embassy of Sweden in Canada

How to Find a Job in Sweden

Sweden Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt

Switzerland

Switzerland is a beautiful country in Central Europe, known for its stunning Alps, delicious chocolates, beautiful vineyards and medieval castles. It’s a great place to spend a year working abroad and travelling.

Switzerland and Canada have a bilateral agreement that allows Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Switzerland for up to 18 months. In order to participate, you must pay a fee of $87 as well as a $7 postage fee. You must have a secondary education and have completed a two year training program or have studied at a post-secondary institution. Your employment in Switzerland must be in the field of studies that you have training in.

Helpful Links:

Apply With the Embassy of Switzerland in Canada

Seven Sources to Find English Speaking Jobs in Switzerland

Swiss Switzerland Blog

Taiwan

Taiwan is a very densely populated island nation that is located off the South-eastern coast of mainland China. Its crowded cities offer great dining, culture and nightlife and once you get outside of the cities, you will find beautiful steep mountains and lush forests. You will also find beautiful beaches and national parks with hot springs.

There are working holiday visas for Canadians available in Taiwan. These visas will allow you to work and travel in Taiwan for up to 12 months, as long as you are between the ages of 18 and 35. It costs $104 to participate and you must show that you have $2,500 in your bank account prior to departure.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Taipei Economic Cultural Office in Canada

How to Find a Job in Taiwan as a Foreigner

20 Bits of Advice for Foreigners Moving to Taiwan

Ukraine

There are so many reasons why a working holiday in Ukraine would be a fantastic experience. Many of the cities were founded nearly 900 years ago and are filled with 9th to 11th century architecture, making it a fascinating spot for history lovers. There are also plenty of ruins, museums and archaeological wonders to see. If you like the outdoors, you can enjoy diving in Crimea, mountaineering in the Carpathians or going for a hike in one of the 33 national parks.

Canada and the Ukraine have an agreement that permits Canadian between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in the Ukraine for up to 12 months.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the Embassy of Ukraine in Canada

Finding Work in Ukraine

10 Must See Places in Ukraine

United Kingdom

Lee in London

Lee in London

Last but not least – the UK is a superb choice for Canadians on a working holiday visa. You won’t have to worry about the language barrier (except maybe when deciphering some of the stronger accents) and there are many jobs available. Whether you want to work in the heart of London, exciting Manchester, artsy Liverpool, historic Edinburgh, the wilds of Wales or anywhere else, there are so many great experiences to be had in the UK.

There is a bilateral agreement between the UK and Canada that allows Canadians between the ages of 18 and 30 to travel and work in the UK for up to 24 months. The fee to participate is $315 and you must prove that you have $2,830 in your account before you depart.

Helpful Links:

Apply with the UK Border Agency

 Finding a Job 

The Best Places to Live in the UK

So, Where Will You Have Your Working Abroad Adventure?

Whew, that was a long list! There are so many possibilities out there for Canadians who want to work abroad and travel! With so many working holiday visas for Canadians to choose from, you could spend several years in your 20′s wandering the world and having amazing experiences working overseas.

So where are you dreaming of having your working holiday visa adventure? Share your travel plans with us in the comments!

Featured Image: photo credit: stormwarning. via photopin cc

About Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

85 comments

  1. If you want to do a work visa in one of these countries, do you have to come strait from Canada, or could you potentially visit a few countries and land in, say, Ireland and work there for a year? Also, once you’ve completed one of these working visas, can you segway strait into another work period in another country for 6 months to a year, or do you have to touch home base back in Canada again?
    Thanks

    • I was under the impression (through my own research the last couple years) that many of these countries listed as available to 18-35 are actually only available until 30. Hopefully they have all just recently changed, that would just make my year! I have done 2 years in Australia and 1 year in New Zealand, plus many side trips all over, and it was the best experience of my life. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity folks!

    • Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your question. I think the answer depends on the particular working holiday visa in question so if I were you I would check with each one, because they are all different.

      However, I can speak from my experience that the UK one doesn’t require you to be in Canada. I went straight from a working holiday in New Zealand to a working holiday in the UK without having to go back home to Canada in between. I just applied for the UK working visa from New Zealand. You will have to mail your passport and wait for it to come back, so make sure that you leave plenty of time for it to arrive in the mail before your flight. (Mine arrived the day before I left! It was nerve wracking! haha!)

      -Kelly

  2. No South Africa??

  3. thanks for the link love on here!

    fantastic article for anyone looking to move abroad and work and experience a country abroad. i know information like this typically hasnt been that available for most countries that have working holiday visa schemes (the US included with the few places that we exchange with). it is great you guys also listed a little bit about each place so that people can decide which location may be best suiting to them :)
    Megan recently posted..No Disguises Needed. Welcome to Unapologetic Bishkek.

    • most* suiting. it’s too early for me ;)
      Megan recently posted..No Disguises Needed. Welcome to Unapologetic Bishkek.

      • Hi Megan,

        Thanks, glad you enjoyed the post. I enjoy reading your blog, which is why I was happy to link to it. :)
        I am thinking of writing a similar post about working abroad opportunities for Americans, so stay tuned for that!
        By the way, where in Virginia do you live? Lee’s brother and wife live in Roanoke and we spent three months there visiting them. It’s a lovely place. :)

        -Kelly

        • hey! im from richmond, virginia :) but have been to roanoke MANY times for sports events growing up! i really liked roanoke! pretty cool yall spent some time there for a while.

          you definitely should do this for americans too. most people dont even know such options exist. the only working holiday visas i know about are through NZ and australia (i assume we dont have the same programs because we have 315 million people…and most countries involved dont have quite that many!) BUT….we have many other options ranging from peace corps, to fullbright programs to even in norway, they offer a ‘learn the norwegian language visa if you have a bachelor’s degree’. the only bad thing about that visa is you must have 20,000 USD in a bank account. hahah. i think that visa is mostly for people in a relationship w/ a norwegian (which is how i initially came over here). but, nevertheless, there are many options and people just dont know about any of them!

          hope you guys are doing well and i love reading all of your posts (even if i dont comment because im usually in over my head with stuff from my job or emails!!) :):)
          Megan recently posted..No Disguises Needed. Welcome to Unapologetic Bishkek.

  4. Do you have to secure a job before you go and provide proof of that or can you just look for work when you arrive?

  5. Thank you so much for taking the time to put all of this information together! You are definitely saving a lot of people so much research time!

  6. I was under the impression (through my own research the last couple years) that many of these countries listed as available to 18-35 are actually only available until 30. Hopefully they have all just recently changed, that would just make my year! I have done 2 years in Australia and 1 year in New Zealand, plus many side trips all over, and it was the best experience of my life. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity folks!

  7. Interesting really, that in this day and age these types of programs age discriminate. As a person on the verge of retirement, maybe I would like to work abroad and travel as in retirement.

  8. Awesome article – detailed and helpful!

  9. It’s a shame this is only for young people! I would be very interested but now I’m too old. Wish I would have known 20 years ago! Hope others can take advantage of your story.

    • Hi Todd,

      Although the working holiday visas are only for those under 30/35, there are still many possibilities for long term travel and working abroad if you are older than that.
      Where are you dreaming of going?

      -Kelly

  10. I’m a landed immigrant in Canada but still have a SIN number. Am I able to qualify? or is just for Canadian citizens?

  11. Is that a typo in the Costa Rica section or do I really need “$2,5000″ in my bank account?

  12. I’m turning 37 this year and would like to work abroad next winter.
    Do you have any info for those just a bit too old?

    • Hi Matt,

      Although you are just out of the age range for a working holiday visa, that doesn’t meant that you can’t experience long term travel. There are plenty of other opportunities for working abroad out there.
      What particular destinations did you have in mind?

      -Kelly

  13. Amazing article. Definitely gonna look into it more.

  14. Thanks for linking to my blog on Hong Kong at http://thisgirlabroad.wordpress.com! : )

    I actually had no idea working holiday visas were available so widely to Canadians. Definitely a great way to travel, gain some experience and insight, and (if you’re lucky) save a bit of money!
    thisgirlabroad recently posted..Top 13 Mostly True Signs You’ve Become A Local Hong Konger

  15. (You will have an added advantage if you are from Quebec or you are one of those Western Canadians who actually remembers what we learned in high school French classes!) – As a travel lover you should come to Eastern Canada! There is a vibrant Acadian and bilingual culture you have yet to discover :)

    Great and helpful article, thanks for being so thorough with each country’s requirements and websites!

    • Hi Sarah,

      We have been to Eastern Canada and we love it! In 2011 we took a three month road trip across Canada, visiting every province. We loved Quebec and we would certainly go back there to explore more of the fascinating culture.
      Here are our stories from Montreal and Quebec City: http://global-goose.com/tag/quebec/
      Whereabouts do you live?

      -Kelly

      • Oops I suppose I should have said Atlantic Canada! I am from New Brunswick but am currently living in Ottawa, I hope you enjoyed your time in the Maritimes!

        • Cool! We enjoyed both New Brunswick and Ottawa as well. We got to New Brunswick just as winter started to hit and we saw our first snow of the year in Moncton.

          One of our favourite memories from the trip was when we were taking the train from Quebec City to Moncton. That morning we woke up at sunrise just as the train was pulling through Campbellton, New Brunswick. The sun was coming up over the water, the autumn leaves were in full bloom and it was the first time we had seen the New England–style cottages of the Maritimes. It was just so peaceful and picturesque in the purple light of dawn. We both gazed out the window bleary-eyed and speechless in awe at this lovely part of Canada, so different than anything else we had seen so far. It was possibly one of the most beautiful and memorable moments of our travels so far. :)

  16. The UK working holiday visa is allowable up to 24 months.
    Paige recently posted..The weekend of fun

  17. Hi Kelly, great article, I have a 20 yr old son who I am encouraging to give this a try!

    On another note, we older folks (44) are looking at a working holiday with the younger kids. We’re interested in a western European locale. I have seen you reply to a couple of folks that there are other opportunities for long term travel, and I would love to hear more. I have certainly been looking into it, but welcome any advice!

  18. What if someone is older than the required age. I am 30 and I want to work in UK. Any idea how that can be done?
    Thanks. and awesome post

  19. Hi Kelly,

    Just reading your article and noticed some incorrect information…. for the UK Youth Mobility Scheme you can work the entire 24 months of your stay (not just 12 months as stated in your article). I’m currently here right now on the scheme and I’m able to work the entire time.

    It’s outlined on the UK Border Agency website under conditions: http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/working/tier5/youthmobilityscheme/workingandconditions/

    Thanks!

    • Hi Safeena,

      Thanks for the update! I’ve changed it.
      When I did the UK Youth Mobility Scheme a couple of years ago, you could only work for 12 months out of 24. That’s great news to hear that it has changed to an even better arrangement! I wish I could do it again. :)

      -Kelly

  20. The fee for the Australian visa has changed on the Australian government website, it cost me $420 to apply for a visa through them and I was approved overnight only a couple weeks ago

  21. Emmanuelle Richer

    Love this ideal

  22. It is a darned shame that older people cannot enjoy this. It is perfect for mid life crisis or semi retirement or a chance to use an easily transferable trade (like writing, photography) in a very cool place. Just saying….youth should not be wasted only on the young!!

    • Kelly Hayes-Crook

      Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) is a great option for inexpensive and fun travel. We were WOOF hosts and it is for travels for all ages. In exchange for a few hours work, travellers get free room and board and so much more.

  23. Why does this program discriminate against people over 35?

  24. If you are older than 35, and looking to do something similar to this check out International Volunteer HQ.
    http://www.volunteerhq.org/programs

    Its not the same at all, but affords unique travel and accommodation while volunteering in a country.

  25. Can you be married and still qualify for a visa? I’m getting married this year and I think this would be a really awesome adventure for us.

  26. Is there any working holidays for people over 35. I’m sure some more mature people would love to do this too! Take a sabbatical for a year and off you go!

    • Hi Vince,

      You’re not alone! There have been many people commenting on this post and messaging us who are over the age of 30/35 and have the same question as you.
      Because of this, I have decided that the next guide I write will be a list of working abroad opportunities that are available to all ages. If you are interested, click “Like” on our Facebook page and it will show up in your feed when I publish it.

      Thanks,
      Kelly

  27. Hi Kelly,

    Just to clear this up for myself, once I apply for whichever said country I choose (pay fee’s etc)
    I would also have to pay for my own flight there (and back) and a living space while I’m there?
    How would I go about finding a place to stay?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Yes, you are responsible for paying for your own flight and your own living expenses. That is the main reason why many of the programs want to see that you have a certain amount of money in your bank account, they want to know that you will be able to take care of yourself and pay for your first month or two of rent and food until you find a job.
      As for finding a place to stay, it will depend on the country and what your travel plans are. If you know that you want to settle in a particular city for most of your time there, you will probably want to rent a house-share or apartment. Just google “(country name) apartment rentals” and you should find the appropriate websites.
      However, if you aren’t sure which part of the country you want to settle in, you might want to hold off on renting an apartment. You could live cheaply in a hostel for a week or two while you get settled and find a job, then move to an apartment later when you know where you will be working.
      For example, when I was in New Zealand for 6 months I stayed in a range of accommodation:

      - stayed in a hostel when I first arrived in Auckland for a few days
      - worked for accommodation as a tour guide at an old historic prison in Napier and slept in the prison cells!
      - stayed in more hostels while travelling around the North Island
      - lived with a family while volunteering on a farm (through the WWOOF program)
      - rented a cheap apartment (shared student housing) while working in Christchurch for 3 months
      - stayed in hostels and bed and breakfasts while travelling around the South Island

      Also, sometimes you will find jobs that offer accommodation, such as if you work in a hotel or hostel – so in that case your place to stay will be taken care of!

      -Kelly

  28. This sounds sooo awesome and I would love to do it!! Somewhere by the ocean, sandy beach.. New Zealand, Costa Rica or Australia sound perfect :)

  29. Does it ever worry you or anyone who has travelled abroad in finding a place to live? Would you look for a place before you set out to a country, what do you recommend when it comes to that as well as looking for a job? Are there any sites to help with looking for jobs in these different countries for Canadians? Thanks a lot for this post, it was extremely helpful! I am turning 21 soon and I have travelled in the past, but soon I will be looking to head out into the world to journey what the world has to offer!
    Seiko

    • Hi Seiko,

      Thanks very much, glad you enjoyed the post.

      You can read my response to Sarah above, who also asked about accommodation. To summarise:
      “As for finding a place to stay, it will depend on the country and what your travel plans are. If you know that you want to settle in a particular city for most of your time there, you will probably want to rent a house-share or apartment. Just google “(country name) apartment rentals” and you should find the appropriate websites.

      However, if you aren’t sure which part of the country you want to settle in, you might want to hold off on renting an apartment. You could live cheaply in a hostel for a week or two while you get settled and find a job, then move to an apartment later when you know where you will be working.”

      When it comes to looking for jobs, I have placed a link under each country to a website that will be helpful in finding jobs. Of course, there will be multiple job websites for each country, so you can find more info in a Google search that is more specific.

      Do you know yet which country you are considering working abroad in?

      -Kelly

  30. i’m particularly intrigued by croatia’s “rigged wilderness”…

  31. You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something
    which I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get
    the hang of it!
    dobre chwilówki online katowice recently posted..dobre chwilówki online katowice

  32. I just completed a working holiday to Australia and the UK, it was amazing!!! I am 23 though, so I guess im young enough to get working visa’s everywhere i go. I went through a company called Global work and travel, they were amazing! apparently they specialise in this kinda stuff, as well as like volunteer stuff overseas. If your stuck planning, they were heaps of help!

  33. Thats great, but I am 36 and it would actually be a great time in my life to travel now. Are there some countries where Visa’s allow ppl older than 35??… ( 35 not behing old…!) Thank you!

  34. That’s great, but I am 36 and it would actually be a great time in my life to travel now. Are there some countries where Visa’s allow ppl older than 35??… ( 35 not behing old…!) Thank you!

  35. i want visit all the weld but i have not visas can you hlep me plz becouse for neet visas in algeria is difificolt
    osmani recently posted..Salt of the Earth – Our Journey Through the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia

  36. Hi,

    The working holiday visa for Canadians page doesn’t seem to work any longer on the Belgian website. I read somewhere that the agreement was signed but not yet finalized… Does anyone know when it might be finalized?

  37. Thank you so much for this post – I constantly come back to it. I’m wondering – are you able to apply for a new visa for another country while you’re still in country #1? Example: Get a working holiday visa for the UK and before your time is up there, apply for one in Ireland? (saves you a flight back and forth to Canada, hypothetically).

    • Hi Erika,

      Thanks for your message, glad you found this blog helpful!

      As for your question, I’m not sure about the specific requirements as I’m sure they are different for each visa. However, I can tell you that when I applied for the UK Working Holiday visa I was still in New Zealand on a Working Holiday visa there. I didn’t have to fly back to Canada in between, I just had to mail in my passport. I then flew straight from New Zealand to the UK.

  38. Great article, thank you for your time in creating it.

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