What is a Working Holiday Visa?

If you are dreaming of taking a long term travel adventure to completely immerse yourself in another culture for a while, you might want to consider obtaining a working holiday visa so that you can work and travel.

A working holiday visa is a permit which allows young people usually between the ages of 18 and 30/35 to work and travel within the destination country, usually for a period of one or two years.

Most of these visas are designed for those who want to offset their travel expenses with temporary work and the idea is that travel is the main focus during the one year stay. Usually a working holiday visa is not designed for someone who is looking for a permanent relocation, as there are other visa programs for this purpose.

Many of the travelers who go on working holiday visa adventures find themselves working in temporary or seasonal jobs such as fruit picking, bar tending or cleaning rooms in hotels. However, the work options are not limited to these types of jobs and it is possible to find work which is more related to your field. The featured image shows me in England on a working holiday visa, where I worked in childcare.

The process for obtaining a working holiday visa is different depending on your country of origin and your destination country, but it is not usually very difficult. It often involves filling out a few forms and sending in some supplementary documentation such as a certificate of a clean criminal record and a bank statement showing you have the required funds to support yourself until you find a job. The application process is usually well laid out on the immigration website of the destination country.

For example, if you are from Canada you could live and work in Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Japan, The Netherlands, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Italy, New Zealand and many more. German travelers have options to work in South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Canada, China and others. Read our helpful list to find out more about which countries offer working holiday visas.

Lee in Newfoundland, Canada on a Working Holiday Visa
Lee in Newfoundland, Canada on a Working Holiday Visa

The Advantages of Traveling on a Working Holiday Visa

There are many reasons why getting a working holiday visa on your big travel adventure is a good idea, such as:

Making Money While You Travel

One of the biggest obstacles that many people cite for not going traveling is that they just don’t have the money. However, when you can make money while you are in your destination you will be able to continuously fund your travels and avoid running out of cash. If you do things really well, you might even be able to come back with more cash than you started with. Even if not, being able to work while you travel makes backpacking for a year so much more realistic.

Longer Stay

In many countries, a working holiday visa will allow you to travel longer than if you were simply visiting on a tourist visa. For example, if a traveler from the UK visited New Zealand on a tourist visa they would only have six months to explore this amazing country. With a working holiday visa, you can take your time and really enjoy yourself because you will have a full year.

Living In Your Destination

When you have a working holiday visa, you will be able get a job and a place to stay for a while, giving you the experience of what it is like to live in that country as a local. You will gain a much deeper understanding of the local culture than you would have if you were simply moving through.

Have you ever traveled on a working holiday visa? Do you have any questions about the process? Share them in the comments below!

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.

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  1. Hello,

    These adventures make me dream but I’m depressed as soon as I remember that I can go anywhere as a Moroccan with a working holiday visa 🙁

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