Dreaming of traveling long term outside of Canada? If saving for a gap year seems daunting, working holiday visas for Canadians are a smart way to travel and earn at the same time.
A working holiday visa allows young Canadians to work and travel in another country for a period of time, usually between 12-24 months. 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.
The following is a comprehensive list of all of the countries in the world that offer working holiday visas for Canadians. Many people don’t even know that there are so many options when it comes to working holiday visas for Canadians. You could spend your entire 20s working abroad and still not use all of these visas!
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’ll make great friends, build your skills, increase your confidence and make memories that you’ll never forget.
Below 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.
Once you have decided which country you want to travel to, you can read my Guide for Canadians Who Want to Travel the World for expert advice about how to save money, avoid travel scams, find affordable accommodation and more.
Have fun and bon voyage!
Countries that Offer Working Holiday Visas for Canadians
Canada and Australia have signed a mutual agreement that allows young Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Australia for up to 12 months. (The age limit used to be 30, but it was increased to 35 in 2018). 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 $450 AUD. You must show proof that you have “ufficient funds” which is considered a minimum of $5,000 AUD in your bank account. The program is usually only one year, but you can be granted a second year if you do three months of specified work in regional Australia. (That usually means picking fruit or working on a farm.)
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 and it’s valid for up to 12 months. The fee for the application is $350 Euros for the administrative fee and $320 CAD for the consular fee. You must show proof of $2,500 Euro in funds.
JobsInBrussels.com – English Speaking Jobs in Belgium
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 $135 USD and you must show proof that you have “sufficient funds.” The exact amount required is up to the discretion of the authorities.
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.
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 CAD in your bank account to participate.
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.
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 $94. Here are the requirements for the amount of money you must have in your bank account:
- Students staying under 6 months – 6,000 HRK
- Students staying more than 6 months – 12,000 HRK
- Other applicants staying under 6 months – 12,000 HRK
- Other applicants staying more than 6 months – 24,000 HRK
For Info on Applying – Contact the Embassy of Croatia in Canada
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 updated every month and the current fee can be seen here. (As of January 2019, it was $152 CAD) Also, you must supply proof that you have $2,500 CAD in your bank account at the beginning of your stay as well as an additional $1500 CAD to cover your flight home ($4,000 CAD in total).
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.
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 DKK 15,000 in your bank account. Also, you’ll need to have a return ticket or sufficient funds to buy one (5,000 DKK). You will be allowed to work part time or full time for a maximum of 6 months during the 12 month period. (Plus, you’ll be entitled to partly paid Danish lessons.)
Apply at the Danish Embassy in Canada
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 80 Euros 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.
Apply at the Embassy of Estonia in Canada
Estonian Moments – a humour blog about life in Estonia
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 24 months. It is possible to prolong your stay to 36 months if you are studying. 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!)
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.
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.
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 100 Euros and you must prove that you have 1,800 Euros in your bank account.
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 15,000 HK in your bank account.
This Girl Abroad – a great blog written by a Canadian living in Hong Kong
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 make some lifelong friends here.
Canadians are allowed to work and travel in Ireland for up to two years, between the ages of 18 and 35. It costs 300 Euro to participate in the program and you must show proof that you have $2,500 in your bank account. Also, within one month of arrival in Ireland you must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau and pay a fee of 300 Euro.
A Year in Dublin – A blog written by a Canadian in Ireland
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 100 Euro to participate and you will need to show that you have 2,400 Euro in your bank account. You must obtain the visa before leaving Canada, you can’t apply for it after you arrive in Italy.
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.
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 US in your bank account prior to your departure.
Sushi and Maple Syrup – The blog of a Canadian Living in Japan
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 $117 CAD to participate in the program and you must show that you have at least $3,400 CAD in your bank account.
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 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 100 Euro to participate and you must show that you have sufficent funds to support yourself at the beginning of your visit. (3 months x 429 Euro)
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.
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. A stamp duty of 120 Litas per year must be paid to issue a work permit. Before you leave, you must show that you have 2400 litas in your bank account if you have employment lined up and 4800 litas for you don’t have it pre-arranged.
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. According to the Mexican Embassy website, you must show that you have an average bank balance of $37,221.50 CAD over the past 12 months. However, I’m pretty sure this is a typo, as it is 10x more than the usual financial requirements for a working holiday visa. So, I’d recommend contacting the Embassy to confirm.
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 may only work for 12 consecutive weeks for the same employer. The application costs 57 Euro and you can submit it online. There is no specific minimum amount of savings required to prove that you have sufficient financial means, but I would recommend having at least a few thousand dollars in the bank.
Stuff Dutch People Like – A very entertaining blog written by a Canadian
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.)
New Zealand offers working holiday visas for Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35, allowing them to work and travel for up to 23 months. You must show that you have at least $4,200 NZD to support yourself during your stay, in addition to a return ticket or enough funds to purchase one. The fee for processing the application is $245 NZD and 90% of applications are completed within 20 days.
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 18-36 to travel and work in Norway for up to 12 months. You must show that you have at least enough money to live on for the first three months of your stay. This can be money in the bank or an official offer of paid work. The amount in your bank account must be equivalent to 10,825 NOK per month (32,475 for the first 3 months.) There is also an application fee of 5,400 NOK.
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.
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 $150 CAD to participate. You must show that you have $31 CAD per day over 90 days in your account.
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 1785 Euro in your bank account.
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!
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 $206 CAD to participate in the program and you will need to show that you have a return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.
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 CAD and you must hold $2,580 CAD in your bank account prior to departure.
Work and Jobs in Spain – from SpainMadeSimple.com
Sunshine and Siestas – a blog about living abroad in Spain
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’ll see 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).
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 have at least SEK 15,000 to support yourself initially when you arrive in Sweden.
Sweden Travel Tips from Nomadic Matt
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. 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.
Instructional Brochure with more info
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. Once you get outside the cities, you’ll 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. Participants must be between the ages of 18 and 35. It costs $133 CAD to participate and you must show that you have $2,500 CAD in your bank account prior to departure.
**At the moment, the Ukrainian Canadian Youth Mobility Agreement is on hold. I will update this page with further news.***
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. They 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. You can enjoy diving in Crimea, mountaineering in the Carpathians or hiking in one of the 33 national parks.
Canadians between the ages of 18 and 35 can travel and work in the Ukraine for up to 12 months.
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. Plus, 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 £1,890 in your account before you depart.
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, you could spend your entire 20s working your way around the world.
So where are you dreaming of having your working holiday visa adventure? Share your travel plans with us in the comments!