Working holiday visa guide + 8 countries offering them! [2023]

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Working holiday visa guide + 8 countries offering them! [2023]
Working Holiday Visa, in my opinion, is one of best things that young travelers can and should take advantage of. Here are the countries that's currently offering them.
Kim Anisi
Contributor
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Kim loves to combine her love for writing and traveling - often doing both at the same time. She was a digital nomad before the term became popular. While she now lives a more settled life in Scotland, traveling still remains a passion, especially when it involves mountains and rivers.

Read more about this author
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I’ve used working holiday visas myself.  Along with being able to self-fund my travel plans, I've gained valuable skills, meaningful connections, and worked jobs I’d never have considered. I picked apples, mucked out horse stables, helped someone with a caravan business, and even worked on a riverboat. 

That's to name a few.

A working holiday visa lets travelers like you and me see the world. You get to be more than just a tourist. Working in a country shows you how a country works, and you get to know some cool people along the way. 

Imagine picking some kiwifruit in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty during the week and kayaking along the beautiful East Coast during the weekend without worrying about money!

Traveling to the country of your dreams doesn't have to be a dream. In this article, I'll give you info on 8 great countries with a working holiday visa scheme. I'll let you know what the requirements are, how much it costs, and how to apply.

FYI: This blog's information is not updated daily. Official information and guidelines should always come from the official government's sites. This blog should only serve as a general guide and the first point of research for people looking for a working holiday visa.

Most countries make the application process very easy. But first, let me ask you this…

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

A working holiday visa allows you to temporarily work in a country. It isn't the same as a proper work visa. There are some limits. First, you can only get one working holiday visa per country once in your life. 

But some countries allow you to extend your WHV for an additional one or two years. There are also some exceptions where repeat WHVs are possible, but you'd need to be on special programs for those.

Second, you can work for the same employer for a limited time only. In some countries, it's 3 months, while in others, you can expect it to be 6 months. Some nationalities can work for the same employer for 12 months in certain countries, but that's not common.

If you're looking for a long-term job, a working holiday visa can get you a foot in the door, but you'll have to apply for a proper work permit eventually.

Benefits of a Working Holiday Visa

Applying for a working holiday visa takes more work than getting a tourist visa. So, why choose one? There are many good reasons:

  • You can legally work for a certain amount of months during your stay.
  • You can get it easier than a proper work permit.
  • You should easily meet the requirements to get one.
  • You can plan your stay well in advance, as the WHV only starts when you arrive in the country.
  • You get a whole year in a country without having to apply for extensions.
  • You don't need a job offer in advance.
  • You need a work permit in most countries to volunteer abroad.

General Requirements: What do I Need to Apply?

The application requirements can differ slightly from country to country, e.g., the amount of money you need to show on entry. But basically, you need the following:

  • A valid passport
  • Your CV
  • A Passport photo for the application
  • A completed application form, which you can often download from the embassy of the country you want to travel to
  • An "Outline of Intended Activities" to prove that your main intention is to travel
  • "Written Reason for Applying," typed on A4 paper 
  • Bank statements to show that you have the necessary funds
  • A return plane ticket OR the necessary funds to buy one
  • No criminal record
  • No accompanying children

8 Countries Offering Working Holiday Visas [2023]

Let's look at some of the most exciting countries with a working holiday visa scheme. If your dream country isn't one of those, check out the other countries below.

Note that you should always check with your country and the target country's government sites to ensure information aligns before you proceed with the application! There might be some discrepancies in what's required for the application.

8. Germany

Germany, famous for its Oktoberfest, beautiful castles, and much more, currently offers select individuals a working holiday visa. If that's something you want to experience, a WHV can help you enjoy the country longer. You could even end up with a job at Oktoberfest. Helpers for that festival are often well paid, and you get an inside perspective.

Germany has many jobs of interest to travelers with a WHV. There are many seasonal jobs, but you could also work in a hotel or restaurant or teach a class at a so-called "Volkshochschule." This needs some planning ahead, though.

Aside from the working holiday visa Germany offers, they also offer a Youth Mobility Visa. Check it out to see if you quality for that!

Woman Selling Hats At Oktoberfest
Image Courtesy of Oktoberfest

Which Nationalities Can Apply for Germany's Visa?

Germany has a WHV agreement with the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Uruguay

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 years. If part of the Youth Mobility Program, it's up to 35 years.
  • Valid passport
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in Germany
  • May require a medical certificate
  • Not had a WHV for Germany before
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work
  • Health and accident insurance for the full duration of your stay

How Much Does It Cost?

The processing fee for the German WHV is 82 USD, or 75 Euros.

How to Get One for Germany?

To apply for a German WHV, you must contact your country's German embassy. They'll give you the application form you'll need to apply before you enter Germany. 

Only people from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, or New Zealand can apply while already in Germany. 

The processing time for your application is usually 1-2 weeks.

7. France

France is an beautiful country with some excellent places to visit and see. In fact, most people who visit France only explore Paris, and even then, most people don't hit all of the spots.

It's easy to spend a few months of your life in France. There's so much more to France than just Paris, after all!

Working in France can be a little challenging if you don't speak French, but it's doable. You could teach English or work in jobs where not much speaking is needed, like some manual jobs in vineyards. 

Of course, working in a job like bartending would force you to improve your language skills quickly. The good news is that it doesn't matter to the French if you serve them a good drink! 

As France is popular with international tourists, you could also bag a job as a tourist guide for people from your country.

Woman Working At A Vineyard
Image Courtesy of Travel+Leisure

Which Nationalities Can Apply for It in France?

People from the following countries can apply for a French WHV, or vacances-travail in French:

  • Australia
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • South Korea
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Mexico
  • Peru
  • Russia
  • Taiwan
  • Uruguay

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 years. For some countries, the upper limit is 35 years.
  • Valid passport.
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket.
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in France.
  • Be in good health.
  • Not had a WHV for France before.
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work.
  • Health insurance for the full duration of your stay.

How Much Does a French Visa Cost?

A French WHV costs roughly 108 USD, or 99 Euros.

How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for France?

You must apply for a French WHV at a French embassy or consulate in your country or territory of nationality. For this, you'll need to ask them for the application form and then book an appointment once you have filled it out and collected all necessary documents.

6. U.K.

I currently live in Scotland, and let me tell you one thing: there are plenty of temporary jobs for travelers in the UK. Often these seasonal jobs are in cool regions of the UK, so you can combine earning cash with some great adventures.

Of course, you can also find more prestigious temporary jobs in hotels, restaurants, or even in some fantastic UK theme parks. There's a lot to see in the UK, and the country becomes more attractive the further away you get from London.

Do your sightseeing in London, then go and work somewhere else. You'll get more out of your hard-earned money if you don't stay in one of the most expensive places in the UK! UK also happens to be one of the places where people go for work but explore and travel elsewhere during the holidays, so definitely do that if you're considering exploring Europe for your working holiday visa!

Male Hotel Staff In Black And White Uniform Along A Woman In The Background Speaking On A Telephone
Image Courtesy of Fasthire

Which Nationalities Can Apply for a Visa in the UK?

The UK working holiday visa is called the Youth Mobility Scheme and is open to people from the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • San Marino
  • Iceland

If you live in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, or Taiwan, you need to be selected in your country's YMS ballot before you're allowed to apply.

If you're Indian, the Indian Young Professionals Schemes are similar to a working holiday visa.

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 years
  • Valid passport
  • Bank statement which shows at least $3,160 in savings
  • Pay the healthcare surcharge of $590 per year. You don't need extra health insurance
  • Never took part in the YMS for the UK before
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work

How Much Does a It Visa Cost?

A working holiday Visa in the UK will cost you approximately 323 USD or 259 GBP.

How to Get a Visa for the UK?

Applying for any visa is easy in the UK. In fact, you'll do everything online. There's no need to head to a British embassy or consulate. You may, however, need to get your fingerprints taken at a visa application center.

Just head to the UK Government's site and follow the instructions. The website is very good at giving you all the information you need.

5. Ireland

Ireland is a beautiful country filled with history and breathtaking landscapes. For many, Ireland is a traveler's dream, but you'll need money to get around and spend time in various regions.

An Irish working holiday visa is just what you need if your bank account isn't overflowing with money. Temporary or seasonal jobs in Ireland pay fairly well. A few weeks of honest work can set you up for a few months of fun travel.

Floral Peninsula In Ireland
Image Courtesy of Wynand van Poortvliet on Unsplash

Which Nationalities Can Apply?

People from the following countries can apply for the Irish WHV:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • USA

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 years. For some countries, the upper limit is 35 years.
  • Valid passport
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in France
  • Be in good health
  • Not had a WHV for France before
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work
  • Health insurance for the full duration of your stay

How Much Does It Cost?

The fees differ slightly from country to country but expect to pay around 120 USD for the application.

How to Get One

You must contact your local Irish embassy or consulate to apply for the Irish WHV. They will happily assist you with your application. You'll need to provide some documents and fill out an application form. The time it takes to hear back differs from country to country, but it shouldn't take longer than a month.

4. Canada

A Canadian WHV is a great way to find out whether Canadians are as polite as everyone thinks they are. Working with people shows you a lot about people. You'll most likely have a great time as Canadian cities are clean, safe, and friendly.

If you love skiing, you could work in a ski resort as a lift attendant and enjoy the outdoors during your time off. You could also work in restaurants or check out various seasonal jobs in Canadian regions. Just keep in mind that some of them are French-speaking.

Lift Operator At A Ski Resort In Canada
Image Courtesy of Summit Daily

Which Nationalities Can Apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa?

You need to be a resident of a country participating in the "International Experience Canada." These countries are:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark (Danish citizens who reside in Greenland and the Faroe Islands are also eligible)
  • Taiwan
  • And more!

You may have noticed that the USA, India, and Brazil are not on this list. Young people from these countries can apply using a recognized organization like GO International.

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 
  • Valid passport
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in Canada
  • May require a medical certificate, depending on where you've been before
  • Not had a WHV for Canada before
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work
  • Health insurance for the full duration of your stay

How Much Does It Cost?

The processing fee for a Canadian WHV starts at 120 USD. 

How to Get a It?

Applying for a Canadian WHV is easily done online. First, you need to create an IEC profile on the IRCC site. If you're eligible, you'll receive an invitation to apply for the WHV. You've 10 days after that invitation to finish your application. 

After you fill in your application form, your application will be processed and either declined or accepted.

If your application is declined, they will let you know the reasons for the decision.

3. Australia

Australia's supposed to be home to plenty of huge spiders and other dangerous critters. I haven't come across any during my stay in Australia, though. Whenever I had to turn over a compost heap, I worried about something jumping at me! 

It never happened. So, spiders will probably be the least of your problems!

Australia has a lot to offer, and spending a whole year in this huge country makes sense. You can work on rivers, in the desert, or get dirty in a seasonal fruit-picking job. It can be hard work, but you'll have enough money to keep traveling after a few weeks!

Fruit Pickers In Australia
Image Courtesy of Daily Mail

Which Nationalities Can Apply?

You can apply for an Australian WHV if you're from:

  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • the Republic of Cyprus
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong: SAR of PRC (including British National Overseas passport holders)
  • the Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • the Republic of Korea
  • Malta
  • the Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan (other than an official or diplomatic passport)
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 (or 35 for some countries),
  • Valid passport,
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket,
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in Australia,
  • Meet the health requirements,
  • Not had a WHV or other work holiday visa for Australia before,
  • Need to sign the Australian values statement,
  • Health insurance for the full duration of your stay.

How Much Does One Cost?

The Australian WHV is one of the most expensive ones. It costs around 345 USD, or 510 AUD. If you plan on extending your WHV for a second year, you'll have to pay another 345 USD!

How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for Australia?

Applying for the Australian WHV is a similar process to the Canadian one. You must create an IMMI account on the Australian government's website and apply online. 

You'll need to supply all the documents they want from you. After you finish your application, you'll either get a WHV or not. The decision-making doesn't take very long.

Like Canada, Australia will let you know the reasons for the decision.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is the ideal country for a working holiday visa. I'm not only saying that because it used to be my home! 

New Zealand has many jobs that are suitable for holders of a WHV. The good thing is that some backpacker hostels have connections to these jobs. 

For example, if you stay in the Bay of Plenty, like in Tauranga, many hostels can help you find a job. It will usually be jobs on kiwifruit or other fruit orchards. I recommend kiwifruit orchards as you'll learn some interesting things about kiwifruit.

Of course, New Zealand also has plenty of other jobs, especially in the hospitality sector.

Aerial View Of Tauranga, The Fifth Largest City In New Zealand
Image Courtesy of Kayak

Which Nationalities Can Apply for New Zealand's Visa?

New Zealand has WHV agreements with loads of countries:

  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Croatia
  • Czech
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • And more!

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30 (or 35 for some countries).
  • Valid passport.
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket.
  • General Medical Certification if applying for a 23 months visa (only UK and Canada).
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in New Zealand.
  • Not had a WHV for New Zealand before.
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work.
  • Health insurance for the full duration of your stay.

How Much Does One Cost?

Like Australia, a New Zealand WHV isn't cheap. Applying for it costs at least 260 USD or 420 NZD and can go up to 530 USD and more, depending on your country.

How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for New Zealand?

You'll apply for your New Zealand WHV online. You'll create an account on the NZ immigration website, which gives you clear instructions on what you need to do. You'll usually get a reply to your application within 30 days.

1. Japan

Japan is one of the popular countries for individuals applying for a working holiday visa, for a good reason.

Using a WHV is a good way to plan a trip to Japan without breaking the bank.

Japan is often seen as one of the more expensive holiday locations. It doesn't have to be that way. First of all, Japan can be quite affordable. Second, a working holiday visa allows you to earn some cash to fund your adventures in Japan.

You could apply for many jobs, especially if you speak Japanese. If not, teaching English or being an au-pair is popular among working holiday visa holders in Japan.

Which Nationalities Can Apply for a Japanese Working Holiday Visa?

You can apply for a Japanese WHV if you're a resident of one of the following countries:

Requirements

  • Age: 18-30
  • Valid passport
  • Enough funds to buy a return ticket
  • A reasonable amount of money for your initial weeks in Japan
  • Healthy
  • Not had a WHV for Japan before
  • Primary intention needs to be a holiday, not work
  • Health insurance for the full duration of your stay

What Does It Cost?

Unlike most countries, the Japanese embassy does not charge you a fee for your WHV.

How to Get It?

You must apply for a Japan WHV by contacting the Embassies or Consulates-General of Japan in your country/region or the Interchange Association. 

Close Up View Of Japan Working Holiday Visa
Image Courtesy of Its Your Japan

Other Countries Offering Working Holiday Visas

Wondering if other countries also offer working holiday visas? They definitely do! Quite a few countries offer working holiday visas to attract young travelers to their country.

In addition to the above, they are:

Africa (1)

  • South Africa

Europe (30)

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine

Asia (14)

  • Cyprus
  • Israel
  • Turkey
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • North Korea
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

North America (2)

  • USA (No Working Holiday Visa but J1 & J2)
  • Mexico

South America (8)

  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Uruguay

Oceania (0)

  • None

Plan Your Work Abroad With Pilot!

Looking for a temporary job in another country is exciting and opens up the world in a different way. Just don't ignore the planning aspect. A great app like Pilot can make planning easier for you!

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Written by:
Kim Anisi Blog
Kim Anisi
Contributor
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Kim loves to combine her love for writing and traveling - often doing both at the same time. She was a digital nomad before the term became popular. While she now lives a more settled life in Scotland, traveling still remains a passion, especially when it involves mountains and rivers.

Read more about this author
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