What is a Working Holiday Visa? Which Countries Offer a Working Holiday Visa?

What is a Working Holiday Visa? Which Countries Offer a Working Holiday Visa?

Working Holiday Visas 

The question I get asked the most from my friends back home and those I’ve met through my travels would be, how do you afford to travel? How are you still travelling after all this time? The answer is simple: I live frugally and move slowly through the use of Working Holiday Visas. I travel for as long as my bank account lets me. After, I’ll move temporarily to a country that offers Canadians a working holiday visa so I can recoup and save up money for my next trip, all the while taking small trips within the country (in the case of Europe, continent wide) during that time period. Every long term traveller has their own strategy and so far, this is the one that has worked best for me.

Working holiday visas are also great if you are planning to move to a country temporarily, with the potential to live their on a permanent basis. Depending on the skills you are providing for your employer, and the country, you may be able to bridge onto a more permanent visa if there is a skills shortage in that particular field. Also, you may find that through your employment, you may develop a skill-set that encourages your employer to provide you with a sponsorship so you can remain in your chosen country on a more permanent basis. None of these are guarantees, but the opportunity is there once you get your foot in the door through the Working Holiday visa program.

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

A Memorandum of Understanding, a working holiday visa is a bilateral working holiday agreement between two countries that allow citizens of either country to move to the other for a time period of typically one year, with some extension requirements if you wish to stay longer. The ages in which you can typically make use of this Visa would be 18-30, with some countries pushing the age limit to 35. Every country has different requirements, work restrictions and extension provisions so you will have to do some research either on my blog, or through other online resources to find information on the visa for your country of choice.

Thinking of getting a working holiday visa?

In my opinion, the best way to travel is through the use of working holiday visas. You have the opportunity to live in a completely different country, with different cultures and customs and in some cases, a completely different language. It allows you to save up money while you either travel within the country, or abroad. If you’re ever feeling stuck in your life, or just searching for a change of scenery, working temporarily abroad might be a good opportunity to broaden your horizons and give you a better understanding of life outside of what you’re comfortable with.

It would be remiss for me not to mention the difficulties you may face. Moving abroad and/or international travel brings upon a set of challenges and difficulties that are not often made aware. The journey may not be an easy one, but personally, the absolute fear of getting outside of my comfort zone is what makes feel most alive in this world. Not knowing what this journey will bring is the most exciting part of life.

Here is an extensive list of every country that offers a Working Holiday Visa (2020):

Andorra

Accepted Countries: Australia

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

The first and most elusive working holiday visa on this list, there is not much information available on obtaining this visa, although it does exist. These visas are used in large part to employ foreigners to their hospitality sector of Andorran ski resorts.

Please note, as of June 12, 2020, Canada signed a bilateral working holiday agreement with Andorra but due to Covid-19, this may be delayed. If interested in this visa for either Australians or Canadians citizens post Covid-19, click on the link below to get more information from Government sources.

More information and how to apply here

Argentina

Accepted Countries: Australia, Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Sweden

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Australia

Accepted Countries: Belgium, Canada, Republic of Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan, The UK and Northern Ireland (Subclass 417)

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadian, French and Irish Citizens)

Duration: 12 Months (optional 2nd and 3rd year visa extension available if 3 month, and 6 month regional work completed respectively)

Passport holders from Argentina, Austria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Greece, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Peru, Poland, Portugal, San Mariano, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Thailand, Uruguay, United States of America and Vietnam must apply for a subclass 462 working holiday visa and a tertiary education is mandatory.

More information and how to apply here

Austria

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan.

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 6 months & 12 months

If you are a citizen of Canada, Austria currently has a Youth Workers Exchange Program called Swap, granted you have a proficient knowledge in the German language and can attend a job interview held completely in German. More information regarding this program here.

More information and how to apply here

Belgium

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Brazil

Accepted Countries: France, Germany and New Zealand (South Korea coming soon)

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 Months

The Visa process is quite straightforward online for Kiwis in the application link below. For all French, German and South Korean citizens, contact your local Brazilian embassy for more information.

More Information Here 

Kiwi Application Process here 

Canada

Accepted Countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine and the UK and Northern Ireland.

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 for most countries. 18 – 35 for citizens of Australia, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland. 18 – 25 for citizens of Ukraine.

Duration: 12 months

Full time students who are citizen of the United States of America, or who have been in the last 6 months are eligible for a 12 month working holiday visa obtained through the SWAP program. Link for more info here.

More information and how to apply here

Chile

Accepted Countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Sweden

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians and Hungarians)

Duration: 12 months

Citizens of Columbia, Mexico and Peru can apply to a Pacific Alliance work and holiday visa.

More information and how to apply here

Columbia

Accepted Country: France

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Citizens of Columbia, Mexico and Peru can apply to a Pacific Alliance work and holiday visa

Citoyens français, vous devez postuler via l’ambassade colombienne en France.

22 Rue de l’Élysée, 75008 Paris, France

Costa Rica

Accepted Country: Canada

Age Requirement: 18 – 35

Duration: 12 months Cyprus

More information and how to apply here

Croatia

Accepted Countries: Canada and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

More information and how to apply for Canadians here 

Cyprus

Accepted Country: Australia

Age Requirement: 18 – 25

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

All Australians can apply through the Consular Section at the Cyprus High commission located in Canberra.

30 Beale Crescent, 2600, Deakin ACT

Tel: +61 2 6281 0832
Fax: +61 2 6281 0860
E-mail: consular@cyprus.org.au

Czech Republic

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan

Age Requirement: 18 – 30, 35

Duration: 12 months (35 can apply for 24 month visa)

More information and how to apply here

Denmark

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Ecuador

Accepted Country: Australia

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Contact your local Ecuadorian embassy for more information in regards to this working holiday visa.

More information and how to apply here

Estonia

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, (South Korea Coming Soon)

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Finland

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Please note, all Australian and Kiwi citizens must obtain a residence permit for the working holiday visa. Click the link below for additional information and application procedures.

More information and how to apply here

France

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, Mexico and Uruguay

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Australians, Canadians and Argentinians)

Duration: 12 months (4 months for Russians)

Citizens of Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Seychelles, Taiwan, Uruguay and the Vatican City, as well as British Nationals Overseas can work in France for up to 90 days through a temporary work permit obtained through a French employer

More information and how to apply here

Germany

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and Uruguay

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18- 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Greece

Accepted Countries: Australia and Canada

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Hong Kong 

Accepted Countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, (Italy Coming Soon), Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, and the UK and Northern Ireland 

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Hungary

Accepted Countries: Australia, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand and Taiwan

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (35 for Kiwis)

Duration: 12 months

Please note, citizens of all participating countries above must obtain a residence permit for the working holiday visa. Click the link below for additional information and application procedures.

More information and how to apply here

Iceland

Accepted Country: Japan

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Indonesia

Accepted Country: Australia

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Ireland

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Uruguay

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months (24 months for Canadians)

Citizens of the United States of America may apply for this visa granted they are currently enrolled in full-time post-secondary education or subsequently within 12 months of graduation.

More information and how to apply here

Here’s an article by American blogger Sarah Nuttycombe on her experience of the working holiday visa in Ireland

Israel

Accepted Countries: Australia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, New Zealand and South Korea

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Italy

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, (Hong Kong coming soon), New Zealand and South Korea

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months 

More information and how to apply here

Japan

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Canada, Chile, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK and Northern Ireland and Taiwan

Age Requirement: 18- 30 (18 – 26 for Icelanders)

Duration: 12 months (6 months for Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Can be extended twice by Australians, once by Canadians and Kiwis)

More information and how to apply here

Latvia

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Please note, the website for the official information and application for the working holiday visa in Latvia seems to be suspended, likely due to complications from Covid-19. Contact your local Latvian embassy for more information regarding this visa.  

Lithuania

Accepted Countries: Canada, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Luxembourg

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand and Taiwan (South Korea coming soon)

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Malaysia

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18- 30

Duration: 12 months

Please note, it appears Malaysia may have stopped offering Kiwis the working holiday visa. Seems like a lot of people have been getting denied in recent years. Contact your local embassy for more information in regards to this issue.

More information and how to apply here

Malta

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

This may be the least popular working holiday visa available due to the extremely low number of applicants. It is likely very difficult to obtain and your best bet is to go to your local Maltese embassy if available or contact Maltese immigration for more information.

Malta Visa information here 

Mexico

Accepted Countries: Canada, France, Germany and South Korea

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Citizens of Columbia and Peru can apply to a Pacific Alliance work and holiday visa

More information and how to apply here

Monaco

Accepted Country: UK and Northern Ireland

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 24 months

More information and how to apply here

the Netherlands

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and Uruguay

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Please note, if you are from Australia, Canada, New Zealand or South Korea, you will need to obtain a residence permit. Depending on nationality and circumstances you may apply directly at the IND upon arrival to the Netherlands or through the Dutch embassy/consulate in your country of residence.

More information and how to apply here

New Zealand

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China. Croatia. Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Singapore (6 month work exchange program), Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Thailand, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uruguay, Vietnam

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Argentinians, Canadians, Czechs, Chileans, Finnish, Hungarians and Slovakian

Duration: 12 months (23 months for British and Canadians or a 11 month extension when your 12 months are complete.)

More information and how to apply here

Norway

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Japan and New Zealand

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

Please note, you must obtain a residence permit for your working holiday visa, which can be obtained through the link below. 

More information and how to apply here

Peru

Accepted Countries: Australia, France, New Zealand and Portugal

Age of Requirements: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Citizens of Chile, Columbia, Mexico can apply to a Pacific Alliance work and holiday visa

More information on visas and how to work in Peru legally

Please note, this is quite an elusive visa to obtain. Contact your local Peruvian embassy for more detailed information.

Philippines

Accepted Country: New Zealand

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

If you need more information in regards to this visa, contact the New Zealand Embassy in Manila.

PH: +(63) 2 891 5358
Email: nzemmanila@mfat.govt.nz

Poland

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Portugal

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and the United States

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

Please note, a residence permit will need to be obtained from within the country once the visa is processed

More information and how to apply here

Romania

Accepted Country: South Korea

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Russia

Accepted Country: France

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 4 months

More information and how to apply here

Not a very common working holiday visa for citizens of France due to the short time restriction capped at 4 months. If you do wish to proceed, contact your local Russian embassy for more information. 

San Marino

Accepted Countries: Australia and Canada

Age of Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Singapore

Accepted Countries: Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and United States of America

Age Requirements: 18 – 25 (18 – 30 for Australians)

Duration: 6 months (12 months for Australians)

Please note, you must be a full-time post-secondary student or a graduate to apply.

More information and how to apply here

Slovakia

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians)

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here for Canadians
More Information and how to apply here for Australians and Kiwis

For all other countries listed above, contact your local embassy for more information on obtaining  your working holiday visa here

Slovenia

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here for Canadians
More information and how to apply here for Australians and Kiwis

South Korea (http://whic.mofa.go.kr/contents.do?menuNo=90&contentsNo=38)

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and the United States of America

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Please note, South Korea was in the process of agreeing to various other working holiday programs around the world in 2020 but some of these have been delayed due to Covid-19. If your country is not on the list, check to see if there might be a potential agreement in the works post Covid-19.

More information and how to apply here

Spain

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Spain

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Sweden

Accepted Countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Uruguay

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

Switzerland

Accepted Country: Canada

Age Requirement: 18 – 35

Duration: 12 months (with an option to participate in the program again not exceeding a total of 18 months combined on both programs)

Please note, you must have a formal offer of employment and a work permit before applying for this visa.

More Information and how to apply here

Taiwan

Accepted Countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Slovakia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

Age Requirement: 18 – 30 (18 – 35 for Canadians, Hungarians and Slovakians)

Duration: 180 days + 180 day renewal (12 month + 12 month renewal for citizens of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, 12 month without option of renewal for Austrians)

More information and how to apply here

Thailand

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

Please note, you must have full-time tertiary qualifications to a minimum of 3 years of studies

More information and how to apply here for Australians 
More Information and how to apply here for Kiwis

Turkey

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here
Please note, you must get a residence permit for your working holiday visa. Here is a guide on how to obtain one in Turkey.

Ukraine

Accepted Country: Canada

Age Requirement: 18 – 25

Duration: 12 months

Please note, the Canadian-Ukrainian youth mobility program is currently on hold with negotiations for an extension in the coming years.  

More information here

United Kingdom and Northern Ireland

Accepted Countries: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Monaco, New Zealand, Taiwan and British Nationals (British National Overseas, British Overseas Territory and British National Overseas Citizens)

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 24 months

More information and how to apply here

Uruguay

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand 

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

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Vietnam

Accepted Countries: Australia and New Zealand

Age Requirement: 18 – 30

Duration: 12 months

More information and how to apply here

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