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Working Holiday Visas FAQ

Answers to frequently asked questions

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

A number of countries offer a Working Holiday Visa, also called a “Work and Travel Visa” or “Work and Holiday Visa”. This visa is essentially a short term residence permit (usually one year) that permits young travellers to work and sometimes study in the country issuing the visa. The visa holders main reason for travelling to those countries should not be work. The permission to work is to help travellers on an extended holiday supplement their travel funds.

Usually offered to 18-30 year olds with no dependent children the working holiday affords these young adults the opportunity to experience life in a foreign country without having to go through the difficult process of obtaining work sponsorship or entering into sometimes costly exchange programmes.

For the most part the Working Holiday Visas are reciprocal agreements between the given countries.

How did it all begin?

The concept was originally developed by Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in an effort to enable their citizens to visit the United Kingdom.

Where can I go?

Simply enter in your country of residence here and it will take you to a page that lists the countries you can apply to for a working holiday visa.

Why don’t all countries offer working holiday visas?

As the Working Holiday Scheme Visas are for the most part reciprocal agreements negotiated by the participating countries – it therefore usually depends on the international relationship between the negotiating countries.

The agreements generally allow citizens from both countries the right to live and work in the “other” country for a year. New Zealand for example permits young people from a number of countries to live and work there for a year. Therefore, these reciprocal agreements also allow New Zealanders to live and work in those countries.

What are the restrictions?

  • The majority are for those 18 – 30 (sometimes 35) years of age
  • Most visas do not allow you to travel with dependent children
  • Each visa has a limit on the type of work you can undertake and for what length of time
  • You will need to show sufficient funds to live on when you first arrive and look for work
  • You will need travel and/or health insurance of some kind the time that you are in the country
  • You may be able to have various working visas for the same period or overlapping
  • Once you have a residence permit (that should come with your Working Holiday Visa) you are then able to apply for another Working Holiday Visa for another country whilst living in the country that the residence permit applies to.
  • Allow plenty of time for processing and approval of your Working Holiday Visa as some consulates are unable to give definite timeframes.
  • Generally you do not need to speak the language – however Australia has some language proficiency criteria for some applicants and some South American countries may also require some proficiency in Spanish.

What type of job could I get?

Most countries will not limit the type of job you can get, however most stipulate that you are not permitted to work in full-time employment. Also, given the time restrictions on the visas many Working Holiday Visa holders find themselves in short-term, temporary or seasonal work.

Will I need to pay tax?

Yes. You will need to pay tax while you are living and working abroad. Sometimes a portion of the taxes you pay are refunded when you leave the country.

How do I apply?

Visit the appropriate page on this website. Simply enter the country you are “from” here.
On these pages you will find a link to the “Working Holiday Visa” page of your home countries government. An application or processing fee is usually charged. Usually you can only apply once for a visa for each country.

 

Before you take off

Please contact us if you believe information on this page is incorrect, misleading or offensive, or if something important is missing.

The International Wanderer aims to provide you with up to date and accurate information. However, content is submitted by writers/wanderers from all over the globe. Sometimes we will get it wrong. Furthermore, working holiday and other visa opportunities and requirements (or numbers allocated) may change. New working holiday agreements are constantly being negotiated between countries. We suggest that you contact the nearest consulate or embassy of the country you wish to visit to ensure you have the most recent and accurate information. For further information about this website see our Terms & Conditions.