Monday, 13 January 2014

Working Holiday scheme

(!) See disclaimer at the end of article (!)
Source: J. Aaron Farr CCA licence
Want to really experience a country and its culture? Want to see the local sights, hidden off the "tourist-track"? Then a Working Holiday visa might be just your thing. The visa allows you to travel a country for a longer period of time and finance your travels by working. It's a fantastic opportunity and one I would encourage any person, with access, to do at least once in their life.

Working holiday schemes are reciprocal agreements between specific countries, but generally speaking it's offered to people between 18 and 30 years old (some countries allow up to 35). It allows the person to work and sometimes do short-term studies, whilst travelling around in a country. Typically these kinds of jobs tends to be within hospitality, sales, retail or seasonal work (fruit picking or similar), BUT you're not limited to only those industries.

The view as I'm flying into London. Travelling gives you a entirely new perspective on life. Use it.
It's no need for complicated sponsorship's, contracts or enrolled in expensive courses. Though each country has their own requirements, the general rule is that you need enough funds to sustain yourself and a return ticket (or money for one). You don't need to have a job lined up prior to arriving in the country. Some countries might require proof of health/travel insurance, so that they can be sure you won't cost the health care system anything.

When I left for New Zealand I needed something that was flexible, cheap and trustworthy. After having a look around and reading a ton of travel blogs and forums, I found Travel Guard. Your holiday can take a year to save for, only a second to ruin. Purchase travel insurance through Travel Guard. You can choose between single trips or more long term plans, a single country or the entire world. It's all up to you of course, but trust me; the last thing you want to spend your money on whilst in a foreign country is hospital bills.

Which countries offer Working Holiday visas?

The list is huge and contains countries all over the world. If you are Australian, New Zealander, British or Canadian (Commonwealth Nations) you have the most choices. If you are a Commonwealth citizen, chances are you will be able to get a visa for a longer period of time or even in some cases, a different type of visa.

It's your passport that is relevant here, NOT where you have residency. The terms and conditions of the Working Holiday scheme is relevant only to your passport (unless otherwise stated by the country's immigration's laws).  For example, I'm a British resident, but I'm a Norwegian citizen/passport holder, NOT a British citizen/passport holder. I can only apply for visas as a Norwegian citizen/passport holder.

Please note that EU/EEA passport holders DO NOT require visas to travel, work and/or live in another EU/EEA country. This can be done freely, without restrictions. They are therefore not included in this list.


How to obtain a Working Holiday visa?

Most countries offer a simple online application which can be completed swiftly and will normally give you a reply within 5-10 working days.

Most information will be available online, so just do a search for it. For example "Working Holiday visa Australia" and that will take you directly to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. If you however are uncertain if the site/information you have found is legit, contact your country's embassy/consulate in the country you wish to go to.

Proof of funds
Most countries will require you to have enough funds to sustain yourself, so that you don't become a liability to the State. Sometimes these amounts can be quite high, however many countries will accept credit cards as a source of funds. So if you have a credit card, ask your bank to write you a letter stating the credit card limit and how long you've been an account holder with them.

The list

(!) See disclaimer at the end of article (!)

Argentina
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18-30 years
Countries accepted: Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland, New Zealand

Australia
The iconic Sydney Opera house - Source: Llee-Wu under CCA licence
Duration: 12 months (but no more than 6 months working for one employer)
Age limit: 18- 30 years
Countries accepted: Taiwan, Estonia, Belgium, Italy, France, Cyprus, Finland, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Republic of Korea, Ireland, Japan, The Netherlands, Canada, United Kingdom
Passport holders from Turkey, Thailand, Malaysia, Iran, Indonesia, Chile, Bangladesh, Argentina and the USA need to apply for a subclass 462 visa and are required to have a tertiary education.
New Zealand citizens of any age can work in Australia indefinitely.

Austria
Duration: 6 months
Age limit: 18-30 years
Countries accepted: New Zealand (as well as an exchange program for Canadian graduates)

Belgium
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Canada, Australia, New Zealand

Canada
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18- 30 years for most countries, 18- 35 years for Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, Czech Republic and Chile.
Countries accepted: United Kingdom, Taiwan, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Latvia, Republic of Korea, Japan, Italy, Ireland, Hong Kong, Germany, France, Estonia, Denmark, Czech Republic, Chile, Belgium, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and Australia.

Chile
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand, Canada

Czech Republic
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 35 years
Countries accepted:  Canada, New Zealand

Denmark
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Australia, Canada, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea

Estonia
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 19 – 30 years (18-35 For Canadians)
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand, Canada

Finland
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted:  Australia, New Zealand

France
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted:  Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan
*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), of any age can work in France for up to 90 days without a visa.

Germany
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18-35 for Canadian Citizens)
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, South Korea,Taiwan

Hong Kong
Hong Kong skyline - Source: Eermanns under CCA licence
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted:  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Germany, Japan, South Korea

Ireland
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18 – 35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: Australia, Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea
Ireland also has a Working Holiday Visa scheme for US students or recent graduates.

Israel
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: New Zealand

Italy
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18-35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand, Canada

Japan
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Taiwan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, Ireland

Latvia
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: Canada, New Zealand

Lithuania
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Canada

Malta
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand

The Netherlands
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted:  Australia, Canada, New Zealand

New Zealand
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18-35 in some cases)
Countries accepted:  Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Poland, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Uruguay.
Australians of any age may work in New Zealand indefinitely.

Norway

A shot a took with my phone when I traveled across Norway almost two years ago. A country filled with beautiful fjords and majestic mountains.
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18-35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand, Canada

Poland
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18-35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: New Zealand, Canada

South Korea
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 25 years
Countries accepted: Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan, United States

Singapore
Duration:  6 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Working holiday visas only for graduates and undergraduates from Australia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States

Slovakia
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: New Zealand

Slovenia
Duration:  12 Months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: New Zealand

Spain
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18-35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: New Zealand, Canada

Sweden
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years (18- 35 for Canadians)
Countries accepted: Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea (if unmarried)

Switzerland
Duration: 12 months
Age limit: 18 – 35 years
Countries accepted:  Canada

Thailand
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted:  Australia, New Zealand and must have certain qualifications. (3 years full time study)

Turkey
Duration:  12 Months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Australia

UK 
Left: Me posing infront of Tower Bridge
Right: Probably one of the most iconic construction in the world, Big Ben - Source: Anthony Kelly
Duration:  24 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, Taiwan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, British Overseas Territories
(special restrictions may apply to the Crown Dependencies; Jersey,Guernsey and Isle of Man)

Uruguay
Duration:  12 months
Age limit: 18 – 30 years
Countries accepted: New Zealand

Disclaimer: The information provided here is correct to the best of my knowledge, but you should always check with the official departments, ministries, embassies/consulates etc. to ensure that you have the up to date information. I take no legal responsibility for any actions you take as a result of reading this article. You have to ensure you have all the relevant information and provide the correct information to the destination country.