Immersing yourself abroad on a working holiday visa is an incredible self-development tool. Get yourself a growth checklist and it’ll tick them all.

New scenarios? Yep.

Out of your comfort zone? Definitely.

Different experiences? You bet.

Yes, you’ll gain experience and you’ll earn a solid wage, but the memories you make by climbing above challenges in a brand new country will live with you forever.

 

Note: This information is based on ‘normal’ immigration conditions. Most borders are currently shut due to the current worldwide effect of Covid-19, so please do not apply during this current situation. By all means research for future travel, but it is important to stay at home for now.

 

 

Do I need a ‘Work’ Visa or a ‘Working Holiday’ Visa?

It’s important to understand the difference between working abroad and a working holiday.

If you plan to emigrate to a different country permanently, then you’ll have to qualify for a full work visa. These are much different and tend to need a trade, offer of employment and for you to meet a host of pre-entry requirements. It’s also a longer and more competitive process, and with it being permanent, it doesn’t tend to appeal to young adults.

So if you’re looking to work outside of the EU (and no doubt after Brexit, even Europe), you’ll need to secure a different type of visa.

 

 

What is a ‘working holiday’ visa?

For those who don’t want to go permanently, but want to immerse themselves in a new country, then a working holiday visa is what you’re looking for.

It gives you the perfect mix of unrestricted freedom and an easy-to-apply process.

Whether you want to further your career with 12 months of relevant employment, or you want to get your hands dirty doing farm work for a year, the opportunity is there. You decide your path with a working holiday visa, and you’ll find the liberating freedom that comes with it will mean you’ll have the time of your life.

You’ll also be earning a proper wage, but more than anything, you’ll be getting a full immersion into a new area and culture. You can see places on a two-week trip, but you’ll feel a place when you live there.

On leaving, you won’t just have an affinity for your chosen country, but a love for it. You’ll become a champion from afar and you’ll be happy to tell people about your time.

Unfortunately, working holiday’s aren’t available everywhere. Even the countries that do offer them have different processes depending on the country of your passport. The following list is based on if you’re from the UK, so if you’re born elsewhere, be sure to check in with the relevant embassy to see if you qualify.

So if you’re interested in an opportunity to grow, learn and live your best life abroad for a year (or more), then the below countries can provide you with that chance.

 

 

Australia

Credit: Pixabay.

 

Australia has arguably the most popular working holiday visa in the world, with it being a favourite route of backpackers for years.

The appeal is easy to see, with world-famous sights, incredible weather and loads of opportunity for English speakers.

All Australian industries take working holiday visa workers, meaning that no matter what your experience, you’ll have a fair chance of sorting relevant work.

You can secure a second (and now even third) year visa through completing 3+ months rural work, which tends to be farm work. It’s almost a rite of passage for backpackers. If you meet a fellow traveller who’s done an Australian working holiday visa, there’s a good chance they’ve done a stint on a farm.

 

Australian Working Holiday Visa Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-30
  • What is the cost of the visa? – AUS$485 (approx £255)
  • What are the visa requirements? – An eligible passport, you must be outside of Australia on applying, not accompanied by dependent children, not been previously granted an Australian working holiday visa
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped? No. from the UK there is an unlimited number of working holiday visas available.
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – One year (with options to extend for a second year upon the completion of 3 months rural work)
  • How Long does it take to process? – 75% of applications are granted within 9 days, with 90% within 18 days.
  • Where can I apply for an Australian Working Holiday Visa? – You can apply for an Australian working holiday visa by clicking through here.

 

 

New Zealand

Credit: Pixabay.

Like its Aussie neighbours, New Zealand holds a lot of attraction for UK working holiday visa workers.

It also boasts some of the most picturesque scenery found anywhere on the globe. No matter which of the two islands you choose to make base, you’re never far away from gorgeous sights or ample opportunity.

New Zealand encourages working holiday visa workers in all industries, so there are many avenues into well-paid work. Hospitality, travel and tourism are massive drivers for backpackers, so you’re very likely to find something within these sectors.

Another aspect the country is well known for is its skiing.

It finds a lot of ski season workers arriving during their winter months (Southern Hemisphere remember, so it’s opposite to ours).

Both North and South Island have their ski slopes to brag about, yet Queenstown on the South Island is known to be one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. It is also the gateway to Milford Sound and the Fjordland; a must for any New Zealand visit.

 

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-30
  • What is the cost of the visa? – Approx NZD$280 (for one year visa) (approx £140)
  • What are the visa requirements? – An eligible passport, you must be outside of Australia on applying, not accompanied by dependent children, not been previously granted a New Zealand working holiday visa, must have at least NZD$350 per month of intended stay, proof of onward travel out of NZ or funds to do so, medical check (if applying for 2-year visa)
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped? – No, from the UK there is an unlimited number allowed to be granted.
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – One year (You can also apply for a 2-year visa, both before departure and in-country)
  • How Long does it take to process? – 90% are processed within 33 days (although most applications are completed much sooner)
  • Where can I apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa? – You can apply for a New Zealand working holiday visa here.

 

Canada

Credit: Pixabay.

Canada is one of the ski capitals of the world and anyone who enjoys skiing will, at one point, consider working a season here.

Although you can work in a city or even a remote location, the main draw is the major ski resorts. Living on-slope with fellow workers, you mix work with play, as you hit the snow on your time off.

Because of its huge popularity, Canada has a capped number of working holiday visas for UK applicants. Most years there are several (thousand) disappointed applicants, so be sure to stay well ahead of the game when applying.

The sheer size of the country means you’ll have to spend some time deciding the best area for you. Once you have, you’ll be able to scope out the major recruiters and even start applying for roles and accommodation before you arrive in the country. 

 

Canada Working Holiday Visa (IEC) Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-30
  • What is the cost of the visa? – Approx CAD$250 (approx £150)
  • It’s called an IEC. What does IEC stand for? – International Experience Canada. It is what Canada’s working holiday visa is called.
  • What are the visa requirements? – An eligible passport, a minimum of CAD$2500 in funds, proof of onwards travel or funds to cover them, proof of health insurance, biometrics required in advance
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – 12-24 months
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped? – Yes. It’s limited to 5000 for the UK/Ireland. The number of applicants FAR outstrips the number available.
  • How Long does it take to process? – Up to 8 weeks, but usually quicker.
  • Where can I apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa (IEC)? – You can apply for a Candian working holiday visa (IEC) here.
  • When do I have to apply by? – Normally by October, November, but it’s best to check directly on the embassy website.

 

 

Singapore

Credit: Pixabay.

Singapore has a more restrictive working holiday visa, but for those that do fall within the requirements, you’ll be gaining unparalleled experience in one of the financial powerhouses of the global economy.

It’s a small country which you’ll find your way around quickly and you’ll no doubt get to know your fellow working holiday visa workers.

Although the visa is limited to 6 months, it still gives you loads of time to settle and learn the culture.

You’ll find that most people speak English, so integrating quickly shouldn’t be a problem, meaning you can centre your focus on your work.

For those with an interest in finance, it is the ideal place to take the next step in your career.

 

Singapore Working Holiday Visa Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-25
  • What is the cost of the visa? – SGP$175 (approx £105)
  • What are the visa requirements? – The visa requirements are much more restrictive, as you have to be an undergraduate/graduate student from university and also between the ages of 18-25.
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped? – Yes. There is a 2000 grant limit cap on applications from the UK.
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – The visa allows you a 6-month stay.
  • How Long does it take to process? – It completely varies per application, so enquire directly before submitting.
  • Where can I apply for a Singapore Working Holiday Visa? – You can apply for a Singapore working holiday visa here. 

 

 

Hong Kong

Credit: Pixabay.

A financial juggernaut, Hong Kong is another capped-entry working holiday visa, which also acts as the perfect gateway into the rest of Asia.

It has a huge ex-pat community and has long been known to be a favourite of both young and old workers, mainly because of the eclectic mix of culture, things to do and businesses to work for.

For those furthering their career as part of their working holiday, Hong Kong is one of the premier world locations to display your talents and to learn from the best.

 

Hong Kong Working Holiday Visa Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-30
  • What is the cost of the visa? – Approx HKD$200 (approx £25)
  • What are the visa requirements? – An eligible passport, proof of HK$22000 funds or more, proof of onwards travel or funds to cover it when required, proof of health insurance and no accompanying dependent children allowed.
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped? – This is one of the more restrictive caps, with only 1000 available for UK applicants.
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – One year.
  • How Long does it take to process? – The visa process can vary depending on the application, so it’s best to reach out.
  • Where can I apply for a Hong Kong Working Holiday Visa? – You can apply for a Hong Kong working holiday visa here.

 

 

South Korea

Credit: Pixabay.

A lesser-known and lesser travelled route is to South Korea.

It is a country that has an incredibly well-developed technology industry, and it provides an interesting alternative for a year away.

As part of the working holiday visa application, there are specific job roles available, so be sure to read through the in’s and out’s of employment.

The primary language is Korean, so if you’re wishing to secure a role where you can earn and develop, you’ll have to make sure you brush up on your conversational Korean.

If you do, you’ll have a unique opportunity to explore this interesting country.

 

South Korea Working Holiday (H-1) Visa Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-30
  • What is the cost of the visa? – Approx £200
  • What are the visa requirements? – An eligible passport, no accompanying or dependent children, proof of onwards travel or funds to cover them when required, have reasonable funds to cover your length of stay of about £1500+, proof of health insurance, a full criminal background check, required medical certificate
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped? – No, there is an uncapped amount for UK applicants.
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – One year.
  • How Long does it take to process? – The process does vary, so it’s best to contact your local embassy for exact times.
  • Where can I apply for a South Korean Working Holiday (H-1) Visa? – You can apply for a South Korean working holiday visa (H-1) here. 

 

 

Japan

Credit: Pixabay.

A culturally rich and fascinating country, Japan is an incredible mix of history and modern living.

Its influential culture is still present across the entire country and is one of the most absorbing worldwide.

Although culture is a well-known lure to Japan, you may not know it is also well known for its incredible ski.

If you’re a powder skier, then Japan is the place to be. There are lots of resorts across the country which take in international workers, and although you’ll have to have some basic Japanese, English will also get you moving. With over 600 inches of snowfall in winter, you can see why this more unknown side of Japan is appealing.

Japan Working Holiday Visa Requirements

  • What is the age range? – 18-30
  • What is the cost of the visa? – approx £21 
  • What are the visa requirements? – You need an eligible passport, no accompanying or dependent children, as well as proof of onwards travel or the funds to cover it, have “reasonable funds” to cover your stay, health insurance
  • How long does the visa allow me to stay for? – One year
  • How Long does it take to process? – Varies depending on the application.
  • Are there a limited number of visas/is it capped?? – No. From the UK any number of applicants can have their applications granted.
  • Where can I apply? – You can apply for a Japan working holiday visa here.

 

 

This article will be kept up to date with any new information and items which could help you find the perfect working holiday visa. It acts as a general guide so, as always, if you have any in-depth questions or are unsure about certain legalities, please contact your local embassy for the most up-to-date information.

 

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