A working holiday can be a traveler’s dream. You get to stay in a country for up to two years (depending on the type country) while working and traveling to fully experience the local culture. You’ll have the time to actually experience a place and its people, and you’ll make real friends – something that can be hard to do as a transient backpacker or traveler.
So how do you get a working holiday visa? Depending on where you are from, that can be pretty difficult. There are usually age restrictions (typically 18 – 35), and they often limit the kinds of work you can participate in, but that’s not the hard part. For whatever reason, not many countries offer working holiday visas to American citizens.
Japan has a working holiday program, offering young travelers the chance to stay in-country for anywhere from six months to one year, depending on where you are from. The program is open to Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and Ireland – not America.
Australia and the UK have similar programs, but American citizens are excluded from these as well. The UK’s program is amazing – if you are between the ages of 17 and 30, you can stay for up to 2 years, traveling and working your way around the country. Unfortunately, it is only open to members of the commonwealth, so American’s are not eligible. Some countries do offer working holiday visas for Americans looking to work abroad for an extended period of time. Canada will allow Americans to work and travel through on the northerly side of the border. That’s nice of them, eh?
New Zealand allows Americans to participate in their working holiday programs as well. Qualifying Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 can spend a year working abroad and traveling in New Zealand.
Of course, these regulations change all the time, so you should check government or tourism websites for the latest information on working abroad and working holiday visas.
Next time: Work abroad in bars abroad!