A working holiday visa is a type of program that allows young people to work and at the same time, explore another country. The main purpose of working holiday visas is to promote a partnership between two or more countries through youth exchange. With a working holiday visa, young people can experience and appreciate other cultures, traditions, and ways of life.

Working Holiday Visa Requirements

Working holiday visas have the following criteria:

Nationality Your country of citizenship must have an active exchange program with another country.
Age In most cases, you must be between the ages of 18-30. However, Canadian and New Zealand citizens can apply for working holiday visas up to 35 years old.
Employment You can usually work for the same employer for only six months with working holiday visas – sometimes three depending on the country of origin and where you are working. Some countries also limit the type of employment working holiday visa holders can have.
Number of visasMost countries have an annual quota for working holiday visas. It is a first-come, first-served basis.
One-time visa holderMost countries issue a working holiday visa only once per person, with the exception of Australia, which allows participants to receive the visa more than once due to its second and third-year work and holiday programs.

Best Countries to Get a Working Holiday Visa

Some of the best countries that issue working holiday visas include the following: 

  • Australia.
  • Ireland.
  • Japan.
  • France.
  • Argentina. 
  • Austria.
  • New Zealand.
  • Germany.
  • Israel.
  • Italy.
  • South Korea.
  • Hong Kong.

Australia

Australia has one of the most popular working holiday visas; in 2019/20, around 150,000 working holiday visas were granted in total. What makes Australia’s working holiday visa so popular is that there are two subclasses of the visa you can apply for based on your country of origin, Subclass 462 and Subclass 417

Subclass 462Subclass 417
ArgentinaBelgium
AustriaCanada
ChileRepublic of Cyprus
ChinaDenmark
Czech RepublicEstonia
EcuadorFinland
GreeceFrance
HungaryGermany
IndonesiaHong Kong
IsraelRepublic of Ireland
LuxembourgItaly
MalaysiaJapan
PeruRepublic of Korea
PolandMalta
PortugalNetherlands
San MarinoNorway
SingaporeSweden
SlovakiaTaiwan
SloveniaThe UK
Spain
Thailand
Turkey
Uruguay
USA
Vietnam

As a result, there are diverse countries that have signed the work and holiday agreement with Australia. 

In addition to this, there are second and third-year working holiday visas allowing you to apply for the visa more than once. However, keep in mind that Australia regulates the visa by limiting the type of work you can do, mostly farming or construction. 

Canada

You can apply for one of the best working holiday visa programs in Canada. However, you must be a citizen of one country that has a visa agreement with Canada. Still, lucky for you, Canada has a working holiday visa agreement with plenty of countries worldwide.

Here is a list of eligible countries for the Canadian working holiday visa:

AustraliaHong KongPortugal
AustriaIrelandSan Marino
BelgiumItalySlovakia
ChileJapanSlovenia
Costa RicaSouth KoreaSpain 
CroatiaLatviaSweden
Czech RepublicLithuaniaSwitzerland
DenmarkLuxembourgTaiwan
EstoniaNetherlandsUnited Kingdom
FranceNew ZealandUSA
GermanyNorway
GreecePoland

The application process for a Canadian work and holiday visa can be overwhelming since you need to be invited to participate in the program. But if you follow the instructions, you should be able to apply without issues. Keep in mind that this visa is valid for a year, and during this time, you can work the vast majority of jobs in Canada. 

Ireland

Ireland’s working holiday visa is perfect if you are a student or a recent graduate interested in a gap year. This program is aimed mainly at students/graduates between 18 to 35, but you still need to be a citizen from an eligible country. For example, if you are from one of the following countries, you can apply for this visa: 

  • Argentina 
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • New Zealand 
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan 
  • USA

Ireland’s work/holiday permit is valid for 12 months, but you can stay up to 24 months if you are from Canada. 

Japan 

Suppose you always wanted to see the famous Cherry Blossoms in Japan, attend a traditional tea ceremony, or visit a Japanese hot spring inn but never had the financial opportunity to do so. In that case, you may be eligible for a working holiday visa in Japan. To qualify for this type of visa, you have to be a national of any of the following countries: 

ArgentinaGermany Poland
AustraliaHong KongPortugal 
AustriaHungaryRepublic of Korea
CanadaIcelandSlovakia
ChileIrelandSpain
CzechLithuaniaSweden
DenmarkNetherlandsTaiwan
EstoniaNew ZealandThe United Kingdom
France Norway

Please keep in mind that it’s illegal for you to work at bars, cabarets, nightclubs, or gambling centers with this visa. 

France

If you’ve always wanted to go to “the city of love” in France- here’s your chance by applying for the work and holiday scheme. With this visa, you can enjoy your French holiday and still afford your expenses by working during your stay. The work and holiday visa for France is valid for a year, and you won’t need the authorization to work before you travel. 

The countries that have an agreement with France for their work and travel scheme include:

  • Australia.
  • Argentina.
  • Brazil.
  • Canada (agreement on youth mobility).
  • Chile.
  • Colombia.
  • South Korea.
  • Japan.
  • New Zealand.
  • Hong Kong.
  • Mexico.
  • Peru.
  • Russia.
  • Taiwan.
  • Uruguay.

Argentina 

Argentina is one of the best countries to spend a holiday in. The best part about the country is that you can work and earn money while enjoying your holiday. This is because Argentina offers an excellent working holiday visa program. However, you have to be a citizen of the following countries to qualify for a working holiday visa in Argentina: 

  • Germany 
  • Australia 
  • Denmark 
  • France (limited quota) 
  • Ireland 
  • Japan (limited quota) 
  • Norway (limited quota) 
  • New Zealand (limited quota) 
  • Netherlands (limited quota) 
  • Poland (limited quota)
  • Portugal (limited quota)
  • Republic of Korea (limited quota)
  • Sweden 

The Argentinian working holiday visa is valid for six months up to a year. During this time, you can work in different services such as tourism, hospitality, retail, local companies, etc. 

Austria 

Austria issues a working holiday visa for the citizens of the following countries:

  • Argentina 
  • Australia 
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Hong Kong 
  • Israel 
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Korea 
  • Taiwan

You can apply for the Austrian working holiday visa and stay there for one year while financially supporting yourself. Moreover, you can visit any other country in the Schengen area while your visa is valid. You can do a wide range of jobs for this visa type while you stay in Austria; some of the most common work types include waitressing, event crews, instructors, teaching assistants, and hotel staff.   

New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular tourist destination because of its natural beauty and green spaces. But, if you want to be active and earn money while you enjoy New Zealand, you can apply for its work and holiday scheme. New Zealand has a working holiday partnership with several countries, which include the following:

ArgentinaHong KongPhilippines
AustriaIrelandPoland
BelgiumIsraelPortugal
BrazilItalySingapore
CanadaJapanSlovakia
ChileKoreaSlovenia
ChinaLatviaSpain
CroatiaLithuaniaSweden
CzechLuxembourgTaiwan
DenmarkMalaysiaThailand
EstoniaMaltaTurkey
FinlandMexicoUnited Kingdom
FranceNetherlandsUSA
GermanyNorwayUruguay
HungaryPeru Vietnam 

If you qualify for this visa, you can stay in New Zealand for up to 23 months, depending on your country of citizenship. During the time you are in New Zealand, you can work any job you qualify for. 

The United Kingdom 

The United Kingdom is home to one of the most expensive cities for tourists; London. So, if you are looking for a low-budget visit, then you can use UK’s youth exchange scheme and work during your visit. This program is valid for two years, and during this time, you can enjoy several benefits, such as taking part in short-term study programs or launching your own business. 

To apply for this visa, you have to be a national of any of these states:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Japan
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Hong Kong
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan
  • British nationals
  • British Overseas Citizens
  • British Overseas Territories Citizens

Germany 

Germany also issues a working holiday and youth mobility visa to help you fund your holiday. You can apply for this visa if you are a citizen of one of these countries:

  • Australia 
  • New Zealand 
  • Japan 
  • The Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan 
  • Hong Kong
  • Israel 
  • Chile
  • Brazil 

Most young people prefer to go to Berlin and get a job in a start-up or high-tech company- it all depends on your qualifications and interests. But, please keep in mind that the visa is valid only for 12 months. 

Israel 

If you’ve wanted to see Tel Aviv, Holy Jerusalem, Tiberias, Safed and Nazareth, the Dead Sea, but you could never afford to, you can apply for Isreal’s working holiday scheme. You can apply for the visa only as a citizen of the following countries: 

  • New Zealand 
  • South Korea
  • Germany 
  • Austria
  • Australia 

This visa is valid for 12 months, but your passport must have 18 months of validity at the time of application. 

Italy 

Italy is one of the most visited countries worldwide. When you go to Italy, you will have the opportunity to visit some of the world’s oldest and most attractive sights, such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and many more. You must be from one of these countries to apply for Italy’s working holiday visa:

  • Australia 
  • Canada
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand 

You can use the country’s work and travel visa program to visit for up to a year while financing your trip. Depending on the season, you can work all kinds of jobs such as service staff in ski resorts/summer resorts, campsites, or even English teaching if you have TEFL qualifications. In addition to this, you can also do some farm work such as strawberry picking or grape harvesting. 

South Korea 

South Korea is definitely a country you must have on your “to-visit” list. It’s a country with a rich cultural heritage and some extraordinary sights to see. However, if you are concerned about the financial aspect of traveling to South Korea, then you don’t have to worry because it has a very popular working holiday scheme. To qualify for the South Korean work and holiday visa, you have to be from these countries: 

  • Australia 
  • Australia
  • Belgium 
  • Brazil 
  • Canada
  • Chile 

Some of the most popular jobs for the South Korean working holiday visa include tourism, translation, voice acting, and English teaching. 

Spain 

There are many spots to explore in Spain between Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Granada, and Valencia. Moreover, with great weather and famous beaches Spain is one of the most visited countries in the world. For those interested in visiting Spain without breaking the bank, the country offers one of the best work and holiday opportunities

To qualify for the Spain working holiday visa, you have to be a passport holder from one of the countries listed here: 

  • Australia 
  • Canada
  • Japan 
  • South Korea 
  • New Zealand

You can stay for 12 months working as a language teacher, waiter, barista, model, cook, kitchen assistant, and similar service, tourism, and hospitality jobs. 

Chile

The Chilean youth mobility visa allows you to work and explore the country for up to one year. During this time, you can stargaze in the famous Atacama desert, explore some of the best vineyards, and hike the best trails in South America. But, to apply for the visa, you must be a citizen in: 

  • Canada
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Czech Republic
  • New Zealand
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • New Mexico

Hong Kong 

Hong Kong has a work and holiday scheme that allows you to stay there for 12 months and work. To qualify for the scheme, you need to be an official citizen from one of the countries listed below: 

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Canada
  • France 
  • Germany 
  • Hungary 
  • Ireland
  • Japan 
  • Korea
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand 
  • Sweden 
  • United Kingdom

Please note that Hong Kong issues working holiday visas with a limited quota. If the quota has been reached for your country of residence, you won’t get a visa. 

Netherlands

The Netherlands provides a working holiday visa for citizens of these countries: 

  • Argentina 
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand 
  • South Korea

You can get the visa and stay for a year while exploring the culture and lifestyle in the country. But, unfortunately, with the Netherlands ’ youth exchange program, you can’t do full-time work or study and must work for an employer for only 12 weeks at a time.