The idea of a gap year is something that’s part of European culture and while it’s slowly gaining popularity in North America – many people don’t really know which countries offer working holiday visas for Americans and are probably wondering where can U.S citizens get working holiday visas?
Working Holiday Visas are a great way to experience a new culture, work abroad and fund your travels. They enable you to legally live and work in another country anywhere from 6 up to 18 months!
Whether you’re a new grad or have been working in a career you just don’t feel fulfilled in like I was when I quit my job to travel, a working holiday visa is a perfect way to take a break, travel and get paid.
To qualify for these working holiday visas you must be below the age of 30. Working Holiday visas have certain rules and usually limit:
- The type of employment you can have in the country
- The amount of time you can work at one company
- The length of time you can stay.
I recommend figuring out which country you want to work in and then find out the specific requirements of that country.
This list really isn’t too long, so you can research all of them and then see which one meets your needs/wants!
Check out this post for inspirations on jobs that allow you to travel the world for free.
Countries that offer Working Holiday Visas for Americans:
|Country||Age Limit||Duration||Visa Cost:|
|Ireland||Recent Grad||12 Months||$360|
|New Zealand||30||18 Months||$0 FREE|
*Must be 18- 25 and currently enrolled in a specific school or recent post-grad
There are several other countries that have au pair visas, but this list only refers to countries where you can specifically get a working holiday visa.
Working Holiday Visa Limitations
1. You must have a university degree.
It’s important to know that in order to qualify for a Working Holiday Visa in any of these countries (Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, and South Korea) you must either currently be enrolled in a university program or already have a degree from a University.
2. Limits the amount of time you can work at one Employer.
Some working holiday visas have limits to the amount of time you can work for one employer. For example, in New Zealand and Australia, working holidaymakers can only work for one employer for 6 months maximum. This can leave you looking for another job shortly after getting your groove in your first one. But it can be a good thing too because after working for 6 months you can plan travel and then come back and start a new job!
3. Limits the type of jobs you can get.
Since the amount of time you can work at a job is limited, the types of jobs you can easily get are also limited. But not IMPOSSIBLE! You’re not limited to just temp jobs, bartending or the hospitality industry!
Andrew was able to get a 6-month contract working for the government and I got a 6-month contract working for a marketing Events company.
4. You need to have a decent amount saved.
In addition to the working holiday visa requirements, they will want you to have a minimum of 3 months living expenses saved, the exact amount varies depending on the country. This is so that they know you can support yourself in the event it takes longer than anticipated to find a job abroad. Having that money saved will also help you stay calm if you don’t get a job the week after you land.
When researching the requirements of the working holiday visa, always refer to the official Government websites because the information is constantly being updated and blogs are not.
Saving money ain’t easy, so check out these resources:
How to Make More Money
You can also check out how we saved $30K in 8 months to travel the world before landing in Australia with our working holiday visa. After traveling for 8 months, we couldn’t wait to start working again! I know it sounds crazy… but for real doe.
benefits of Working Holiday Visas:
- You get to experience local life!
- Yes, new friends, yes new friends, yes yes yes! You always say you need new friends, well here’s your perfect opportunity!
- Travel and make money, it’s a win-win!
- You can really find all those off the beaten path places, the interesting restaurants that haven’t been discovered on IG yet and really get to know the place
- Your resume will be booming with International Experience on it – work it.
- You’ll save money, get work experience and actually make money instead of doing a Study Abroad Exchange programs
- You only need a fraction of the amount you would need to do a year-long round the world trip and can travel to neighboring countries on weekends!
- Break free from your career box and try a job in a completely different field! I went from being a retail manager to being a marketing account manager! I’ll never go back to retail! NEVAAAA!!!
- Growth. Your personal growth is indescribable.
- You’ll never take your true friends and family for granted ever again. You’ll miss them, gain a new appreciation for them and love them even more!
There are so many more benefits to doing a working holiday visa! Save your money, do your research, buy your flights (for the cheapest price possible) and go! You won’t regret it.
I hope this helped and that you do it! If it did leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you!
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