Working Holiday Visas
Working Holiday Visas are applicable to certain countries such as Canada and Australia, which allow you to easily get your visa online in a matter of hours.
We love this type of visa mainly because of the ease of the whole thing. Apart from a few annoying questions/demands, such as lung x-rays in some cases, WHV’s are a great way to immerse yourself into a local lifestyle whilst being able to earn money at the same time.
Most working holiday visas schemes are under reciprocal agreements between two countries, the main reason being these countries want to encourage travel and the exchange of culture between their citizens. The requirements for each scheme vary between countries but are often quite similar, such as having a clean criminal background check and a certain amount of funds in your back account upon arrival in the airport (although I have to say, I’ve never heard of the latter getting checked).
Working holiday visas are usually limited to visitors between the ages of 18-30, although some will accept applicants up to the age of 35. Some of the working holiday visas have certain limits on the types of jobs that travellers can take or the amount of time they can be employed during their visit. In Australia, for example, you can only work for the same employer for a maximum of 6 month unless they wish to sponsor you. The usual types of jobs that young people get on working holiday visas are in the tourism and hospitality, retail or seasonal industries, but there are plenty of other options available. I was in a managerial role in Sydney, whereas Thibault worked in hospitality as a bartender. We both had no previous skills in these positions, but nonetheless got the job and ended up smashing it (excuse the pun, Thibault….)
There are various companies that will offer to organise your working holiday visa for you – but trust us, you don’t need it. They charge a premium for ‘advice’ on setting up bank accounts, finding work, accommodation, blah blah – advice which you can find very easily, and more importantly FREE, if you just ask around your friends or join chat forums.
How much do Working Holiday Visas cost?
Working Holiday Visas can cost anywhere from around 40USD to 300USD, all depending on the country your from and where your going. Bare in mind, that they will most likely require you to have a certain amount already in your bank account.
Is it easy to apply?
Suuuupper easy – unless it’s Canada. Their application process is rather ridiculous if you ask us – we know many people, including us, who’ve been denied for no reason at all. The Australian and New Zealand applications almost couldn’t be easier – fill all the details in online, pay your fee, and wait! You receive your visa via e-mail (if your accepted) within a matter of hours!
How long does the visa last?
You need to research each country individually. In Australia, A Working Holiday Visa gives you 12 months to travel to Australia from the date the visa is granted, and allows you to stay in Australia for 12 months from the date you first enter Australia. You can leave and re-enter Australia within the 12 months from the date of initial entry to Australia. However, if you depart Australia during your 12 month stay, you are not able to recover in any way the period of time spent outside Australia. Thibaults brother broke his knee at the very beginning of his Australian Working Holiday Visa so had to go home for treatment, meaning he lost almost his whole visa! Be careful out there guys!
Which countries offer Working Holiday Visas?
It all depends on which country you come from. As a British citizen, I get WHV’s for the following:
New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Japan.
In Thibault’s case, Belgian citizens get access to:
Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada and Taiwan.
There’s plenty of websites that will tell you which countries are open to, so just do some research and check our your options.
Once I land, how easy is it to find employment?
As so far we’ve only used our Australian WHV, I can’t comment on the others yet. I personally found Gumtree fantastic in finding a job – some countries use this site religiously and in others it’s barely known. Of course Australia has the job search engines such as Reed, Seek, and Monster, but I found a lot of them super tedious and repetitive to use. And besides that, I hardly got any response from them. I found my job at The Cuban Place in Sydney via Gumtree, applied for it by sending my resume to the email included, and was offered an interview the next day. I met with the current Event Manager and we hit it off massively, and in fact we’re still good friends to this day! She had faith in me that I could do her role justice and thankfully offered me the job a few days later!
Thibault also had great luck using Gumtree, finding his sales role within 2 days of searching. If your looking for a hospitality based role such as bar tending or waitressing, we would both strongly recommend going old-school and doing a resume drop at every place you pass by. Make sure you attach a photo to your resume (especially in Australia) as many places won’t even look at your work history without one.
Working Holiday Visas are a fantastic way to see the country with the knowledge that you will be able to legally find employment from the moment you touch down. If you have any questions about these visas, or want to add anything we’ve left out, please shoot us a message!