A Quick Guide To The Working Holiday Visa

Top 10 work and travel visa questions answered

First off, look at you go! Getting all serious and gathering information on working and traveling. You ma friend are basically already on the road to the airport, it feels good, doesn't it?

Before you can step foot on the plane, there's some important bits you'll need to know about working holiday visas (also called a work and travel visa). Below I have for you the top 10 questions about working holidays visas, and of course you're welcome to ask me a question in the comments if there's something I didn't cover! 

Are you Canadian? (Me too!) I wrote a hellah-detailed post on work & travel for Canadians here, including an overview of the 32 countries we can get a work and travel visa in. Yeah, 32, unreal right? What can I say, we're a well-liked bunch. *Insert female emoji with funny hand gesture here* (You know the one I'm talking about).

Top 10 Work & Travel Questions Answered:

Pssssst - you can go ahead and put a 'generally speaking' in front of every one of these answers as policies differ from country to country. These answers will however give you a fair idea of what to expect. 


1. What is a working holiday visa exactly?

A working holiday visa (sometimes also called a work and travel visa) is one of the easiest types of visas to get and they do not require you to have a pile of money ready before leaving as you can work while in your new country. Working holiday visa agreements are made between countries with strong relations to allow citizens easy mobility between countries. 

2. How much does getting a working holiday visa cost?

Costs to apply for the visa range between $0 - $400, with the majority of visa applications running $125.

3. How long can I stay for?

1 year for sure, 2 years sometimes, 3 years on rare occasions.

Top 10 working holiday visa questions answered

4. Can I travel in and out of the country? What if I have a family member pass away at home or want to head back for a holiday?

9.5/10 times traveling in and out of the country as much as you like is perfectly fine.

5. I'm worried about what happens when I get there. Where do I stay, how do I find a job, where will I meet friends?

There are many organizations set up for the sole purpose of assisting people in getting settled when arriving in their work and travel country. Here's a few:

6. Do I need a job lined up before I arrive in the country?

No, and therein lies the exact benefit of a work and travel visa! Because let's be real, who do you know in Sweden ready to give you a job? Yeah, me either. Once you get to a country, walk on up to any bar, farm, tutoring academy, etc to land a job.

7. Are there any jobs I can't get?

Jobs like prostitution, professional sports coaching, working in hospitals, and working with children are sometimes off limits. 

8. Do I need to speak the language of the country I'd like to go to?

Nope! Many countries even have free language classes which you may hop in on, so by the time you leave it's not unlikely you'll be conversational in the local language.

Top 10 working holiday visa questions answered

9. How do I actually get a working holiday visa? Do I get one before I leave home or once I'm in the new country? What's the application process like?

First, you'll want to check out the consulate website of the country you're heading to. It will have a complete list of the paperwork you'll need to gather for your work and travel visa application. (Passport sized photo, application form, and sometimes health insurance proof, a bank statement, a criminal record check). You apply for the visa before leaving home, and visit the country's consulate to apply. (Some countries have even gotten high tech and allow you to apply online instead of heading into the consulate in person.)

To give you an idea of how easy/hard this is, I spent one full day gathering all my application materials for my German work and travel visa and booked an appointment at the consulate for the next day. I drove down to the consulate and my "appointment" took all of 3 minutes whereby the employee flicked through my paperwork to make sure it was all there and then let me know the visa would be ready in 2-3 weeks.

10. I'm from X country. Which countries can I go to on a working holiday visa?

I've listed the visa information for the countries which most of my readers are from. Click on the country you're from and you'll be sent to a government webpage, Facebook group, or blog which lists all the other countries you can work and travel in!

Have a question I didn't answer? Leave it in the comments and I'll try my best to help out!

And for my fellow Canadians, don't miss Work & Travel For Canadians :: Choose From These 32 Countries!