CareerLIfeWanderlust

10 Countries Where You Can Easily Get A Working Visa

Are you thinking of moving overseas? Australia is a million miles away from everywhere, but our government has made up for that tiny con by building great relationships with countries around the world. This is known as the Working Holiday Maker Program, and the idea is that youngens should be able to jet off and work overseas for cultural reasons. We’ll take it!

Now, while it’s possible to snap up a working visa for all of these places, some play a little harder to get than others (USA, we’re looking at you). For these countries, scoring a working visa is a breeze.

UK

Is it just me, or is every second person packing up and moving to London? Aussies between the ages of 18-31 can apply for a Youth Mobility Scheme visa, which is valid for two years. Once it’s approved, you can work in just about any job (unless you’re a professional athlete or doctor) across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The earliest you can apply is 6 months before you travel, and you’re allowed to start job searching before you touch down.

The fine print:

  • You can apply for the visa once in your life.
  • You have to prove you have £1,600 – roughly $3,000 AUD – in the bank to support yourself while you’re looking for work.
  • You’ll need to undergo biometric fingerprinting (a fancy term for, well, fingerprinting) as part of the application process.

CANADA

Chances are, you have a friend who’s carving up the slopes at Whistler – and getting paid for it. They’re probably on the International Experience Canada (IEP) Working Holiday Program. Open to those aged 18-30, that visa allows you to live like a local for 24 months. You can accept any job, but if you want to work in the education or medical fields, you may have to take a medical exam.

The fine print:

  • You can participate in the program once. There are two exceptions. 1) If you lived and worked in Canada with IEC before 2015, you may be eligible for one more stint. 2) If you want to do an internship as part of your studies.
  • You must have $2,500CAN – $2,551 AUD – in savings.
  • You’ll need health insurance that covers your stay.
  • You’ll have to buy a departure ticket.

IRELAND

The luck of the Irish! To call the rolling green hills of Ireland home (and fall in love with your very own Colin Farrell), you can apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation visa. Available to people aged between 18-30, the visa allows you stay in the country for 12 months. And you can work for a maximum of 6 months with any 1 employer.

The catch? You need to be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree, or have graduated in the past year.

The fine print:

  • You’ll need to prove you have $5,000 AUD to live off, or $2,500 AUD plus a return ticket to Australia.
  • You don’t need to secure a job before you arrive.
  • You can work in any type of paid employment.

FRANCE

Want to eat croissants and croque monsieurs every day, and dress like a Parisian? Oui, oui! France offers one-year ‘vacances travail’ (working holiday) visas to Aussies aged between 18-30.

On this long-stay visa, you can work in any position. In true French fashion, the main reason for your stay must be ‘tourism and discovering France’s culture,’ so just remember that when you’re applying.

The fine print:

  • You’ll need $5,000 AUD in your bank account.
  • You must obtain your own health insurance.
  • The visa can’t be extended beyond the 12 months – but if you want to stay, you may be eligible for a freelance or high-achieving professional visa. Boom!

SINGAPORE

East meets West in Singapore, and you can get an insider look at it all with a Work Holiday Pass. The visa is open to uni graduates or students who have completed at least two years of full-time undergraduate study, and are aged 18-30.

You can apply for the visa once. If it’s approved, you’re free to work in almost any job, including professions like medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, architecture and law – so long as you’re registered to practice in Singapore.

The fine print:

  • Singapore issues 500 visas annually, so get in early!
  • You can’t work with the same employer for more than 6 months. After that, you can find another job, or spend the rest of your time holidaying.
  • You can study or train for a total of 4 months. This includes internships, part-time and full-time courses.

ITALY

La dolce vita is waiting for you in Italy. If you’re between 18 to 30 years old and have no dependents (aka wives/husbands/children), you can apply for a working holiday visa.

It lasts a year, and since the Italians have that work-life balance down pat, you can only work in hospitality, labour or tourism for 6 months out of the 12. What a shame…

Thanks to the strong bond the country has with Oz, you’ll even be covered by Italy’s healthcare system for the first six months of your stay.

The fine print:

  • You can work for a maximum of 3 months with the same employer.
  • You must have a return ticket home, or the funds to purchase one.
  • You’ll need ‘sufficient funds’ to support yourself – this number changes all the time, so try to save a few grand to be safe.
  • You can only apply for the visa once.

CHILE

Sights set on South America? Start brushing up on your Spanish, because it’s easy for Aussies to nab a one-year working holiday visa in Chile. As usual, it’s available to citizens aged between 18 and 31.

You can work part-time or full-time, but only for a maximum of 6 months for the same employer.

The number one condition is that you use the money you make to fund your travels around Chile.

The fine print:

  • You have to purchase medical insurance for your 12-month stay.
  • You’ll need a return ticket.
  • You must prove you have the funds to support yourself until you find work. There’s no set number, but the more savings you have, the better your chances. Bye for now, $20 cocktails!
  • The visa can’t be extended or renewed.

POLAND

Spend a year in Poland, and you’ll be switching out your vodka sodas for the straight stuff in no time. The country hands out 200 visas annually to Aussies under the age of 30. To be eligible, you’ll need a degree or at least two years of undergraduate study under your belt.

Like many of the visas on the list, the Polish want to make sure you’re visiting mostly for leisure, not business. When you get there, you can work in just about any occupation.

The fine print:

  • You must have return or onward travel ticket, or the money to purchase one.
  • You’ll need sufficient cash stashed in the bank. This is up to the discretion of the consulate, but a few thousand should be plenty.
  • You have to buy medical and comprehensive hospital care insurance.
  • You’ll need a letter from the Australian government that confirms your intention to go to Poland to work and travel. The process is pretty simple – you’ll find the steps here.

PORTUGAL

You’ve probably hit up Portugal on a Euro summer trip, so the next step is to live in Lisbon for a year! The country’s 12-month working visa is a bit exclusive – there are only 200 on offer annually, so you’ll want to snap yours up quickly. Again, it’s open to young people aged 18-30 with a degree, or two years of undergrad to their name.

In Portugal’s words, ‘work must be incidental to the holiday,’ – which basically means they want you to have a good time first, and work second. Ah, Europe!

The fine print:

  • You can work for up to 6 months with the same employer.
  • You can study/intern/train for a maximum of 4 months.
  • You must have enough money to support yourself – at the moment, $5,000 AUD is the sweet spot. In good news, Portugal is cheaper than many other European countries, so that should set you up for a while.
  • You’ll need an onward travel ticket or the money to buy one.

DENMARK

If you’ve always pictured yourself strolling the streets in style in Copenhagen, now’s your chance. Denmark – aka the happiest country in the world – has a sweet working holiday agreement with Australia.

The primary purpose of your stay must be to ‘holiday’ (nooo problem), but you have the freedom to work, too. The Residence Permit is valid for 12 months, and you’re also allowed to study or take a training course during that time.

The fine print:

  • You must be between the ages of 18-30.
  • You’ll need DKK 18.000 – about $3800 AUD – to cover your expenses when you arrive.
  • You’ll have to show a receipt for your return flight to Australia, or prove you have the cash to pay for tickets.
Words by Katia Iervasi 

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