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6 Best Working Holiday Visas for Americans (& How to Apply)

best working holiday visas for americans

Are you a US citizen wanting to explore a new country but wondering how you can earn money at the same time? Working holiday visas for Americans can allow you to enjoy an incredible experience of travelling and working abroad.

While the majority of people who live abroad are retired or self-employed, these aren’t the only options. With a working holiday visa, you can visit another country with the primary purpose of travelling while also being able to get a job there.

In this article, we’ll share the best working holiday visas for Americans, whether you want to go somewhere with beautiful scenery like Ireland or year-round sunshine like Australia. We’ll also discuss the visa requirements and steps for applying.

Read More: How to Move to Europe as an American: A Practical Guide

Difference Between Working Holiday Visas and Digital Nomad Visas

Working holiday visas are usually for working in the country you’re visiting, whereas digital nomad visas let you work remotely. For example, if you have a digital nomad visa for a country in Europe, you can visit while working remotely for an American company. However, if you have a working holiday visa for a European country, you would get a job in the place you’re visiting.

If you’re on a working holiday visa, you usually don’t have to get your job until after you arrive. Most visas last for 6 or 12 months, and some allow you to extend.

There are also usually age restrictions for working holiday visas. Many countries require you to be at least 18 years old but younger than 30 or 35. Meanwhile, a digital nomad visa typically works for a person of any age.

Read More: 19 Remote Work & Digital Nomad Visas You Should Know About 

How to Apply For a Working Holiday Visa

The application process for a working holiday visa is similar to applying for a digital nomad visa.

While the steps slightly vary for each specific location, most working holiday visas for US citizens require the following:

  • Choose your location
  • Have a passport valid for the next year or more
  • Gather proof of income, health or travel insurance, and flight ticket home
  • You may also need proof of being a college student or a recent graduate
  • Fill out an application
  • Pay your application fee

Tip: Read more about the difference between working holiday and remote work visas on our Substack.

The Best Working Holiday Visas for Americans

While there are many digital nomad visas for Americans, there aren’t as many working holiday visas. That said, there are still several excellent options. 

US citizens can get a working holiday visa in the following countries:

  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Korea/South Korea
  • Canada

Below, we’ll discuss why each location would be great for working and travelling and how you can apply for their working holiday visa for US citizens.

1. Ireland Working Holiday Visa

Ireland has some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, with lush green fields and beautiful lakes. It also has a rich history, unique culture, and fun activities. 

If you hope to experience Ireland’s beauty while working locally, you can apply for a working holiday visa and stay in Ireland for up to one year. 

ireland working holiday visa

Ireland Working Holiday Visa Requirements:

  • You must be 18 years or older,
  • And either be currently pursuing a full-time post-secondary certificate or degree or have completed a post-secondary program within the last 12 months
  • There are no restrictions on the type of work you engage in as long as it follows Irish law
  • You must arrive in Ireland within six months of being approved, and your visa’s 12-month period begins when you arrive in Ireland 

How to apply for the Ireland Working Holiday Visa:

  • Complete and sign the application
  • Submit the following by mail or in person with the relevant Consulate General or Embassy:
    • Photocopy of your US passport valid for at least one year after your entry into Ireland
    • Two recent identical passport photos with your name
    • Current CV or resume with at least two references
    • Evidence of your post-secondary education
    • Original bank statement showing you have access to at least $4,000
    • Your application fee (varies by state)
    • Return airline ticket
    • Certificate of medical or travel insurance

2. Australia Working Holiday Visa

Australia is known for its year-round sunshine, beautiful beaches, and many national parks. With incredible work-life balance opportunities, it’s the perfect place to work, relax, and explore. If you want to explore Australia’s natural wonders while earning money, consider taking a working holiday there. 

The First Work and Holiday visa allows you to work for three months or study for four months during your travels. You can extend your stay for 12 months with additional visas, and you can travel to and from Australia as many times as you’d like during your visa.

solis portable wifi
australia working holiday visa

Australia’s First Work and Holiday Visa Requirements:

  • You must be between 18 and 30 years old,
  • Apply from outside of Australia,
  • Not be with dependent children or family members,
  • Not have previously entered Australia or a Work and Holiday Visa

How to apply for Australia’s First Work and Holiday Visa:

  • Create an account to apply and submit appropriate documents
  • Pay the application fee of AUD 635.00
  • Processing times vary but are usually finalized within two months

3. New Zealand Working Holiday Visa

New Zealand has just about any scenery you can imagine, including beaches, islands, glaciers, lakes, and mountains. It’s also one of the best destinations for hiking and other outdoor adventures. 

New Zealand’s fascinating appeal is why it has one of the best working holiday visas for Americans. You can work in New Zealand for up to one year or study for up to six months.

new zealand working holiday visa

New Zealand Working Holiday Visa Requirements:

  • You must be between 18 and 30 years old
  • Solo travellers only unless those accompanying you have their own visa
  • Proof of good health, character, and intentions
  • You can perform any job that isn’t permanent as long as it’s legal

How to apply for the New Zealand Working Holiday Visa:

  • Complete the online application
  • Submit documentation, including
    • Return airline ticket
    • Bank statements or other proof of having at least NZD 4,200 
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • NZD 455 application fee
  • Submit further evidence if requested
  • Wait for the decision to be sent to you via email, usually within two weeks of submitting your application 

4. Singapore Working Holiday Visa

When I was a full-time traveller, one of the most fun remote work destinations in Southeast Asia was Singapore. If you want to travel to Singapore and work locally, you can apply for their work holiday pass.

Singapore is an excellent place for a working holiday if you like city life and exciting nightlife while still enjoying a relaxed atmosphere. There’s so much to see and do in Singapore, with many eating, drinking, shopping, and outdoor experiences.

singapore working holiday visa

Singapore Work Holiday Pass Requirements:

  • You must be between 18 and 25 years old,
  • Be a full-time college student or a recent graduate

How to apply for the Singapore Work Holiday Pass:

  • Gather your documents, including your passport and college degree or letter from your college if you’re currently enrolled and a copy of your student ID card 
  • Complete the online application and submit your documents
  • Pay $175 for your pass
  • Processing time for your application should be 3-4 weeks 

5. South Korea Working Holiday Visa (Republic of Korea)

Many people who consider travelling to the Republic of Korea (ROK) have South Korea in mind. South Korea is known for its eclectic culture, delicious food, and beautiful scenery. It also has a vibrant art, fashion, and tech industry.

South Korea’s Working Holiday Program lets you stay and work or study for up to 18 months.

south korea for digital nomads

South Korea Working Holiday Visa Requirements:

  • You must be between 18 and 30 years old, 
  • Be a post-secondary student or graduate within the last year,
  • And travelling solo or with someone who also has a working holiday visa
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself for at least three months in ROK
  • You can’t perform the following jobs: adult entertainment, dancing, singing, musician, foreign language instructor without an E-2 visa, or roles that require specific licenses like medical, lawyer, professor, etc.

How to apply for the South Korea Working Holiday Visa:

  • Apply at your nearest Korean Embassy
  • Submit all required documents, including
    • Recent photographs
    • Visa application form
    • Roundtrip airline tickets
    • Proof of financial documents
    • Proof of degree or current student status
  • Pay $45 application fee

6. Canada Working Holiday Visa

If you’re looking to stay relatively close to the US and want to visit and work somewhere full of natural beauty and diverse cities, Canada is an excellent option.

Canada’s Working Holiday Visa is a bit different from the other options because Americans can’t directly get one. However, you can join a working holiday program through Go International.

There are usually a couple of program options for Canada. Go International will nominate you for the Working Holiday Visa, or you can go non-sponsored if you have a work permit. These programs usually allow you to stay in Canada for anywhere from 6 to 24 months.

Visit Go International online to find a program that’s a good fit for you, learn about the requirements, and apply. 

canada working holiday visa

Best Working Holiday Visas for Americans: Conclusion

Working holiday visas for Americans are a great way to travel and earn money abroad. We hope you found this article helpful and feel inspired to explore a new place.

If you want more support in preparing to travel internationally, you might be interested in reading the following:

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