Most countries outside of the United States require a work visa and someone to be sponsored by a company in order to official work within a foreign country. However, there are a few countries that permit U.S. citizens to enter on Working Holiday Visas and work for up to 12 months to gain experience. These Working Holiday Visas are for young Americans and can generally only be used once. Below are a listing of the countries that offer these special opportunities.
Please note that the Office of International Education is not providing an exhaustive list of the requirements for these visas and it is expected that each individual will do their own research. We are simply providing information and links to additional information on this topic.
For those that want to work and holiday in Australia for up to one year.
- Are at least 18 but not yet 31 years of age
- Are not bringing any dependents with you
- Have a passport from an eligible country
For citizens of the United States that want to work and holiday for up to 12 months
- Be permanently living in the United States
- Be at least 18 but not yet 30 years of age
- Have a passport from the United States that is valid for at least 3 months from your date of return
- Not be bringing children with you
- Have a return ticket or funds for a return ticket
- Have a minimum of NZ$4,200 for living expenses
- Meet health and character requirements
- Hold medical and comprehensive hospitalization insurance for duration of stay
- Be going to New Zealand to holiday (vacation), with work or study as the secondary intention
- Never been approved for a New Zealand Work Holiday Visa before
For United States citizens to work and travel for up to 12 months in Ireland
- Either be currently enrolled full-time in post-secondary education or recently graduated (i.e. within the last 12 months)
- Hold a valid U.S. passport
- Have a bank statement that demonstrates €1500 plus a return ticket or €3000
- Hold medical insurance for the duration of your stay
- Have a complete curriculum vitae (CV) with references
- 18 to 25 years old
- Undergraduate or graduate of the United States
- Your university is recognized by either
- Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities
- Times Higher Education World University Rankings
- Must have been a full-time student for at least 3 months prior to applying
- Have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay
Further information on the Singapore Work Holiday Visa Program
- 18 to 30 years old at time of application
- Must have a valid passport
- Hold a roundtrip ticket
- Proof of financial support for at least 3 months
- Proof of student status or qualifying degree(s)
- Cannot be engaged in any of the following industries: entertainment, medical, law (or anything that requires a special license), foreign language instruction (this requires a different type of visa, or journalism
Further information about the Korean Work Holiday Visa Program
There are several program providers that can assist with obtaining these visas, finding placements, housing, etc. The Office of International Education is not endorsing any of these providers but is simply providing a list of reputable companies.
Yes, you will pay for their services but in the end you will probably save yourself time and energy since they will be doing all of the leg work for you in terms of finding housing, assisting with visas, assisting you with finding your placement, etc. So these are definitely something to consider vs. doing it all yourself.
- GoOverseas’ American’s Guide to Working Holiday Visas
- InterExchange – Provides work and volunteer abroad opportunities in several countries. Assists with logistic services as well as placements.
- BUNAC – Provides work, internship and volunteer placement opportunities in several countries.