What are the best working holiday visas for Australians?

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A working holiday visa is a fantastic way to live like a local and create authentic experiences you wouldn’t get from tourist travel. However, options for working holiday visas are largely dictated by your country of origin and previous visas held for that specific destination.

To help you wrap your head around the process, here at Travel Insurance Direct, we’re lifting the lid on the best countries that offer Australians the chance of a working holiday visa.

Here’s what you need to know.

1. The UK

Many Australians find it hard to resist the allure of the UK – especially when there’s a proper cup of tea on the line! In fact, in 2017, the country granted more than 165,000 work visas – a one per cent increase from the previous year (UK Government data).

The reason for so many successful applications may lie in the country’s Youth Mobility Scheme (Tier 5). This application enables people aged 18-30 to live and work in the UK for a maximum of two years. Under the scheme, visitors can become employed in most jobs. However, professional sports persons, such as coaches, along with training doctors and dentists (unless qualified in the UK) are exempt from applying.

Budding entrepreneurs can set up a company and become self employed – as long as premises are rented, there are no other employees and equipment doesn’t exceed costs of £5,000 (AU$8,838). So, your festival ice-cream truck dream may come true after all!

Applicants can also study and enter the UK at any time while the visa is valid, and leave and return at any time during their stay.

Application to the Youth Mobility Scheme costs £244 (AU$431), and can be done up to six months in advance.

Photo credit Getty/Sylvain Sonnet

Enjoy England from a whole new perspective with a working holiday visa.

2. Canada

Living like a local in one of the most breathtaking parts of the world is made possible thanks to the International Experience Canada (IEC) working holiday visa. That’s right, the snow-tipped, wildlife-packed, untamed wilderness of Canada has a scheme in place that allows Australians to live and work in the country for a maximum of 24 months!

However, the application for the IEC is a fairly complicated process. There are many loopholes and criteria that must be met. Applicants must first create an IEC profile. From here, the Embassy will select from eligible candidates to then apply for the work permit – otherwise called ’rounds of invitations’. If a candidate receives an invitation, they’ll have a set number of days to submit an application.

For Australians looking to get in on the working holiday action, they must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an Australian citizen.
  • Have a valid Australian passport.
  • Have $2,500 Canadian dollars to cover living costs and a return flight home.
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of application.
  • Have the means to take out health insurance during your stay in the country.
  • Not be accompanied by dependants.

Processing times for Working Holiday Visas is between 8 and 12 weeks.

Thankfully, unlike other countries, Australia is lucky in the fact that there are no limitations to the number of visa spots available.

Photo credit Getty/Matteo Colombo

There are no limitations to the number of visa spots available for Australians!

3. Japan

Where ancient traditions meld perfectly with futuristics technologies is where you’ll find Japan. The Land of the Rising Sun is famed for its unspoilt shrines, plethora of wacky and wonderful activities and unparalleled hospitality. These three reasons and more may explain why so many choose to utilise the country’s working holiday programme.

In 1980, Japan and Australia commenced the Japan-Australia Working Holiday arrangement. This was designed to promote international interaction between the two countries and allow young adults the chance to experience the country from a new perspective. However, the working holiday visa doesn’t cater for those wanting to predominantly work and live – more to cover the costs of travel funds.

The working holiday visa is valid for up to 12 months and is free to obtain for all eligible Australians!

If you’re looking to head off on a working holiday visa adventure, ensure you’re protected no matter where you go. Get in touch with Travel Insurance Direct today to find out how we can keep you covered so you can spend more time enjoying yourself!


TID is an Australian online travel insurance company.


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