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Working holiday visa opportunities for UK & British citizens!

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As soon as I got the travel bug, I knew one holiday a year wasn’t enough. I needed to prolong my travels. To somehow make them long-term without going broke. I know I am not the first person that has wanted to explore the world. And I definitely won’t be the last!

I heard about the working holiday type visa for British & UK citizens and just had to find out everything I could about them.

Since this post is aimed at working holiday visa opportunities for British passport holders & UK citizens, if you are from a different country and want to see what working holiday visas are available to you, you can check this link here.

New to travelling long-term? Why not check out my Travel Resources page & see how to plan a trip abroad for the first time

Plus, these posts might give you some important information about long-term travelling:


Why do people go on working holidays?

First, What is a working holiday? In short, it’s one of the best ways that people can afford to travel long-term for up to 1 year in another country. But there are many reasons a person might want to embark on this type of adventure.

You could be fresh out of studying and wanting a break before starting a career. Maybe you are a permanent dreamer looking for an escape from your reality.

How about having the desire to try ALL the different food cuisines in their native homes? What if you just got tired of permanent grey skies in the UK and want some better weather?

Whatever the reason, you’re not alone!

At one point I think I ticked all 4 of the boxes above and have had itchy feet to get out and explore for as long as I remember. I’d spend hours per week when I was younger researching different countries and trying to see where I would like to go, and honestly, there was never a destination that I wouldn’t want to visit at least once.

I didn’t have anyone to turn to for advice on travelling long term or travelling solo for that matter, so I had to figure it out myself. My avenue for research was the internet. Back when I started looking for recommendations or advice on working holidays for Brits and UK citizens, I didn’t quite find what I was looking for.

So that brings me to why I am creating this post to try and break down all of the places British citizens can take a working holiday visa!


Preparing to move overseas

Not sure what travel sites you should use when booking your travels? Here are a few of my favourite sites and apps to make my travels easier that you could start with. If you’d like to explore your options, head over to my travel resources page for a more in-depth look at travel brands for all occasions!

Don’t forget to get travel insurance to cover you if something bad happens. One company I have personal experience with is Safety Wing. Not everyone needs the same coverage, so make sure you get a personalised quote that suits you and your trip plans.

Money Exchange

Once you start your trip you’re going to need to transfer money from home into your new bank account. A company that I have found to have the best conversion rates and great customer service is Wise (formerly known as Transferwise).

You can check them out on my link here: Transfer money using Wise

Stay connected

In order to successfully use apps, navigate and travel overseas, it’s often worth ordering yourself an eSIM from Airalo. They’re more convenient than standard SIM cards because they can be downloaded directly to your phone. They can be ordered for both individual countries and entire regions.

Booking your flights

It’s no doubt that Skyscanner is one of the world’s largest comparison sites for airline travel. They are always my go-to when looking for itineraries. I’d recommend finding a travel route and airline you like on Skyscanner and then booking the flight directly through the airline – instead of the comparison site. If you find yourself travelling frequently, consider using WayAway too as they offer cashback on many flights. This can add up when you fly often.

Booking your accommodation

If like me you’re travelling solo (or maybe you and your travel partners just want to meet people easily), a hostel is always my recommended property type. They’re sociable and affordable and they’re often located close to popular amenities in a tourist destination!

Take a look at Hostelworld and its large collection of hostels. If a hostel is not your style and you’d rather stay anywhere else, check out Booking for a wide collection.


How many working holiday visa countries for British / UK citizens are there?

sydney opera house at sunset during the working holidays for brits
Sydney Opera House at sunset taken by a friend of mine

Australia

The country is known for its incredibly hot weather, sandy beaches and animals native only to Oz. This is the most common place young travellers flock to when leaving home for the first time.

With no language barrier here, working holidays for Brits or fluent English speakers, and an abundance of job opportunities in cities and rural locations, there is something for any type of traveller who crosses the border!

Want to hang out with a kangaroo on a white sandy beach? Cuddle an adorable koala at the famous Australia Zoo? How about trying surfing on the East Coast? Or visit the world-famous Great Barrier Reef!

There is so much to see and do here and you could have a whole year (or two, or three) to do it!

Length of visa: 1 year

Allowed to work: Full 1 year

Cost: 495 AUD / roughly 260 GBP (depending on the exchange rate)

Minimum Cash requirement: Approximately $5,000 AUD / roughly £2,600 GBP (depending on exchange rates)

Eligible age: Between 18 and 30 at the time of application (including 2nd & 3rd-year visas). You have one year to enter the country from the date of approval.

No. of visas for Brits per year: Unlimited

Conditions: Must complete 88 days or 3 months of RURAL farm work in order to qualify for a 2nd-year visa. You may use your 2nd year straight after your 1st year is up, or you can use the 2nd year a few years after. If you complete 6 months’ worth of farm work you can now get a third year too!

When to Apply?: Anytime! There are unlimited visas so you can apply any time of year.

How to Apply?: On the Australian government website


peyto lake in canada from the viewpoint. the second most popularworking holidays for brits
Peyto Lake in the Canadian Rockies taken during my BC & Alberta road trip

Canada

Check out my Canada archives here.

Canada has so many different landscapes to see. If you travel to the west coast you’ll be surrounded by endless rainforests. You’ll be close to the mountains which are on every Canadian postcard.

On the East Coast, you can experience a ‘real’ Canadian winter. A thick, white layer of snow is guaranteed, unlike many parts of the UK! Working holidays for Brits in Canada are completely different to a WHV in Australia.

There are so many opportunities to see unique wildlife and experiences that we just don’t have. Plus, have you heard about how stereotypically friendly Canadians are?

How do you feel about seeing a moose? You could go camping in Bear Country? Maybe spend the winter in a world-renowned ski resort? Ever need a police officer? – they have mounties instead!

Length of visa: 2 years

Allowed to work: Full 2 years

Eligible age: Between 18 and 30 at the time of application. You have one year to enter the country from the date of approval.

Cost: $156 CAD for participating in IEC and $100 CAD for the open working holiday permit ($256 CAD is roughly £148 GBP (depending on the exchange rate)

Minimum Cash requirement: Enough money to support you during your first 3 months in the country which is approximately $2,500 CAD / £1,400 GBP (depending on exchange rates)

No. of visas for Brits per year: between 5,000 & 6,000. Working holidays for Brits here are so desirable, you can expect an average of 25,000 applications a year.

Conditions: Must use the two years at the same time. So you cannot do one year and then go back for the 2nd year in 3 years. Any time you are not in the country you will not get back as the visa will just continue to run. You must also have sufficient Long-term Travel Medical insurance for the DURATION of the trip. If you only pay for 1 year’s insurance, you run the risk of only being issued a visa as long as your insurance policy!

When to Apply?: You can enter the ‘pool’ at any time during the year, however, candidates with profiles in the pools will only start to be invited to formally apply during the 3 rounds of invitations. These dates change each year but round one is usually around March. Two more rounds will take place between March and the end of the year.

How to Apply?: Through the IEC Canadian government website


Photo by Nicolas J Leclercq

Iceland

Known worldwide as the country of fire and ice, Iceland has an abundance of unique landscapes just waiting to be explored. How do you feel about experiencing the midnight sun in the peak of the summer and wandering around in the night, but while it’s still light outside,

Or maybe you’re more into the abrupt and chilling winters with the stunning displays of the Aurora Borealis floating across the sky. In Iceland, you’ll get the opportunity to explore the small villages straight out of folklore tales.

You can go hiking up volcanoes and watch waterfalls cascading above you.

With such a small population permanently living on the island, you’ll be able to explore this amazing country without facing too many crowds which will allow you a truly special experience during your time here.

Length of visa: Up to 1 year.

Allowed to work: Yes, unlimited hours and for the duration of your 1 year visa.

Cost: 16,000 ISK / 91.50 GBP (dependent on the exchange rate at the time)

Minimum cash requirement: 217,799 ISK per person per month. You must show the full amount required for the duration of your stay. If you can prove that you intend to work during your stay, this requirement can be lowered.

Eligible age: Between 18 and 31 at the time of application.

No. of visas for Brits per year: Not specified.

Conditions: You cannot use your time on the working holiday visa to count towards or apply for a permanent residence visa. Once you have started your visa, if you leave the country for 3 months in a row, your visa will be cancelled.

When to apply: Any time of the year.

How to apply?: Applications can only be submitted in paper form. You can get the application form on the official government website. You will then need to mail the application to the Directorate of Immigration which is also found at the link above.


Photo by Derek Lynn

Monaco

Monaco, although it is the second smallest sovereign state in the world, is also known for being the playground for the rich and famous and now you British passport holders have the opportunity to live and work there too.

In the summer months, you could be bumping shoulders with fans of the Formula 1 racing events and maybe even see how the other half live.

During the winter months, you still get to enjoy some sunshine along the Riviera and absorb some picturesque views with neighbouring France and Italy just a few steps away.

Length of visa: 1 year.

Allowed to work: Yes, the full year but with conditions (see below)

Cost: 150 EUR

Minimum cash requirement: 2000 EUR in cleared funds.

Eligible age: Between 18 and 30.

No. of visas for Brits per year: 1,000

Conditions: You must not be accompanied by dependents. About work, you cannot work for the same employer for more than 6 months and you cannot be self-employed, a professional sportsperson, work for Monaco civil service or as a trainee doctor.

When to apply: As early in the calendar year as possible. Once the 1,000 visas run out, you won’t be able to apply until the following calendar year begins.

How to apply?: With a printed paper application from the official government site here. If you want to stay for more than 90 days on the visa you may also need to apply for a long-stay visa from the French authorities which can take up to 4 months to get. You can find all the relevant information on the link above.


Photo by Julian Yu

India

A country with ancient history and vibrant flavours in all its food, India is not a country to be missed. One of the most populous countries in the world, this is a destination you’ll find an abundance of character in every direction.

From deserted beaches on the southern coast to the towering mountains in the north of the country, there is truly so much to see. The largely popular Holi festival held annually and other religious traditions invite newcomers to enjoy.

The home of curries and the world-famous Bollywood entertainment, not to mention weddings and events that last for days on end. You’d be able to experience so many unique wonders throughout your time in India.

Length of visa: Up to 2 years.

Allowed to work: Yes but that cannot be your primary purpose of the visa. You can work enough to supplement the rest of your travels.

Cost: £720

Minimum cash requirement: 250,000 INR / 2,350 GBP (dependent on the exchange rate) which must have been in your account for at least 30 days before your submitted application date.

Eligible age: Between 18 and 30 years of age.

No. of visas for Brits per year: Not specified.

Conditions: You must have a degree to be eligible and should have no dependents under 18. There are many restrictions on the jobs you can work in, for example, you cannot work as a sportsperson, in construction, mining, space or telecom among others.

When to apply: Any time of year.

How to apply?: Fill out the online application on the Indian embassy website in the UK.


Bob's cove hike view point in New Zealand.
This is one of my favourite short hikes at Bob’s Cove outside Queenstown!

New Zealand

Check out my New Zealand archives here.

A place often referred to as the home of Lord of the Rings, this is a destination you can’t miss. The north island is tropical with crystal clear waters. Their South island is home to the ‘Southern Alps’ and fantastic skiing.

This is the only nation without any snakes. In a slow-paced nation with only 5 million people, you will never feel overcrowded like you can in London! A fantasy destination with countless hikes and endless outdoor activities.

A country that has unique plants native to only New Zealand & they care a lot about protecting the environment. More countries are following in their footsteps!

Maybe you find a small kiwi bird while out at night? How about being a hobbit for a day? You can even learn about the Maori culture!

Length of visa: 1 Year which can be extended to 23 months OR a 23-month visa straight away but you will need to provide a medical certificate.

Allowed to work: Can only work 12 months of the entire 23 months

Eligible age: Between 18 and 30 at the time of application and if you choose to use the 2nd year visa you must use it straight after the first. You have one year to enter the country from the date of approval.

Cost: $245 NZD for one year which is roughly £120 GBP (depending on exchange rates)

Minimum Cash requirement: You are required to have either $350 NZD per month of your stay or $4,200 NZD overall to meet your living costs while in the country. You also need to show proof of a flight out OR the funds to cover a flight out at the end of your stay.

No. of visas for Brits per year: Unlimited

Conditions: You cannot accept a permanent job. You will need to accept only temp contracts. You also cannot bring dependents with you on the visa.

When to Apply?: Anytime! There are unlimited visas so you can apply any time of year.

How to Apply?: On the New Zealand government website

Check out my step-by-step guide on how to apply for a New Zealand working holiday visa.


japan temple overlooking mt fuji. another working holidays for brits destination
Photo by David Edelstein

Japan

Check out my Japan archives here.

Japan is a very popular tourist destination due to their unique culture. A place with arguably some of the best customer service in the world, Japanese people are very warm and welcoming.

There is every type of landscape on these islands. You could ski and then visit the beach the next day! How many places can you do both so close together? Perhaps you want to throw yourself into a bustling city like Tokyo and visit the world’s busiest intersection.

Are you a fan of anime – this is the place for you! Take a trip to the Nintendo HQ! Maybe you are a massive foodie and want to try all the various types of sushi and ramen.

Length of visa: 1 year

Allowed to work: Full 1 year

Eligible Age: Between 18 and 30 at the time of application. You have one year to enter the country from the date of approval.

Cost: £6 to process the single entry visa.

Minimum Cash requirement: Either £2,500 in cleared funds or £1,500 plus proof of flight out of the country at the end of your trip.

No. of visas for Brits per year: 1,000 & every year this number is filled.

Conditions: You must come here with the intention to travel first and only work to supplement further travels. Working holidays for Brits in Japan also have conditions on which you cannot work. You must not work in any job that goes against Japanese morals, for example, working in a nightclub. This is a single entry visa so unless you leave under exceptional circumstances, there is a chance you won’t get the chance to return on the same visa if you leave.

When to apply?: Applications start at the beginning of Japan’s financial year in April. They fill up on a first come first serve basis and can fill up quickly.

How to apply?: In person at the Japanese Embassy in the UK. In most cases, you will need to attend an interview with original documents as part of your application. Further information is found on the Japanese Embassy website.


south korea busy streets at night - working holidays for brits destination
Photo by @shawnanggg

South Korea

Check out my South Korea archives here.

Everyone has a mobile phone and internet access these days. South Korea has been found to have the fastest average internet speed for 3 years running! This means you can Instagram and stay connected without any worry!

A nation that is arguably the best in terms of electronics, this is the home of Samsung & LG. A nation that loves to look its best at all times.

When taking photos you’d say ‘Kimchi’, not cheese. You’d also hear a lot of KPOP – are you a fan of BTS or PSY? Maybe you’ll visit the erotic theme park – if you’re into that.

Length of visa: 1 year and only have 3 months to enter once approved.

Allowed to work: Full 1 year but not full-time

Eligible Age: Between 18 and 30 at the time of application. You have only 3 months to enter the country from the date of approval.

Cost: £154 for a single entry visa

Minimum Cash requirement: 3,000,000 KRW which is roughly £1850 GBP (depending on the exchange rate)

No. of visas for Brits per year: 1,000

Conditions: You must not teach English on any working holidays for Brits in South Korea. If you want to teach, they have a separate visa for that. You must not exceed more than 25 hours of work per week during your visa and must not work in any professions that go against Korean morals, for example working as a receptionist or a nightclub.

When to Apply?: Applications are accepted year-round on a first come first serve basis

How to Apply?: You must visit the South Korean embassy in your home country AT LEAST 90 days before you plan to start your trip. (Due to covid it is all done by mail currently). I have attached some more information on the link below:

Feel free to follow my detailed walkthrough on how to apply for the visa here.


city skyline over taiwan with a sunset in the distance -working holidays for brits
A photo I took from Elephant Mountain in Taipei overlooking the city skyline

Taiwan

Check out my Taiwan archives here.

Did you know, less than 3% of Taiwan’s residents are native to the island? You’ll fit right in with being a non-native to this exciting destination! Even though the most common language spoken is Mandarin, a lot of people speak English.

Almost the entire island is covered in an uninhabited jungle so you can get your Indiana Jones’ on and have a lot to explore. You will never run out of hiking trails to wander along.

Do you like hot springs? Because they are everywhere. You’re never more than a stone’s throw away from one!

Are you a fan of unique buildings? Taiwan is known for its quirky and unusual architecture.

If these are not reasons to book your flight now, I don’t know what are.

Length of visa: 1 year and you only have 3 months to enter the country from the date of approval

Allowed to work: 1 year

Eligible Age: Between 18 and 30 at the time of application

Cost: £50 visa fee

Minimum Cash requirement: Minimum of £2,200 OR a £1,00 and a flight home/out of the country

No. of visas for Brits per year: 1,000

Conditions: Apart from not being able to bring dependents, the Taiwan government sites don’t seem to offer a list of any terms and conditions.

When to apply?: Not Specified so it might be possible to apply year-round

How to apply?: Either in person to the Consulate in the UK or by post. I have attached a link with more information below:

https://www.youthtaiwan.net/WorkingHolidayen/cp.aspx?n=88E18DB22818E550&s=8133A77AC99AE860


hong kong skyline over during sunset - working holidays for brits destination
Photo by Simon Zhu

Hong Kong

Due to the close relationship, Hong Kong has with the UK, it’s a multicultural place. Almost like a hybrid of the East and West customs combined.

If you are a shopaholic this is THE location for you. Everything from luxury and designer malls is just a walk away from small boutiques and antique stores.

A huge metropolis with nature walks in close range, you experience the best of both worlds on the same day.

Do you like easy access to other countries and taking lots of trips? Hong Kong is one of the busiest airline routes on earth! Due to its multicultural nature, you can get practically any cuisine you can think of!

Length of visa: 1 year

Allowed to work: 1 year

Eligible Age: 18 -30 years old

Cost: $190 HKD roughly £18 GBP

Minimum Cash requirement: 22,000 HKD is roughly £2,000 GBP

No. of visas for Brits per year: 1,000

Conditions: You must not take up permanent employment and can only accept short contract positions or temporary roles.

When to apply?: Specific dates seem to fluctuate but always seem to be around Spring or April.

How to apply?: You can either apply in person at a Hong Kong Embassy in the UK or you may send your completed application in the mail to any Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in the UK. I have attached another link to the Hong Kong government website below:

https://www.immd.gov.hk/eng/services/visas/working_holiday_scheme.html#firstTab&note2


gardens by the bay nightime lit up
Photo by Mike Enerio

Singapore

Another major airline hub and very well-connected, Singapore is also a great choice. They take littering very seriously and are one of the cleanest cities in the world!

Can’t decide what to eat? For such a small island Singapore has an outstanding number of restaurants. They have also ranked regularly as a top participant when it comes to bars in Asia.

You may only get 6 months in this city but you can easily cover the entire island and see all it has to offer in that time. A nation that has 4 national languages has a multitude of cultures to immerse yourself in.

Length of visa: 6 months

Allowed to work: Yes, up to 6 months

Eligible Age: Between 18 and 25 at the time of application and either an undergraduate or Graduate.

Cost: $175 Singapore Dollars

Minimum Cash requirement: There does not seem to be a specific amount listed. Just make sure to have enough to support you until you have a job.

No. of visas for Brits per year: 2,000 applicants maximum across all countries they allow in.

Conditions: You MUST have a degree or be currently studying to be eligible for this visa. Unfortunately, any other British nationals without a degree – even if you are in the age bracket – will not be allowed to participate in this visa scheme.

When to apply?: No specific month, however, Singapore require you to be a graduate or a student. This is one of the only working holidays for Brits with this restriction. You must have been studying for AT LEAST 3 months before applying. Also, you cannot apply more than 3 months before your intended arrival date.

How to apply?: You can apply through the Singapore embassy website online. I have attached a link below for further information:

https://www.mom.gov.sg/eservices/services/apply-for-work-holiday-pass

 


These are the current working holidays for brits to take

Once upon a time we did have a very powerful passport and would be able to live and work across the EU without visas. That gave us Brits and extra 26 countries to live and work in without any difficulty. However, since 31st December 2020 when the UK officially left the EU due to the Brexit vote, British people no longer have that ability.

Should there be any changes or amendments to other new places that UK citizens can live and work overseas on working holiday visas, I will update this page.

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