8 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.

Map of working holidays for brits

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!

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

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.

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


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 that 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 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’ time. 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

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

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. 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 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 don’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

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


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:


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 Feb-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 gov website below:


gardens by the bay nightime lit up
Photo by Mike Enerio


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 they have a multitude of cultures to really 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:


Today there are 8 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 an extra 26 countries to live and work in. But since 31st December 2020 when the UK left the EU during Brexit, British people no longer have that ability.

infographic of working holidays brits can apply for

Should there be any changes or amendments to other new places UK citizens can live and work long term or if any new countries allow working holidays for Brits I will update this page!

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