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Working Visas

Working Visas Abroad

A Country by Country Guide

Working Visas Abroad

A Country by Country Guide

Working whilst you travel is a great way to help fund your travels, develop new skills to boost your cv and even test the waters of a new career path. The options available to you are generally restricted to where you’re headed and what work permits exist for non-natives.

If you are planning a working holiday and travel it is essential that you possess the correct visas or working permits prior to entering the country in order to work legally. Participating in any paid work abroad, without the correct documentation in place is illegal.

Working Illegally A cancelled visa may mean you have to leave the country

If you work illegally and are caught you may:

  • Have your visa cancelled and be forced to leave the country
  • Be fined
  • Be placed in an immigration detention center until the necessary arrangements have been made to deport you
  • Be forbidden to apply for another visa to enter the country


If you’re an EU citizen, finding paid work in any EU country is relatively easy; perhaps the main difficulty is getting to grips with a foreign language.

  • Work permits are never required for self-employed people in the EU
  • You won't need a permit to work in the EU if your stay is less than 3 months
  • If you stay longer than 3 months, you may have to apply for a residence permit
  • Visit Europa more information (

USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan all have working holiday visa schemes for British citizens, but there are restrictions, especially with regard to age.


  • You can apply for an H2B visa, which lets you do seasonal, temporary work. It's valid for a year (but may be extended)
  • The J1 visa will allow you to work, but you must be in a certified visitor exchange programme
  • There are other visas available that are largely dependent on your current skills
  • You will be required to show evidence of sufficient funds and travel insurance documents
  • More information on this can be found at the Travel State (


  • 18-35s can apply for work permits under International Experience Canada (IEC)
  • You can work in Canada for up to a year, doing almost any job
  • You can apply directly to the Canadian Foreign Affairs ( or via organisations such as BUNAC
  • Over 35s can contact Citizen & Immigration Canada ( for other work permit options
  • You will be required to show evidence of sufficient funds and travel insurance documents

Australia & New Zealand

  • You need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) before you arrive
  • You must be under 31
  • You must not have previously entered Australia on a Working Holiday Visa
  • The WHV will last 12 months from the date you enter
  • In New Zealand you can apply for a 12-month or 23-month visa
  • For both, you must show evidence of 'sufficient funds' when entering the country


  • You must be under 30 to apply
  • You can work in Japan for up to a year
  • Working Holiday visas will be issued only to persons who have never obtained one before
  • You can engage in any kind of job as long as you intend primarily to holiday in Japan
  • For more information visit Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (

Southeast Asia, South America & Africa

Unfortunately in developing countries in such as Thailand, Brazil and Kenya, there is very little paid work available to foreigners apart from teaching English abroad which requires a TEFL qualification in order to be paid. Alternatively, there is a wide array of volunteer work available with the possibility of earning a modest wage to cover your daily living expenses.

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