Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't know how to pay for that extended trip abroad? Consider a Working Holiday visa

This is something I wish I knew about back when I was 26... a working holiday visa.  This is a temporary visa which lets people, generally under the age of 30, to have an extended holiday (vacation) in another country and work at the same time to pay for it.

I really wish I had known about this when I was younger.  I would have gone to Australia to work, which is one of my life goals to get to one day.  I'm still working on it to this day.  I would have done it and worked as a freelance contractor for smart grid technology.  PARTICULARLY around 2009 when I was like, 28 and  a) the guy I was seeing was Australian and b) I was hating IBM and going through the massive layoff craziness during the recession of 2009.  I was heading off to my MBA later on - if I had known this existed I would have said adios to IBM, picked up and started a life for the next year and a half in Australia.  I'm sure it would have been effing awesome.  Maybe things would be different. Who knows.
This chart here outlines which countries have reciprocal working holidays with other countries.  Unfortunately, because America is sometimes not so nice to some countries, we have things such as reciprocity fees (see examples of Chile, Argentina, Brazil and goodness knows where else I had to pay at least $100 for a visa) and we only have a working holiday agreement with four countries - Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore. However if you have another citizenship you might be able to leverage that.

In summary, if you really want to live and work overseas, don't think it's impossible (or that you have to become an English teacher in Asia or something).  For me, this ship has sailed as I am over 30, and is one of my biggest regrets. BUT, for some of you this is a great opportunity to go overseas if you want to work and I highly encourage you to explore this option - there might be something that fits your needs.  Australia is only one of the options for a working holiday visa.   Take advantage of it before it's too late.


  1. Well, maybe that ship hasn't sailed completely yet.
    Have you seen this:
    and if you're more into farming:
    I think both these sites might come in handy for experience as you consider that winery you were thinking of buying :)

    1. don't worry, i meant that its too late for me to take advantage of a working holiday visa, not that it was impossible to work overseas :) the visas are a little harder to get now!