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7 Easiest Countries for U.S. Citizens to Get a Working Holiday Visa: Ultimate Guide

Are you daydreaming about moving to another country? Although a U.S. passport guarantees you easy entry into a lot of countries, it doesn’t necessarily let you stay for a long time.

If you’re looking to stay for several months to a year while working part-time, you’ll likely need a working holiday visa.

Working holiday visas assume your main purpose for being in the other country is to travel, but they also let you make some money on the side and stay for up to a year.

7 countries that offer working holiday visas to Americans

So, what countries make it easy to live and work for a year or more if you’re a U.S. citizen? Here are the easiest countries to get a working holiday visa, starting with one that’s designing a visa specifically for digital nomads.

1. Estonia

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This small country in eastern Europe is making waves for its commitment to remote work and digital technology.

Home to a thriving community of entrepreneurs and startups, Estonia has digitized most of its practices, including voting, health care, taxes, and banking, as well as embraced the blockchain.

Named by Wired as “the most advanced digital society in the world,” Estonia is furthering this reputation by designing a work visa specifically for digital nomads.

In March of 2018, Estonia announced it was creating a new digital nomad visa that it hoped would bring in more than 1,400 remote workers every year.

It’s expected to roll out in 2019, so keep an eye out for this unique visa for remote professionals. In the meantime, you can apply for a six-month D-visa or a two-year temporary residence permit.

2. Australia

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If you’re between the ages of 18 and 30, you can apply for a working holiday visa in Australia. You can stay for up to a year, and your main purpose should be holiday and travel.

That said, the visa lets you do casual work in Australia, as long as you don’t work for any one employer for longer than six months. And of course, you can enjoy living down under while making money online with a remote job.

This visa also lets you volunteer, study, or undertake certain training programs. If you’d love to explore Sydney, Melbourne, or the Outback while in your 20s, this visa offers a great opportunity to do so.

3. South Korea

countries that offer working holiday visas

Similar to Australia, South Korea offers a one-year working holiday visa to Americans between the age of 18 and 30.

To qualify for this visa, you’ll need to show you have health insurance, a round-trip ticket, and enough money in savings to support yourself for the first part of your travels (about $2,650).

If you get it, you can explore South Korea for up to 12 months, as well as leave and re-enter the country as many times as you wish during this period.

4. Ireland

easiest country to get work visa

Ireland has a cool agreement with the U.S. that allows U.S. and Irish citizens to get a one-year working holiday visa for the other’s country.

As long as you’re a full-time student or college graduate over the age of 18, you can apply for a working holiday visa in Ireland.

You’ll need health insurance, a round-trip ticket, and a passport that will be valid for at least another year.

There are no major restrictions on the type of work you can do once you arrive in Ireland, nor is there any upper age limit to qualify for this visa.

If you get it, you could spend a year exploring the Ring of Kerry, sampling Guinness in Dublin, and enjoying music sessions in Galway and Dingle.

5. New Zealand

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Eager to duck into the tiny homes of Hobbiton? If you’re between the ages of 18 and 30, you could apply for a working holiday visa from New Zealand.

To be eligible, you’ll need about $2,800 in savings and your own medical insurance, along with an onward ticket out of New Zealand.

With this visa, you can stay in New Zealand for up to a year and make some money while you’re there, as long as you don’t take on a permanent job.

6. Singapore

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Singapore offers a working holiday visa to Americans between the ages of 18 and 25. To be eligible, you must either be a full-time college student or a recent graduate.

This wealthy island nation gives out 2,000 working holiday passes at a time. If you receive one, you could work and travel in Singapore for up to six months.

7. Costa Rica

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If you’re ready to embrace la pura vida, you could move to Costa Rica on a residence permit for self-employed individuals.

This visa is designed for individuals who are self-employed or own their own business, which makes it great for digital nomads.

To qualify, you’ll need to show proof of a monthly income, as well as a degree or accreditation.

Unlike most working holiday visas, this visa for self-employed individuals could cover your spouse or children.

Costa Rica additionally offers visas for students, volunteers, academics, researchers, pensioners, and rentiers (people who make income off of rental properties).

Once you’ve submitted your documents, you could be well on your way to living your best life in the tropics.

Not a U.S. citizen? You might have even more options

Although the countries on the list above are currently the only ones offering working holiday visas to Americans, you might have more options if you’re from Australia, Europe, or elsewhere.

Some countries that offer working holiday arrangements to nationals of certain countries (not including the U.S.) are,

If you’re not sure what visas are available to you, head to the official government pages of the country you’re interested in. Once there, you should be able to find out how long you can stay before you need to cross the border into your next destination.

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Is a working holiday visa right for you?

Working holiday visas are perfect if you’re looking to stay in a country for up to a year (or six months in Singapore’s case) and make some money on the side while you travel. This visa typically just covers a solo traveler; it doesn’t extend to children or a spouse.

You can usually apply online, though you might need to visit a local consulate or embassy to finalize your application. Remember to show that you have an onward ticket and a couple of thousand dollars in savings.

Note that working holiday visas aren’t the only way to stay in a country long-term. If you get a full-time job with a foreign company, your employer could sponsor you for a visa. If you teach English as a Second Language, for example, your school could help you out with the process.

And if you’re attending school in another country, you can also get a student visa that allows you to stay longer. This can be a smart choice for travelers who want a global education while avoiding the high tuition costs of U.S. colleges and universities.

As a digital nomad, though, working holiday visas are a great way to immerse yourself in another country while making money online to fund your adventures. For more on adopting this globe-trotting lifestyle, check out this guide on how to become a digital nomad.

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