Working Holidays in Western Europe

Perhaps I’m a bit daft, but for the longest time I’d been under the impression that Australia’s working holiday visa (WHV) was the only one I qualified for. Luckily, I have recently discovered that I was wrong and that as a Canadian I can apply for a number of WHVs around the world.

For the most part the only requirements are that you are Canadian, between 18 – 30 years of age, be child-free and have a certain amount of money saved up. Specifics, such as how much money you need to have, how long the WHV is valid for and how many WHVs a country issues, varies country to country.

To be clear, WHVs do not guarantee a job. A WHV gives you the opportunity to be legally employed in a country but it will be up to you to secure employment.

Don’t forget to take into account your language skills. Speaking the native language of the country you are interested in will increase your attractiveness to potential employees. And not speaking the native language will greatly reduce the amount of jobs you qualify for (the lack of a language barrier is one reason I think the Australian WHV is so popular).

I have included basic details, check out the links for more information.

Austria

* Available through SWAP only*

  • Full time post-secondary students and/or recent grads (part-time and high school students not eligible)
  • 18-30 years old
  • Must have $2750CAD
  • Visa is valid for 6 months
  • Swap Registration Fee: $540-$590CAD

Belgium

Working Holiday Program 

  • 18-30 years old
  • Must have 2500Euros (About $3250CAD)
  • Visa is valid for up to 12 months
  • Must possess a return ticket
  • Must have all-risk insurance for entire duration of stay

France

Youth Exchange Agreement 2E Visa

  • 18 – 35 years old
  • Must have $3000CAD
  • Visa is valid for a maximum of 12 months
  • Must posses a return ticket

Germany

Youth Mobility Program

  • 18-35 years old
  • Must have 2500Euros (About $3250CAD)
  • Visa is valid for 12 months

Ireland

*Available through SWAP only*

  • 18 – 35 years old
  • Must have $2500CAD
  • Visa is valid for 12 months
  • Passport must be valid for 18 months after arriving in Ireland

Italy

Working Holiday Program

  • 18 – 35 years old
  • Must have at least 2400 Euros (About $3100CAD)
  • Visa is valid for 12 months BUT you can only work for 6 months AND can only work a maximum of 3 months with the same employer
  • Main intention must be to holiday, desire to find work must be secondary
  • Number of visas available for Canadians in 2012: 1000

The Netherlands 

Working Holiday Programs

  • 18 – 30 years old
  • Must have $2000CAD
  • Visa is valid for 12 months
  • Must have full medical insurance for the entire duration of your stay
  • Must have a return ticket

Spain 

Youth Mobility Agreement

  • 18 – 35 years old
  • Visa is valid for 12 months
  • Must have sufficient support funds  (amount not specified)
  • Must possess a return ticket
  • Must posses medical insurance during the entire duration of visit
  • Number of visas available to Canadians in 2012: limited, but not specified

For more information email: emb.ottawa@maec.es

The United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland)

Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme

  • 18 – 30 years old
  • Must have a minimum of £1600GBP (about $2600CAD)
  • Visa is valid for 24 months
  • Number of WHVs available for Canadians in 2012: 5000

There’s more!
Check out working holiday visas for Eastern Europe & Scandinavia, as well as working holiday visas for the Pacific, Asia and the Americas.

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caipirinhaearcoscyriltasch & apdk

Featured Image source: Alexander Kaiser @ flickr, modified by Estrella Explores

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