Americans Can Live and Work Abroad for Up to Three Years With the Working Holiday Visa

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Did you read that right? Can Americans really live and work in other countries?

Yes, absolutely! With the Working Holiday Visa, Americans can Live and Work Abroad for up to three years!

Many countries have agreements for their citizens to live and work abroad. Personally, I believe Canadians are the luckiest. Canadians are so lovely, that most countries welcome them with open arms, unlike Americans. 

Although the US visa program is small, it's still pretty impressive. 

Are you an American who dreams of working Abroad? Well you can live and work in these countries for up to three years! But hurry time is running out #workingholidayvisa #livingabroad #wanderlust

What is a working holiday visa?

A working holiday visa allows Americans to enter a country to live and work without the hassle of getting sponsored. They are limited to up to three years abroad with the country. But beware each country has different eligibility requirements. 

What Countries can Americans live and work?

australia’s working holiday visa

Move down under!!! Do it. I did, and I loved it.

They have amazing beaches, awesome people, and they know how to party. Watch out for the crazy animals, but other than that, Australia is one of my all-time favorites.

I moved to Melbourne on the 462 Working Holiday visa then transitioned to work sponsored visa.

When my boyfriend and I applied for a 462 Working Holiday Visa, it was a straightforward process. Like NZ, Australia has very similar eligibility requirements. 

  • Must be between 18-30 when you apply. This means you can apply when you are two months from turning 31.

  • Must hold a US Passport that has been valid for at least six months

  • Meet education requirements

  • Not be accompanied by children or dependents

  • Must obtain medical insurance during your entire stay

For more information visit the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Security.

At the time of writing, the Visa cost is estimated to be $350 (currently $485 AUD) and you can apply here

Related: A Complete Guide to the Australian Working Holiday Visa

When you apply, you must answer some questions on a computerized system and pay the fees. Once complete, you wait for approval.

Let me tell you I didn't wait long. Within six hours I got my approval, and my boyfriend received his visa within four. They are pretty quick!

We were only going to stay for six months but stayed for nearly four years. Time flies when you're having fun! 

I could have lived in Melbourne the rest of my life, but my pretend Aussie accent was and still is terrible. "Piss off mate!" 

New Zealand’s working holiday visa

My boyfriend lived and worked in Wellington for nine months, and he loved it. He met amazing people who became his travel buddies.

New Zealand is known for its unmatched landscape and natural beauty from the South to the North Island.  

Not to mention their accents are cute! If you want a preview of New Zealand, check out this fantastic video or check out this compelling list from Buzzfeed.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be between 18-30 years of age

  • You must verify your identity

  • Must be in good health

  • You must genuinely intend to meet the conditions of your visa

  • You must verify your current citizenship

  • You must have enough money or a ticket to leave NZ

  • You must prove you have enough money to live in NZ

  • You must have full medical insurance during your entire stay

Once you're there, you can work at the same place up to six months, but after the six months, you must get a new job. 
If you're studying in NZ, you can only do so for up to six months 

At the time of writing, the Visas cost about $230 US for US citizens - this is non-refundable + $36 application fee

You're urged to travel throughout the country; I would highly recommend going to different places and picking up jobs where you can. 

For more information to live and work in NZ visit New Zealand Immigration

Ireland’s working holiday visa

Personally, I have never been to Ireland, but it's definitely on my bucket list. I love old cities and their cobblestone streets. And let's be real, our Irish friends know how to have a good time, and  for goodness sake, Ireland has real castles!

If you need more convincing check out

Check out the Eligibility requirements

  • You must be 18+ years of age

  • Enrolled as a full-time student in post high school education to receive a Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, or leading to a certificate or diploma OR

  • Have graduated within the last 12 months receiving a Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, or certificate/diploma

  • You must pay for the visa, costs range

  • Mandatory health insurance coverage must be obtained once you're there

To find more eligibility information visit Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs

It’s Time to Apply for the Work & Holiday Visa

Time is ticking. I promise you the desk jobs will be there when you return (if you return)! 

Now that you Americans know where you can live and work abroad, where would you go? Let me know in the comments