In 2007 I decided to embark on my first working holiday, it is now 2013 and I am living and working in my fourth country-pretty safe to say that I enjoy the lifestyle of working and travelling at the same time.
If you, like me want to enjoy the perks of a working holiday you must first arrange to get a visa. ‘Visa‘ sounds like a scary word, one that involves lots of paperwork and preparation, I am going to tell you that you are wrong. If you follow my guide, with tips and debunked myths you will be able to spend more time planning your trip AND have more money to spend!
My number ONE tip:
When I was in New Zealand working at the Americas Cup race in Auckland, I met a fellow traveller from the UK. The conversation of visas came about and we found that we had organised ours differently. Said friend has purchased her visa through the first company that popped up on Google, it had a professional logo and being the first site she presumed it was the correct one to use. I went through the New Zealand government website and mine cost at least half the price.
Many companies are out there to persuade you they are the best company for arranging your visa-the truth is- the government website for each country offers the most reliable and best priced service.
Tip number TWO:
I am currently living in Canada and when I arrived I discussed how I organised my visa with my work colleague. She had purchased her visa through Bunac, this company offers a package of sorting out your visa, employment and CV advice, help with arranging a bank account and social security number. The cost of this package is £329 not including the visa fee, £100. I went through the Canadian Government website and paid £90 (now £100).
I obviously did not receive any of the other benefits but I was able to do those for free-and easily. A bank account is as easy as just picking one and walking in, hey presto you have a bank card. The social security number is a straightforward online application form. The information you provide to Bunac and other such companies will be the same you provide on your own application via the countries government website, so you really are paying for them to type it into the computer for you. Package deals may seem appealing but consider how much money you will save by knowing how to do it yourself, and trust me it’s very easy.
My Top Picks:
If you fancy the land down under-Australia:
- Australia was the first country I visited on a working holiday visa, straight out of university I couldn’t wait to fly across to the other side of the world. The visa process is a very straight forward online application via the Australian Immigration Website
- Depending on where you come from in the world determines how long it takes for you to receive it but mine came back within 1 hour! Pretty quick and hassle free!
Maybe New Zealand is more to your taste:
- I lived and worked in New Zealand for 2 amazing years and highly recommend visiting this stunning country. I applied for my visa online via the New Zealand Immigration website and received it within 2 weeks.
Does Canada sound appealing?:
The Canadian visa process is a little more long winded than Australia and New Zealand so I recommend preparing far in advance, the processing times can be 4-8 weeks, they are released in different time slots and are very sought after.The visa is called International Experience Canada and you will find further information on what you need to do in order to apply at the Canadian Government Website
If you would like further advice on working holiday visas or other destinations, leave a message and I’ll get back to you.
Yours, Ever The Wanderer