Working Holiday Visas for Digital Nomads

Something I’ve been thinking about as a dual citizen is what opportunities I have to travel. I want to move places and be a serial drifter, more than a true nomad but less than an expat. One way to make that happen is with working holiday visas. The gist is:

  • be 30 or younger, inclusive
  • have a bachelors degree
  • stay, holiday, and work (or not) in a partner country for 12 to 18 months

This is basically a free longer term permit to live in another country, with the authorization to work there or just bum around.

United States citizenship gives you six options:

  • Australia
  • Ireland
  • Singapore
  • New Zealand
  • Canada
  • South Korea

New Zealand citizenship gives many more options, but I’ll only list what I’m interested in, in descending order:

  • France
  • UK (England, Scotland, Wales)
  • Ireland
  • Japan
  • China
  • Amsterdam
  • Estonia
  • Germany

It’s interesting that NZ citizenship is more useful than US citizenship. If I wanted to go to France, China, the UK, Japan, or Ireland, I would have tourist visas (90 days) usually, or have to deal with work visas (only possible after securing a job offer), or strictly enter under a student visa. While those give my travel mission purpose, if I want more optionality, especially without a rush and high expectations, I’m out of luck. It also is easier in some cases to transition into residency from a working holiday visa.

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Kevin Chow
Kevin Chow
Fledging Computer Scientist
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