Though it can suck living in a country that’s so damn far away from the rest of the world, being Australian does have its benefits. For instance, we have great relationships with other countries which means plenty of amiable moving abroad options.
We all grew up knowing we could head to the UK on a two-year working visa before we turned 30. But there are plenty of other countries you can work in (legally) while you’re still young, and the visas are ripe for the picking. We’ve found eight countries where the visas are easy and the living is good.
If you’re an average Aussie, chances are you’ve had a friend (or 10) hit the snowfields of Whistler. With the International Experience Canada Working Holiday visa you’re allowed to stay in the country for 24 months and get a temporary job, if you’re between the ages of 18 and 30.
Looking to expand your professional skills, and not just work the chairlift? You could also apply for the Young Professionals visa category. The catch? You’ll need to have been offered a job before you arrive in the country.
Is pierogi your favourite food? Are you a vodka fanatic? Perhaps you should try for one of the 200 visas to live in Poland for a year that are doled out to Australians under the age of 30. Unfortunately you’re not eligible if you haven’t undertaken at least two years of undergraduate study, so best get a degree if you’ve got your heart set on getting to know Poland a little bit better.
For something a tad different to your average European or US (if you’ve won the green card lottery) working jaunt, set your sights on South America. Australians aged between 18 and 31 are eligible to stay in Chile on a working holiday visa for up to a year – on the condition that you only use your employment as a means for funding travel around Chile – which sounds fine to us! Time to start brushing up on your Spanish.
Warning: Finland has one of the best education systems in the world, so you may face some stiff competition while trying to find a job over there. If that hasn’t turned you off, make the most of Finland – and its very different day-to-day life – with a 12-month working visa. Like the majority of working holiday visas, this is for those aged 18 to 30, without dependents.
Top-notch working conditions are just the start of what makes Finland an attractive temporary home (here’s looking at you, Northern Lights and jaw-dropping scenery.)
Croissants and Chanel and croque monsieurs, oh my! If you have $5000 Australia dollars in your account, are between 18 and 30 and are willing to obtain health insurance, you just might be able to stay in France for a year on a working holiday visa. Too old, or already ran through your 12-month visa? You might be eligible for a long-term stay working visa if you’re an independent worker (get at it freelancers) or a high-achieving professional.
A fascinating hybrid of Asia and the West, Singapore is chock-full of decent bars, hawker-style markets and (surprise!) greenery to boot. If you’re considering it, to be eligible to work you’ll need to be aged between 18 and 30. Note: a Singaporean visa lasts for a year, and there are 500 available annually.
If you’re looking to spend a year in Italy – and only work six months out of 12, mind you – take a gander at an Italian working holiday visa. You won’t be able to work for more than three months for the same employer – but to us, that just means plenty of time living la dolce vita in Rome’s wine bars, on the beaches of Sardinia and cramming in all of the pizza in Naples.
Thanks to the reciprocal visa situation Italy has with Australia, you’ll even be covered by their healthcare system for the first six months.
Hit up Lisbon, one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit in 2017 with a 12-month working visa for Portugal. Again, if you’re aged between 18 and 30 you’re eligible to live and work in Portugal for a year – there are only 200 spots annually though, so you’d better get in early, particularly considering all the buzz around this Iberian country at the moment. Compared to a lot of other EU countries, it’s pretty cheap – but is packed with just as much history and culture as its Schengen neighbours.