Each year the Working Holiday Visa programme wins over many young people. It falls within the context of bilateral mobility agreements signed between around sixty countries. Belgium, for example, has signed agreements with 5 of these : Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Korea and also Taiwan. In concrete terms, the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) or Working Holiday Permit (WHP) gives young people aged between 18 and 30 the chance to discover a new culture, boost their skills or even just travel, while being able to work in order to meet their needs.
The purpose of the Working Holiday Visa is above all to allow participants in the programme to discover the culture of their host country. Working during their trip is therefore a proactive way for all WHV holders to top up their budgets. Left to their own devices upon arrival, young people sometimes have trouble finding a job. This is why some organisations offer to help them look for a job abroad.
Australia: the most popular country
Australia is the top destination for this type of travel. Last year, for example, 22,623 French nationals and 2,243 Belgians were granted a Working Holiday Visa for Australia, according to the latest figures from the Australian Department of Immigration. This door opener is sometimes subject to quotas, as in Canada, which regulates the number of immigrants – hence the interest in carrying out the necessary procedures as quickly as possible, regardless of your departure date.
In addition to age, this kind of visa has a few eligibility criteria, including:
- holding a passport valid for the duration of your stay
- providing evidence of sufficient financial resources
- taking out health, hospitalisation and repatriation insurance valid for the duration of your stay
- a visa fee
- having no children or dependent persons, etc.
A Working Holiday Visa is a simple way of combining professional experience abroad with tourism, provided that you prepare well for your departure.
Travel with your friends and meet young people from around the world
Should you travel alone or in a group? It’s entirely possible to set out in pairs or even in groups of three or more. But to make progress with the language, it’s better to go it alone, especially as there are so many travellers making the same trip as you that it seems hard not to make new friends. A piece of advice: sign up for group activities, such as surfing or diving lessons, at the beginning of your stay – this can help you make connections! For those of you travelling with a friend or as a couple, you can plan together where and when you travel, work, etc.
Personally and professionally enriching
The Working Holiday Visa has the benefit of getting travellers out of their comfort zones in order to deeply discover a region, a country, its inhabitants and their customs! It also gives them a taste of independence by letting them decide what to do once they arrive. Adaptation, autonomy, an open mind, problem solving, self-confidence… The WHV is a real asset before or after your studies, for a CV and for future employment interviews, because improving your English remains the ultimate goal of the programme. And to do this, what could be better than language immersion?