Gap Year Visas

Working holiday visas and more

So, you need to get your gap year visas sorted… but what exactly is a visa? Well, put simply, a visa is a document which authorises you to enter a certain country. The document usually comes in the form of a stamp in your passport. The exact visas you’ll need (if any) will depend on several factors, like your nationality, the country you’re travelling to, and the kind of thing you’ll be doing in that country.

Make sure you check out our dedicated visa service to make sure you get the right visas. Simply select the countries you’re travelling to and select what you’ll be doing in them, and then it will take care of the rest!

There are two main types of visas that gappers need to consider – tourist visas and working holiday visas. More information about these can be found below.

Check out these working holidays

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Environmental Internship in Sodwana Bay Marine National Park

from £900

14 - 84 days

If you’re passionate about ecology, underwater photography, marine conservation, surveying and diving - or if you’ve always to learn -...

Intern in PR & Marketing in New York

from £4963

42 - 180 days

Are you interested in PR & Marketing? We have amazing roles for you in Global Capital of Culture and Commerce,...

Work and Travel from Sydney

from £995

7 days

Fantastic landing package for those wanting to see the sights of one of the most iconic cities in the world....

Teach at a University in China

from £400

330 days

Our university teaching programme is the ideal way to gain international work experience and have endless travel opportunities! 

Lifeguard Jobs – Camp in America

from £249

56 - 84 days

Hundreds of fantastic swim instructor and lifeguards positions are available this summer at various summer camps all over the USA.

Gain a TESOL and Teach

from £1295

28 - 180 days

Take part in our 120 hour TESOL/TEFL course in Hua Hin or Chiang Mai and gain a job in a...

Law Internship & Volunteering Tanzania

from £2067

42 - 70 days

Program Includes a law internship in Arusha and community development projects in Arusha, Lake Manyara and Dar es Salaam.

International Business Internship In Japan

from £1690

60 - 180 days

One of the most desired places in the world to work, Japan is an ideal destination to pursue an international...

Tennis Coaching Roles at Summer Camp

from £649

63 days

Coach tennis in the USA at one of over 500 summer camps with children of all ages. Gain over 800...

Gymnastics Coach at Camp in America

from £649

63 days

Become a Gymnastics Instructor in the USA at one of over 500 summer camps with children of all ages. Gain...

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Iran Real Food Adventure

from £1950

Iran, Islamic Republic of

Iran’s charm begins with its stunning environment – snow-capped mountains, rolling deserts, ancient cities and crowded bazaars all add to...

Highlights of South America

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Unlucky in love? Out for revenge? Need a cure for hayfever? Get your cocoa leaves read, buy a spell or...

Ultimate Japan

from £6360

Japan

Ever-welcoming and always fascinating, Japan is a land of ancient cultures, austere traditions and groundbreaking technology. Join us on this...

Iguassu Falls Independent Adventure

from £359

Argentina, Brazil

Experience the stunning beauty and raw power of one of the greatest natural wonders on Earth: Iguassu Falls. Wider than...

Croatia Coastal Cruising – Split to Dubrovnik

from £1690

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Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is home to plenty of impressive beaches – we’re talking the official second cleanest in Europe. Imagine...

Glaciers Independent Adventure

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Spend four days in El Calafate and explore a piece of Argentina's incredible Patagonia region. Witness active Perito Moreno Glacier,...

27 Day Grand Aussie

Australia is fair dinkum one of the world's most exciting destinations, and this Australia travel experience is one of the...

Big Red to Red Star

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Veer off the beaten track and let our friends in the north show you how winter is really done. Travelling...

Japan: Hike, Bike & Kayak

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Nakasendo trail? Kumano Kodo? Kyoto on a bike? or Southern ilses on a kayak? This is the Japan you want...

Treasures of Vietnam

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Discover the spirit of Vietnam on a trip from south to north, taking in all the attractions in between. Explore...

Articles about visas and working holidays

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What are tourist visas?

Tourist visas are much more straightforward than their working holiday counterparts, and simply give permission to be in a country for a certain period of time. You won’t be able to work, but you can explore the country at your leisure.

Some countries will require you to get a ‘visa on arrival’, which is exactly as it says on the tin: once you’ve landed, you sort it out there and then, in the airport. Cambodia is a country where you will need to get a visa on arrival.

Other countries, like India, Russia and Vietnam, require UK travellers to book visas before they visit. To board the plane to places like this, you’ll need to be able to show you have a valid visa. Depending on your nationality, many countries do not require you to have a visa. For example, UK travellers do not need visas for countries in Europe, and further afield, such as Thailand.

What are working holiday visas?

Working holiday visas are compulsory for countries where you want to earn some money, either to help fund your travels or simply for the experience. It’s really common for gap year travellers to spend at least part of their trip in paid employment, whether that’s skilled, like teaching English in China, or unskilled, like farm work in Australia.

Australia working holiday visas

Australia is one of the most popular countries for working holidays among gappers from the UK, USA and other English-speaking countries, due to an abundance of well-paid jobs for backpackers. You will need to apply in advance, be aged between 18-30 and be from one of the countries Australia accepts working holiday applicants from, like the UK. The visa will be valid for a year and allow you to enter and re-enter the country as much as you like in that time period. It’s possible to apply for a one-year extension on your Australia WHV – you must be able to show proof you have already worked at least 88 days in employment on your initial visa.

New Zealand working holiday visas

New Zealand is another really popular country to settle down and find some work on your gap year. Like Australia, there are certain conditions that must be met, like being aged 18-30 and being from a country that is accepted in the government’s working holiday scheme. Unlike Australia, New Zealand working holiday visas are valid for two years, not one year.

USA working holiday visas

Working holiday visas for the USA are also known as ‘Exchange Visas’ or ‘J Visas’ and are popular among gappers from English-speaking countries, or who can speak the language fluently. Like Australia, USA working holiday visas are valid for a year from the point of entry, and give travellers a great chance to escape the beaten track. One of the best jobs in the US is working as a counsellor at a summer camp for kids. This way, you can spend 10 weeks earning a wage, then use that money to go and explore the rest of the country!

Canada working holiday visas

Like the above three countries, Canada is a preferred place to travel and work for English-speaking travellers. One of the most in demand jobs for those with working holiday visas for Canada is snow season work. This can include ski and snowboard instructor jobs, and working in hospitality in Canadian ski resorts. You must meet certain conditions to be eligible – namely, be aged 18-30 and from a country that Canada has an agreement with over working holiday schemes.

Working holiday visas for Asia

One of the most popular jobs for gappers is to teach English as a foreign language – this is commonly abbreviated to TEFL. Although it’s technically possible to do this in any country where there are non-English speakers, the most popular places tend to be in Asia, in countries like China, Japan, South Korea and Thailand. You will need a working holiday visa for Thailand, China or any other country in which you are interested in this kind of work. The usual conditions apply, like age and nationality.

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