TIME TO DISAPPEAR

Five countries where Americans can easily get a working holiday visa

Obsession
2016
Obsession
2016

Nov. 9 wasn’t the first time people in the US consider leaving the country. There have been spikes in Google searches for “How can I move to Canada” throughout the past election cycle—coinciding pretty much whenever a Donald Trump presidency seemed probable. This time, though, it feels particularly real: the Canadian immigration website even crashed following news of the 2016 presidential election results.

Of course, not all Americans can afford to immigrate or quickly find a job abroad, and the majority don’t have a spouse or a relative to sponsor a visa to another country.

On the other hand, if you’re a young US citizen who’s contemplating a long break away, you do have options. Here are five countries offering a relatively easy-to-obtain “working holiday” visa that allow you to work and live abroad temporarily—without a prior sponsor or a job offer.

1. Australia: Work and holiday visa (Subclass 462)

What you can do: This visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 12 months. During that time, you can do any kind of paid work in the country for up to six months with any one employer, and study for up to four months. The rest of the time you can…surf?

Requirements: You have to be between 18 and 30 years old, speak English, have a high school diploma or an equivalent, bring family or spouse as dependent, and able to prove that you have enough money to purchase a return flight ticket, and an additional AU$5,000 (US$3,922) or more in your bank account. It costs AU$440 to apply and takes six days to process an online application.

2. New Zealand: USA working holiday visa

What you can do: You can stay in New Zealand for up to 12 months (plus you can apply for a three-month extension later on), doing either 12 months of non-permanent work or six months of study in total.

Requirements: You must be between 18 and 30 years old, and able to prove that you have at least NZ$4,200 ($3,058) in backup funds in addition to a ticket to leave the country or enough money to do so. It costs NZ$208 to apply and generally takes 25 days to process an online application.

3. Ireland: Working holiday visa

What you can do: You can live and work in Ireland for up to 12 months.

Requirements: You must be at least 18 years of age, and either currently a full-time post-secondary student (in an undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate program) or have graduated 12 months or less before you apply. You have to prove you have at least $4,000 in the bank, have a return ticket, and medical insurance. It costs $339 (plus a few dollars more for return postage) to apply.

4. Singapore: Working holiday pass

What you can do: You can live and work in Singapore for up to six months.

Requirements: You have to be between 18 and 25 years old, and either currently be an undergraduate student or have graduated from a university recognized by the US government. It costs SG$150 ($107) to apply and takes around takes weeks to process. The visa is offered to a maximum 2,000 US applicants every year.

5. South Korea: The H-1 visa

What you can do: You can live and work in South Korea for up to 18 months.

Requirements: You have to be between 18 and 30 years old, and must be a post-secondary student (in an undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate program) or have graduated within the last 12 months. You also have to prove that you have sufficient funds for three months of living expenses, and proof of a return air ticket. The H-1 visa also forbids employment in certain professions like dancer, musician, acrobat, journalist, academic researcher, foreign language teacher, it also forbids enrollment in study programs other than Korean language courses. It costs $45 to apply.

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