5 issues to know in regards to the working trip (WHV) program

Going to the other side of the world for a maximum of one year to enjoy your trip while you work: this is the purpose of the “working holiday” agreements signed between several countries in the world. If you are under 30, becoming a “PVTist” during a break or before entering the workforce may be of interest to you.

Program, visa or “working holiday” permit: all these names refer to the same device, the PVT, which allows young people under 30 to (or 35 years depending on the country) go abroad to discover another country while working, for a maximum period of one year. Here’s why and how you too can benefit from it.

1. What does the “working holiday” program consist of?

It is a visa, issued by the partner country, which allows up to a certain age (30 or 35 years maximum) to go abroad for several months, up to a year. On site, in addition to traveling and visiting the country, it is possible to work punctually to finance your stay.

2. Where can we go and do what?

Since 2000, France has concluded agreements with sixteen countries: Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, South Korea, Colombia, Ecuador (which takes effect in 2022), Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Taiwan and Uruguay.

On the work side, you should, above all, expect to find “strange jobs”, the goal is not to work throughout your stay. Australia is known, for example, for its seasonal harvest work or in the restaurant industry. You can also find work in sales, babysitting or unpaid work but being fed and housed with a host family. It all depends on the country: some, like Japan, ban PVTs from working in bars. Find out well!

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3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of PVT?

The advantages are manifold: the PVT allows you to learn a language, discover a country, a culture, while you finance your trip by working. There is no need to find a job upstream, nor to have a certain level of education or language to leave.

In exchange, You have to save time to find work on the spot.. And don’t be hard on the missions you encounter, perhaps sometimes far from your starting abilities.

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4. Who is interested and under what conditions?

To benefit from the “working holiday” programme, you must be between 18 and 30 years old, up to 35 years old for Argentina, Australia and Canada. You must have a valid passport, have a round-trip plane ticket or “enough resources to buy a return ticket”, having a certain amount of resources at the beginning in the country and insurance that covers the risks on the spot (the working-holiday-visas.com website offers a comparator). For example, you must have at least 3,200 euros to go to Australia, 2,500 euros for New Zealand or Chile, 1,760 euros for Canada.

In some cases, a motivation letter, medical certificate and clean criminal record will be requested. Another condition: not having already benefited from a PVT in the country concerned, except in special cases in Australia.

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5. How do I request a PVT?

The process is done online or at the embassy of the country of your choice. Feel free to plan ahead as almost all countries except Australia and New Zealand have WHV quotas. Thus, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there are only 300 vacancies for Mexico and Uruguay, 500 in Brazil or Russia and up to 7,050 in Canada.

Heads up : Due to the health crisis, “most Work Vacation Program arrangements” are suspended, recalls the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Several countries have suspended their programs: as of February 3, 2022, only Canada, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina and Australia are open.

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