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Working Holiday Visa Option

Working Holiday Visa Option

Korea entered into an agreement with Canada in 1996 (as well as Australia in 1995, Japan and New Zealand both in 1999) that allows citizens of those countries between the ages of 18 and 30 to obtain a Working Holiday Visa (H1) for one year. In exchange, these countries provide South Koreans with the opportunity to work and study in their countries. The list of countries has increased in recent years to include:
Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States 

The Working Holiday Program is intended to promote international understanding by enabling young people to experience the culture of another country. It allows working holiday participants to have an extended holiday by supplementing their travel funds with part-time employment. The goal of the program is to provide the participant with first-hand cultural experience in local communities.

The Working Holiday Visa is an option for those wanting to come to Korea for a year or less. At the moment, more Koreans are going to Canada on a Working Holiday Visa than Canadians coming to Korea*, so until the number of Canadians coming over on Working Holiday Visas increases, there should be a good number of spaces available. This is an option for someone accompanying a friend or partner, who as an E2 visa or for someone who does not want to work the long hours required by most teaching institutions.

There are some jobs that H1 visa holders are prohibited from doing, among them acrobat, dancer, musician, receptionist, singer, (basically any form of entertainment) or receptionist. There is some dispute as to whether teaching is allowed with an H1 visa, but it is our (K4E) understanding that the regulations are supposed to the same in both countries involved in the agreement. (For example, if a Korean H1 visa holder can teach in Canada, a Canadian H1 visa holder should be able to teach in Korea).

Applicants must:

- be between 18 and 25 or 30 years of age at the time of application (depending on specific country agreements)

- be travelling without dependents

- use the program as a way of supplementing travel expenses

- be from Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan and the United States.

K4E Editor: We try to make the information on as complete and accurate as possible, so if you notice any errors or omissions in the content above, please let us know at

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Last Updated on 2013-04-21

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