Central and South America Working Holiday Visas

by | Last updated Jan 5, 2023 | Caribbean, Mexico, Central + South America, Live Work Play Travel, Working Holiday Visa Destination

Visit Machu Picchu while on Central and South America working holiday visas.

 

If you are looking for a way to spend more time in Central and South America than a few weeks holiday, well, here they are. Central and South America has a number of working holiday visas available that allow those people who qualify for one, to stay for up to 12 months to live and work abroad. The countries that currently have a working holiday visa available include: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay. Each country offers a unique experience. Here is a quick lowdown on the working holiday visas available for Central and South America.

First, let’s discuss the basics of a working holiday visa. To obtain a working holiday visa for a Central or South American country you will need to be a citizen of the countries listed. You will also need to be between 18-30 years old. If you qualify, you will be given a visa that will allow you to live and work in a Central or South American country for up to one year. Don’t worry if you’re older than 30, take a look at my over 30 years of age work abroad options.

 

Central and South America Countries offering a Working Holiday Visa

 

Argentina

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Australia, Denmark, France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden and Japan.
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 30 years (up to 35 years for New Zealand citizens)
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Argentina.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: The best cities to live and work on a working holiday visa in Argentina are Cordoba, Bariloche and you cannot beat Buenos Aires.

 

Brazil

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: France, Germany, New Zealand and South Korea.
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 30 years
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Brazil.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: Most start their working holiday in Brazil in cities like Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paolo, Salvador and Florianopolis. 

READ MORE: Brazil Working Holiday

 

Chile

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, the Republic of Ireland, New Zealand, South Korea and Sweden.
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 30 years (up to 35 years for citizens from Canada, Hungary and New Zealand)
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Chile.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: Most start their working holiday in Chile in Santiago andBahia Inglesa.

 

Colombia

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: France. Also Chile, Mexico and Peru via the Pacific Alliance.
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 30 years
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of the Republic of Columbia.
Citizens of Chile, Mexico and Peru can apply to the Pacific Alliance work and holiday visa.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: Popular cities to live and work in Colombia on a working holiday is Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena. Medellin is a popular digital nomad destination.

 

Costa Rica

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Canada
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 35 years
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: Most base themselves in San Jose.

 

Mexico

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Canada, France, Germany, South Korea and New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 29 years
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: There are many places people start their working holiday in Mexico. Mexico City is popular. Many digital nomads and expats live and work in Merida, Puerto Vallarta and Playa de Carmen.

 

Peru

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 30 years
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Republic of Peru.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: Typically start your work and travels in Peru in Iquitos, Arequipa, Cusco and Lima.

 

Uruguay

 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Australia, France and New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Age: 18 to 30 years
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Uruguay.
Where to Start your Working Holiday: Popular places to start your working holiday in Uruguay are in Montevideo, Cost Azul and Cabo Polonio.

 

What if I’m not a Citizen from one of those countries and still want to have a working holiday in Central or South America?

 

Some options:

If you don’t qualify for a working holiday visa, what many people do is go on a holiday visa which allows a stay of up to 90 days, then they do a visa run. This is where they leave one country, go to another and then return and receive another 90 days stay. 

If you are an American citizen, there is an agreement with Mexico that allows you to live and work there for up to 6 months.

The Pacific Alliance was established on 28 April 2011. It comprises of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru that allows citizens of these countries to live and work in each others countries.

 

Types of Work You Can Get on a Working Holiday in Central and South America

 

Work is limited mostly due to language barriers. Many working holiday makers get work in bars, in hostels, and Teaching English. There are also opportunities to work and ski in a Chile ski resort.

 

READ MORE: Packing List for a Working Holiday

 

Are You Ready to Live Abroad on a Working Holiday Visa?

 

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Female With Luggage in South America City.

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Sharyn McCullum Sailing Through The Panama Canal With Storm Chasing Boat.

Sharyn McCullum – Travel Writer / Blogger, Remote On-line Worker, sometime Digital Nomad and Travel, Live and Work Abroad Expert. Is a chocoholic, coffee connoisseur and lover of ’80s music. Been travelling all her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. Lived in London 4 years on a working holiday. Has holidayed in Hawaii over 15 times and currently calls Melbourne, Australia home. Is inspiring others to get the live work play travel lifestyle with this blog. Read more about Sharyn here.

10 Comments

  1. Cierra

    Thanks for the information Sharyn! I’m bummed that none of the countries have agreements with the U.S but I guess only the U.S is to blame..haha, anyway great article!

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      I do believe that you can get a working holiday visa for some countries. They currently include Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea and Ireland. You should check them out.

      Reply
  2. Kayla

    I’ve always wanted to work abroad. Great info! And who knew you could ski in South America?!

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      Well now is the time to work abroad. There are so many countries that have a reciprocal working holiday agreement. And yes, South America has ski fields where you could get work.

      Reply
  3. Olivia

    Thanks for sharing such useful information, I’m hoping to visit Colombia soon but sadly wouldn’t be staying long enough to work there.

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      That’s a shame you won’t be staying long enough to work. At least you know you have the option to do so in the future.

      Reply
  4. Sandra

    Thanks for this article, that’s useful info!

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      Glad you found the info useful! It’s good to have the heads up before you go.

      Reply
  5. Jen Ambrose

    This is so useful! I’m still bummed I had barely even heard about working holiday visas before I was too old for most of them! 🙁

    Reply
    • Sharyn McCullum

      Don’t be bummed, there are opportunities available to those aged over 30. You just need to be a little more creative but there are opportunities to work on cruise ships, teach English or WWOOF for instance. Check out my blog on this.

      Reply

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