A South American working holiday is high on some travellers bucket list and a number of South American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay) have reciprocal working holiday and or work and travel visas available. This is great news if you are between 18-30 years of age and wish to extend your stay there to immerse yourself in the local way of life. However, if you are over 30 don’t worry, there are options available to work and travel in this part of the world. Check out our Over 30 page for ideas. 

South American Working Holiday & Work and Holiday Visas

The main difference between the two visas is the Work and Holiday Visa is aimed at students or recently qualified tertiary students while the Working Holiday Visa is aimed at anyone aged between 18-30 (sometimes 35) years of age. More details can be found on our Working Holiday Visa page. Details of the working holiday and work and holiday visas available in South America follow.

 

Argentina

Argentina has a working holiday visa available. 

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Australia, Denmark, France, Ireland and New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-30 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy of Argentina for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Brazil

Brazil has a working holiday visa available.

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: France, Germany, South Korea and New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-30 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Brazil for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Chile

Chile has a working holiday visa available.

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, South Korea, New Zealand and Sweden
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-30 years inclusive (or 35 years in the case of Canada and Hungary)
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Chile for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Also citizens of Colombia, Mexico and Peru can apply to the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru) for a work and holiday visa in Chile.

Columbia

Columbia has a work and holiday visa available.

Visa: Work and Holiday
Available to citizens of: France
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-30 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Columbia for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Citizens of Chile, Mexico and Peru can apply to the Pacific Alliance  (Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru) for a work and holiday visa in Columbia.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica has a working holiday visa available.

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Canada
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-35 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Costa Rica for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Mexico

Mexico has a working holiday visa available.

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Canada, France, Germany, South Korea and New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-29 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Mexico for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Citizens of Chile, Colombia, Peru are eligible for the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru) working holiday visa in Mexico

Peru

Peru has a working holiday visa available.

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-30 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Peru for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

Citizens of Chile, Colombia, Mexico are eligible for the Pacific Alliance (Chile, Columbia, Mexico, Peru) working holiday visa in Peru.

Uruguay

Uruguay has a working holiday visa available.

Visa: Working Holiday
Available to citizens of: Australia, France and New Zealand
Length of stay: 12 months
Aged: 18-30 years inclusive
Contact: your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Uruguay for more details and to apply
Types of work for working holiday makers: Teaching English, working in the ski resorts, volunteering

 

South American Working Holiday Work Types

So once you have decided on which South American country you want to spend your South American working holiday in you will want to know what work opportunities might be available to you.

Unless you speak the local language fluently jobs you can do will be limited. Many citizens of South American countries are extremely interested in learning English so if you have a qualification to teach English then you will be in demand. Plenty of the local English Language Schools will quite often sponsor you as a teacher, which is great news if you have this Teaching English qualification. If not, check out I-to-i who have a number of courses you can undertake to gain a qualification to teach English. 

If you can speak some of the local language you could find work in the coffee shops, bars and restaurants in main tourist areas. You could always ask at your accommodation if work is available. Many travellers often find work in the hostel or hotel they are staying in. You could find yourself on reception or possibly in housekeeping.

Check out the South American hostels on HostelWorld and hotels on Booking.com. Even though these sites are to book accommodation they provide a lot of information about the accommodation including how many rooms they have and services they offer. You could use this information to find work. Read our blog on working in a hostel.

Something you might want to consider is working in one of South America’s snow centres such as Ski Mountain Park – Sao Roque in Brazil. That’s if you like the snow. But as with most ski areas people are required to ensure the place runs smoothly by having enough staff to work in the bars, restaurants, ski hire, instructing, etc.

With the cost of living low in South America you can live decently if you are receiving a good wage or have taken plenty of spending money. Many travellers who are digital nomads use countries in South America as a base to do their digital work while immersing themselves in the local life.

Although options of work are limited in South America you still can find work to help you to immerse yourself in the local culture and to keep on travelling in the region.

South American Accommodation

Because you are heading on a working holiday to South America you will need to find accommodation, both short-term and something longer-term. There is plenty of accommodation in South America to choose from. For short-term options I suggest you check out HostelWorld for a hostel room and Booking.com for a hotel room. For longer-term accommodation I suggest you decide on the area you wish to live first and then go house hunting. Your employment might be able to recommend areas or perhaps, such as when you teach English, your accommodation might be included.

In conclusion

Which ever South American country you decide to have an extended stay or a working holiday in I hope you enjoy your time. South America has some wonderful things to see and do and each country is unique in itself. Enjoy your time living, working, playing and travelling in South America. 

 

  • Have any suggestions or questions regarding this blog? Drop me a message in the comments below!

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