WORKING HOLIDAY SCHEME

1. Introduction
2. Countries available for Hong Kong residents –
(i) New Zealand
(ii) Australia
(iii) Ireland
(iv) Germany
(v) Japan
(vi) Canada
(vii) Korea
(viii) France
(ix) United Kingdom
3. Enquiries
4. Experience Sharing
5. Leaflets

 

1. Introduction
To provide an opportunity for young people in Hong Kong to gain first-hand experience living and working in a foreign culture and widen their horizons, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) has established bilateral Working Holiday Scheme with the Government of New Zealand, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Japan, Canada, Korea, France and United Kingdom respectively.  Apart from facilitating cultural exchanges between Hong Kong and our partner countries, the Scheme also enhances bilateral cooperation and promotes tourism and development between the two places.

Under the scheme, participants may stay in the host country for an extended holiday. They are also allowed to take up short-term employment as an incidental part of their stay so as to acquire a better understanding of the cultural and social developments of the host countries.  The Scheme aims to enable young people to gain valuable experience while holidaying and working abroad, which would help strengthen their self-confidence, resilience and inter-personal skills.

Successful applicants will be issued a Working Holiday Visa or relevant documentation by the host.  During their allowed period of stay, they can take up short-term employment.  Those who choose to go to New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Japan, Canada, Korea, France and United Kingdom may also study in short-term courses.

According to the bilateral arrangements, each side may provide a fixed annual quota for eligible applicants of the other side.

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  • be aged between 18 and 30, not be accompanied by any dependents during the journey;
  • be ordinarily resident in the HKSAR and holding a valid HKSAR or British National (Overseas) passport;
  • be going abroad primarily for holidaying/travelling;
  • hold a return or departure ticket, or have sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket; and
  • be able to produce financial proof of available funds to meet his/her living costs while staying in the host country.

For detailed eligibility criteria of individual working holiday scheme, please refer to the respective website.  While not all the Schemes require the applicants to take out insurance plans during their stay in the host country, working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out suitable medical, hospitalisation and liability insurance policy before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

Similarly, citizens of the above countries may come to Hong Kong for working and holidaying by applying to respective Chinese Embassies or Consulates-General, and the Immigration Department of the HKSAR.

Applicants may approach the relevant Consulates for application forms and enquiries about details of the Scheme.

Reminder: When making the application for working holiday visa, please ensure that the information provided is accurate. Any applicants who willfully give any false information in the application form or withhold any material information, may be liable to disqualification for the Scheme. Even if your applications have been approved by the Government of the host country, your visa may be cancelled or you would be prohibited from joining the Working Holiday Scheme.

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2. Countries available for Hong Kong residents
(i) New Zealand
The Hong Kong/New Zealand Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 April 2001 with both sides providing an annual quota of 400. The New Zealand Consulate-General requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about NZ$4,200) for maintenance during their stay in New Zealand.

Successful applicants will be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the New Zealand Government. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment of not more than three months with any one single employer, and can also study in one short-term course of less than three months' duration. Details and application forms can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migrant/stream/work/workingholiday

Working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy as required before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

New Zealand

For travel information, please visit the following websites:
http://www.tourisminfo.govt.nz or http://www.newzealand.com/travel

There are different types of short-term employment, mostly seasonal work. For details, please browse the following website: http://www.workandincome.govt.nz

Information about studies can be found at the following website:
http://www.immigration.govt.nz

Remarks: Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulate before application.

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(ii) Australia
The Hong Kong/Australia Working Holiday Scheme was established on 15 September 2001. There is no quota restriction under this Scheme for Hong Kong applicants. The Australian Consulate-General requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about AU$5,000) for maintenance during their stay in Australia.

Successful applicants may be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Australian Government. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment of not more than six months with any one single employer. They may also study short-term courses for not more than three months. Details and application forms are available at the following website : http://immi.gov.au/allforms/pdf/1150.pdf

Working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

Australia

For travel information, please visit the following website: http://www.australia.com

There are different types of short-term employment, mostly seasonal work. For details, please browse the following website: http://www.jobsearch.gov.au

Information about studies can be found at the following website: http://www.immi.gov.au

Remarks: Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulate before application.

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(iii) Ireland
The Hong Kong/Ireland Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 March 2005, providing an annual quota of 100 for each side. The Consulate of Ireland requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about HK$25,000) for maintenance during their stay in Ireland.

Successful applicants may be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Irish Government. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment of not more than three months with any one single employer. Details and application forms can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.consulateofireland.hk/

Working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy as required before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

Ireland

For travel information, please visit the following website: http://www.ireland.ie

There are different types of short-term employment, mostly seasonal work. For details, please browse the following website: http://www.fas.ie

Remarks: Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulate before application.

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(iv) Germany
The Hong Kong/Germany Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 July 2009 with both sides providing an annual quota of 150. The German Consulate General requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about Euro 2,000) for maintenance during their stay in Germany.

Successful applicants may be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Government of Federal Republic of Germany. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment of not more than three months with one single employer. They may also engage in one training or study course of up to six months. Details and application forms are available at the following website : http://www.hongkong.diplo.de

Working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy as required before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

Germany

For information about living, tourism and job opportunities in Germany, please visit the following websites:

http://www.young-germany.de
http://www.deutschland.de
http://www.germany-tourism.de
http://www.arbeitsagentur.de (in German only)

Remarks: Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulate before application.

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(v) Japan
The Hong Kong/Japan Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 January 2010 with both sides providing an annual quota of 250. The Consulate-General of Japan requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about 200,000 Yen) for maintenance during their stay in Japan.

Successful applicants may be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment and/or study courses. Visa application procedures for Hong Kong applicants can be assessed via the website : http://www.hk.emb-japan.go.jp.

Working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy as required before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

Japan

For information about living, tourism and job opportunities in Japan, please visit the following websites:

http://www.japantravelinfo.com
http://www.jnto.go.jp

Remarks: Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulate before application.

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(vi) Canada
The Hong Kong/Canada Working Holiday Arrangement came into effect on 1 March 2010, with both sides providing an annual quota of 200. The applicants are required to provide a financial proof of about C$2,500 for maintenance during their initial stay in Canada.

Successful applicants will be issued a Letter of Introduction by the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong, which can be exchanged for a work permit at a Canadian border entry point. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment and/or study courses not more than a total of six months. Application forms and other relevant information can be obtained via the website of the Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong: http://www.hongkong.gc.ca.

Working holidaymakers are strongly advised to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy as required before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

Canada

For information about living, working temporarily, and travelling in Canada, please refer to the following websites:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/newcomers/before-canada.asp
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/index.asp
http://www.canada.travel/splash.en-ca.html

Remarks: Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulate before application.

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(vii) Korea
The Hong Kong/Korea Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 January 2011 with both sides providing an annual quota of 500. The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about US$2,500) for maintenance during their stay in Korea.

Successful applicants will be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment of not more than six months with any one single employer, and can also study in one short-term course of up to six months. Details and application forms can be downloaded from the following websites: http://www.hikorea.go.kr/pt/InfoDetailR_en.pt?categoryId=2&parentId=382&catSeq=385&showMenuId=374&visaId=H1 or
http://hkg.mofat.go.kr

Working holidaymakers are required to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

 

Korea

 

For information about living, tourism and job opportunities in Korea, please visit the following websites:
http://www.korea.net
http://www.visitkorea.or.kr
http://www.workingholidayinfocenter.org/en
http://global.seoul.go.kr

Remarks:

Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulates before application.

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(viii) France
The Hong Kong/France Working Holiday Scheme was established on 1 July 2013 with both sides providing an annual quota of 200. The Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of about HK$25,000) for maintenance during their stay in France.

Successful applicants will be issued a Working Holiday Visa by the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao. During their 12-month stay, they can take up short-term employment of not more than six months with any one single employer, and/or take up study courses.  Details and application forms can be downloaded from the following websites:
http://www.consulfrance-hongkong.org


Working holidaymakers are required to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

 

France

 

For information about living, tourism and job opportunities in France, please visit the following websites:
http://www.consulfrance-hongkong.org/
http://www.france.fr/
http://service-public.fr/

Remarks:

Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulates before application.

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(ix) United Kingdom
Starting from 1 January 2014, Hong Kong would be one of the participants of United Kingdom (UK)’s Youth Mobility Scheme.  A Working Holiday Scheme would also be established for young citizens of the UK at the same time.

Successful applicants will be issued a visa under the Youth Mobility Scheme by the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong.  During their 24-month stay, they can engage in work (except for self-employment, professional sport or work as a doctor or dentist in training), privately-funded studies and/or voluntary work of choice.

The British Government requires applicants to provide financial proof (of a bank deposit of £1,800) for maintenance during their stay in UK.  They are also required to take out suitable medical (including repatriation), hospitalisation and/or liability insurance policy before departure to cover the possible related cost incurred abroad.

For HKSAR passport holders:
The annual quota for HKSAR passport holders is 1,000.  Interested persons, apart from meeting the eligibility criteria mentioned at part 1 above, must also obtain a valid Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) before applying the visa with the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong.  Details of the CoS and its registration are provided here.

For British National (Overseas) (BNO) passport holders:
The holders of BNO passport are not subject to the annual quota of 1,000 and do not require a valid CoS for applying the visa.  Interested applicants who can meet the eligibility criteria mentioned in part 1 above can submit their application for visa with the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong direct.

Further information of the scheme and visa application can be obtained via the website:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/working/tier5/youthmobilityscheme/


United Kingdom

 

For information about living, tourism and job opportunities in United Kingdom, please visit the following websites:
http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/visas-immigration/visiting/
http://www.visitbritain.org/
http://www.visitbritain.com/en/HK/

Remarks:

Detailed arrangements of the Scheme may vary from time to time. Applicants are advised to check with the Consulates before application.

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3. Enquiries
Working Holiday Scheme
Website: http://whs.esdlife.com

Information on the relevant consulates is as follows:

New Zealand Consulate-General Hong Kong
Address: 6501, 65/F, Central Plaza, 18 Harbour Road, Wanchai
Telephone: 2525 5044
Fax: 2845 2915
Email: nzcghkg@biznetvigator.com
Website:http://www.nzembassy.com/hongkong or http://www.immigration.govt.nz/whswork

Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong
Address: 23/F, Harbour Centre, 25 Harbour Road, Wanchai
Telephone: 2827 8881
Fax: 2585 4457
Website: http://www.hongkong.china.embassy.gov.au or http://www.immi.gov.au

Consulate of Ireland, Hong Kong
Address: c/o Heidrick & Struggles, Suite 1408, Two Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty
Telephone: 2527 4897
Fax: 2824 9127
Email: info@consulateofireland.hk
Website:http://www.consulateofireland.hk

German Consulate General Hong Kong
Address: 21/F, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty
Telephone: 2105 8788 / 2105 8745
Fax: 2865 2033
Email: info@hongkong.diplo.de
Website: http://www.hongkong.diplo.de

Consulate-General of Japan in Hong Kong
Address: 46 - 47/F, One Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central
Telephone: 2522 1184
Fax: 2868 0156
Website : http://www.hk.emb-japan.go.jp

Consulate General of Canada in Hong Kong
Address: 12/F, Tower One, Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central
Telephone: 3719 4700
Fax: 2810 6736
Email: hkong@international.gc.ca
Website: http://www.hongkong.gc.ca.

Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Hong Kong
Address: 5/F, Far East Finance Centre, 16 Harcourt Road, Admiralty
Telephone: 2529 4141
Fax: 2529 9385
Email: info@korea.org.hk
Website: http://hkg.mofat.go.kr

Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macao
Address: 25/F & 26/F, Tower II, Admiralty Centre, 18 Harcourt Road, Hong Kong
Telephone: 3752 9900
Fax: 3752 9901
Email: admin-etrangers.hongkong-fslt@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Website: http://www.consulfrance-hongkong.org/

British Consulate-General in Hong Kong
Address: 1 Supreme Court Road, Admiralty, Hong Kong
Telephone: 2901 3000
Fax: 2901 3008
Email: info.ukph@vfshelpline.com
Website: https://www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-consulate-general-hong-kong

Immigration Department of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Telephone: 2824 6111
Fax: 2877 7711
Email: enquiry@immd.gov.hk
Website: http://www.immd.gov.hk

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4. Experience Sharing
Working holidaymakers are invited to share your thoughts and experience with us by leaving messages at the Message Board of our dedicated website (http://whs.esdlife.com)

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5. Leaflets
New Zealand (PDF file)
Australia (PDF file)
Ireland (PDF file)
Germany (PDF file)
Japan (PDF file)
Canada (PDF file)
Korea (PDF file)
France (PDF file)
United Kingdom (PDF file)


 

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