Working Holiday Visa vs. Tourist Visa: Which One’s Right for You?
differences between working holiday visa and tourist visa

Are you a Canadian itching to explore the world and experience new cultures while earning a bit of money along the way? If so, you might be considering either a working holiday visa or a tourist visa for your international adventure. While both options allow you to travel abroad, they come with distinct differences between visas that can significantly impact your experience. In this article, we’ll break down the key differences between visas to help you make an informed choice.

Purpose of Travel

Working Holiday Visa

A working holiday visa is designed for young Canadians aged 18-30 (or 18-35 in some cases) who want to travel and work temporarily in a foreign country. This visa is ideal if you’re seeking an immersive cultural experience while supplementing your finances.

Tourist Visa

A tourist visa is primarily intended for leisure travel. It allows you to explore a foreign country’s attractions, soak in its culture, and enjoy a vacation without engaging in any paid work or long-term stays.

tourist visa travel

Duration of Travel

Working Holiday Visa

Working holiday visas typically grant you the opportunity to stay in a foreign country for an extended period, often ranging from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the country and visa type. This extended duration allows you to work part-time or full-time during your stay.

Tourist Visa

Tourist visas are usually granted for shorter durations, ranging from a few weeks to a few months. They are ideal for vacations but may not be suitable for longer-term stays or work opportunities.

traveling with visa

Work Opportunities

Working Holiday Visa

The primary advantage of a working holiday visa is the ability to work legally while traveling. You can take up various jobs to support your stay, gain international work experience, and fund your adventures. This can be a valuable opportunity for cultural exchange and personal growth. Some of our programs, such as our internship programs, include job placement prior to arrival.

Tourist Visa

Tourist visas, in most cases, do not permit any form of employment. You are expected to use this visa solely for leisure and tourism purposes. Engaging in paid work while on a tourist visa can lead to legal issues and deportation.

working holiday visa work

Eligibility Criteria

Working Holiday Visa

Eligibility for a working holiday visa varies from country to country, but common requirements include age restrictions (usually 18-30 or 18-35), proof of sufficient funds to support your initial stay, health insurance coverage, and a clean criminal record. Some countries may have specific quotas or limited spots available.

Tourist Visa

Tourist visas generally have simpler eligibility criteria. You’ll need a valid passport, proof of travel itinerary, and sometimes evidence of sufficient funds to support your stay. The process is typically more straightforward compared to working holiday visas.

Financial Considerations

Working Holiday Visa

While a working holiday visa allows you to earn money during your travels, you should still have sufficient savings to cover initial expenses and emergencies. Remember that your primary purpose is travel, not full-time employment.

Tourist Visa

With a tourist visa, you are expected to have the financial means to support your trip entirely from your savings or other sources of income. You won’t have the option to work and earn money in the host country.

working holiday visa tourist visa finances

In summary, the choice between a working holiday visa and a tourist visa largely depends on your travel goals, age, and willingness to work abroad. If you’re a young Canadian looking for a cultural adventure with the option to work and explore a foreign country for an extended period, a working holiday visa could be the perfect fit. However, if you’re seeking a shorter vacation experience without the intention of working overseas, a tourist visa will serve you well.


Before making your decision, thoroughly research the specific requirements and conditions of the visa for the country you intend to visit. Whichever option you choose, remember to prepare adequately, respect the local laws and customs, and make the most of your international journey. May your travels be smooth and secure, and may these insights into the differences between visas help you make an informed choice!


Curious about how to obtain a working holiday visa? Check out our webinar below to know more about the visa application process!


Leave a Reply