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Holiday visa for US citizens?

Travel Forums Europe Holiday visa for US citizens?

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1. Posted by Azton (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

I've been doing some research, planning a trip to europe. I'm a huge history buff so I want to go everywhere, see everything (stupidly vague, I know, but ... ). I've see a lot of mention of a Holidaymakers visa for the UK, but after some research it seems that I can't get one being a US citizen. So, anyone know if one of the other EU contries offers something like this for US citizens, or possibly some other kind of (but similar) visa from the UK?


2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y

Nope, no WHV's for US citizens anywhere. Reason is reciprocity - the US government does not want Working Holiday Makers in their country. Only exception to this is to Oz and only after you've graduated from college.

Your best chance is trying to get a regular work visa (blegh) to teach English or similar. Germany would be a good option, as it is the country that is least restrictive in this regard. (Still no real piece of cake though. Feel free to contact me on the topic.)

Or you could do volunteer work in exchange for food and free accomodation. See

3. Posted by Azton (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Man... stupid US Government...

4. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y

An option you might want to look into is employment as civil service worker at US Armed Forces bases in Europe.... You wouldn't need a work permit for this kind of job.

Or if you really really love kids and have experience as babysitter you could try for an Au-Pair visa. Difficult as a male though.

[ Edit: Edited on May 22, 2008, at 4:18 AM by t_maia ]

5. Posted by Hien (Travel Guru 3906 posts) 8y

Another one you could join is BUNAC. I met a few Americans in London earlier this year who were on this six-month programme. Although it's reciprocal and approved by governments of both sides, it's organised by a private company unlike the Working Holidaymaker scheme which is managed by the government themselves.

6. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 8y

The BUNAC program is only for full-time students (or very recently graduated full-time students I believe).

7. Posted by Azton (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Thanks to all for the replies, at least now I have some longer term options to see more of europe. And I'm off to do some research :)

Thanks again,

PS- Looked into that BUNAC, seems like you only have to be a full time student for the UK permit. Ireland didn't list any requirement like that, although I suppose I haven't thoroughly looked yet.

8. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y

Hm, if you are no student or recent grad I think your best bet is really to go through the hoopla of getting a normal residency permit and work permit. There are a few qualifications that are in demand in Europe, IT among them. You'd have to tell us a bit more about yourself though.

An interesting bit of trivia :

Prostitution is legal in Germany. Prostitutes are considered self-employed and are subject to taxes and social security payments and benefits.

Now citizens from certain countries (US-citizens among them) who want to move to Germany can apply for a residency permit while they are in Germany. They do not have to do this in advance at the embassy like for a number of other countries. They can also apply for a work permit, and if it is a work permit for self-employment it is usually granted...

9. Posted by Azton (Budding Member 7 posts) 8y

Maia... you sneaky son of a....

As far as qualifications I have a fair background in avionics, electronics... don't know how in demand those are in germany. Thanks for the help on this, I would love to be able to see everything I can in europe.


10. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 8y

Electronics ... the word alone is bound to get you a residency permit, especially when it comes with a bachelor or even masters degree. Though you probably know your industry better than I do.

Come over, look for a job and see what comes out of it. Though in the case you find something chances are high you'd be looking at some long-term engagement, 2+ years with total duration unknown and 3 weeks of paid vacation each year. Not ideal when your goal is to explore Europe, but then you can always resign from that job.

Head over to to read up on expat live in Germany.

[ Edit: Edited on May 23, 2008, at 3:54 PM by t_maia ]