By Erika Owen
November 09, 2016
side view of woman waiting in airport

Working abroad is a great way to see the world—whether you're looking for a long-term career or something different for a couple of months.

But before you pack up that laptop and hit the airport, make sure you've got all of the proper paperwork you need to avoid any obstacles once you reach your destination. Here are a few of the options out there.

Working Holiday Visas

There are some countries that don't require visas or permits to work: Singapore, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea, according to They countries offer what's called a working holiday visa, meaning you can visit and work in these countries with a passport and enough money to support yourself in said destination. These are not long-term working situations—they generally last three months to a year, according to the country—but rather a chance to experience another country while making some money.

These visas are generally only available to younger people—from 18-30 years old—and are commonly known as gap year visas, in reference to college students who take a year to travel and work before moving to a more permanent location.

Au Pair Visas

There are also countries that honor the au pair visa, or a J-1 visa, giving you the ability to "participate in work-and study-based exchange visitor programs," according to the government-run J-1 Visa website. And there's an option for those looking to travel with an au pair visa holder: The J-2 visa is another non-immigrant permit spouses and dependents of a J-1 Visa holder need to obtain from a consular official at a U.S. embassy.

If you have a J-2 visa, you can apply to work in most cases. You can learn more about obtaining the proper paperwork to apply on the J-1 Visa website.

Job-specific Visa

Another way to receive a work visa is for your employer to sponsor you. These types of visas are generally attached to one particular position within a company, meaning if you decide to leave the job, you'll also lose your work-sponsored visa. Your employer will have more information about obtaining a company-sponsored visa, but you can read more about US-based H-1B visas on the US Citizen and Immigration Services website.

Helpful References

If you're trying to find a job abroad, Anywork Anywhere can help with that. This website is focused on providing information about open positions for foreigners by country and type of work.

If you're looking for information on different countries visa process, head to It's Easy. The website breaks asks for your preferred destination, nationality, residency, and purpose for travel or visa type, and in turn spits out the requirements for your chosen country.

Project Visa is another great resource for gathering more information about the visa process of countries around the world.

If you're looking to contact your embassy for more information on how to obtain a visa, head to Embassies Worldwide. The website shares addresses, phone numbers, and Google Maps directions.