So this is in NO WAY comprehensive but this week I have put together a little guide to which countries you can live and work in as an American Citizen! Buckle up kids, this post has a lot of information and I’m going to try to lay it out as easily as possible. Again this is a reference post for American citizens only, who hold a valid US Passport and are legally allowed to work in the US. Any other requirements will be listed. The schemes are not specifically for musicians, so obviously you can go to these countries without one, but if you would like to accept a music position offered in any of these countries you must hold a valid Working/Holiday Visa. Busking is not considered a job, and you don’t ALWAYS need a working visa but depending on the country, it may be a good idea. That’s different beast entirely and I’ll cover busking rules for different regions next week!!
As a U.S Citizen, you have working/holiday schemes with 5 countries.
Australia: In order to quality for your Australian Working/Holiday Visa you must be 18-30 years of age with a college education. Upon approval you are allowed to stay and work in Australia for 12 months. You must be able to prove sufficient funds upon arrival ($5000 AUD) The fee for the visa is $420 and you can apply and get approved quickly online! You can apply here
New Zealand: In order to qualify for your New Zealand Working/Holiday Visa you must be 18-30 years of age with a college education, same as Australia. Upon arrival you are allowed to stay and work in New Zealand Proper for 12 months. You must have a return flight purchased upon arrival OR be able to prove sufficient funds ($4,200 NZ) The visa costs $165 . You can apply here
Singapore: You must be a student or recent (within 12 months) graduate of university in order to apply, between the ages of 18-25. Your university must be among the Top 200 for overall academic performance. (You can check this Here) Upon approval of academic standing, you are allowed to stay and work for up to 6 months in Singapore. You must have a return flight purchased at your time of arrival. The pass costs $150. You can apply here
South Korea: The H-1 Visa is available to US Citizens 18-30 years of age who are currently enrolled in secondary education or have graduated from university within the past 12 months. You can stay for up to 18 months, but there are stipulations on the industries in which you can work. No medical jobs, law, or journalism positions are allowed. You must be able to prove sufficient funds upon arrival ($10,000 USD) there is an interview process and the application costs $45. You need to contact your nearest consulate to apply.
Ireland: This is available to all US citizens without age restriction. You must be enrolled in secondary education or graduated within the past 12 months. You must apply by mail (website) or in-person at the Embassy of Ireland in Washington or the Consulates General of Ireland in Boston, Chicago, New York or San Francisco. You’ll be asked for proof of your academic status as well as sufficient funds: either EU1,500 (or equivalent) plus a return travel ticket or EU3,000. It costs EU250 to apply for this visa.
These are the only 5 countries in which a US Citizen can just apply to work long-term. For any other country it’s quite a bit harder but not impossible, you must have a sponsor from the company you work for, and they can apply on your behalf and provide you with a legal way to continue working (for work transfers within international companies from the US) The European countries that are easiest to work out international work schemes for artists right now are Amsterdam and Germany.
Ok, so that’s a pretty basic bare-boned rundown of the countries you can live and work in, hope it gives you an idea of all the opportunities that are out there and hope it helps!
In the next few weeks, I’m going to talk about busking licenses, how to pack for a month trip in one backpack, and my personal finalized travel plans so stay tuned, new posts every Monday!