What visa do I need?
Participating in one of EA Ski and Snowboard’s Internships is a not only a fantastic way to spend a season in the snow. But also, to give you great opportunities to experience the culture living, travelling and working to maximise your experience abroad.
Anyone coming from outside of the country destination will normally need a valid visa type to allow you to work in the role of an Instructor. There are many different ones on offer. However, for ease of understanding we will advise on the most common ones we recommend first.
Working holiday visa
A working holiday visa allows the holder to spend anything from 6 months to 2 years in a country. Most countries have this capability for people typically between 18 and 30. However, in some cases, this can extend up to 35 for some countries.
Your EA consultant can typically advise this fastest for you to ensure you know what options you have available.
Some of the following countries we hold internships within typically have working holiday visa arrangements in place.
Canada is by far one of our most popular options. The one most important piece of advice about applying for this visa is that the process often can start as early as one year prior to the internship start date. The earliest we have known for this to start is October the year prior to the internship start date (November the following year).
Please find this helpful blog from our 2017/18 EA Revelstoke Intern Laura who provides a great insight of the process you need to know, and to work out if you are eligible.
As you will read in her article, her biggest recommendation is to apply as soon as the scheme opens for the year ahead. This also is our best advice. You will see at the bottom of her article she has provided all the key links which we would suggest reading through.
New Zealand has a very easy process to follow and for most countries is one year, but for some, you can have up to two.
As with Canada there is quota as to how many are offered to specific countries each year, some are unlimited, and some are limited to a relatively small number.
Additionally, the opening times of some countries can vary a little. We would suggest checking out this link that is the same one that you use to apply for a working holiday visa to assess this.
The process is typically very efficient, in most cases, you will receive confirmation within around 1-2 weeks from when you make your application, may take only 72 hours. The only exception is if you are from Australia in which case you do not need a visa at all to come to work in New Zealand.
The process for applying for a visa to Japan is straightforward also. However, the one point of difference is you must apply for the visa in person at the embassy as opposed to online. This is something very important to note if you are intent on travelling beforehand and not planning on returning home.
You will be required to apply directly at the respective embassy in person. Some more helpful information can be found here via some advice from one of our past interns
Please click here if you wish to see if your country is eligible and some other details.
What about USA and Switzerland?
For those attending an internship in either of these locations, there is some more specific information to be aware of.
Most people attending our US based internship will have a US passport. However, there is another visa type that some countries and people under certain circumstances can obtain.
This is called a J1 Visa. A J1 Visa normally has the requirement that a person must be within one year of tertiary study or presently be enrolled in post-secondary education.
At the time of writing we are aware of such an option for New Zealand and Australian citizens. However, there are a range of visa types adding a bit more complexity, therefore we do recommend getting in touch with your EA Advisor who can help direct you further.
Switzerland is typically available to countries of the European Union without the need to apply for a visa in advance. We are currently working with our resorts and ski schools to understand the impact of Brexit for UK citizens. However, more generally a work permit will be sought once you arrive in the resort at the beginning of your internship.
What if I am not eligible for any of the above options advised?
In the first instance, we best advise checking with us to ensure all options are explored first. It is possible that you may come from a country that doesn’t have such a visa agreement in place or you may be over the age threshold.
You can still definitely attend one of our training programs in Canada or New Zealand as you will attend on a tourist visa. These programs differ from the internships in that they are specifically training, and certification based and do not involve any tie into work in the same season.
N.B. If you are unable to work in the country due to the visa requirement please don’t despair. There are still routes that we can advise you that in most instances will get you to your dream location. It just takes a bit more of a plan and longer-term perspective to achieve.
It is our best recommendation to utilise all working holiday visa opportunities where possible. Sponsored visas become more relevant if you are viewing from a longer-term perspective. They are commonplace in this industry and allows you to chase winters until retirement!
A sponsored visa is common in most of the snow sports countries on Earth. The key requirements are that you need to have a certain level of experience often totaling three or more seasons of teaching experience and a Level Two qualification from an I.S.I.A member country to meet the immediate skill shortage list for the respective country.
By doing an internship it means every bit of experience you are gaining can be utilised for this type of visa in the future.
Final points to note about visas
- Please check with our team to ensure your visa options can be assessed clearly.
- Your passport will need to have a reasonable length of time before expiry to apply.
- The best thing you can do is formulate a plan for your season with as much advance planning as possible. Even if it is not for a couple of years, we would prefer we are advising with as much notice, so you don’t miss any key dates, early booking discounts etc.
- Our programs each year are becoming increasingly more popular and we do have very limited availability year round. For this reason, we encourage people to make contact no matter how far out you are looking. The last thing we want is for people to miss out!
NB.We often are fully allocated more than a year out from the start date in our most popular resorts.