Working Holiday Visa

After graduating many young people want to explore other countries and cultures before settling on a career path. The Working Holiday Program gives young people the opportunity to gain an insight into German culture and everyday life for a maximum of 12 months. Here are some questions and answers that may give you a better understanding about the process and eligibility.

Awesome! I just heard of this working holiday visa. Does it mean that I can go on holiday while I work? What’s it all about?

It’s all about giving young adults the chance to experience in real life what working and living abroad is. This type of residence permit has been specially developed for backpackers or “working travelers”. The most important aspect is to be permitted to accept jobs to so co-finance your stay. It is expected that you will be “job-hopping”. It is not intended that you compete on the labor market.
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Who is eligible for that?

Citizens of buddy countries Germany with whom Germany has closed a bilateral treaty for youth exchange:

  • Australia,
  • Canada,
  • Chile,
  • Hong Kong,
  • Japan,
  • New Zealand,
  • (South) Korea
    and
  • Taiwan.
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How long may I stay with this permit?

A working holiday visa allows to remain for up to 12 months.

When and how do I prepare for my stay in Germany?

This is nothing special, just study the general requirements – if not different is mentioned here. When you hit the office, have best following details on hand:

  • proof of sufficient financial means to make ends meet, i.e. approx. € 2,000 or have your parents visit the German consulate in order to vouch for you by filling out a certain form ("Verpflichtungserklärung") at the consulate in person. N.B. at least one of your parents must show up in person!
  • Anmeldung,
  • certificate of good conduct,
  • application form,
  • travel health insurance with one year validity,

Following this strategy will save you “endless” waiting hours in the office!
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Whendo I get my visa?

When you have everything together as described above then you will get it on the day of the appointment. Even though you have an appointment do not expect to be served exactly at the given time. Arrive a few minutes earlier and reckon to stay for some time. Bring something to read with you!
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Heck I did not know of your hints and now I’m stuck in Germany without my visa and the foreigners did not serve me but only gave a Fiktionsbescheinigung and an appointment. What’s going on?

You legally entered Germany as a visa waiver citizen and you do not yet have your visa. You received a preliminary permit granting you legal sojourn – no less, no more. The Fiktionsbescheinigung has been already described elsewhere – just click the word.
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What may I work on this visa?

You can pursue any legal activity – be it employment or self-employment.

Below you will find an overview of the status for each of the countries.

Country

Programm’s Name

Where to apply?

Age

Special Regulations

Australia

 

Youth Mobility

Germany

18 – 30

Canada

Youth Mobility

Germany

18 – 35

2x but only with an interruption, subject to a quota

Chile

Working Holiday Visa

domestic consulate

18 – 30

no longer than 6 months with one employer, visiting vocational trainings up to 6 months

Hong Kong

Working Holiday Visa

Germany

18 – 30

British Overseas, subject to a quota, not longer than 3 months with same employer, visiting vocational courses up to 6 months

Japan

Working Holiday Visa

Germany

18 – 30

Korea

Working Holiday Visa

Germany

18 – 30

application from Germany only as an exception

New Zeeland

Working Holiday Visa

Germany

18 – 30

Taiwan

Working Holiday Visa

domestic consulate

18 – 30

subject to a quota, max. 3 at the same employer

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