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D-Visa: Working Holiday

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The Working Holiday Visa Programme is based on bilateral agreements between Germany and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the SAR Hong Kong, Taiwan and Uruguay, as well as a Youth Mobility agreement with Canada.

This programme is not open to British citizens.

Visa-free travel

Citizens of Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan and New Zealand may apply for their working holiday residence permit with the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) after arrival in Germany and without having obtained a visa prior to travelling to Germany. Please note that you need to register your new residence (“Anmeldung”) with the authorities (“Meldebehörde”) within 2 weeks of having moved in and apply for your residence permit with the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”) within the first 90 days of stay in Germany. It is important to note that you may only take up employment once you have been issued a residence permit explicitly authorising working holiday employment. You may also choose to apply for a visa prior to travel, effectively permitting employment from the first day of visa validity.

Citizens of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay require a visa prior to travel to Germany.

Korean nationals have to apply with the German Embassy in Seoul. Holders of Taiwan passports may only apply with the German Institute in Taipei. Holders of SAR Hong Kong and British National (Overseas) Passports must apply with the Consulate General in Hong Kong. Brazilian nationals may apply at any German mission in Brazil.

General Information

To be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa and apply at the German Mission in the UK you must

  • be a citizen either of Argentina, Australia, Chile, Israel, Japan, New Zealand or Uruguay,
  • be at least 18 years of age but have not turned 31 yet when filing your application,
  • not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children) during your stay,

To be eligible for a Youth Mobility Visa you must

  • be a citizen of Canada,
  • be at least 18 years of age but have not turned 35 yet when filing your application

The Working Holiday Visa Programme aims at enabling young people to gain insight into culture and daily life in Germany. The intention is to promote increased mutual understanding and your primary aim should be to visit Germany. Employment is permitted throughout the validity of the visa but should remain of temporary character in order to facilitate additional financial means to your holiday travel intentions in Germany. Conditions regarding length and type of employment are governed by the individual bilateral agreement:

  • Citizens of Argentina may work for a total of six months only.
  • Citizens of Australia, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Uruguay may work for up to six months with the same employer. After that employment may be continued for a different or several other employers for the remaining time. Both fulltime and part-time employment are allowed.
  • For citizens of Canada please refer to the information provided by the German Missions to Canada.
  • Citizens of Israel may work for up to three months with the same employer. After three months employment can be continued with a different employer.

Self-employment or freelance work is not permitted for citizens of Argentina, Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

How to apply for your visa:

1. Complete the online application form, print the form including the barcodes twice and sign both copies (application forms are required for each applicant separately; all children require separate forms).

2. Compile your supporting documentation:

  • 2 printouts of the online application form including barcodes
  • Valid passport signed by the holder, issued within the last 10 years and valid for at least 3 months beyond the validity of the visa applied for. The passport needs to have at least 2 subsequent blank pages.
  • 2 photocopies of the passport biodata page
  • Current UK residence permit (BRP)/ visa (foreign residents only).
  • 2 photocopies of the permit/ visa
  • 2 fully biometric passport photos, 35 x 45 mm, no older than three months. Digitally altered passport photos cannot be accepted.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses in Germany for the first three months of your stay, i.e. a monthly equivalent of € 861. Depending on your overall financial situation we may ask you to provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to return to your country of residence. Accepted evidence of funds are
  • Recent German or UK bank statements for an account in your name for a minimum of three months showing that you hold a continuous and sustainable balance equalling EUR 2,583 (if applicable: plus funds to return to your country of residence).
    • Bank statements from other countries may be acceptable if any balance not in EUR or GBP has been converted into either currency and the statements as such have been authenticated by the issuing bank with signature and stamp.
  • OR blocked account holding minimum EUR 861/month (if applicable: plus funds to return to your country of residence)
  • OR formal obligation (“Verpflichtungserklärung”) by a sponsor resident in Germany.
  • Confirmation of health insurance cover (including accident insurance, “Unfallversicherung”) commensurate with the level of statutory German public health insurance (“gesetzliche Krankenversicherung”) - in 2 copies
  • Curriculum vitae in German or English– in 2 copies
  • Personal motivation letter in German or English explaining in detail what motivates you to take part in a working holiday program and what you expect to achieve through this program – in 2 copies
  • Prepaid, self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery return envelope (up to 500g) in order to return your passport after processing.
  • Visa fees apply
  • Processing time: For some visa categories, we will require approval by other German government agencies, such as the Federal Employment Agency (“Bundesagentur für Arbeit”) or the local immigration office (“Ausländerbehörde”). If you have previously lived in Germany this will add to processing times, as the immigration office may need to look into your previous immigration record. Once a decision on your application has been taken, we will contact you.
  • In this visa category, based on previous experience most applications will usually be processed within 2 weeks.
  • Although we will provide you with a file number, please understand that we cannot respond to questions regarding the status of your visa application. Should we have any questions or should we require additional documentation to process your application, we will contact you.

3. Book an appointment to apply for your visa.

Where to book your appointment/ apply for your visa:

Please apply directly with the German Mission having jurisdiction for your place of residence

Additional Information

Further information on living and working in Germany is available here.

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