Working holiday visa programme


General information

The Working Holiday Visa Programme is based on a bilateral agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Australia (also with Argentina, Israel, New Zealand, Japan, Chile and other countries) and aims at enabling young people to gain an insight into the culture and daily life of the Federal Republic of Germany, allowing them to travel to Germany for a stay of up to 12 months. To help finance the stay, jobs can be taken up with different employers of the visa holder's choice.

All visa applications must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
All applicants who are resident in the Australian states and territories or in Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauru must make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney.

Australian citizens (as well as New Zealand, Israeli and Japanese citizens) are able to apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority ('Ausländerbehörde') without applying prior for the visa in Australia. But, we recommend to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in advance, because the visa issued is valid for the whole first year and it allows you to start working immediately after arrival.

Argentinian, Chilean and Uruguayan applicants have to apply for the necessary visa in advance, but can apply at the German Consulate in Sydney. All other nationals have to apply at the German representations in their home country. But please note: Without a valid working-holiday visa you are not allowed to commence employment.

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa you must:

  • be an Australian (or Argentinian, Chilean, Uruguayan, Israeli, Japanese, New Zealand or Canadian) citizen
  • be between 18 and 30 years old (the visa has to be granted before the 31st birthday) with the exception of Canadian citizens, who can apply until the age of 35 years
  • not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children) during your stay

Where can I apply?

  • All visa applications in Australia must be lodged in person. Your fingerprints will be electronically scanned as part of the application process.
  • Applicants who are residents of any states and territories of Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu or Nauru need to make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney.

Which documents must I submit with my visa application?

Argentinian applicants please refer to the list of necessary documents on the website of the German Embassy Buenos Aires

Canadian applicants please refer to the list of necessary documents on the website of the German Consulate General Toronto

All other applicants:

  • fully completed application form
    (include address in Germany where you are going to stay for at least the first time).
    Please fill out the online application form, print it out, sign it and submit it along with the other documents. Please ensure that the barcode is printed in high quality.
    NOTE: you do not have to give a reference person in the application form, instead you can enter “not applicable”
    Alternatively, you can print out the application form below and fill it out by hand.
  • recent passport photo (35 x 45 mm, front facial view)
  • your national passport (validity of which should still be for at least 6 months from the intended arrival in Germany) - original plus 1 copy of the data page
  • evidence of travel/health insurance valid in Germany to remain in force through your stay including details about coverage (at least € 30,000 and including costs for medical evacuation/repatriation as well as repatriation of body/urn in case of death; coverage for pandemics like e.g. Covid19. Please highlight relevant passages in the insurance terms and print only the relevant pages)
  • copy of your flight ticket; alternatively proof of sufficient funds: approximately AUD 2100 for a round trip or AUD 1500 for a one-way ticket (if you already have a ticket for the flight to Germany)
  • proof of sufficient funds: bank statements (with your full name on it!) for the last 3 months with at least AUD 7100 available funds. If you will have free accommodation in Germany (for example with relatives or friends) for the full first 3 months, the necessary amount would be AUD 1800 instead - please submit in this case also proof of your free accommodation (invitation letter + passport copy of the inviting person) and return ticket
  • prepaid registered mail envelope with your address (if you request return by mail). Please note that the German Missions will not be held responsible for any loss or damage of passports due to postal or courier service delivery.
  • visa fee: € 75 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$). Other payment methods (e.g. with smart watch, mobile phone) not accepted.

Please note that we can process only complete applications; if you hand in your application with one or several documents listed above missing, you will have to make a new appointment and come again.

What else should I know?

  • Applicants are requested to apply well ahead of their intended date of departure - however, the earliest you can apply is 3 months before intended travel dates. Processing of Working Holiday visa may take from one to two weeks. This may vary from case to case.
  • Upon your arrival the border authorities may examine whether the requirements for your entry continue to be valid. Entry may be refused by the border authorities although you are in possession of a valid visa. We advise you to carry with you documents giving evidence to the purpose of your stay (in particular proof of sufficient funds and health insurance).
  • Once you have obtained your visa please check carefully that all entries are correct and in accordance with your application. Please inform the visa section immediately if there are any mistakes.
  • Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area. However please be aware that you will be still subject to the 90 days within 180 days rule outside of Germany.

How and where to find a holiday job in Germany?

In all larger towns in Germany you can obtain information (e.g. on available jobs) from the local employment office (Agentur für Arbeit). However, this office can only be of assistance if you want to spend at least several weeks working for the same employer. Otherwise you are advised to establish direct contact with potential employers. For general information on employment in Germany please contact:

“Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV)

der Bundesagentur für Arbeit” in Bonn

phone: (001149)/(0) 228 7131313

fax: (001149)/(0) 228 2701111


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