Working Holiday Visa

Awesome! I just heard of this working holiday visa. 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 finance your stay. It is expected that you will be “job-hopping” because the authorities do not wish that you circumvent the normal employment permit. The chances are slim that they track down any ongoing employment.

Who is eligible for that?

Citizens of buddy countries of Germany: Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, Japanese, and Koreans – exclusively. Citizens of Japan, Korea and Kiwis are eligible from 18 to 30 years of age, while Australians can be 18 to 31 years, and Canadians can be between 18 and 35 years old.

How long may I stay with this permit?

A working holiday visa allows to remain in the country of your destination for up to 12 months.

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

These hints are to help you so that when you enter you can “immediately” start working. Best is to start with finding a place to live. Once that has been accomplished, then look about for an appointment with the foreigners office at your destination. Arrive in Germany at your destination a few days before the appointment because you will have to register physical address at the Meldeamt in your town hall. You will receive a certificate called “polizeiliche Anmeldung”. When you hit the office, have best following details on hand:

  • proof of sufficient financial means to make ends meet, i.e. approx. € 5,000 or have your parents visit the German in order to vouch for you by filling a certain form at the consulate in person. N.B. at least one of your parents must show up in person!
  • polizeliche Anmeldung,
  • certificate of good conduct,
  • certificate of vaccinations,

Following this strategy will save you “endless” waiting hours in the office!

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!

When may I start working?

As soon as you have the permission in your passport and not one day earlier! A preliminary permit does not entitle you to work.

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.

Additional information