Working Holiday Visa
The Working Holiday Visa Programme is based on a bilateral agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Australia (also with New Zealand, Japan and Chile) and aims at enabling young Australian citizens 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. There is no time limit for the employment as long as the maximum total stay of 12 months is respected.
Australian citizens (as well as New Zealand and Japanese citizens) are encouraged to apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority ('Ausländerbehörde'), without prior applying for a visa in Australia. 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 New Zealand or Japanese or Chilean) citizen
- be between 18 and 30 years old
- not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children) during your stay
Please note: You can only participate once.
How to apply in Australia?
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 Australian states and territories or in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Nauro must make an appointment and submit their application at the Consulate General in Sydney.
Which documents must I submit with my visa application?
- fully completed Application form: Residence Permit [pdf, 621.91k] Please provide a full address in Germany where you are going to stay (at least for the first time). Please also provide a phone number and an e-mail address on the last page of the application form.
- 1 recent passport photo (35 x 45 mm, front facial view)
- Australian passport (validity of which has to exceed your stay by at least three months)
- evidence of 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 - please mark relevant passage in the insurance terms and conditions!)
- copy of your flight ticket to Germany and back; alternatively proof of sufficient funds: approximately AU$ 2100 for a return ticket or AU$ 1500 for a one-way ticket (if you already have a ticket for the flight to Germany)
- proof of sufficient funds: bank statement (with your full name on it!) with at least AU$ 5000 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 AU$ 1800 instead - please submit in this case also proof of your free accommodation (invitation letter + passport copy of the inviting person)
- prepaid registered mail envelope with your address (if you request return by mail)
- visa fee: € 60 by credit card (VISA or MasterCard) or equivalent in cash (AU$)
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 come again for a new appointment.
What else should I know?
- Applicants are requested to apply well ahead of their intended date of departure. 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.
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