Working Holiday Visa Germany: Where Should You Apply and Why?

Updated: Feb 10

Debate rages online about where you should apply for the Working Holiday Visa for Germany. Rumours abound about what requirements you need to fulfil to obtain the visa, what types of roles you can perform and how long you can work for. While we have addressed some of these questions in our other Working Holiday blog post, this post will look at the pros and cons of where you choose to apply for the Working Holiday visa depending on where you are from.

How Nomaden Berlin can help you with your Working Holiday Visa?

But before we look at where you should apply for the Working Holiday Visa below, here are some ways in which we can help you complete the visa application process in a swift and stress-free manner: • Whether you are applying in Berlin, in your home country or at a German embassy overseas, all of our programmes provide full, step-by-step instructions and support on exactly when, where and how to apply for your Working Holiday Visa for Germany. We provide extensive information to ensure all the bases are covered for a quick and efficient application. From filling in the application forms correctly, fulfilling all the pre-requisite requirements and taking out appropriate insurances, etc., we will ensure you are fully prepared prior to your appointment. To find out more about our programmes, see our homepage.

• Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation that allows address registration (Anmeldung). If applying for the Working Holiday in Berlin, address registration is an essential pre-requisite for applying for the Working Holiday Visa and is also an important administrative step to getting a tax ID, applying for German health insurance, etc. With our accommodation, you’ll be registered in your first week in Berlin, meaning you can apply for the Working Holiday Visa shortly after. We’ll also book your address registration appointment and provide the necessary paperwork for registering. For further details about the importance of registering your address in Berlin, read our blog post on Anmeldung.


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Where can you apply for the German Working Holiday Visa?

To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for Germany, you must be between the ages of 18 – 30 (35 for Canada) and come from one of the following countries: Canada, Australia, Uruguay, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel, Argentina, South Korea, Chile.

If you fulfil these criteria, then you are eligible for the Working Holiday Visa and can begin planning where to lodge your application. The table below shows exactly where you can apply:

Where should you apply for the German Working Holiday Visa and how long can you work for? But where you can apply and where you should apply is a totally different matter and may affect how long you can work for as certain German embassies impose working restrictions on your Working Holiday Visa or require much higher proof of funds than if you chose to apply in Berlin, for example.

Below, we have outlined some of the different considerations you should make when choosing where to apply for the Working Holiday Visa and added in our recommendation of where we think is best to apply – we have broken this down by country, so you can quickly find the information that is relevant to you.

Note: Our recommendations are based on the assumption that you are relocating to Berlin. As we specialise entirely in the Berlin market, our information about where to apply may not apply to other German cities that are not so accustomed to international newcomers applying for Working Holiday Visas. Our recommendations are also based on you having the information and support of one of our programmes – for example, our support makes it significantly easier to apply in Berlin, while doing this independently may be much trickier without the right information to hand.


Taiwan

You can only apply at the German Embassy in Taipei.

There is a fixed annual quota (500) for the number of Working Holiday Visas granted. You can work for a maximum of 12 months but no more than 3 months for the same employer.

Hong Kong

​You can only apply at the German Embassy in Hong Kong.

There is a fixed annual quota (300) for the number of Working Holiday Visas granted. You can work for a maximum of 12 months but no more than 3 months for the same employer.

South Korea

You can only apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the German embassy in Seoul.

You can work for a maximum of 12 months. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

Argentina

You can apply at the German Embassy in Buenos Aires or any other German embassy abroad. You cannot apply in Berlin. Whether you apply in Buenos Aires or at another Germany embassy overseas, there is no difference to the terms of your Working Holiday Visa.

You can work for a maximum of 6 months. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

Chile

You can apply for the Working Holiday Visa in the German embassy in Santiago or you can apply at any German embassy abroad. You cannot apply in Germany. Whether you apply in Santiago or another Germany embassy overseas, there is no difference to the terms of your Working Holiday Visa.

You can work for a maximum of 12 months but no more than 6 months with the same employer. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

Japan

Citizens of Japan can apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the German embassy in Tokyo or Osaka, at any German embassy abroad or after their arrival in Germany. Whether you apply in Japan, at another German embassy overseas or in Berlin, there is no difference to the terms of your Working Holiday Visa.

You can work for a maximum of 12 months. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

If applying in Berlin, you can enter Germany visa-free for 90 days and then apply at any time during this 3-month period. This ultimately gives you more time than if applying in Japan, as the embassy in Tokyo will specify that your visa starts on the day you enter Germany. The only additional requirement if applying in Berlin is that you register your address in Berlin prior to applying for the visa. Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation and an address registration service, which is the quickest and most convenient route for applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin.


Israel

You can apply at the German embassy in Tel Aviv, after your arrival in Germany or at any German embassy abroad. Whether you apply in Israel, at another German embassy overseas or in Berlin, there is no difference to the terms of your Working Holiday Visa.

You can work for a maximum of 12 months but no longer than 3 months with the same employer. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

If applying in Berlin, you can enter Germany visa-free for 90 days and then apply at any time during this 3-month period. This ultimately gives you more time than if applying in Israel, as the embassy in Tel Aviv will specify that your visa starts on the day you enter Germany. The only additional requirement if applying in Berlin is that you register your address in Berlin prior to applying for the visa. Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation and an address registration service, which is the quickest and most convenient route for applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin.

Canada

For Canadians, the Working Holiday Visa is called the Youth Mobility Programme. You can apply for it by post, in person in Toronto, at any German embassy abroad or after your arrival in Berlin.

You can work for a maximum of 12 months. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time. The visa is available twice under different categories. Our recommendation:

If possible, we recommend applying in Berlin for the reasons stated below. As a Canadian citizen, you can enter Germany for 90 days visa-free and apply for the Youth Mobility Programme at the immigration office in Berlin.

The only additional requirement if applying in Berlin is that you register your address in Berlin prior to applying for the visa. Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation and an address registration service, which is the quickest and most convenient route for applying for the Youth Mobility Visa in Berlin.

Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes also include a visa booking service, meaning we'll schedule your visa appointment in Berlin at a time and date that fits your relocation timeline. This will ensure you have no problems getting an appointment in your 90-day visa-free period.

A second option is applying in Toronto:

While a decent option, applying at the German embassy in Toronto has a number of drawbacks:

• Unless already living in Toronto, you will need to spend time and money travelling to Toronto.

• There is less paperwork if applying in Berlin, e.g. no motivational letter, no proof of bonds to Canada, no proof of accommodation, etc.

• The visa is not issued on the spot in Toronto – the embassy will keep hold of your passport for the 2–3 weeks it takes to process your visa, after which you will be required to collect your visa from the embassy in Toronto.

Why we don’t recommend applying by post:

If based outside of Toronto and wanting to apply for the Youth Mobility visa, it may seem convenient to apply by post prior to moving to Berlin. However, this is undoubtedly the least favourable option for a number of reasons:

• If applying by post in Canada, you are only issued a 90-day visa which you then need to extend after arriving in Berlin. The process for extending in Berlin is the same as if you just applied directly in Berlin so it effectively doubles the amount of paperwork you need to do. The requirements for getting the extension are also the same as if initially applying in Berlin. • It's more cost-effective to apply in Berlin. Otherwise, you pay twice – once for the initial visa and again when you get an extension. • You get longer on the visa if applying directly in Berlin as you can arrive on a 90-day visa-free period and then apply for your visa at any time during this 3-month period. Your 12-month Youth Mobility Visa only starts from the day you successfully apply in Berlin. If applying overseas, your visa starts on the day you enter Germany. • You don't need any documents certified if applying in Berlin, which comes at an extra cost if applying by post in Canada. • There is less paperwork if applying in Berlin, e.g. no motivational letter, no proof of bonds to Canada, no proof of accommodation, etc.


New Zealand

You can work for a maximum of 12 months. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

Citizens of New Zealand can apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the German embassy in Wellington, at the immigration office in Berlin or at any German embassy abroad.

Our recommendation:

We advise applying at the immigration office in Berlin as no working restrictions are placed on your visa (as opposed to if you apply in Wellington). As a New Zealand citizen, you can enter Germany for 90 days visa-free and apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin.

The only additional requirement if applying in Berlin is that you register your address in Berlin prior to applying for the visa. Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation and an address registration service, which is the quickest and most convenient route for applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin.

Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes also include a visa booking service, meaning we'll schedule your visa appointment in Berlin at a time and date that fits your relocation timeline. This will ensure you have no problems getting an appointment in your 90-day visa-free period.

Why we don’t recommend applying in Wellington:

The German Embassy in Wellington imposes working restrictions on your Working Holiday Visa meaning you can only work for one employer for 6 months in Germany, after which you have to switch employer. This is printed on your visa and can be a big drawback for your employment prospects in Berlin. Note: these restrictions are not imposed if you enter Germany visa-free and apply for the Working Holiday Visa directly in Berlin, a process that is straightforward with our support.

Australia Citizens of Australia can apply at the German embassy in Sydney, at the immigration office in Berlin or at any German embassy abroad.

You can work for a maximum of 12 months. You can be employed by one or more employers, part-time or full-time.

Our recommendation:

We advise applying at the immigration office in Berlin as no working restrictions are placed on your visa (as opposed to if you apply in Sydney). As an Australian citizen, you can enter Germany for 90 days visa-free and apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin. We also advise applying at the immigration office in Berlin as the proof of funds required for the Working Holiday Visa is less than 50% of what it is if applying in Sydney.

The only additional requirement if applying in Berlin is that you register your address in Berlin prior to applying for the visa. Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes include 30-day private studio accommodation and an address registration service, which is the quickest and most convenient route for applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin.

Our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro programmes also include a visa booking service, meaning we'll schedule your visa appointment in Berlin at a time and date that fits your relocation timeline. This will ensure you have no problems getting an appointment in your 90-day visa-free period.

Why we don’t recommend applying in Sydney: While only EUR 2000 if applying in Berlin, the proof of funds required for the Working Holiday Visa is a much higher AUD 7100 if applying in Sydney. On top of this, you also have to show a flight ticket or an additional AUD 2100 (to show you can pay for a return ticket) if applying in Sydney. None of this is required if applying in Berlin.

A 6-month working restriction will also be placed on your visa if applying in Sydney. This means you can only work for one employer for 6 months in Germany, after which you have to switch employer. This is printed on your visa and can be a big drawback for your employment prospects in Berlin. Note: these restrictions are not imposed if you enter Germany visa-free and apply for the Working Holiday Visa directly in Berlin, a process that is straightforward with our support.

Applying at other embassies not in your home country

If you apply in London or Edinburgh, it's possible that the German embassy may impose a 6-month working restriction on your Working Holiday Visa, meaning you can only work for one employer for 6 months in Germany, after which you have to switch employers. This is printed on your visa and can be a big drawback for your employment prospects in Berlin. Note: these restrictions are not imposed if you enter Germany visa-free and apply for the Working Holiday Visa directly in Berlin, a process that is straightforward with our support.

As we can’t cover applications at every German embassy overseas in this blog, if you plan to apply at another German embassy overseas, we can advise you on the process, the documentation requirements and any specific criteria required by the embassy you intend to apply at. Simply book one of our programmes, let us know where you plan to apply and we'll provide instructions on when, where and how to apply for your Working Holiday Visa.

We are happy to provide recommendations on exactly where you should apply depending on your personal situation if you are part of one of our programmes. If you have any questions about our programmes, please don't hesitate to get in touch (info@nomadenberlin.com). To book one of our programmes, click here.


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