Updated: Feb 7
This post will look at how New Zealanders can apply for their German Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington. We’ll explain who is eligible and also take a look at the application process and requirements.
Importantly, we’ll also detail why applying at the German Embassy in Wellington might not be a good option for you and how you could benefit from applying for the Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin instead.
Who is eligible for the German Working Holiday Visa?
If you are a New Zealander looking to move to Germany, then one of your main priorities will obviously be to obtain a visa that allows you to live and work in Germany. For this, we can think of few better options than the Working Holiday Visa for Germany, which allows Kiwis to live, work and travel in Germany for up to 1 year.
The Working Holiday Visa for Germany is the perfect way for New Zealanders to set up camp in the very heart of Europe, providing the ideal launchpad for exploring Europe while being able to work and earn money in Germany along the way.
If this sounds right up your street, then the first step is to find out if you are eligible for a Working Holiday Visa for Germany. To be eligible, you must:
Be between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time of application. You can apply right up until the day of your 31st birthday.
Be a New Zealand citizen with a valid New Zealand passport.
Not be accompanied by minors.
If you fulfil these criteria, then congratulations(!) – you are eligible for the Working Holiday Visa for Germany and can start planning your relocation to Germany.
Applying for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington
One popular option is to apply for the Working Holiday Visa for Germany at the German Embassy in Wellington. While we detail why this might not be the best option for you below, here is the process if you do decide to go down this application route:
As you must attend an in-person appointment at the German Embassy in Wellington, the first step is naturally to secure a visa appointment at the embassy. At this appointment, you’ll be required to submit a fair few documents, including:
A correctly completed visa application form.
A signed declaration of accuracy of information.
A travel insurance policy that covers you for the entire duration of your 1-year Working Holiday Visa.
Proof of funds of at least EUR 2000 (approx. NZD 3355), which must have been in your bank account for the past 3 months.
A return flight or one-way ticket.
A valid New Zealand passport and a photocopy of the passport date page.
A biometric passport photo.
At the end of your appointment, you’ll be required to pay a visa application fee of EUR 75 (which is payable in New Zealand dollars).
Over the years, we have built up plenty of experience helping candidates apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington. On our relocation programmes, we will guide you through the visa application process. Among other things, we can help you (1) secure a visa appointment quickly, (2) fill in all the application paperwork correctly, (3) sign up for a suitable travel insurance policy that will save you up to EUR 400 over the year and (4) ultimately obtain a German Working Holiday Visa in a hassle-free and stress-free manner.
But while applying for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington is a viable option, we think it’s far from the best option! As we demonstrate below, applying at the German Embassy in Wellington comes with a number of drawbacks, particularly when compared with the benefits of applying in Berlin with our support.
Why applying for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington may not be your best option
1. 6-month working restriction placed on the Working Holiday Visa
The main drawback to applying for the German Working Holiday Visa in Wellington is that the German Embassy adds a 6-month working restriction on to the visa. While you’ll be granted a 12-month visa, the 6-month working restriction (which is written on the visa) means that you are only permitted to work for an employer for 6 months. After a 6-month period of employment in Germany, you are required to switch employers.
This working restriction can really impact your employment prospects in Germany – many German companies are unlikely to consider you given the short-term nature of your working rights.
The solution: you can bypass this working restriction by applying for the Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin rather than at the German Embassy in Wellington. If applying in Berlin, you’ll be granted a 1-year visa with unrestricted working rights, thus allowing you to take up full-time work with an employer for a full year. This will obviously be seen much more favourably by German employers.
2. Proof of Funds
Saving for a move can be tricky. While you may have saved up the EUR 2000 (NZD 3355) in proof of funds that is required by the German Embassy in Wellington, the embassy also need proof that this minimum amount has been in your account for the past 3 months. Therefore, if you’ve only just reached the EUR 2000 threshold, you may need to wait for 3 months to apply for your German Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington, a frustrating and unnecessary delay to your plans.
The solution: if you apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin, the proof of funds amount is still EUR 2000 but you only need to show you have this amount in a recent bank statement. There is no requirement to prove how long this amount has been in your account.
3. Travel to Wellington
The only way to apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington is to attend an in-person appointment. Unless you are living in Wellington, travelling to your appointment is going to cost you time and money.
The solution: head straight to Berlin and apply for the Working Holiday Visa for Germany at the immigration office in the German capitals. This way you save the additional time and money of flying to the German Embassy in Wellington to apply.
Note: while applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin definitely has some great benefits compared to applying in Wellington, it can be more difficult to apply in Berlin if moving independently without the correct support (find out why below). If opting to apply in Berlin, we strongly recommend signing up for one of our relocation programmes, which will ensure you meet all the necessary application requirements and successfully apply for your Working Holiday Visa shortly after your arrival in Germany.
Why applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin with the support of Nomaden Berlin may be your best option
As I’ve hopefully made clear above, applying for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington will result in you being granted a restricted visa that may hamper your chances of landing employment in Germany.
To re-iterate, no working restrictions are placed on the Working Holiday Visa if applying in Berlin. However, there are some important factors to consider if applying in Berlin:
1. Registering at an address (Anmeldung) in Berlin
To apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin, you must first be legally registered at an address in the German capital. The process of being registered at an address is called Anmeldung.
Registering at an address can be very tricky if moving independently as there is currently a real shortage of apartments available that offer Anmeldung. If you aren’t able to register your address, then you aren’t able to apply for a visa in Berlin.
The solution: our Berlin Kickstarter and Berlin Pro relocation packages come with 30-day private studio accommodation that includes address registration (Anmeldung). We’ll also arrange your Anmeldung appointment and assist you with the paperwork so that you get registered in your first couple of days in Berlin. Once registered at our accommodation, you are then ready to apply for your Working Holiday Visa at the immigration office in Berlin.
So, why not just apply for the Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington and avoid the address registration requirement in Germany all together?
Unfortunately, it’s not quite so simple. Address registration is the basis of any relocation to Germany – it’s not only a requirement for applying for a visa in Germany, but you also need to register at an address to get a German tax ID (needed to work in Germany), apply for most German bank accounts, sign up for phone/internet contracts and even join a gym!
So, even if you don’t need to have completed it for your Working Holiday Visa application in Wellington, you’ll need to complete it shortly after arriving in Germany anyways.
2. Visa appointments at the immigration office in Berlin
There is a lot of noise online about people struggling to get visa appointments at the immigration office in Berlin. Admittedly, this can be tricky if moving independently.
However, we’ve built up years of experience securing appointments for participants on our relocation programmes. We not only have a 100% success rate in securing visa appointments in Berlin for our participants, but we also have a 100% visa approval rate for Working Holiday Visa applications.
By signing up for either our Berlin Kickstarter or Berlin Pro programme, you can rest assured that you’ll be successfully guided through the Working Holiday Visa process within your first weeks in Berlin.
So, where should you apply for your Working Holiday Visa as a New Zealand citizen?
If you opt to move without the support of a relocation company, then applying for your Working Holiday Visa at the German Embassy in Wellington is still a decent option. While you’ll only be permitted to work for an employer for 6 months on the visa, the visa process in Berlin can be difficult to navigate if you don’t have sufficient local support.
If you opt to move on our Berlin Pro or Berlin Kickstarter programme, then we definitely recommend applying for the Working Holiday Visa in Berlin. We’ll ensure you register at an address on arrival in Berlin and will schedule your visa appointment at a time and date that matches your relocation schedule. We’ll then support you through the visa application process, ensuring you have filled in all the paperwork correctly, met all the application requirements and know precisely how, when and where to lodge your application.
By choosing to move to Berlin with Nomaden Berlin, we can guarantee you a smooth relocation and visa process, allowing you to focus on what really matters – your new life in the German capital!
Click on the link to find out more about our relocation programmes to Berlin. If you have any questions about our programmes or how we can help with your move to Germany, don’t hesitate to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.