Tips for South Koreans applying for the French Working Holiday Visa

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Updated 2022-10-02 12:18

Thanks to the agreement signed between France and South Korea in October 2008 and officially in force since January 2009, South Korean nationals will be able to go to France for longer holidays, which will allow them to immerse themselves in local life and culture while earning a living. 

A significant quota of Working Holiday Visas is allocated each year to young South Koreans who plan to spend a year in France while working in the country. Would you like to experience the French lifestyle? Find out in this article whether you are eligible for this program and how to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in France.


Please note that all the information you will find in this article applies to South Korean citizens only.

What are the conditions for a South Korean to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in France?

To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa in France, the following requirements must be met:

1. Your nationality and passport

To benefit from the WHV agreement signed by France and South Korea, you must hold a valid South Korean passport. You must also be a South Korean citizen living in South Korea at the time of application. It is also important that your passport remains valid for the duration of your stay in France — a minimum of 15 months after you enter France.

Your passport should also have a minimum of two blank pages so that the authorities have enough space to put your visa in and the arrival and departure stamps from France.

Be careful when you receive your visa, and don't lose your passport as it can be really difficult to retrieve it.

2. Your age 

The South Korean participant must be between 18 and 30 years old to benefit from the working holiday permit in France. This also means that they can apply until the eve of their 31st birthday.

3. The budget / having sufficient savings

Most countries that have signed a working holiday visa agreement have decided that it is necessary for participants arriving in the country on a WHV to have sufficient funds to cover their needs, at least for the first part of their stay. Proof that you have the necessary budget should be provided to the authorities at the time of application (a bank statement for the last 3 months should do the trick).

In the case of South Koreans, a minimum of 2,500 euros is required — approximately 3,302,382 South Korean won.

4. The number of participations

To benefit from the WHV in France, you must not have participated in the program in this country in the past. However, if you have been on a WHV in any other country, such as Japan, Argentina, Spain, Canada, or any other, there should be no problem.

5. Having a health insurance policy

A health insurance policy is essential and should be taken out before you arrive in France. Proof of insurance should also be submitted during the application for the working holiday visa. This should include cover for illness, possible hospitalization, disability, repatriation and maternity.

For your application to the WVH to be accepted, this condition must be met. Other than that, you obviously don't want your holiday to be ruined by having to pay a huge medical bill. So it's best to be well prepared.

6. Purchasing airline tickets

The participant will need to purchase a return air ticket, and if this is not the case, they will need to prove that they can afford to do so, in addition to the proof of compulsory savings mentioned above.

Good to know:

Applicants who are 30 years old at the time of application must have purchased a return ticket before applying.

7. The quota

When a Working Holiday Visa agreement is signed between two countries, a quota of participants per year is determined. This allows for some control over the number of people entering the country on a WHV visa. The quota is usually updated every year on January 1st. In the case of South Korea, a quota of 2,000 places is available per year.

8. Validity period

Your working holiday visa in France is valid for 12 months and is not renewable. It gives you access to mainland France but not to French overseas departments and territories.

9. Not being accompanied

To receive your WHV in France, you must not be accompanied by any dependents (children or other family members). If you choose to go to France with more than one person, each person will have to apply for a visa individually and will have to meet the necessary conditions.

10. A clean criminal record

To enter France on a working holiday visa, the participant must have a clean criminal record, and this must be presented when applying for the visa.

What are the procedures for applying for a Working Holiday Visa in France?

Your application must be submitted to the French Embassy in Seoul by providing the following documents:

  • a completed and signed visa application form
  • your South Korean passport, which must have been issued at least 10 months ago and remain valid for 15 months after the date of entry into France
  • a cover letter describing the reason for your application
  • an extract from your criminal record
  • a recent bank statement and certificate
  • a return ticket (in case you have not yet bought one, your bank certificate must show at least 3,500 euros)
  • international health insurance valid for one year and covering maternity, disability, hospitalization and repatriation
  • public liability insurance
  • a full medical check-up
  • a document listing the full names, addresses and telephone numbers of your family in South Korea (A4 size)
  • a certificate of entry and departure from the country
  • a document indicating your place of residence in France
  • a return ticket by registered mail to collect your passport
  • two passport-size photographs.

Good to know:

It can take up to three weeks to process your application. In the case of South Korea, there is no participation fee.

Useful address:

Embassy of France in Seoul:

43-12 Seosomun-ro, Seodaemun-gu

Seoul 120-030

South Korea

Things to consider before moving to France on a WHV

1. The cost of living in France

Before traveling to France, it is recommended that you have an idea of the cost of living in order to prepare your budget.

Here is a table that will give you an idea of the cost of living in France - (source Numbeo; as of July 2022):


Currency: South Korean won (KRW)



1-bedroom flat (in the city center)


1-bedroom flat (outside the city center)


3-bedroom flat (city center)


3-bedroom flat (outside the city center)




Water, electricity, air conditioning, heating, waste collection for an 85m² apartment


Internet (60 Mbps or more, ADSL/cable, unlimited data)




1 ticket (one way) for local transport


Monthly pass for local transport




Rice (1 kg)


Milk (1 L)


12 eggs (normal size)


Bread (500 g)


Chicken (1 kg)


Red meat (1 kg)


Oranges (1 kg)


Bananas (1 kg)


Apples (1 kg)


Potatoes (1 kg)


Onions (1 kg)


Water (1.5 L)


Wine (mid-range bottle)


Local beer (0.5 L)


Imported beer (0.33 L)


Cigarettes (pack of 20)




Movie theatre - 1 seat


Sports club - monthly cost for 1 person


2. Looking for accommodation in France

In order to facilitate their arrival in France, it is recommended that young South Koreans already have accommodation planned. Why? Simply because they will be able to arrive with the peace of mind that they already know where they can safely stay. Temporary accommodation options in France for those looking for an inexpensive selection could be couch surfing or hostels —, and are websites that could help you if you want to go in these directions.

For regular accommodation in France, have a look at Se loger, Immobilier France, Super Immo, PaP, Bien Ici, Logic Immo, Paru Vendu and Fnaim. Airbnb is a platform that might surprise you with several amazing options.

3. Looking for a job in France

Korean culture has become very popular in the country since the arrival of Kpop! If you're looking for a job in France, teaching Korean could be the most interesting option for you — it could pay off (as many French people are keen to learn the language) – and it could also be an opportunity for you to make new friends who could help you immerse yourself in the beautiful French culture!

If you are not interested in this area, here are some sites to search: Adecco, France-emploi, Monster, Pôle Emploi, Indeed France, Neuvoo France and Jooble France.

4. Learn French

You may have a hard time finding people who communicate in Korean when you are in France. If you want to have a conversation with the baker while buying your croissants, you'll have to make an effort to learn the local language! Here are some fun language learning apps: Duolingo, Babbel, Busuu, Mondly, HelloTalk, LinguaLift, Mindsnacks, AnkiApp and Memrise. Don't forget that you can also find a French teacher on site.

What are popular must-sees in France?

1. Paris

This mythical city needs no introduction! With architectural masterpieces such as Notre Dame Cathedral and the famous Eiffel Tower, world-famous museums (the Louvre, the Musée de l'Orangerie, the Musée d'Orsay), the Champs Élysées and the Château de Versailles, you will certainly not be bored!

Don't miss the other charms of Paris, including its atmospheric medieval quarters and its graceful boulevards. Tourist experiences not to be missed are shopping in the bookshops of the Latin Quarter, walking near the Sacré Coeur, and of course, people-watching at the café on the boulevard of Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

2. Mont Saint-Michel - Normandy

With its rural landscape, numerous pastures, forests and apple trees, Mont Saint-Michel is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the Normandy region. Ranking first on the long list of Normandy travel destinations (which also includes outstanding sites such as historic castles and picturesque towns), Mont Saint-Michel is a visit you won't forget.

Mont Saint-Michel is basically an abbey built between the 11th and 13th centuries and is a UNESCO-listed site. Perched on top of an islet in the bay of Mont Saint-Michel, this abbey is considered a prodigy of Gothic architecture.

Visiting Mont Saint-Michel will stimulate your mind and all your senses. Watch out for your legs — they'll need to be strong to climb the many steps to the golden statue of St Michael at the very top!

3. Provence

Forget the grey skies of Paris! In Provence, you can soak up the Mediterranean sun for most of the year. In the heart of Provence, you'll feel the traditional atmosphere as you stroll through the shady streets and sit in one of the many open-air cafés in Aix-en-Provence, dance at the festivals in Arles, or eat a good bouillabaisse by the old port in Marseille.

When visiting the region, make sure to visit the Palace of the Popes in Avignon, the fabulous seaside resort of Saint-Tropez and the Roman theatre in Orange, which is, without doubt, one of the most surprising and interesting sites in the Haut-Vaucluse.

Useful link:

Embassy of France in Seoul

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.