The Working Holiday Visa for Germany

Updated 2024-04-04 15:20

If you have always dreamt of visiting Germany while taking your time and also getting a little job to help you pay for the trip, the WHV (work holiday visa) program might be just what you need. In this article, we will give you all the information you need to apply for the program.

Since the end of World War II, many holidaymakers around the world have not been very enthusiastic or even given a thought about visiting Germany during their holidays. However, this is something that has changed over the last decade. Germany is a beautiful country with many interesting things to see and do. Indeed, it could be the perfect place for an interesting trip that will educate you and help promote a better cultural understanding.

Compared to other European countries, there aren't as many tourists visiting Germany, which means you won't get lost in crowds of them but will still have the opportunity to meet new people. Visiting Germany might be perfect for anyone interested in the events of the last century, but it's also great for those who just want to try something new.

Germany is far more than just Berlin, Oktoberfest, and Christmas markets. Its nature is also amazing — the Baltic Sea, Zugspitze, the Black Forest, the Ruhr Valley, the Lake Constance, the Lower Rhine, the German Alps and the Harz Mountains. One thing is for sure: Germany's landscape is colorful, varied, and often absolutely beautiful. Thanks to its stunning landscapes, culture and rich history, visitors, whether with backpacks or suitcases in hand, go back home feeling absolutely delighted.

Conditions to be met for obtaining a Working Holiday Visa in Germany

Subject to certain conditions that vary according to the host country, the WHV is fairly easy to obtain. The following are the conditions to be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa in Germany:

1. Your nationality

Bilateral working holiday programs exist between Germany and the following twelve countries:

  • Argentina;
  • Australia;
  • Brazil;
  • Canada;
  • Chile;
  • Hong Kong;
  • Israel;
  • Japan;
  • South Korea;
  • New Zealand;
  • Taiwan;
  • Uruguay.

Good to know:

Living in one of those countries does not guarantee that you are eligible for the WHV program in Germany. You should actually be a national of one of the countries mentioned above and be living there at the moment of your application.

2. Your age

When signing a WHV agreement between two countries, an age limit is often decided upon. In the case of the agreements between Germany and the twelve countries, the minimum age is 18. As for the maximum age, for all the countries except Canada, it has been set to 30. This means that if you wish to apply for the program, you will have until the day before your 31st birthday to do so. However, it is not recommended that you wait that long.

The maximum age for Canadians is 35 years old — in their case, they will have until the eve of their 36th birthday to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in Germany.

3. Having a valid passport

To apply for a WHV with the German authorities, you will need to have a passport that is fully valid and will be valid for the full duration of your stay in Germany - i.e., for a minimum of one year. Another important requirement for your passport is that it must contain a number of blank pages (at least 2 pages). The blank pages are necessary for your visa to be placed in the passport. Also, it needs to have enough room for the arrival and departure stamps to be affixed by the customs authorities.


Do not misplace your passport! It is strongly recommended that you keep your passport safe once you have received your visa. If you are unlucky enough to lose it, the process of reissuing your visa could be very complicated.

4. Having sufficient funds

As for any trip abroad, having some money saved up is a must. You will need to be able to meet your basic needs when you arrive in Germany (such as housing, food and drink, transportation, etc.) until you find a job that will allow you to earn a salary.

The German government requires participants to have a minimum amount for the entire duration of their stay, and this amount varies from country to country. A statement from your bank account should be sufficient to show that you have the required funds for this trip.

5. Having a medical insurance policy

For your application to be accepted by the German authorities, each participant will need to take out a health insurance policy that covers them for a minimum of 30,000 euros. You will need to be covered for all cases of illness, repatriation, hospitalization, disability, and maternity to receive your visa. Still, it is also essentially a question of having cover when you are away from home and not having a huge bill to pay!

When you apply for the WHV, you will need to give proof of insurance that shows you will be covered for the whole of your stay — so for approximately one year.

6. First-time participation

The WHV in Germany is not too different from other working holiday programs in the world — it only allows one participation per person. This means that if you have already been on a WHV in Germany, you will unfortunately not be able to apply for that program a second time.

Good to know:

If you have already been on a WHV anywhere else in the world, for example, in Ecuador, Luxembourg or Hungary, no problem — this will not count towards your application for the German program.

7. The quota per country

When a country signs an agreement with other countries for a work holiday program, a quota is usually set. This quota allows the country that receives the participants to have some control over the number of visas granted every year and hence, the number of people coming onto their territory.

However, luckily, in the case of the agreements between Germany and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Taiwan and Uruguay, an unlimited number of places is available per year.

8. The airline tickets

You will need to present a return air ticket when applying for a WHV in Germany. If you choose not to take a return ticket, you will need to prove that you can afford to buy a return ticket to your country.

9. Having a clean criminal record

You will need to provide a clean criminal record when you apply. You will need to obtain a record from your home country that states that you have never committed a crime in order to obtain your visa.

Good to know:

In general, the process of obtaining this paper is not complicated. You can obtain your criminal record by contacting the Ministry of Justice or the federal police in your country.

10. Duration and price of the visa

The WHV in German lasts one year and is effective as soon as you set foot in Germany. The cost varies according to your local embassy/consulate but varies between 50 and 100 euros.


The WHV visa applies to only one person — the applicant. This means that you cannot be accompanied by a dependant. If you wish to go on a WHV to Germany as a couple or with more than one person, they will have to make a separate application which will be assessed independently.

How to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Germany?

When applying for a working holiday visa for Germany, you will need to provide the following documents:

  • A duly completed visa application form;
  • A passport with a minimum of 12 months validity;
  • A copy of your passport (the pages containing your personal information);
  • Bank statement(s) or other proof that you have sufficient funds to travel to Germany;
  • Proof of health/travel insurance covering your medical expenses in Germany;
  • A criminal record certificate from your government;
  • A medical certificate that shows that you are in good health;
  • A return ticket to your home country or proof that you have sufficient funds to purchase one;
  • Two passport-size (3.5 x 4.5 cm) photographs on a white background;
  • A resume and cover letter, in German or English, explaining why you have chosen Germany as your next WHV destination.

Useful addresses:

Embassy of Germany in Buenos Aires – Argentina

Calle Villanueva 1055,


Buenos Aires,


Embassy of Germany in Canberra – Australia

119 Empire Cct,

Yarralumla ACT 2600,


Embassy of Germany in Brasilia Brazil

St. de Embaixadas Sul 807, 


DF, 70415-900, 


Embassy of Germany in Ottawa – Canada

1 Waverley St,


ON K2P 0T8,


Embassy of Germany in Santiago – Chile

Las Hualtatas 5677 - Vitacura,

Casilla 220,

Correo 30,

Santiago de Chile,


Consulate General of Germany in Hong Kong

21/F, United Centre,

95 Queensway,


Hong Kong

Embassy of Germany in Tel Aviv - Israel

Ha-Shlosha St 2,

Tel Aviv-Yafo,


Embassy of Germany in Tokyo – Japan

4-5-10, Minami-Azabu,


Tokyo 106-0047,


Embassy of Germany in Seoul – South Korea

416 Hangang-daero,

Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu,


South Korea

Embassy of Germany in Wellington – New Zealand

90-92 Hobson St 6011.


New Zealand

Embassy of Germany in Taipei – Taiwan

110, Taiwan,

Taipei City,

Xinyi District,

Section 5,

Xinyi Rd, 7號

Embassy of Germany in Montevideo – Uruguay

La Cumparsita 1435, 11200 Montevideo,

Departamento de Montevideo,


Things to consider before moving to Germany

The cost of living in Germany

Before traveling to Germany, we recommend 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 Germany – (Information source from Numbeo; as of March 2024):


Currency: US Dollars (USD)



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


Looking for accommodation in Germany

The search for accommodation is probably one of the first things you should do before heading to Germany. Having a safe space to rest and keep your suitcases is essential! Here is a list of websites that could possibly help you find accommodation in Germany:

Do not forget to take a look at couch surfing, hostel and Airbnb options!

Looking for work in Germany

WHV jobs in Germany are not full-time jobs but auxiliary or seasonal jobs. You can find several such jobs in tourism, call centers, e-business or agriculture. Arbeitsagentur is an employment agency that can help you find a job in Germany. You are also advised to check out job platforms such as, or, which also offer seasonal jobs or jobs for WHV participants! Other options are also available — you can work as an au pair in a family, apply for an internship in a German company, or do voluntary work.

Learning the German language

German is the official language in Germany, and if you want to communicate properly, it is important to at least have some basic knowledge. Take some time and learn some German in a fun and easy way, thanks to apps such as Babble, Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Memrise!

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.