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Working Holiday Program


General information

The Working Holiday Visa Program is based on a bilateral agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, the SAR Hong Kong, Taiwan and Uruguay, as well as the Youth Mobility program with Canada. These programs aim at enabling young people to gain insight into culture and daily life in Germany. The intention is to promote increased mutual understanding and the applicant’s primary aim should be to visit Germany.

To be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa and apply at the German Mission in Switzerland you should

  • be a citizen either of Argentina, Australia, Chile, Israel, Japan, New Zealand or Uruguay
  • be at least 18 years of age but have not turned 31 yet when filing your application
  • not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children) during your stay

To be eligible for a Youth Mobility Visa you should

  • be a citizen of Canada

  • be at least 18 years of age but have not turned 35 yet when filing your application

Employment is allowed throughout the validity of the visa but should remain of temporary character in order to facilitate additional financial means to your holiday travel intentions in Germany:

  • Citizens of Argentina may work for a total of six months only
  • Citizens of Australia, Chile, Japan, New Zealand and Uruguay may work for up to six months with the same employer. After that, employment maybe continued for a different or several other employers for the remaining time. Both fulltime and part-time employment are allowed
  • For citizens of Canada please refer to the information provided by the German Missions to Canada
  • Citizens of Israel may work for up to three months with the same employer. After three months, employment can be continued with a different employer

What documents must be submitted during the application process?

To apply for a visa at the embassy, you will need the following documents in the original with one set of copies. Please sort the individual sets (original + one set of copies) in the order listed below.

Please do NOT staple the application documents!

fully completed and signed including declaration to section 54 residence Act: application form

Original with one copy of the passport data page, which must contain two empty pages and sufficient validity

A current biometric passport photo (3.5 x 4.5 cm with a light background) according to the photo sample table of the Federal Ministry of the Interior. The photo should not be older than three months.

Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses in Germany for the first three months of your stay (personal bank statement, account statements of the last 3 months with 2200 EUR on) with one copy

OR blocked account holding minimum EUR 2200 (if applicable: return ticket to your country of residence) OR formal obligation by a sponsor resident in Germany.

Proof of travel health insurance for one year, minimum coverage of 30.000 EUR for the entire Schengen zone.

In German or English language explaining why you want to take part in a working holiday program and what you expect to through this.

Requested only from Argentinian citizen.

Information sheet with check list to download

The German Embassy Bern reserve the right to ask for additional documents at any time during the processing of your application.

Postage expenses of 7 Swiss Francs


Visa fee of 75 Euro payable by cash in Swiss Francs or in Euro by Visa or MasterCard (information here).

Appointment booking

Please book an appointment here to submit your application. New appointments are regularly activated in the appointment system. Unfortunately, there are no additional appointments.

To submit your application, please appear in person at the visa section of the embassy (Willadingweg 78, 3006 Bern) at your pre-booked appointment. Please book one appointment per person - also for children. The visa office will accept your complete application documents and the fee and take your biometric data. It is not possible to submit an application without an appointment.

Processing time

In this visa category, most applications are typically processed within 2-3weeks (calculated from the day you procided all documents).

During the application process

Please do not contact the mission abroad to check the status of your application during the normal processing period. Such inquiries are extremely time-consuming for the visa department and cannot be answered. We will contact you by email as soon as the decision has been made. In principle, all communication can only take place with the applicant themselves, a legal representative or an authorized person.

Decision about the application

You will be informed as soon as the embassy has decided on your application. Your passport is required for the visa to be issued.

Please check your visa label as soon as you have your passport with the visa in your hands. You should inform us immediately of any errors so that we can issue a new visa.

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