You’ve heard of working holidays in Australia, the UK, and Canada, but Germany? Yup. Germany and Canada have a Youth Mobility Agreement that you can partake in up to the age of 35.

First off, I got an Au Pair visa in 2013 which is completely different. These are the requirements for the Au Pair visa for Canadian’s.

A couple of notes about the Au Pair visa. I received mine when I was already in Germany. You need all of the things on the list, plus they often test your knowledge of German. Almost none of my friends got tested, but I did. She just asked a few simple questions though so it was nothing to worry about.

I am writing this guide because I looked it up, and didn’t find a ton of information on it. There are quite a few steps to it, and I was surprised I couldn’t find any blogs covering the information. Note: This is only the specific rules for Canadian’s.

Youth Mobility Visa: What it is and how to get it.

This link is to the Consulate of Germany in Canada’s page with a checklist including everything necessary to apply if you don’t want to read my post. But you should.

Who can apply:

“Under the YMA, the German Consulate in Toronto may issue a visa to the following individuals:

  • Young professionals who wish to obtain further training under a contract of employment and increase their knowledge of Germany´s culture and the German language
  • Young Canadians who wish to do an internship in Germany as part of their studies or training
  • Canadian post-secondary students who wish to engage in an occupational activity during their academic vacation
  • Young Canadians who wish to stay in Germany for tourism and cultural discovery purposes while being authorized to work to supplement their financial resources”

I personally chose the fourth option.

To be eligible for this visa you must be between 18-35, A Canadian citizen residing in Canada, and not have any dependents.

The most complicated part of this process was that you can only be issued the visa in Toronto, and if you don’t live there you have to send away your passport and all of the papers you have filled out and wait for it all to come back. Then you are provided a temporary visa in your passport, which you must pay another 100 euros to extend once you arrive in Germany. AND you MUST get this visa, or the sticker, before going. They will not issue this visa in Germany. Since I am in Vancouver I obviously had to send everything away and wait.

1. Fill out the Visa Application Form  and Visa Declaration 1 – These are really simple basically stating your name, address, parent’s names, birthdays etc. and that you aren’t lying in the forms you’ve filled out.

2. Your passport, and photocopy’s of your passport page with your information – Yes, you must send your actual passport in the mail.

3. Passport size picture

4. Liability Insurance and Visa Declaration 2 – Basic paperwork stating you will obtain personal liability insurance and that you have not previously had this visa before.

5. Proof of bonds to Canada – I just wrote my Auntie and Mom’s names and phone numbers and addresses.

6. Signed letter with whichever reason you chose to apply for the visa above. I chose the fourth option personally, and wrote that I was living there in 2013 and wanted to return to learn German fluently and enjoy the culture again. Basically I think I could have wrote anything there.

7. Proof of first housing. This could be as simple as a night in a hostel, but I personally had my friend write a letter of invitation and he also had to send a photocopy of his passport pages along with it.

8. Proof of flight to Germany – YES before I even was approved with a visa I had to buy a flight. So weird. Thank god I found an extremely cheap one. Where I found my $290 flight SEA-MUC

9. Proof of health insurance for the duration with a minimum of $30,000 coverage. This must be through a Canadian or German company. – I chose Allianz Global Assistance because it was the cheapest I could find that covered the entire year ($486). This covers me anywhere except the US.

10. Proof of sufficient funds. 1,800 euro if you have a return ticket, 2,300 if not. – I just got my bank to print out a recent copy of my statement.

11. Visa fee – 100 euro – ONLY in form of a bank draft. Germans don’t do cheques, and no cash is allowed in this case. Although oddly I got sent $13 back? No idea why still.

12. Prepaid envelope with your address on it.

After you have all of this, print it out again. You need to have two separate copies of everything to send in.

Okay, you’re probably already thinking that this is a lot. IT IS. But there is even more. I had to get my signature “verified’ by a notary which could technically only be the lovely German’s at the German Consulate in Vancouver. So basically I went there to get them to “watch me sign the papers”, which they didn’t. They walked away. I paid 40 euros to have them walk away while I signed the papers. Then they took 45 minutes to photocopy them and put a weird stamp on the corner and mess up the order they were supposed to be in.

Anyways, complaining aside, after all of this, I got my passport back quite fast. I sent it in on the 21st of February and I paid extra to have it there in 2 days. I received my passport back on the 3rd of March. The downside is that I still have to do a few more steps when I arrive in Germany. And pay more money.

Overall, it’s a thousand times more simple to get a working holiday visa for somewhere like Australia, where you basically pay and get it online. Although I couldn’t find exact details on the number of working holiday makers, there was an estimate of around 150,000 per year in Australia. This probably is due to the fact that the visa is so easy to obtain (or the fact that their wages are ridiculously high).

There will be a part 2 to this post once I receive the actual visa in Germany. Would you do a working holiday in Germany? Or would you choose somewhere more common like Australia?