German Working-Holiday/Youth Mobility visa for Citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Japan

The Working Holiday Visa Programme is the visa ninja’s way of staying in Germany and traveling around Europe for up to 12 months without applying for a traditional German residence visa or require sponsorship or steady employment.

You must pass the following requirements:

  • be a Citizen of Australia, New Zealand, Chile (*1) or Japan
  • be aged between 18 and 30 years old
  • not be accompanied by dependent family members (e.g. children)
  • your Passport must exceed the end of your stay by at least 3 months
  • have proof of health insurance valid in Germany (e.g. travel insurance for Germany) with coverage of at least €30,000 (EUR) and including costs for medical evacuation/repatriation
  • show a recent bank statement (with full name) indicating proof of sufficient funds – up to $7100 (AUD) for the duration of your stay; calculated at:
    • cost of return flight from Germany to Australia: $2100 (AUD)
    • living costs without free accommodation: $5000 (AUD)
    • living costs with free accommodation: $1800 (AUD) (*2)
  • pay the €50 (EUR) visa fee at time of visa application in Germany

(*1) Citizens of Chile are recommended to apply for a Working-Holiday visa before traveling to Germany.

(*2) If staying in Germany with free accommodation (e.g. relatives or friends) you must show an invitation letter and passport photocopy of the inviting German Citizen.

If you’re over this age limit or not a Citizen of one of the ‘best friends’ nations then you must consider a traditional residence visa for Germany (e.g. general employment, self-employed, job-seeker visa, EU-Blue card, internship, artist, etc.), the Working-Holiday visa is not appropriate for you.

Australian citizens (as well as New Zealand and Japanese citizens) are encouraged to apply for a residence permit after entering Germany at the local immigration authority (‘Ausländerbehörde’), without prior applying for a visa in Australia.

German Missions in Australia – Working Holiday Visa

The perks of this visa is you can travel around EU-member states with your Schengen visitor visa for 3 months then return to Germany and without appointment submit your visa application in-person at the closest Ausländerbehörde (German immigration authority) then continue traveling.

In my case the closest immigration authority was Altona Kundenzentrum in Hamburg and I was granted a Working-Holiday visa valid for 12 months on the spot after queuing for less than 4 hours!

Note: Check if your closest German immigration authority requires prior appointment for visa applications, an example is Welcome Center Hamburg which requires appointments for all visa applications with a appointment waiting list of 3-6 weeks. No appointment was necessary for visa applications at Altona Kundenzentrum.

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Michael Visser

I’m a WordPress Plugin developer, UAV & Raspberry Pi enthusiast and general tinkerer. This domain serves as my development playground for non-WordPress Plugin projects.

11 thoughts on “German Working-Holiday/Youth Mobility visa for Citizens of Australia, New Zealand and Japan”

    1. Hi James, nice! Simple start looking for work!

      While you’re applying for jobs register yourself a Steuer-Identifikationsnummer with the tax department. I’d visit your local Kundenzentrum (Citizen Center, ala Council) and they’ll step you through any paperwork. In my case the Welcome Center Hamburg was connected to Handelskammer (Chamber of Commerce) and they sorted it there on the spot. Hope this helps!

        1. I don’t think so, just the tax number. The working holiday visa is your residence visa, check with Kundenzentrum when you’re there but once I got my working holiday stamp I was good to live there for 12 months before exploring other visa opportunities. 🙂

  1. Quick question mate, I am also going to apply at the Altona auslanderamt tomorrow. Do you know/did they tell you how long we are allowed to work for one employer for? From what I read it appears to be unlimited duration, but I also heard 3 months.

    1. Hey David, it’s a 3 month per employer limit. Quote from my passport insert:

      “Working Holiday. Beschäftigung max. 3 Monate beim selben Arbeitgeber.”

  2. Hi, you make it sound so easy!
    I’m planning to head to Berlin next month and want to apply for a visa. I’ve heard wait times for appointments can be months and sometimes longer than the Schengen visa is valid for. I tried to book online in Berlin however I couldn’t secure an appointment. I am considering visiting a smaller German town to apply for my visa as it appears to be quicker, Hamburg seems like a good option. What did you do about proof of residency though if you don’t plan to live in Hamburg? Also do you know how official this needs to be? I’ve booked accom at an air bnb for a month however I’m assuming I may need a rental agreement? Would hugely appreciate your advice 🙂 thanks!!

    1. Hi Lani, I covered how to get the proof of residency bit (Anmeldung) as a traveller in this post linked below. It’s not hard but is a requirement for most residence visas.

      You can use a hostel or even your AirBNB address, when you arrive scout out your local Ausländerbehörde, if you’re moving to inner- Berlin look at an office a little further out of the city and say they were too busy for foreigners and sent you here. 😉

      Regarding the appointment waiting time (if there is one), you can visit any Ausländerbehörde and ask for a temporary visa extension if you’re worried about your visa period lasping. That will give you an immediate 90 day extension to stay in Germany and resolve your visa application, that’s covered in the post below.

      If you need any help just ask here, prost! 🙂

    1. Hi Peta, I’m a New Zealand and Australian Citizen so could apply within Germany, I did it in-person and without an appointment at my local Ausländerämter (Foreigners Authority). Do check which Ausländerämter you will be submitting at as some require prior appointment as well as specific days for submitting visa applications.

      It took 3-5 hours from arrival at the Ausländerämter, that includes queuing, submitting my completed Working-Holiday visa application, then waiting to receive my modified Passport. 🙂

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