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How to move to France with a working holiday visa

Are you a young explorer between the ages of 18 and 30 (35 for Argentina, Australia, and Canada) looking for an exciting adventure overseas?

The Working Holiday visa in France might be the perfect opportunity for you.

This visa allows you to spend up to one year in France for tourism and cultural exploration while also providing the chance to work and financially support your stay. France offers Working Holiday visas to citizens of: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Taiwan, Russia, and Uruguay.

A map of the world with the countries with a bilateral agreement with France coloured in red
The countries with a bilateral agreement with France

What is a Working Holiday visa

A Working Holiday visa is a temporary multiple-entry long-stay visa aimed for young people and citizens of the 16 countries which have a bilateral agreement with France. This visa grants you the opportunity to travel to France for a maximum of one year as a tourist, as well as allowing you to engage in paid work during your stay. You will have the opportunity of working in France without needing additional authorisation from the French government. 

Exceeding one year and extending the Working Holiday visa are typically not feasible except under special arrangements. 

Who is eligible

To qualify for France’s Working Holiday visa, you must meet several requirements, which are as outlined below:

  • You are aged between 18 to 30 years old (35 for Argentina, Australia, and Canada)

  • You must be from the 16 countries or territories which has signed a bilateral agreement with France

  • You must have a passport that remains valid for at least three months after your return date

  • You must possess sufficient funds to support yourself during the initial period of your stay. As a general guideline, it is recommended to have a minimum of AUD 5,000, i.e. approximately €3,000 for Australians and €2,500 for New Zealanders. 

  • You must either possess a return ticket or an affidavit stating your commitment to depart France before your visa expires

  • You must have a valid proof of comprehensive private insurance covering all health-related risks for the entire duration of your stay

You are not eligible if you:

  • Have already had prior participation in this program

  • Are accompanied by dependent children or relatives

How to apply

Individuals residing in New Zealand are required to apply for their visa through the French Consular section of the French Embassy in New Zealand by scheduling an appointment. Whilst visa applicants residing in Australia must submit their application at one of the VFS GLOBAL centres located in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and Adelaide and by appointment only. 

General stages during a visa application

You will generally require the following documents:

  • Valid passport (+ 3 months from expiry date of visa)

  • Long Stay Visa application form fully completed, dated and signed

  • Passport size photograph 

  • Evidence of financial resources or proof of fund: $5000 Australian dollars (equivalent to €3,000) and €2,500 for New Zealanders minimum

  • Recent bank statement (current or saving account) or pay slip

  • Proof of one-year comprehensive health insurance, starting from your arrival in France. The insurance should cover all health-related risks

  • Return ticket to your country of residence is required. Alternatively, if arriving from a different country, a train ticket or any other ticket to France should be provided. An affidavit stating the intention to leave France is also acceptable

  • Proof of French accommodation

  • Proof of clean criminal record

Ensure that you bring all the necessary documents to your appointment. During your appointment, the service provider or consulate will review your application, collect the visa fee, capture your biometric data (including a photo and fingerprints), and keep your passport along with copies of all supporting documents. 

The information provided is subject to change. You should be receiving an updated and comprehensive list of document requirements after initiating your visa application. Visit France-Visas website for more information.

Whilst obtaining a Working Holiday visa opens up exciting experiences and opportunities, navigating the visa application process can be tedious. Thus, it is important to prioritise timeliness.

Submitting your application at the earliest opportunity is highly recommended, as visa processing times can vary.

Allow yourself to have plenty of time to collect all the required documents and complete the application accurately to minimise unnecessary stress and potential setbacks.
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