France Working Holiday Visa

The France Working Holiday Visa is a mutually beneficial arrangement that facilitates cultural exchange and international work opportunities, enriching both the individuals who take part in the program and the employers who welcome them into their businesses.

For personalized guidance through the application process or to learn more about how the France Working Holiday Visa can benefit your business, contact Total Law at +1 844 290 6312 or send a message online. Our experts are here to ensure your journey is seamless and successful.

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    What Is The Working Holiday Visa In France?

    • The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in France is a program for young adults from select countries, allowing them to experience French culture.
    • Eligible participants are typically between 18 to 30 years old, with some agreements maximum age limit to 35.
    • The visa facilitates a stay of up to one year, providing an opportunity to work and thereby finance the visit.
    • It aims to foster cultural exchange, offering a deeper understanding of France through immersive experiences.
    • Employment during the stay is secondary, meant to support travel and living expenses rather than serve as the primary purpose.
    • The WHV promotes collaborative efforts between France and other nations to encourage youth global awareness.
    • Participants can freely travel within France, absorbing the country’s heritage and lifestyle while engaging in temporary work.

    Purpose and Benefits of the Visa for Participants and Employers

    For participants, the Working Holiday Visa offers the invaluable opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture, learn the language, and gain international work experience. It is a chance to live independently in a foreign country, which can significantly contribute to personal growth and employability in the global job market.

    Employers in France benefit from this program by gaining access to the young professionals, enthusiastic Working Holiday Visa holders from diverse backgrounds, ready to bring new perspectives and ideas into the workplace. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses looking to internationalize their workforce or reach out to global markets.

    The visa also simplifies the hiring process for French employers, as it removes the need for French work permits for these international employees.

    This ease of employment can encourage businesses to take advantage of the program, knowing that they can legally employ foreign nationals without the usual bureaucracy involved in hiring non-EU residents.

    The Working Holiday Visa issued by France is a multiple-entry temporary long-stay visa, which allows the holder to enter and exit France multiple times within the validity period of the visa.

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      Who Can Obtain a France Working Holiday Visa

      The France Working Holiday Visa offers a unique chance for young adults from partner nations to reside and seek employment in France, enriching their global perspective through cultural interchange. Here’s a concise overview of who’s eligible and what’s needed for the application:

      Eligibility Requirements for the Visa

      To be eligible for the France Working Holiday Visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

      Age Restrictions

      Applicants for the France Working Holiday Visa must typically be aged between 18 to 30 years at the time of application. However, there are exceptions for citizens of Argentina, Australia, and Canada, where the age limit is raised to 35 years. This reflects the specific international agreements that France has with these countries, allowing for a broader age range of participants in the program.

      Nationality and Residency Requirements

      The visa is exclusively available to citizens from countries that have established an international holiday program agreement with France. The list of eligible countries currently includes Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, Peru, New Zealand, Russia, Taiwan, and Uruguay.

      Financial and Health Insurance Requirements

      Applicants are required to demonstrate financial self-sufficiency for the initial period of their stay in France. The exact amount required is specified in the respective bilateral agreements based on the country. Moreover, applicants must have health insurance coverage that remains valid for the entire stay.

      Visa Characteristics

      The visa granted under this program is a long-stay visa designated with the statement “vacances travail” (working holiday). Valid for one year, it cannot be extended unless specific agreements provide for such an option. It will entitle you to undertake paid employment on a secondary basis, without prior approval from the French Administration.

      No Previous Participation

      Individuals who have already taken advantage of the working holiday program are not eligible to apply again. This ensures that the opportunity is available to new participants each year.


      The program is designed for individuals without dependents. In this context, dependents are defined as individuals under 22 years of age who are not married or in a common-law partnership.

      Health and Legal Record

      Applicants must have a clean bill of health and no criminal record. These requirements are in place to protect the safety and well-being of both the applicant and the host country.

      Proof of Return

      Applicants must possess a return ticket or the financial means to purchase one, serving as evidence of their intention to return to their home country following their stay in France.

      Necessary Documents for Application

      France Working Holiday Visa applicants must provide the following documents:

      Valid Passport

      Applicants must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the date they plan to leave France. The passport should be issued within the last ten years and must have at least two blank pages available for stamps.

      Application Forms

      A completed request for a temporary long-stay visa (VLS-T) must be submitted. This form is available through the French consular authorities and must be filled out accurately.

      Proof of Financial Means

      Applicants need to provide evidence of sufficient money to support themselves during the initial phase of their stay. This can be in the form of bank statements, credit card statements, or an employment contract.

      Health Insurance Coverage

      Proof of comprehensive medical insurance, often substantiated by a medical certificate for the entire period, is essential. The insurance should cover all health-related expenses, including hospitalization and repatriation.

      Additional Documents for Specific Cases

      Depending on the applicant’s nationality, additional documents may be required. These can include a CV, educational certificates, testimonials from previous employers, a detailed travel itinerary, and a declaration of accommodation.

      Employer Considerations When Hiring on a Working Holiday Visa

      Employers looking to hire individuals on a Working Holiday Visa should consider the following:

      The duration of the stay with a Working Holiday Visa must not exceed one year. There are no general provisions for extending this type of visa beyond the one-year mark, except under special bilateral agreements, such as the one with Canada. Since the visa is not renewable (with the exception of Canada), employers should plan for a maximum employment period of 12 months for each individual.

      Young professionals should note that, in most cases, individuals on a Working Holiday Visa do not require a separate work permit, streamlining the hiring process.

      Holders of the Working Holiday Visa are, in principle, not allowed to change their visa status while in France. This means that they cannot switch from a holiday visa to another type of residence permit or visa category during their stay.

      While the Working Holiday Visa allows the holder to work during their stay, there may be restrictions on the duration of employment with the same employer. This is to ensure that the primary purpose of the visa cultural exchange and travel is maintained, and employment remains a secondary activity.

      For a service tailored to you, enlist one of our lawyers to assist in the application of your working holiday visa. Contact Us

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        France Working Holiday Visa: Application Process

        To apply for a Working Holiday Visa France, you’ll need to follow a series of steps and ensure you meet all the requirements. Here’s a comprehensive guide:

        Step-by-step guide to applying

        Application Process

        The process begins with an online registration on the official France-Visas website, where personal details must be accurately filled in.

        A collection of essential documents is required, which includes a current and valid passport, evidence of financial means to support the stay, and other relevant paperwork.

        Application Fee

        An application fee of EUR 99 is required, payable online, typically via Visa or Mastercard, and is non-refundable regardless of the application’s outcome.

        Interview and Biometrics

        An interview at a French embassy is likely, during which biometric data will be collected as part of the application process.

        Work Permit

        Depending on the nature and duration of employment, the type of work permit required may vary. It is essential to determine the correct permit to comply with French labor laws.


        Applicants can track the progress of their visa application online and will be notified regarding the collection of their passports.

        Upon arrival in France, there are no additional formalities or the need for a residency permit, except for Russian citizens who require a work permit.

        Additional Considerations

        The visa is not extendable, with the exception of Canadian citizens who have a specific agreement in place.

        The visa is intended for a cultural exchange experience and is not suitable for those seeking to study or obtain long-term employment in France.

        Role of Employers in the Application Process

        Employers do not play a direct role in the application process for the Working Holiday Visa. However, if you have a job offer, it may be beneficial to include this information in your application as proof of your intent to work during your stay.

        Employers need to understand that the visa allows the holder to work legally in France without the need for a separate work permit, except for citizens of certain countries like Russia.

        Processing Time and Details for the Working Holiday Visa in France


        The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in France is designed for young people who wish to experience France while having the option to work to supplement their travel funds. Here’s an expanded overview of the processing time and other details for the WHV based on the information provided:

        Processing Time

        The processing time for a Working Holiday Visa in France is typically around 15 to 20 working days from the date of the visa appointment.

        However, it is recommended to apply for the visa a few months before the planned arrival date to account for any variables that might delay the process. The visa itself is valid for 12 months and is not extendable. Applicants are advised to apply up to three months before they intend to visit France.

        Factors Affecting Processing Times

        Several factors can influence the processing time of a WHV:

        • Long-term visas, like the WHV, may take longer to process than short-term tourist visas.
        • The applicant’s nationality can impact processing times due to various bilateral agreements or security protocols.
        • Application volumes tend to increase during peak travel seasons, potentially leading to longer processing times.
        • A high number of applications or staff shortages at the consulate can cause delays.
        • Inaccuracies or incomplete information can lead to further scrutiny and extended processing times.
        • Background checks are a standard part of the visa process and can take several weeks or even months.

        Activities Permitted While Waiting

        While waiting for the visa to be processed, applicants can engage in short-term studies or training for up to six months. Once in France, they can work for the duration of their 12-month visa without a separate work permit, except for Russian citizens. The primary purpose of their stay should be holidaymaking, and the visa cannot be used for other purposes, such as long-term employment or study.

        Renewing / Extending the France Working Holiday Visas


        The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in France presents young travelers with the chance to delve into French culture and gain valuable international work experience. Initially set for 12 months, this visa is typically non-renewable, except for Canadian citizens who benefit from a bilateral agreement.

        For those looking to extend their French journey, a pathway exists to prolong their stay for up to 36 months. This can be achieved through a combination of acquiring student status and securing young professional employment.

        To initiate the extension process, applicants should begin approximately three months before their current Working Holiday Visa expires.

        This ensures a smooth transition to an extended stay. Applications for extension are to be submitted to the prefecture in the applicant’s department of residence, with a directory available on the French Ministry of the Interior’s website.

        The extension allows for a stay of up to 36 months, which can be either continuous or split. The order in which you undertake your new status as a student or as a young professional is flexible and designed to suit various career and educational plans.

        Long-Stay Visa and Residence Permit Requirements

        For stays exceeding 90 days, a long-stay visa is required, and to extend your stay beyond the validity of your visa, you must apply for a residence permit at a prefecture. This long-stay visa is equivalent to a Schengen visa, allowing you to move around and stay in the Schengen zone for periods not exceeding 90 days over any period of 180 consecutive days.

        Limitations and Restrictions

        The main limitation of the WHV is that it is not renewable, and the holder cannot change their status while in France.

        Suppose the holder wishes to stay longer for reasons such as continuing education or employment. In that case, they must apply for the appropriate residence permit or visa that corresponds to their new situation.

        Employer’s Role in the Renewal/Extension Process

        If the WHV holder finds employment and wishes to stay in France, the employer may need to be involved in the renewal process.

        For specific work permits, the employer must provide documents such as the last three pay slips, evidence of efforts made to find a candidate already in the French labor market, and any new employment contracts or amendments to existing contracts.

        How Can Total Law Help?

        Total Law is dedicated to providing expert guidance and assistance throughout your France Working Holiday Visa application process. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers can help ensure that your documentation is complete and compliant with French regulations. For personalized support and to discuss your visa options, call us at +1 844 290 6312 or message us online. Trust Total Law to be your partner in navigating the complexities of international travel and work authorization.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Americans can work in France, but they need to obtain the appropriate work visa. The United States does not currently have a working holiday visa agreement with France.

                  The ease of obtaining a French work visa depends on your qualifications, the type of job, and the labor market needs. It can be straightforward if you meet all the criteria and your employer completes the necessary paperwork.

                  Yes, you can study for short periods while on a working holiday visa in France, but the main purpose of the visa should be travel and cultural exchange.

                  The French working holiday visa is intended for individuals without dependents. Those wishing to bring family members will need to explore other visa options.

                  Yes, previous tourism visits to France do not affect your eligibility for a working holiday visa, provided you meet all other requirements and have not previously participated in the working holiday program.