Working Holiday Program (WHP)

A few years ago, France signed agreements with several countries to promote youth exchanges.


This agreement is called the Working Holiday Visa. It was first signed between Japan and France in January 1999, then with New Zealand in June 1999, with Canada in October 2003 and withAustralia in November 2003. Today, it is available to 17 countries.

This visa is designed for people who wish to spend a vacation in one of these countries, with the possibility of working there to supplement their financial resources.

Conditions to be met

The conditions to be met to benefit from this program in France are :

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 (up to 35 for Canada)
  • Hold a valid French passport
  • Not be accompanied by dependent children
  • A clean criminal record
  • Be in possession of a return ticket or have sufficient resources to purchase a return ticket
  • Have sufficient resources for the first three days of your stay
  • Writing a cover letter to highlight your track record and plans
  • Submit a medical certificate
  • Travel health insurance covering all medical risks during your stay

The visa is valid for one year , with a 12-month deadline for arrival in the host country. The length of stay must not exceed one year from the date of entry into the country, with no possibility of extension (except in Australia, where exceptions are now possible). In principle, it is not possible to change status during your stay. A work permit is issued on arrival in the host country. This visa does not entitle you to benefit from the host country’s social protection system (unemployment, sickness, etc.), which is why it is absolutely essential to take out travel health insurance before departure.

The case of Australia

With the exception of Australia, which no longer imposes quotas on French nationals, the number of participants in this program is limited and set each year by the participating countries.

In Australia, since November 2005, in order to encourage seasonal employment in harvesting, holders of a “Working Holiday” visa can apply for a second “Working Holiday” visa directly from abroad, and thus stay for a second year.
To help small states and rural areas in Australia receive more skilled migrants, holders of Holiday and Work visas and Occupational Trainee visas will now also be able to apply for a Skilled Independent Regional visa without having to leave the country. This type of visa is a stepping stone to permanent residency.

Also in Australia, since July 1, 2006, this visa, also known as the “Working Holiday Visa”, has changed in two important respects:

  • Maximum length of time with an employer increased from 3 to 6 months
  • Maximum study period increased from 3 to 4 months

How do I apply for a PVT visa?

Vacation and Work visa applications can be obtained from the consulate of the country of destination for the following countries:

for Australia
for New Zealand
for Canada
for Argentina
for Brazil
for Chile
for Colombia
for Mexico
for Peru
for Uruguay (visa form to be requested by e-mail from the consular department)
for Japan
for Taiwan
for South Korea
for Hong Kong
for Singapore
for Russia
for Belgium

Since the 90s, the “Working Holiday” program has been a real success, and the number of visas issued has doubled. These visas enable young French people to open up to another culture and a new country. It also encourages the development of tourism in the host country, and strengthens political, economic, social and cultural ties with foreign countries.

This is a very interesting program for students and young people in general, and a great opportunity to discover new horizons!
And above all, don’t forget your PVT health insurance to make sure you get your visa in due form and ensure your health during your stay abroad.

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