Move to Canada From Germany – 2022 Working Holiday Visa Guide

November 19, 2021
Posted in How To Guide


Are you planning to move to Canada from Germany in 2022? Then you’ve come to the right place. Canada is no longer a risk area for COVID-19, and as a result, no additional travel restrictions apply from Germany, so let’s get you your working holiday visa!

The working holiday visa is a Youth Mobility program (programm für Jugendmobilität) called International Experience Canada (IEC) that allows German citizens to work in Canada for 12 months.

Working Holiday Visa Requirements for German citizens:

  • You must have a valid German passport
  • Be between 18 and 35 years old
  • Have valid travel insurance for your complete stay
  • Have CAD$ 2,500 as proof of funds

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are looking for our Recognized Organization Working Holiday/Young Professional work permits, this program is NOT applicable. Please refer to this blog post for more information. Our Working Holiday Resort Job is designed for first-time applicants that come to Canada under regular IEC participation for the first time.

Working holiday participant Julius snowboarding in Whistler, after making the big move to Canada from Germany 🇩🇪

How Early Do I Need To Apply for a Working Holiday for Canada as a German Citizen?

The sooner the better! At least four months before your preferred start date in Canada. 

Remember that moving Canada from Germany is not like when you decide to work in Europe, as you will need a work permit, called Working Holiday Canada, and this will take time. 

Keep the following information in mind before starting your working holiday process for Canada: 

  1. You are applying for a work permit that takes at least eight weeks to be approved 
  2. The eight week processing times start from the moment you complete your biometrics, which you do after submitting your application.

How Do I Get a Working Holiday Visa for Canada as a German? 

Online! Each year International Experience Canada (IEC) opens a quota for German citizens. During 2021 the quota was 4,490 working holiday permits for German citizens. We can help direct you through the process, so that you can get everything sorted sooner! 

girl posing by a turquoise lake in Canada
Maider visited Lake Louise in Alberta during her Working Holiday in Canada.

What Documents do I Need to apply for a Working Holiday? 

The documents to apply for a working holiday visa are very simple for Canada. The ones that you need to pay special attention will be:

Police Certificate 

You must request a police certificate once you get your invitation to apply for the work permit for Canada. You can learn more about the police certificate from Germany here

Keep in mind that it will take a while for you to receive the certificate and it is only valid for six months after being issued, so do not apply until you have your invitation. 

If you have lived outside of Germany for six months or more, Canada will request a police certificate from that specific country. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back here! We have worked with participants from more than 36 countries, so there are only a few certificates in the world that we have not done before! 

Biometrics (in Germany or Abroad)

In Germany you can get your biometrics at the visa application centres in Berlin or in Düsseldorf. But let’s say you are living in Munich, it will be much easier for you to travel to Wien in Austria, rather than travelling all the way north to Berlin or Dusseldorf, right? 

Medical Insurance

You do not need medical insurance to apply for your working holiday visa, but you will need it once you are approved and ready to move to Canada from Germany. You will need to present proof of medical insurance to receive your work permit. Please click here to understand everything you need to know about IEC insurance and everything that needs to be covered!

Do not miss a thing, medical services in Canada are expensive, so getting good insurance is a must! 

german student skiing in Canada

Do I Have To Be in Germany To Apply for the Working Holiday?

Germany does not have a residence requirement, so, for instance, you could be travelling in Italy and completing your biometrics in Italy, or studying in France and doing your biometrics in Paris or Lyon.

Moving to Canada From Germany – FAQ’s

1. Can I Get a Job and Accommodation in Canada Before Leaving Germany in 2022?

Sure thing! Our Working Holiday Resort program will allow you to secure your job and accommodation before travelling to Canada. 

This program allows you to live and work in Canada at a summer or winter resort (or both!). If you love the outdoors and enjoy hiking and skiing, then this program will help you discover your passions while working and earning money!

This program offers benefits such as cheaper accommodation, competitive salaries, staff discounts, free lift passes, and invitations to lots of different mingling events and parties.

german students in Canada
Stepwest participants Giulia and Maider!

Our Working Holiday Resort Job program guarantees:

  • Assistance with your work permit application: Gathering your documents, getting your biometrics, and each step after you receive your invitation from IEC to apply!
  • Resume revision and interview preparation for your interviews in Canada.
  • We arrange online job interviews for you to have directly from home.
  • Pre-arranged jobs in the Canadian Rockies before you land in Canada or your money back.
  • Staff housing guaranteed before your departure from Germany.
  • Pre-departure orientation, including all the new COVID-19 requirements to be fully prepared for your arrival in Canada.
  • Welcome to Canada orientation to receive your free bank account, SIN Number, mobile phone and everything you need to know to start your adventure in Canada!
  • Support throughout your entire time here from our Canada team.

Do you prefer city life? No problem! We can also help you with our Vancouver Working Holiday City Job program so you can spend your working holiday experience in one of the most vibrant cities of Canada!

2. Is it Possible to Work for Only One Season in Canada? 

Yes, you can decide if you want to work during the summer or winter season, and if you need to leave after because you have plans back in Germany (for example, you’re going to University), you can do so easily. 

The minimum stay for each season will always be at least four months, so make sure you apply early for your working holiday, that way you don’t have to wait for your work permit to travel and can secure your job far in advance.

Our post on Hiring Seasons for a Ski & Summer Working Holiday in Canada covers this in-depth. Make sure you take a look to understand a bit more about the seasons to work at a resort in Canada. In any case, as a general idea:

seasons in Canada

3. Can I Change My Employer Once I Have Moved to Canada?

Yes, your working holiday visa is an open work permit, which means that you are not tied to any employer in Canada. For instance, you could spend the winter season working in Whistler then move to Vancouver for the summer. Of course, we always recommend that you give the proper notice to your employer so that you get a good reference letter from your employer.

4. What Will I Need to Travel to Canada During COVID-19?

For all travellers: Negative PCR test – 72 hours before your flight. 

  • Vaccinated travellers: Proof of any of the accepted vaccines is required 

If you have been vaccinated twice with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or AstraZeneca, or once with the vaccine from Janssen / Johnson & Johnson, and have no symptoms of COVID-19, you can travel 14 days after your last vaccination. From Nov 30th, 2021, also Sinopharm, Sinovac and COVAXIN are accepted.

If you are not vaccinated, you can apply for a working holiday visa, but as of January 15, 2022, certain groups of travellers, including IEC work permit holders, will only be allowed to enter the country if they are fully vaccinated with one of the vaccines.

5. Is it Mandatory to Be Vaccinated in Canada to Travel With a Working Holiday Visa?

It is not mandatory to be vaccinated to be approved, however, please note that if you are not fully vaccinated you will not be allowed to enter Canada from January 15th, 2022, as per the new regulation announced last November 19th, 2021.

6. Can I Participate More Than Once in a Work Program in Canada as a German citizen?

Yes, but under a different work permit category. German citizens are allowed to participate under the IEC Program. If you already used your working holiday visa, you will be able to apply for: 

  • Young Professionals – if you get a qualified job offer under NOC, 0, A or B in Canada.
  • International Co-Op – doing an internship in Canada while studying back in Germany 
skydiving in Canada
Working holiday participant Gabriel making the most of his time living off in Banff, AB in Canada!

7. Can I Travel Around Canada After My Working Holiday? 

If you are fully vaccinated, YES! The good news is that the land border between Canada and USA opened from November 8th, 2021, so you will be able to do a road trip along the West Coast, or just visit Seattle. You will also be allowed to travel within Canada before returning back to Germany. 

8. Can I Travel to Canada Before I Have Received My POE (Correspondence Letter)?

The Canadian authorities recommend waiting until you receive the POE letter before entering Canada. Without the POE letter, you cannot receive a work permit upon entry. If you meet the requirements, you can enter as a tourist. If so, you won’t be allowed to work in Canada. If you are in Canada when you receive your POE letter, you must first leave and then re-enter in order to be able to obtain your work permit.

9. How Does Canada Select Candidates to Apply for the Working Holiday Canada?

In each invitation round, a random selection is made from each pool of applicants, who will then receive an invitation. The selection is made completely randomly by a computer, so there is no ranking.

If you are already in the applicant pool at the beginning of the application season, you can take part in more invitation rounds and thus have more opportunities to receive an invitation. However, you can still receive an invitation if you are in the pool later, as Germany has enough Working Holiday spots, so if you are interested in participating in the program we will be able to help you make it happen.

10. Can I Work in Canada for Three Months With No Visa as a German Citizen?

Absolutely not. In Canada, if you are planning to work for a company, you MUST get paid and you need a work permit, that’s why Canada put the International Experience Canada program in place. Make the most of it! Plus, the good news is that it is super easy for German citizens to get an invitation so there really is no need to secure a permit.

Contact us today for more information and FREE meeting, we want to be sure that we can help before you pay anything!