Move to Canada From Germany – 2022 Working Holiday Visa Guide

Are you planning to move to Canada from Germany? Then you’ve come to the right place. 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. Here’s everything you need to know…

Maider made it her mission to find every emerald lake during her Working Holiday in Canada

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.  Our Working Holiday Resort Programs are designed for first-time applicants that come to Canada under regular IEC participation for the first time.


When it comes to Canadian resort jobs, getting ahead of the program is definitely beneficial. Popular resorts such as Whistler, Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise have 2 main hiring periods for each season, Summer and Winter 2024. So that means here at Stepwest, the earlier you apply the better chance you have of securing your dream job in your dream resort! The latest we typically accept applications for these programs are as follows:

Summer 2024: Until February 2024.
Winter 2024: Until May 2024.

It pays off to be organized, the sooner you are ready for interviews, the more resort job positions you could be a candidate for. If you are a last-minute planner, then start to consider planning for the next upcoming Season. Too late for Winter? check our Summer Resort Working Holiday program. You could start out with a summer job and opt to stay for the next winter season!

Remember that moving to 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.
Stepwest participants Giulia and Maider!


Online! Each year International Experience Canada (IEC) opens a quota for German citizens. During 2022 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!

Working holiday participant Gabriel making the most of his time living in Canada!


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:


You must request a police certificate once you get your invitation to apply for the work permit for Canada.  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!


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?


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!


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.

Want to Learn More?

Are you thinking about moving to Canada from Germany, but want to know more before taking the plunge? Get in touch to learn about our Working Holiday Programs, and how we can help you embark on the trip of a lifetime to Canada!


Can I get a Job and Accommodation in Canada before leaving Germany?

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.

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

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 2022 Resort Job Guide 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.

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 and 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.

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 in 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

Can I Travel Around Canada After My Working Holiday?

YES! The good news is that the land border between Canada and USA opened on 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.

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.

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.

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.