Applying for the German youth mobility visa.

Everything I did wrong when applying for the Germany youth mobility visa

There are a ridiculous number of people (especially from the Commonwealth countries) travelling around the world on working holiday visas. The visas tend to have different names—mine for Germany is a “youth mobility” visa.

These visas allow you to do certain things, but primarily they let young people travel in a country for up to two years while working to supplement their income. That’s what all them Aussies are doing out on the chairlifts in Whistler. God bless ‘em.

I chose Germany, so I’m only speaking from my personal experience. The experience tends to differ per country. Typically the application process is not much work.

But I ran into more problems than I expected, exacerbated by the fact that I’m living in Berlin where bureaucracy is so backlogged it’s kinda like the city has given up altogether.

Neither Canada nor Germany made the process clear for me. So this is what happened during the whole visa process (from a Canadian perspective).

Applying for the German youth mobility visa

There are two ways to apply for the visa:

  •  You can show up at the German consulate in Toronto
  • You can mail in all your stuff and hope you didn’t forget anything

The former process is the best, but weirdly enough, the world doesn’t revolve around Toronto. Shocking! Reminder: I live in Newfoundland. That’s a solid four-hour flight.

If you show up at the consulate with all your stuff, you’re usually approved for a visa within a few weeks and then you’re on your way. If you mail in your application, you get a temporary visa for 90 days (a Schengen, basically) and then you have to report to the Auslanderbehorde (alien affairs) in Germany to “extend” the visa once you arrive.

Sigh, extra work. We’ll get to that.

The Canadian government website has a really good checklist of everything you need, but sometimes the instructions just aren’t clear.

You’ll need:

  • Visa photos
  • Confirmation of where you’ll be staying initially (even if it’s one night at a hotel)
  • A letter of intent
  • Confirmation of flight booking (even though you may still get rejected)
  • Proof of travel insurance for the full year
  • Bank statement saying you have at least 2000 EUR in your account (not necessary for the mail-in application until you actually get to Germany)
  • Prepaid Xpresspost envelope
  • $95 to cover the processing fee
  • A letter saying your signature has been certified by a notary consulate

Once you have your visa, you’re off!

Happy with my German youth mobility visa!

 Travel health insurance

It was harder than I thought it would be to find insurance to cover me for a full year. World Nomads is my usual go to, but my dates muddled things a little.

I probably could have phoned in to arrange something, but I found a cheaper rate with Merit Travel anyway. It tends to be the go-to insurance for Canadians doing the SWAP program abroad. A full year cost me nearly $800.

Another excellent option: Safety Wing. This travel insurance company will cover you for a year for nearly half the price of what I paid. You can get a quote for free — just make sure it covers the requirements for your visa.

Arriving in Germany

But here’s what happens when you arrive in Germany with only the 90-day pass.

 You need to register for two things:

  • Visa extension via the Auslanderbehorde (you can book this appointment online)
  • Residency via the Burgeramt (you can book this appointment online as well)

THIS IS WHERE I SCREWED UP.

Nobody tells you that you need to show up at your visa appointment with your residency certificate already acquired. You will NOT be accepted without this.

First of all: It’s really hard to find apartments in Berlin when you’re new and you don’t know anyone. My initial plan before I lucked into my place was to rent an Airbnb for a month while searching for a room.

I moved into my apartment when I arrived on August 3rd. Legally, you’re supposed to register as a resident WITHIN TWO WEEKS. But Berlin is so insanely backlogged with appointments (especially now with the refugee situation), I couldn’t get an appointment until THREE MONTHS LATER.

My residence appointment as November 4th. My visa appointment was October 30th.

(Keep in mind that most of what I’m saying only applies to Berlin. I have no idea how to the process works in other cities.)

Some people say that you can show up at certain Burgeramt offices at 7AM without having an appointment and although you might weasel your way in, it could take hours. And I’m like, fuck that.

Other people say you can’t do this anymore. I’m not sure what is true. Despite Germany’s incredible efficiency, the bureaucracy is the biggest shitstorm I’ve ever encountered. And everyone agrees.

So it’s a bit screwy. I mean, if you’re only in one apartment for a month, you’re required to register within two weeks, and then if you move again, you have to de-register and register at your new place. Oh my gawd.

Anyway.

I hired a German-English translator from Expath.de for 40EUR to assist me at the Auslanderbehorde. Jon was well worth the money – I would have been clueless otherwise. Germans working in the government are in no way required to speak English, and since I’m terrified of authority, I figured it was a good investment. It was.

But then I got rejected, because I wasn’t registered as a residence. I explained the situation and was told to come back on November 6th. They were kind about it. Perhaps because they could sense my discomfort, and even though I have zero criminal record I still always feel like a drug smuggler or something whenever I’m in the presence of government officials.

Anyway. 40EUR down the drain.

Changes in bureaucracy

I also hired a translator to assist me at the Burgeramt. This process went much smoother, EXCEPT it almost didn’t.

Expath.de informed me a few days before my appointment that a new law was instated in Germany requiring written consent from a landlord when moving into an apartment, or when subletting. This keeps apartments from being overcrowded.

How was I to know??!!!!!!! I literally had no idea.

I panicked, sent several crazy texts to my roommate Christoph, and waited. Christoph came home and calmly sat down and said: “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it.” He did. It wasn’t all that hard.

But the point is that it could’ve cost me another 40EUR, or my visa.

I actually don’t know how to find this form to tell you more about it. Sorry.

So I went back to the Burgeramt and then the Auslanderbehorde and had to pay something like 50EUR to complete the visa process (which now takes up three whole pages of my bloody passport) plus 120EUR for translators.

WHEW.

But it’s done. 

I was so overwhelmed for awhile there that I did consider giving up. But I’m happily settled in my Berlin life, and the whole process was most definitely worth it.

If you’d like to take the hassle out of the moving process, I highly recommend hiring a company like Nomaden Berlin to help you get settled in. They’ll give you tons of visa support and will also help with finding a place to live (which is probably the hardest part of moving to Berlin).

IF YOU HAVE ANY OTHER QUESTIONS PLEASE REFER TO THIS FAQ BLOG POST.

  • December 11 2015

    That sounds like such a headache!
    I was lucky when applying for my visa to Australia. It cost $420 (eep) but I somehow had my approval by the next morning and had no hiccups along the way.

    Hopefully everything is all settled for you now!

    http://www.justbeingbrooklyn.com
    Brooklyn recently posted…Future Friday- Reykjavik

    • December 12 2015
      Candice

      $420?! EEEP! I guess mine nearly added up to that when it was all said and done. Or maybe more like $300. But AHH it arrived the next day?! Haha. Amazing.

  • December 13 2015
    William Yao

    Interesting and helpful. Thank you for sharing.

    I went to Europe several times. I need to apply for the visa from China. I tried to get my visa from different EU countries. For example. if the Chinese Premier just visited Italy, I would selected the Italian Embassy for my EU visa. And if China would buy planes from the AirBus, then I went to the French Embassy to apply. That was quite complex. No choice for us.

    • December 14 2015
      Candice

      Ugh, that’s brutal William. It’s easy to forget how privileged I am with a Canadian passport sometimes. At least in the Schengen zone, I can visit most of the European countries without worry

  • January 09 2016
    Amie

    Hey! I am going through the visa application process now. What was your letter of intent? Did you just write it up or was it an actual form? And how long after you mailed your application did your visa come?
    Thanks so much!!

    • January 10 2016
      Candice

      I just wrote a simple letter about why I was interested in Germany! I cited reasons like being interested in German culture, exploring a country I haven’t visited yet, etc. Basically just praise Germany. :P It only took about 10 days for them to reply!

  • February 03 2016
    Kaitlyn

    Hi! Did you need a return ticket back from Germany to Canada or was simply a ticket there sufficient?
    Thanks :)

    • February 09 2016
      Candice

      Just a one way ticket! Although if you get a return ticket your insurance will be able to cover the return flight as well

  • February 26 2016
    Mari

    Hi. This blog post if so useful. Thank you for sharing. I am in the process of applying for the youth mobility visa as well. I am filling in the “Application for a national visa” form and one thing is puzzling me. In page 1. they ask fora Residence permit No. I have no idea what this is referring to and cannot find any information about it…help?

    • February 26 2016
      Candice

      Glad you found it useful! I’m pretty sure you can just leave that bit blank. I certainly don’t remember filling anything in for it.

    • October 03 2016
      Hollie

      Hi Mari and Candice,
      I am having the same issue, and wondering if you ever resolved this? Did you leave that blank on your application? I am going in person to Toronto to sit with the consular, but I live in Victoria so I really can’t afford to screw up the visit.

      Thanks for your help

    • October 03 2016
      Hollie

      Hi Mari and Candice,
      I am having the same issue, and wondering if you ever resolved this? Did you leave that blank on your application? I am going in person to Toronto to sit with the consular, but I live in Victoria so I really can’t afford to screw up the visit.

      Thanks for your help

  • March 02 2016
    Victoria

    Hey this is really useful! Just one question, when you mailed it in did you send originals of everything or did you make copies and stuff like that? And also you probably don’t know because you mailed yours in but worth a shot, do you know if you apply in person if you have to pick it up in person or does it get mailed to you?

    • March 06 2016
      Raph

      I would love to know the answers to theses questions as well!

    • March 08 2016
      Candice

      I think I sent originals, if I remember correctly, but I may have kept copies at home. And I’m unsure about your second question. I think you pick it up in person!

    • April 27 2016
      Candice

      I made copies, but you have to send in all originals! And I’m unsure about the second question, sorry

  • March 15 2016
    Tammy

    Were you able to open a bank account prior to having your residency certificate?

    • March 15 2016
      Candice

      Nope, you can’t do this until you’re registered as a resident

  • March 22 2016
    Graham

    Hey Candice, just found your blog as I’m trying to get the youth mobility visa. The big problem with me is that I flew straight from Brazil to Germany. Now that I’m looking into it I’m finding that you need to be in Canada to apply. I’m finding it hard to believe that I’m not able to get the visa because it says straight from the kanada.diplo.de webpage that I don’t need the visa before leaving. I’m able to apply for a work visa here but this involves a tone of steps and I don’t actually intend on working I just want to be able to stay in the schengen region for longer than 90days. Any suggestion? Maybe I’m missing something big.

    • April 06 2016
      Candice

      If you plan on staying longer in Schengen there’s not much you can do, I’m afraid! Germany is pretty strict on those visa details. You can ask Expath.de though… They will know better

  • March 27 2016
    Dan

    Hey!

    Thanks a lot for all the information. I’m about to apply for my visa and I’m having a mini-panic attack regarding the insurance.

    I’m planning on taking the insurance with travelcuts which looks to be the same one you did through Merit (i.e. “Alianz Globetrotter”). Did you have any issue with this insurance as far as meeting the requirements for the visa?

    What kind of paper work do they provide you with once you purchase the insurance and does that paper work explicitly refer to the criteria that the German consulate requires?

    Any info you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    • April 06 2016
      Candice

      That insurance will cover everything you need! It just needs to cover 365 days

  • March 29 2016
    Alex

    Hey! So it asks for two relatives that live in Canada to be references or something! How did you provide that? Like just a signed letter from them or something else?

    • April 06 2016
      Candice

      I didn’t have to do that!

    • April 18 2016
      Raph

      Hi there,

      I was just accepted for the YMV VISA. I simply attached an extra sheet to my application which had the names, addresses and contact information of both my parents, and I added a good friend of mine on there for good measure. It was sufficient.

  • April 11 2016
    Kara

    Did you have to fill in your xpress envelope or did you just give it blank?

    • April 14 2016
      Kara

      Also what did you put when you were filling out the application form as your means of subsistence?

      • April 27 2016
        Candice

        I don’t remember doing that, but it’s probably how much money you have in savings

    • April 27 2016
      Candice

      You have to fill it in

    • April 27 2016
      Candice

      You should fill it in

  • April 20 2016
    Riri

    Thanks for sharing! you’re totally right, the Germany embassy website doesn’t make the instructions clear enough.
    I have a question on “the letter of intent”, just wondering what should i bring in to the letter?
    I’m planning to study in German in Manheim. I’ve passed the Goethe A1 test already.
    Thank you girl!

    • April 28 2016
      Candice

      I’m not entirely sure, as I assume it’s a different visa than the one I applied for? Just say why you chose Manheim, what interests you about learning German, etc. Basically, just praise up Germany!

  • April 20 2016
    Riri

    and also, do you mean that, if you could make a present at the Toronto embassy, then you’ll get the whole one year Visa at the time?
    Thanks, girl!

  • April 20 2016
    Riri

    btw, where can i get “A letter saying your signature has been certified by a notary consulate”?
    Thank you so so so much!!

    • April 28 2016
      Candice

      Most lawyers can do this for you, just email or call a law office

  • May 05 2016
    Eric

    Hi, I’m in the process of applying right now. I’m just trying to figure out if you need to send your original passport in the application or whether a copy signed by a notary is ok?

    • May 06 2016
      Candice

      You have to send in your passport so that the consulate can affix the visa.

  • May 26 2016
    Jonathan

    Hi, I’m applying for the YMV right now. How long did it take you to receive the visa after you mailed in your application?

    • June 01 2016
      Candice

      Should take less than two weeks

  • May 26 2016
    Laura

    Hey I am applying right now!!
    Did you need a return tickets ? Cause I want to buy a one way ticket, i don’t really feel like planning 1 year in advance!

    • August 08 2017
      Candice

      Nope, you do not need a return ticket, just one way!

  • May 30 2016
    Grace

    My visa appointment in Toronto is coming up soon. I am flying to Madrid 2 weeks after the appointment, then travelling to Berlin from there to start my 1-year stay. How long after I submit my visa application will I get my passport back? WHAT IF I DONT GET IT BACK before my flight to Madrid? Help ! thanks so much :)

    • October 03 2016
      Hollie

      Hi Grace, I am in a similar predicament and wondering if it worked out for you? I have heard it can take up to three months and I am pretty nervous I haven’t got enough time before I am supposed to fly

  • June 12 2016
    Lea

    Hi! I was hoping you could provide a few more details regarding the visa extenstion appointment. I have an YMV, and am already living in Berlin, and also have my anmeldung. I am looking into booking an appointment for my extention soon. I am having a hard time finding informationn on what exactly is needed for that appointment. For ex. – do you need to re-show everything that was already sent in for the YMV in Canada? How about the proof of funds? Thanks in advance! – Lea

  • June 16 2016
    jean

    What ages does the Germany Youth Mobility tour encompass?

    • June 17 2016
      Candice

      18 to 35

  • June 19 2016
    lilia

    Hi thank you for sharing this. I am going to apply for my visa in a month. I heard it was different before. Last year my friend had to apply once and he got the visa for the whole year. He didn’t have to re apply again in Germany… How difficult is it to find a job in Berlin? I am also going there:)

    • June 22 2016
      Candice

      It depends on your skills! I’ve mostly been living off savings because it’s really hard for me to find a job without ANY German knowledge. You can’t really work in the service industry here without it.

  • June 22 2016
    Kay

    Hey! This is such great information. As with everyone else, I have a question I’m hoping you wouldn’t mind answering. (Seems like we expats just have each other in this!)

    I’m applying for the YMA in about a week by mail to Toronto. The form specifies that you must pay the visa fee by certified cheque only – in bold letters. Would you happen to know if a bank draft is acceptable? Certified cheques cost about $50 for a pack and I’m not lookin to spend that if the alternate is accepted.

    Thanks in advance! (I know you’re probably sick of the questions, but it’s so kind that nearly a year after this post, you’re still answering peoples’ questions)

    -Kat

    • June 22 2016
      Candice

      I believe a bank draft is fine — or money order. I know that my bank took care of it because I accidentally sent a personal cheque instead of an official one, but I can’t remember the name of it. Just go to your bank with the info and ask them about it!

      • July 01 2016
        Kay

        Thanks for that!

        I have one more small question… On the visa form it says to state references in the federal republic of germany (eg: employer, educational establishment, relatives)

        I have a few friends there, but no relatives, no job there yet, and am not a student.

        Should I put my friend down or should I leave it blank? Thanks!

        • July 03 2016
          Candice

          Just leave it, it doesn’t really matter!

  • July 18 2016
    Avan

    Hi Candice,

    very useful blog and info! thank you so much!!
    I was wondering if you may be able to answer a few inquiries: Can the youth mobility visa be extended in Germany when it expires? and can it be turned into a job/study visa. If you apply in person, do you get the full year straight away or will it be for 90 days and then you need to visit the aliens authorities in Germany to activate it. Thank you!

    • July 18 2016
      Candice

      Hi Avan, I don’t believe you can extend the visa. Getting a work visa or a study visa both have very different processes. You HAVE to go to alien affairs within the first 90 days of landing in Germany.

  • July 26 2016
    Kay

    Hey again,

    Just wondering – what exact items did you have to bring with you when extending your visa at the aliens authority?

    Thanks!

    • July 27 2016
      Candice

      Hi Kay, just make sure you have everything on the checklist provided by the German embassy on the website for the YMV. Also have your address registration form already signed from the Burgeramt.

      • September 18 2017
        David

        You’re trying to say I need all the shit from my YMV visa application again? I left all that in Canada, since I already got my visa (90 day), I didn’t think I would need it again. They actually review everything one more time? They don’t just look at your passport, and apartment registration, then extend it?

        • September 19 2017
          Candice

          Someone mentioned you can now actually apply for your visa while living in Germany, so I assume it’s changed since I applied for mine. A lot of it is really dependent on who you talk to, too. I had a really great officer but I’ve heard different stories. Don’t despair! It’ll get sorted

  • July 26 2016
    Kay

    I just read on the website that one of the requirements is a university degree… Is this true? Because I don’t have one of those and I just got my 3 months visa in the mail…

    • July 27 2016
      Candice

      Not sure about that one to be honest. I didn’t have to prove I had my degree.

    • July 28 2016
      Alex

      Hey Kay,

      I’m currently going through the process of preparing to apply (I’m in NZ) and the university degree is for a work visa. The working holiday aka youth mobility visa, a degree is not required.

      Cheers,
      Alex

  • July 26 2016
    Mckenzie

    Hi,

    I am in Berlin on a Youth Mobility Visa and I found how to make an appointment online for my residency via the Burgeramt, but can’t seem to figure out which appointment to book for the visa extension at the Auslanderbehorde. I believe it is this website (https://service.berlin.de/standort/121885/en/) I just don’t know what appointment to book.

    Thanks!

  • August 02 2016
    Victoria

    Hi There,

    I have my YMV extension appointment tomorrow(applied through mail so only approved for 90 days) and was wondering if anything was required when you go other than your apartment registration? Like any specific documents, pictures, etc. I am assuming they still have all my documents from when I applied in Canada.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • August 02 2016
      Candice

      Hey Victoria, nope, show up at your appointment with EVERYTHING. Your residence papers acquired from the Burgeramt, and everything you included in your application that you used to apply via mail. EVERYTHING. German bureaucracy is thorough.

      • October 01 2016
        Sam

        Does this mean you need to bring copies of your photos too?

        • October 05 2016
          Candice

          Yes you do. Basically you get two visas. My Germany visa took up about 4 pages in my passport haha

  • August 04 2016
    Karim

    Hello Candice,

    Thank you for all your efforts. I’m applying for a working residence permit. Today, I went to the foreigners authority or Ausländerbehörde to get my residence permit as promised (count 14 days from the day you receive a letter). God knows what is written on that letter and he also knows when that letter will arrive!! But I don’t know. I’m in Hamburg a big city like Berlin. Do you remember after getting everything done, how much time did you wait till you got your residence permit? It had been almost 20 days and I didn’t receive that mail yet, and when I receive it the 14 days countdown starts.
    Isn’t it too much waiting? could it take more than one month?

    Thank you! really it means a lot to me to find that I’m not the only one struggling. Today I noted to my parents that I’m a prisoner. I can’t go back to my country till I get my residence permit, otherwise I won’t be able to come to Germany again.

    Kind regards!

    Karim

    • August 05 2016
      Candice

      Hi Karim, your situation might be different from mine, because I received my resident permit the same day I showed up. Different visa, perhaps!

  • August 05 2016
    Amber

    Hi Candice! I am going to apply for my YMA visa within the next two weeks – I am curious about the extension of the visa at the aliens authority in Berlin. I see that you recommend to bring copies of everything used to apply for the visa here in Canada – my question is, do I also need to provide another passport size picture? I only have two which I purchased in order to send in with my application. If it’s necessary to provide more of them, I will have to go get more pictures done! Thanks in advance. This blog has really helped me in the past few months!

    • August 05 2016
      Candice

      Yes, bring another passport sized photo for sure! I basically had two visas in my passport — the 90-day visa (which is kinda silly considering we can stay in the Schengen zone for 90 days anyway…but whatever), and then the full-year visa.

      • August 05 2016
        Amber

        Thank you so much! I will have to get a few more pictures taken.

        I have one more question regarding the picture sizing – I noticed yesterday (after I had my pictures done, of course) that on the list of required documents from the German Consulate website, it says that a passport sized picture is required. This is the size that I have now. However, after scrolling down a bit farther and clicking the link for the photo requirements, it says the picture should be 35 x 45 mm (much smaller than a 50 x 70 mm passport photo!) Just wondering if you by any chance recall what size of photo you sent in with your application? I went with the passport size since that seemed to be most likely but the information on the website is a little conflicting! Thanks again for your help :)

        • October 05 2016
          Candice

          I actually had two sizes taken, both the visa size and the passport photo size. Better safe than sorry!

  • August 22 2016
    Matt

    Hi Candice,

    Did the Ausländerbehörde require a Certificate of Health and a Certificate of Good Conduct from you?

    I’m seeing those listed as requirements on some sites but others saying it isn’t necessary. What was your experience?

    • October 05 2016
      Candice

      Nope, I didn’t need either one of those. Shouldn’t be part of the youth mobility visa.

  • September 02 2016
    Michelle

    Hello,

    thank you for all the info provided here

    I have booked my ticket to Berlin on the 14th

    I have been accepted to school starts the 19th

    I have my apt with the consulate on the 12th

    I want to apply for the youth mobility, I know it takes about 2-3 weeks to process.

    Is there away to expedite so that I can leave on the 14th?”

    I am going to be going language school as well so I can try to just get my language visa when I am in berlin.

    any advice?

    Thank you!

    • September 08 2016
      Candice

      You can probably pay extra to have the visa process sped, but I’m not sure! Might be best to go to the consulate in Germany once you’ve arrived

  • September 05 2016
    Emilia

    Hey! Just one more question, i’m in the same boat as you were then, now haha I was just wondering for the visa photos they asked for, did you get them actually like passport sized or went to a place where they do passport photos? Cause mine are a little bigger than the actual size but i went to get my passport photos done there when renewing my passport and that turned out fine. So yeah, actual passport size or does what i did sound ok? Hahaa sorry if this is confusing!

    – Emilia

    • September 08 2016
      Candice

      Passport size should be totally fine!

  • September 16 2016
    Amber

    Hey Candie. I just want to say that you’re a hero for answering all these questions the way you have! I have another question for you that I’m hoping you will be able to answer. I know you mentioned to make copies of EVERYTHING but I do not have a copy of the exact visa application that I sent to the consulate in Toronto. Do you know if this going to impede my border crossing/address registration/visa extension at the Ausländerbehörde? I don’t leave until November but I’m already panicking about it! Thanks in advance for all your help once again. You have been an excellent resource for so many people!

    • September 20 2016
      Candice

      Sorry I missed this post, Amber! I don’t think you’ll need that exact application. They’ll also have one ready at the office to give to you to fill out, which is basically the same one you’ve already submitted. Basically you go through this entire process twice. I’m not even sure why, haha.

  • September 23 2016
    Mike

    Hi Candice,

    Thanks for all the info — the whole process seems unnecessarily complicated!

    I’m a bit confused about your mention of needing a residency certificate and written consent from a landlord… I was under the impression that if I apply in person, in Toronto, then I would just need “Confirmation of where I’ll be staying initially (even if it’s one night at a hotel)”. Will I also need to make an appointment for a residency permit once I arrive in Germany, even if I apply for and receive my YMV in person?

    Thanks a ton!
    Mike

    • September 23 2016
      Candice

      Yes, first lesson about Germany — the bureaucracy is INSANE! Lol.

      I have NO idea how that works if you get your visa in Toronto. You’ll have to ask them that, but yeah, you obviously won’t have your residency certificate then.

      • September 23 2016
        Mike

        Thanks for responding Candice :)
        One last question — Let’s say I apply by mail like you did…
        I arrive in Germany and make an appointment to extend my Visa with the Auslanderbehorde. Can I simply provide them with all of the documents I provided when applying in Canada, including proof of where I am currently staying (even if that’s just a hostel)? I can’t find anywhere on the ‘Germany Consulate General in Canada’ website that says that you need a residency permit, just “confirmation of where you’re staying initially”.

        Apologies if I’m being redundant, just trying to make sure I know what to expect!

        Thanks again
        Mike

        • September 27 2016
          Candice

          Yes, honestly, bring everything you can with you. Like, EVERYTHING. Lol.

        • May 06 2017
          Hayley

          Hi Mike, I am in the application process and wondering what your outcome was…did you apply in person in toronto or did you apply by mail? Was there a second step to applying in person or not? If you applied in person, did you get your passport back the same day?

          Thanks so much!!

  • September 23 2016
    Kay

    Hey Candie! I’m wondering if you were required to get “Haftpflichtversicherung” (Liability Insurance) by the time you went to the Auslanderbehorde at your appointment in Berlin? Was this something they checked for?

    And — did they ask you for any further documents than what you brought with you to your appointment? I’m preparing everything now and just want to make sure I’m not missing anything. THANKS!

    • September 23 2016
      Candice

      I signed a form saying I WOULD get liability insurance, but I didn’t, haha. Maybe don’t follow my example, though.

      • September 26 2016
        Kay

        Thanks, haha. I signed that form as well. I’m probably going to chance it and not get it in time for the appointment – maybe I’ll get it later.

        Did you run into any inconveniences at the Auslanderbehorde when you went? Such as any further documentation they asked you for? I’m just bringing everything with me from when I applied from Canada… including some older passport photos I got printed in Canada… they look exactly like me but are dated from the summer but I’m sure that’s fine? Just triple checking so as not to run into any surprises. Thanks again, you’ve been super helpful!

  • September 26 2016
    Kay

    And when I say “they look exactly like me” – they are me of course. I just remember it saying “current” which I interpret as meaning no older than 6 months or something.

    • September 27 2016
      Candice

      I believe I actually brought two sizes of passport photos with me, haha. I think the visa requirements mention the photo dimensions? But I wouldn’t worry too much about it!

  • October 03 2016
    Hollie

    Hey Candice,
    One more question about the application form:

    In section 9 it asks ‘purpose of stay in the Federal Republic of Germany’ and offers employment, study, Au Pair, language course, family reunion, and other as possible options.

    I am wondering if you put Employment, even though you didn’t have a job there before you applied?

    Thanks for your help

    • October 05 2016
      Candice

      Nah, I talked about being interested in Germany’s culture. They just need a motive, really, haha.

  • October 12 2016
    Amber

    Me again, haha…. I was wondering if you can recall how much your visa extension was at the Auslanderbehorde? The Canadian website says it will cost 100 euro to extend it, but I just made my appointment online at the email that they sent says it’s only 50. There’s so much conflicting info around, it’s really confusing! Thanks in advance girl!

    • October 13 2016
      Candice

      I think it was only 50! I remember it being less than what I thought it was. I’d bring 100 just to be safe, though.

  • October 19 2016
    Mike

    Hey again!

    I’ve seen some conflicting info online about whether having a youth mobility visa allows you to also travel throughout the rest of the schengen zone without having to worry about your 90 day limit. I am hoping to spend quite a bit of time outside of germany in other schengen countries as well, and was hoping I would have as much time as I liked (during my visa) to exlore. Any advice?

    • October 25 2016
      Candice

      Yep, as long as you’re not trying to work or live within the other countries, you’re able to travel freely!

  • October 26 2016

    Hi Candice,

    Great blog and informative post on the Working Holiday Visa. I know first hand the complications that can arise.

    I work for a company called NomadenBerlin which helps people move to Berlin on Working Holiday visas, we often advise those coming to apply in their home country. However, we have apartments where our program participants live and we register everyone at that address, so if people are applying in Germany its usually not a problem.

    Our relocation packages includes accommodation, intensive German language school, tours, parties, visa support, job placement advice, and adminstrative support to get set up in Berlin.

    Berlin is a super great city just difficult to set up in without some assistance!

    http://www.nomadenberlin.com .

    Cheers,

    Lana

  • January 09 2017
    Derek Stotz

    Hi I’m in Berlin on a three month Schengen Visa and I’m trying to get a job. I’ve already gotten my apartment, and have yet to register it, but since it will take so long I’m guessing I’ll need to extend my Visa. How do I go about extending my Visa online?

    Thanks,

    Derek

    • January 09 2017
      Candice

      Hi Derek, you have to schedule an appointment through the Auslandebehorde and show up in person. Just go to their website and you can make an appointment there

  • January 25 2017
    Kay

    Hey Candice!

    I’m wondering if you have any knowledge of whether freelance/one off jobs are allowed on the Working Holiday Visa? I’m currently here in Berlin and have been offered a few jobs of this variety, but nothing full time as of yet. As you can imagine I’m sort of leaning towards taking what I can get to make money while I find more stable work. Thanks in advance for any guidance!

    Best

    -K

    • February 06 2017
      Candice

      Hi Kay,

      Nope, freelance is not allowed! But honestly I don’t know how anyone would ever find out unless the company requires that you have an artist visa.

      • February 06 2017
        Candice

        Although, to be fair, I don’t recommend doing that haha

  • February 20 2017
    Tyrel

    Hey, thanks so much for all the great info! This has been extremely helpful to me while preparing to apply for my YMA.

    I have some questions though and maybe you can help.
    My situation is that I plan to fly to Berlin for a week, fly to Iceland for 2-3 weeks, and then return to Cologne – the city I plan to live in.
    Do you think that flying into Germany twice would make things difficult in my application process with alien affairs? I will have proof of my flight to Cologne from Iceland for my YMA application, but I’m worried landing in Berlin first may screw things up.

    • February 27 2017
      Candice

      Hi Tyrel, I don’t think that’ll be a problem. I travelled between countries no problem before I had my residence form and such.

  • March 02 2017
    lani

    Hey Candice
    Great post. Did you find a job easily in Berlin with the working holiday visa? or do employer prefer you were freelance?

    thanks so much!
    lani

    • March 14 2017
      Candice

      Hi Lani, you’re technically not allowed to freelance under the visa. I mostly lived on savings and picked up odd jobs. You’ll be fine, just keep looking!

      • July 24 2017
        Lani

        Thanks Candice. I’m in Berlin. Hope to connect :)

  • April 27 2017
    Alexandra

    Hey Candice, thanks for all the infos.
    I just got my german YMV for 90 days, do I really need too extend it as soon as I arrive as mentioned before? as I am planning to stay no longer than 90 days anyway …

    Also, if I decide/need to extend it, do I need to bring the registration certificate with my name on it or could it be the one of my friend (whom I’m staying with) ?

    many thanks !

    • May 09 2017
      Candice

      If you’re staying within Europe, you’ll definitely still need to extend it. I’m not sure about the registration.

  • May 11 2017

    Hi Candace,

    Just an update on the YMV – it’s now possible to apply for the visa in Germany. As this is a very recent change many of the visa offices here aren’t aware of the new process.

    The new changes will make everything a lot easier for those applying for a second YMV under a different category as you can apply in Germany without having to return to Canada.

    Any questions about the changes, feel free to send me an email info@nomadenberlin.com

  • June 13 2017
    Mandy

    Hey Candice! I’m about to apply for my YMV and was wondering if I need insurance from Germany, or if I can get insurance from Canada? Someone told me my Canadian insurance goes void once I register before the 90days, and that I will have to purchase insurance in Germany… Is this true?

    • June 21 2017
      Candice

      You’ll just need travel insurance! World Nomads will cover you for a year. I went with Merit Travel. As long as it covers you as a Canadian citizen. I’m not sure German insurance would, in that case.

  • June 27 2017
    Jimmy

    Does notary public refer to any lawyer who is eligible for doing notary ?

    • July 08 2017
      Candice

      Yup!

  • July 11 2017
    Alisha

    Hey Candice,

    Great Article! I still have couple of questions, I was hoping if you could answer it for me! On the post you said “A letter saying your signature has been certified by a notary consulate” Which letter am I supposed to certify? Also The World Nomad’s insurance only covers $40,000 I think the recent change was to cover $50,000 minimum or can I still use the $40,000 insurance?

    • August 04 2017
      Candice

      I’m not sure if the criteria has changed for travel insurance since I applied for my visa but definitely get enough to cover the amount outlined by the German consulate

  • July 19 2017
    Renee

    Hi, I am applying for the YMV now and the appointment booking on the website says there are no appointments available until September. I am supposed to leave for Germany in less than a month. Has anyone just showed up at the Toronto embassy to see if they will take the application anyways? Thank you

    • August 08 2017
      Candice

      If you’re in TO, I’d pop in anyway

  • July 24 2017
    Dylan Jones

    Hi Candice.

    I went to the Notary today to get my signatures witnessed…and she was confused by some of the instructions.

    Do I need her to notarize 2 sets of documents….or one set and make a photocopy duplicate?

    cheers.

    • August 08 2017
      Candice

      I’m unsure, Dylan, but at least the documents you send to the consulate have to be notarized

  • September 12 2017
    Dennis

    Hello Candice!

    Your article is amazing and has helped me alot!
    I have a question, my travel insurance starts Oct.22.2017, but my flight is Oct.21.2017 from Ottawa to Cologne (arrive Oct.22.2017).
    As of today, I haven’t been to Toronto to hand in my YMA application yet. Do you think this 1 day difference would affect things? I’ve heard Germans are very to-the-point, anxious that this might be the reason I get rejected hahah…

    Thanks again for this great article!
    Dennis

    • September 19 2017
      Candice

      Ha, you’re right about the Germans! But I think that’s fine, as you’re landing in Germany on October 22. I wouldn’t worry!

  • September 12 2017
    Dennis

    Hey another question I forgot to add in my previous comment.
    If I get a job under the YMA visa and I really like the job, after 1 year do I have to get out Germany right away and re-apply YMA visa (rather start re-applying process 3 month before expiring. Sometimes they allow you to do YMA twice) or regular residence/work visa is fine? like can I just connect the 2 different visa down to the day next to each other.

    Thanks again!

    • September 19 2017
      Candice

      I’m unsure how it works when your YMV visa is up, but if you were to continue working for the company normally they’d have to sponsor your visa. The YMV definitely doesn’t give you work/residence visa status.

  • November 05 2017
    Benedicte Audet

    Hello Candice,

    I hope your year in Berlin has been great so far. I remember having to go through almost the same process, but it was a little easier for me seeing as I am from Montreal and Toronto is only a 6-hour roadtrip away.
    I was also disheartened upon moving to Berlin and seeing that I couldn’t schedule an appointment with the Burgeramt.
    So instead I called up the number that was displayed on the page where we are supposed to make an online appointment, and asked them if there was any available spots in the weeks coming up. They can look at all availabilities in all the Rathaüser in Berlin, and I got an appointment not even a week later! If you don’t speak any German, you can also just ask if they speak English and often times they will switch to English for you.
    It’s been almost a year since I did this, so I don’t remember what the number is or the exact website where I found it, but with a little research I’m sure it’s possible to find, and much quicker than the alternative!
    Hope this helped.

    All the best,

    Benedicte

  • November 28 2017

    Hi there dis you have to send 2 sets of all documents when you applied? thank you

    • December 03 2017
      Candice

      I can’t remember what the checklist required, but if they asked for two sets, then yes

  • November 30 2017
    Denise Rauda

    Hey Candice,

    I am currently in Cologne on month 2 of my 90 day visa. I’m having some trouble finding a place and a job here so I am thinking I might have better luck in Berlin because I don’t speak any german yet.

    I’m just curious if you have any information about what happens if you are unable apply for the extension before the 90 days are up.

    I’m going to contact the embassy and see if they can provide me with the information, but as we all know that’s also a headache and they won’t give you an answer “if the information is on the website.” (even though the website sucks and provides hardly any information and that can often be contradictory depending on what pages you’re on on the website in the first place :P )

    anyway, thanks!

    -Denise

    • December 03 2017
      Candice

      Ha, totally feel your pain! I went to the Auslandebehorde and they were able to reschedule for me. I think that’s probably your best bet.

  • February 10 2018
    Tom

    The foreigner’s office Berlin has a nice website with the official information about the documents required for the residence permit for the purpose of attending the Working-Holiday- and Youth Mobility-Programme.

    They mention on the website that you need “Certificate of registration at the main residence or Rental agreement and written confirmation of occupancy from the landlord”

    https://service.berlin.de/dienstleistung/305265/en/

  • February 26 2018
    Lainie

    Hello Candice!
    Thank you so much for your awesome blog, it is very helpful. I’m from Montreal, but I’m already in Wiesbaden, Germany and I’m trying to apply for the YMV. It seems that no office here has heard about that type of visa. I need some help!

    I’m trying to figure out if I can have my german friend writhing a letter to apply for the resident permit or it absolutely needs to be the landlord? Because I don’t want to stay in just one place.

    Also, where can I find the form to apply for the Youth Mobility Visum in Germany ? I just have the form from Canada…

    Thank you so much!
    Cheers!

    – Lainie

  • February 16 2019
    Emel

    Hey Candie, how are you?

    Thanks so much for this post, this has made things a lot easier for me. I am looking at buying a year and a half insurance plan from Merit Travel. However, World Nomads say that I will need to buy German health insurance when I am in Germany. The below paragraph is from their website.

    (In order to obtain the Working Holiday Visa, you need travel insurance that covers you for a full year. However, when you secure a job in Berlin, you must then sign up for German health insurance – an annoying catch-22 of the German insurance system. This often leaves you paying twice for insurance, a significant extra cost of moving. Fortunately, we have a policy recommendation that allows you to avoid this scenario, in the process saving you up to €400 on insurance payments over the year.)

    Is this true and will I end up paying for German health insurance as well?

    Kind regards.

    • February 20 2019
      Candice

      Hi Emel, I never did this — perhaps it depends on the company? There was nothing in my application that stated that I needed German health insurance. I’m not sure!

  • July 11 2019
    Siân Hernandez

    Wow, just read through all the comments and it answered so many of my questions! Thanks so much! But of course I have one more, when I send both sets of my application in the mail do they send one back to me? Or only the passport ?

    • July 17 2019
      Candice

      Sorry, I’m just seeing this! As far as I can remember, you’ll just get the passport sent back to you

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

FREE CANDIE FOR ALL!
SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE POSTS DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX