FAQ Work and Travel with the Youth Mobility Agreement


Our answers to Frequently Asked Questions around the Youth Mobility Visa.

Do I have to speak German in order to apply for a YMA visa?

No. German language skills are not required if you apply for a YMA visa. However, we strongly suggest that you learn a little German before you go or take a German class after your arrival as this may help you to get settled. Your chances to find a job are also higher if you speak the language. As with any foreign language, you will soon get more confident due to hands-on experience and everyday practise.

What does it cost to participate in the Canadian-German Youth Mobility Program?

The regular visa fee will be charged. If you are applying by mail you have to apply for the extension of your visa at the local aliens authority where an additional fee of 100.00 € will be charged. You also need to be able to support yourself after your arrival in Germany. There is no government funding for your means of subsistence. Several individual agencies offer orientation classes and help you to organise your stay for a reasonable program fee.

Can I take courses at a language school or a German university?

The YMA visa gives you the right to participate in German language classes at a language school. However, if you want to enroll in a German university, you must apply for a study permit.

Can I take on any work I want?

Yes, but you have to be gainfully employed with social insurance contributions. You are not allowed to work freelance, or as a self-employed contractor. In addition, you are not allowed to work as an Au Pair. If you want to work as an Au Pair, you must apply for an Au Pair visa.

Can I change my employer once I arrive in Germany?

Yes. You may change your employer. The YMA basically gives you the opportunity to study (not for University studies), work and travel in Germany for up to twelve months at your convenience.

Do I have to pay taxes?

Whether or not you will have to pay taxes depends on the type of work you chose and your income. Please talk to your future employer about this.

What about my possibilities to discover Europe through YMA?

As a Canadian citizen, you can visit any country in the Schengen area for up to 90 days as a tourist without having to apply for a visa. Low cost airlines and trains link almost every city in Germany to many exciting places all over Europe. Please note that other EU countries may have different visa regulations, and the YMA work permit is only valid for Germany. If you wish to work in a different country, you must apply for a work permit in the particular country.

Can I go home for the holidays or in the case of an emergency without losing my status?

Yes, of course. Your visa will be issued for multiple entries into Germany so you are able to come and go as you like.

Can I stay longer than a year?

The Canadian-German Agreement does not allow you to stay longer than twelve months on one term. Note that as a Canadian citizen, you could be granted a regular work permit by the competent German authorities if you fulfill the requirements.

How many times can I participate?

The YMA allows you to participate under different categories, so you may have the chance to participate twice. Please remember that you must reside in Canada to be eligible for the YMA visa.

Do I have to get in contact with anybody after I arrive in Germany?

If you apply by mail, the visa can only be issued for the first 90 days of your stay. As soon as you arrive in Germany, you must contact the aliens authority in the same city that you indicated as your first housing in your application to apply for an extension of your Youth Mobility visa.

Please be advised that you are required to register as a resident (“Anmeldung”) with the municipal authorities if you stay longer than three months in one place. Depending on the place of your residence, you might need to make an appointment at the local city hall, and waiting times might be long. Please plan ahead.

I am not yet 18 years old- can I already apply for a YMA visa?

No. You are eligible to apply for the YMA visa when you turn 18.

I will turn soon 35 - can I still apply for a YMA visa?

The Youth Mobility Agreement stipulates that you have to be 35 years or younger when you submit your application to the Consulate. So please make sure you apply before your 36th birthday. Please note that you can apply for a visa only six months in advance prior to your departure.

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