Europe Working Holiday Visas for Australian Citizens

Europe Working Holiday Visas for Australian Citizens
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.

A total of countries in Europe offer working holiday visas to Australian citizens (or 26, if you count Turkey as part of Europe). This provides lots of options for young Aussies thinking about having a gap year in Europe!

With a working holiday visa, you’re typically allowed to live, work and travel within the destination country for up to a year. You’re also free to leave and re-enter the country as often as you like during the year.

There’s no such thing as a working holiday visa for Europe (as a continent) because individual countries issue these visas. But with a working holiday visa from a European country that’s part of the Schengen Area, you can travel throughout Europe during your gap year!

Here’s what Australians need to know about working holiday visas in Europe…

Countries in Europe offering working holiday visas to Australians

The following European countries have working holiday visa agreements with Australia.

You can click on any country in the interactive map for more information about the country and its working holiday visa requirements:

Note that Malta is too small to be shown in the map above, but also has a working holiday agreement with Australia.

21 of these countries are part of the European “Schengen Area”. But Cyprus, Ireland, San Marino and the UK are not parties to the Schengen agreement. (In fact, the UK left the European Union altogether following Brexit.)

Turkey and Israel also have reciprocal working holiday agreements with Australia. They are not technically part of Europe, but are located within close proximity to continental Europe.

The European Schengen Area

So, what exactly is the Schengen Area and why does this matter?

While there are 29 member countries of the European Union (EU), not all of these countries share a common immigration & customs area.

Inside the Schengen Area, there are generally no internal border controls between countries. Except in specific emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, people can freely travel between Schengen Area nations without any passport checks or customs controls. This makes travel within Europe much easier!

Of the countries that form the European Union, two are not currently part of the Schengen Area:

  • Ireland
  • Cyprus

Cyprus recently joined the EU and is planning to join the Schengen Area in the future, but Ireland remains part of the Common Travel Area with the UK.

Similarly, there are numerous countries that are not EU members but are part of the Schengen Area:

  • Switzerland
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Liechtenstein
Schengen Area countries as of April 2024
The Schengen Area countries in Europe. Map created with

The borders of the small nations of San Marino, Monaco, Vatican City and Andorra are also open, although these countries are not officially part of the Schengen visa-free zone.

Travelling inside the Schengen Area with a working holiday visa

A working holiday visa from one of these countries does not permit you to live or work in other Schengen Area countries. You can only live and work in the country that issued your visa or residence permit.

Outside of your “host” country, you are still allowed to travel within the entire Schengen Area for up to 90 days out of every 180 days. This provides the opportunity to travel to other countries across Europe on weekends or your days off work.

In practice, there are no real border checkpoints when travelling within the Schengen Area. However, if you have a visa for a particular Schengen country, there is a general expectation that you’ll spend the majority of your time while in Europe in that country (and not travelling the entire time in other Schengen countries).

With cheap air and train travel widely available in Europe, there really is a lot you can see all over the continent – even on a budget! In fact, European low-cost airlines like Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air often sell flights for as low as $10-20. Of course, this price excludes checked baggage so you’ll need to get used to packing light!

British Airways, Easyjet and other airlines at London Gatwick Airport
There are plenty of budget airlines flying in Europe. Photo by Matt Graham.

If you’re based in a non-Schengen country (e.g. the UK or Ireland), you can still travel to Schengen Area countries as a tourist for up to 90 out of every 180 days. But you’ll need to clear passport control each time you enter or exit the Schengen Area.

The Australian government’s Smartraveller website has more information about general visa and entry requirements for the Schengen Area.

Travel insurance for European working holidays

When applying for a working holiday visa in a European country, you’ll often need to provide proof of adequate travel insurance coverage. While the requirements vary by country, the standard Schengen visa travel insurance requirement is for at least €30,000 of coverage for:

  • Emergency medical/hospitalisation expenses
  • Medical evacuation costs (i.e. the cost of flying you back to Australia for hospital treatment)
  • Repatriation costs (i.e. the cost of transporting your mortal remains back to Australia if you die)

This means that some Australian travel insurance policies are not suitable for European working holiday visas. See our working holiday travel insurance guide for full details.

The “German-Australian Agreement on the Exemption of Visa Requirements”

As an exception, Australian citizens have the opportunity to stay in Germany for up to 90 days at a time. This is regardless of any time previously spent in other Schengen countries, with no limit to the number of re-entries allowed. This exemption is set out in a bilateral agreement that was signed between Australia and Germany in 1952.

Oktoberfest tent
Australians can stay in Germany for up to 90 days and re-enter an unlimited number of times. That’s worth celebrating! Photo by Matt Graham.

This agreement is still in force. However, it does not give Australians the right to work in Germany without a visa, nor to travel to any countries outside of Germany. In other words, you can’t enter Germany under the bilateral agreement and then travel to other Schengen Area countries during your stay.

There are a few other things you also need to be aware of if using this bilateral agreement. For example, you must enter and leave Germany directly from/to a non-Schengen country. See our article on how Australians can stay an extra 90 days in Germany for more details.

Matt Graham

Matt is the founder of Working Holidays for Aussies. Passionate about travel and always looking for great deals, he believes that gap years & working holidays are the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in another culture and gain invaluable life experience. Originally from Australia, Matt has travelled to over 80 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

80 thoughts on “Europe Working Holiday Visas for Australian Citizens

      1. Hi matt, i’m a 19 year old boy from sydney australia looking to travel to europe around the start of august for 6 months+ approx. I have about $10,000 and i’m desperate for a working holiday visa. Ive had a lot of trouble trying to apply for a visa. what’s my best option? thanks.

  1. Hi Matt does the working holiday visa only apply for that country? for example if I have a german working holiday visa, can I go work in france aswell?

    1. All the working holiday visas are specific to each country. So if you have a German working holiday visa, this only gives you the right to live and work in Germany.

  2. Do you recommend any websites to find seasonal work for Australians in Europe?

    1. I don’t have any specific recommendations, sorry. But if anyone else does feel free to leave a comment.

      If you have a particular place in Europe in mind, you may have better luck searching for seasonal work on local Facebook groups or through country-specific job agencies.

      If you’re looking for seasonal work in winter, a lot of Australians work in ski resorts in France/Austria so perhaps try looking there.

  3. If I get a working holiday visa for Italy and want to travel to Scotland for example, will my visa still be valid after I leave to go to a non-schengen country and then return to Italy?

    1. With a working holiday visa, you can leave and re-enter the destination country an unlimited number of times while the visa remains valid. So, you could leave Italy and then return – that’s not a problem, as long as your visa didn’t expire while you were outside of Italy.

  4. Hi Matt, do you know which country has the fastest WHV processing time while already in Europe on the 90 day tourist visa?

    1. Most countries don’t let you apply while already in the country, but Germany and the Netherlands are exceptions. Of these, Germany is usually quite fast to process working holiday visas applications (while Netherlands can take 2-3 months).

      You may also be able to apply for an Austrian working holiday visa at the Austrian embassy/consulate in Munich, Bratislava or Ljubljana, and the processing times shouldn’t be more than a few weeks.

      I’m not sure about other countries.

  5. Hi Matt , i would like to go for as long as possible , I notice Norway offers 2 year holiday working visa where Germany offers 1 year – are you able to do say Germany one year then continue on to Spain or Norway for another year ?

    Can the holiday visa be flexible as in your able to spend working
    6 months in Spain and 6 in Norway ?

    Thank you

    1. The working holiday visas offered by each country are completely separate to one another. They only allow you to live/work in the country which issued the visa, and not in other European countries. However, you can absolutely apply for a working holiday visa in one country (e.g. Germany) and then later apply for another working holiday visa in another country (e.g. Spain). You just can’t do more than one working holiday per country.

      1. Hi Matt, I would love to expand on the comment where you mentioned being able to apply for one working holiday visa after another. Do you know how many times this can be done? I am planning on getting a French for 12mon then Spanish for 12mon. I look forward to hearing from you! Thanks!

        1. There’s no specific limit to the number of different working holiday visas you can apply for, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria set by each country at the time of application. The only real restriction is that you can only get one working holiday visa per country.

  6. Hi Matt,
    We are wanting to do some travel in the Schengen area first before staying in Denmark to work for an extended period (60-90 days).
    Is there a requirement to ‘activate’ your working holiday visa by visiting the country that has granted it?
    I am wondering if we need to apply for a Schengen tourist visa to travel around before ‘activating’ our Denmark working holiday visas? Or are we able to ‘activate’ our working holiday visas before arriving in Denmark and use this to travel in the Schengen area?

    1. If you haven’t already done so Melissa, have a look at our guide for Denmark:

      I don’t know the answer to your question for sure, sorry, but I don’t think Denmark specifically requires you to “activate” your visa once you arrive in the country. You would need to register once you’ve moved into a house or apartment.

      What I would suggest, though, is that you could plan to commence your working holiday visa once you actually arrive in Denmark. In other words, travel to Europe as a tourist for up to 90 days, then cross the border into Denmark when your working holiday visa becomes active.

      You could also arrive in Denmark at the start of your visa’s validity period, then travel through the rest of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days before returning to Denmark and then working there.

  7. Hey Matt, We’re looking to travel through Europe for up to a year. If we chose to do a working holiday in Italy, can we travel to other Schengen countries and return to Italy while on the working visa? Therefore, could we start by travelling in Spain and France on a Schengen visa for 90 days, then enter Italy and active our working holiday visa, then travel to other Schengen countries. Or would we need to remain in Italy for another 90 days before re-entering Schengen countries?

    Thanks for your help.
    Renee and Bob

    1. If you have an Italian working holiday visa, this gives you the right to stay and work in Italy only. You can leave and re-enter Italy as many times as you like while your visa is valid, however you are still subject to the “90/180 day rule” for other Schengen Area countries. In other words, you can still only stay up to 90 out of every 180 days in other European countries other than Italy. So yes, you’d need to remain in Italy (or outside Europe) for another 90 days first.

  8. Hey Matt, thanks for the prompt response. Do you know if the same applies for the Slovenian working visa? Or if there are any visas that allow you to enter Schengen countries without waiting the 180 days?


    1. The same rule would generally apply for Slovenia and most other European countries (see

      However, there are exceptions such as Germany.

      According to the German Federal Foreign Office, Australians are permitted to enter Germany/Schengen countries for up to 90 days, leave the Schengen Area from Germany and then return to Germany (only) for up to another 90 days. This only applies for Australian citizens in Germany (not other Schengen countries) and you cannot work in Germany or travel to other Schengen countries if you entered Germany using this arrangement. See here for details –

      The Australian government’s Smartraveller website also contains some information about bilateral visa waiver agreements with other Schengen countries:

  9. Matt you are my current god of this.
    I have 2 questions and I owe you my soul if you can answer them.
    1- essentially having a German working visa makes Germany (for lack of a better explanation) a non Schengen country for the holder of the visa. So I can use Germany as a free zone to not tick up any more days on my Schengen visa?
    2- does this mean I can have a German work visa and an Italian/ any other country work and travel visa at the same time? And work and travel between the 2 of them free of charge to my Schengen visa?

    1. On your first question, you should probably double-check with the German embassy or Consulate General as the wording on most of the official government websites of Schengen countries is ambiguous.

      For example, the German government website ( says: “Holders of a Schengen visa (text on the visa reads “valid for Schengen states”), a residence permit of a member state or a national visa (D-visa) can stay in the entire Schengen area for up to 90 days in any period of 180 days.”

      Similarly, the Dutch IND website ( says: “What if you do not have the nationality of a Schengen country but do have a valid Dutch residence permit? Then you are allowed to be in all countries of the Schengen Area for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Besides your passport or other travel document, take your residence permit with you when you travel.”

      I can’t say for 100% sure whether the time spent in the country where you hold a visa counts towards the 90/180 days you’re allowed to stay in *other* Schengen countries. From the wording above, the 90 days would theoretically apply to all Schengen countries (including the host country), but clearly you can stay in the host country for more than 90 days if your working holiday visa is valid for a whole year.

      Please let me know if you do find out for sure. You do have to spend the majority of your time in the country where you applied for a visa/residence permit and you can only live/work in that particular country.

      Regarding your second question, I don’t think there is any specific rule that says you cannot have two working holiday visas at the same time. You just can’t reapply for a working holiday visa from the same country more than once.

      One option for you which might work could be to apply for a working holiday visa for Italy, and take advantage of the 90 visa-free days you’re allowed per visit to Germany if you enter and exit through a non-Schengen country. Using that method, though, you could not legally work in Germany. See

  10. Hi Matt – I really love your website, you have been a lifesaver this far, thank you.

    I enter the Schengen region on January 9th 2023 and am planning on staying until April 24th (105 days). Within these 105 days I will be spending 2.5 months living in Denmark (from January till mid-March).

    If I get Working Holiday Visa for Denmark will my Schengen 90-day ‘clock’ be paused, or will I need to get a WHV for the countries I plan on visiting once I pass the 90-day limit. (I will be in Italy and France for the last ~30 days of my 105 day holiday).

    Thank you so so much.

    1. I can’t give you official advice on this. However I think you should be fine if you apply for a working holiday visa for Denmark. This will be valid for 12 months. During your time in Europe, if you mainly stay in Denmark and do a small amount of travel in other Schengen countries during that time you should be OK with that visa.

  11. Hi Matt, your website is so helpful!

    my question is:
    I’m a non EU citizen that will be travelling and then applying for a working holiday visa. The country depends on which uni my EU citizen partner gets accepted into. I’m unsure which Country this will be (but know it’ll be out of 3), can i apply and hold multiple working holiday visas at the same time??

    Many thanks!

    1. I have never tried this and can’t give you a definitive answer, but I don’t think there is any specific rule about holding visas for multiple countries at the same time. However you should be aware that you can only get a working holiday visa once per country.

      I guess it’s possible that if you apply for a working holiday visa while already holding several others, the embassy where you’re applying for the new visa could see this and question it.

      Personally I would wait until I was sure of which country I wanted to live in, then apply, if possible.

  12. Hi Matt,
    Thanks for the info. I am looking to try and find a European working holiday visa for the purposes of travel within the Schengen zone for longer than 90 days. Do you know if the working holiday visa for various countries exempt you from the 90 day rule in the entire Schengen zone? Or only in the country the visa was issued from?

    1. My understanding is that, if you have a visa for any Schengen Area country, you can travel freely within the Schengen Area while the visa remains valid. However, you may only reside and work in the country that issued your visa, and that country should also be where you spend the majority of your time while in Europe.

      Please note that this is not official advice – it’s just my personal understanding of how this works.

      1. Thanks for the response. So if I am understanding correctly, a working holiday visa in Spain does not allow me to travel in France for more than 90 days in a 180 day period. It will only allow me to spend greater than 90 days in Spain (hypothetical scenario). Would this be the case for visas in all European countries? Or is there a way to achieve greater than 90 days in the entire Schengen zone and not just a specific country?

        1. I can’t really give you a definitive answer on this, sorry. I don’t know how it would be enforced, but theoretically I don’t think you should be spending more than 90 consecutive days in France if your visa is for Spain.

  13. Hi Matt

    I am a dual national of the UK and Australia (resident in UK) – am I able to apply for a working holiday visa?



  14. Hi Matt,

    Aus citizen looking to backpack for 6 months, 2 months of which looking to spend in Italy working sporadically if required for visa requirements. is a WHV the best way around the 90 day limitation or is there another way to get around this that is more convenient/money saving?

    1. I can’t give specific advice to you on this, but I’d suggest that if you wish to work in Italy for two months, an Italian working holiday visa may be appropriate.

  15. Hi Matt,

    I’m planning on travelling throughout Europe for 7months. I was planning on applying for a Long Term Stay Visa in France so that my time spent there does not count towards my 90 day max in the Schengen. However I have read that this Visa restricts me from entering other Schengen countries, firstly do you know if that’s correct? If so, if I apply for a WHV, will this same restriction be in place?


  16. Hi Matt, love your work!

    i plan to apply for a working holiday visa in the Netherlands. i am aware that you can apply for it once you have arrived in the country.

    I plan to arrive in Italy on the 11th of April 2023. i will use my 90 day schegen visa for roughly 90 days and then around the start of July i will go to Netherlands to apply.

    Now my question for you is, once I’ve applied for my WHV but my normal 3 month travel visa expires but the newly applied WHV is being processed is that okay? or is it best to go there earlier an allow time for it to be processed by my 90 days is expired?
    hope that makes sense

    1. Hi Tom. Firstly, please have a read of our Dutch working holiday visa guide:

      Once you have applied for a Dutch working holiday visa, you’ll need to make an appointment with the IND to give biometrics (fingerprints etc.) and collect your temporary residence endorsement sticker. This sticker is valid for 3 months and allows you to remain in the Netherlands while your working holiday visa is processed.

      However, after applying for your working holiday visa, you may need to wait a few weeks for the next available IND appointment. So, if I were you, I’d plan to apply for the working holiday visa around 1-2 months before arriving in the Netherlands and immediately make an IND appointment for the date you plan to arrive there (which should be less than 90 days after arriving in the Schengen Area). I’d also leave a bit of a buffer (i.e. not plan to spend a full 90 days outside of the Netherlands first) just in case there are any issues!

      Note that your Dutch visa will be valid for 12 months from the date you first apply.

  17. Hi Matt,
    Great website – lots of good info.
    I’m an Aus citizen, planning to travel to Europe for approx. 7 months this year. I wish to spend longer than 90 days in countries within the Schengen area.
    My thoughts are to apply for WHVs for some countries (prob Italy and France) and then use the 90 day Schengen visa for others.
    Will I need to visit Italy and France first, under the WHVs and then enter another country within the Schengen area under the 90 day Schengen visa?
    In this scenario I presume that European border control systems can recognise that I was in Italy and France under WHVs and not deduct the time spent in these countries from any 90 day Schengen visa allowance?
    Will I need to specifically check at border control when entering Italy and France that the correct visa has been “applied”.
    Would I be able to enter Greece first under the Schengen visa, then to Italy and France under WHVs then into Spain and Portugal under Schengen visa? In this scenario would the time spent in Italy and France fall within the 90 days Schengen visa limit?

    Many thanks in advance and apologies for the long question.

  18. If I have a twelve month working visa for France, does that allow me to spend more than 90day within the 180days in other Schengen countries or am I still limited to 90days in other countries?


    1. I can’t give you official advice on this, sorry.

      As far as I’m aware, in practice, you should have no issues travelling to other Schengen countries while your French visa remains valid. But in principle you are supposed to spend the majority of your time in France and you cannot work or live in other Schengen countries outside of France.

  19. Hi I’m planning to do a working holiday in Switzerland after my Europe trip. I am a NZ passport holder, do you have any advice on how to get started and what is required for this visa?

    1. Switzerland does not have a working holiday visa agreement with New Zealand, according to

      However, have a look at the Swiss government website for other options –

      Please note that this website generally just covers visas for Australian citizens.

  20. Hi Matt. I am an Australian who is going to apply for the WHV in The Netherlands as an Australian. I am also Canadian. If I want to stay for another year can I apply for a second WHV under my Canadian citzenship?

  21. Hi Matt,
    I am planning on travelling the Schengen countries for near 5 months, in the second month I will spend a bit of time in the Netherlands, so was planning to get a WHV there. Would this allow me to continue travelling throughout Europe after getting the WHV for potentially longer than the 90-day limit?

    1. I can’t give a firm answer on this, sorry. You might be OK if you had a valid Dutch residence endorsement sticker for the whole time that you’re in the Schengen Area beyond the initial 90 days, but this is sticker is intended only to allow you to start living and working in The Netherlands, not to let you continue travelling through other European countries. (See

      I personally would not do this. But you should probably check with the Dutch embassy or an IND office, if in doubt.

  22. Hi Matt,
    Thank you so much for providing such useful info. I am looking to apply for a WHV to Italy for 12 months. I am wanting to do a month of travel in the Schengen area before entering Italy, and also possibly another month of travel in the Schengen area again once my Italian WHV expires after 12 months from the date I first entered Italy. From my understanding, as long as I adhere to the 90/180 days rule (in Schengen countries outside of Italy) there should be no issues with this plan… Or do I have to leave the Schengen area as soon as my Italian WHV expires and then try return again on a Schengen tourist visa? Thanks so much in advance, hope you can help!

    1. Firstly, please note that I cannot give you official advice on this. But my understanding is that your plan to travel for a month in the Schengen Area before entering Italy should be fine.

      Once your Italian visa expires, I believe you would need to leave the Schengen Area though. After that, I think you might need to wait 90 days before being allowed to return to the Schengen Area as a tourist without a visa. (I don’t think there is such thing as a “Schengen tourist visa” for Australians.)

      You might wish to seek proper advice on the second question as I’m not 100% sure on this.

  23. Hi Matt, thank you for answering all these questions. Mine is about travelling in the Schengen area after having a WHV. I am working in Norway using a WHV for 1 month, then plan to travel throughout Schengen for 2.5 months. My understanding is that my 2.5 months in Schengen is allowed as long as I stay in Schengen no longer than 90 days after leaving Norway. My question is, how will immigration officers know my 90 days only starts after leaving Norway? Won’t they look at the original entry in Norway and if I am beyond 90 days after that they will say I have outstayed my Schengen 90 days? Thank you.

    1. Please have a look at my answer to the previous question, which is a similar question.

      The short answer is that I honestly don’t know, sorry. My expectation is that after your visa expires, you would need to leave the Schengen Area and then comply with the 90/180 day rule, taking into account time spend in Schengen while you previously had a visa.

      That said, if your Norwegian visa is valid for a full 12 months, you could probably still travel a bit in Schengen after you’ve finished working in Norway. As long as your Norwegian working holiday visa remains valid when you leave the Schengen Area, I wouldn’t expect that you’d have issues.

      If in doubt though, best to make sure you leave before 90 days is up.

  24. Hi Matt
    Do you know if I can get concurrent working holiday visas? Eg. Netherlands and Germany? So I can go between for the year and do incidental work in both?

  25. Hi Matt, thanks for your Forum, really helpful to read some in advice in an Area which can sometimes been overwhelming and confusing.

    Q1. I was wondering if you had any experience on applying for a WHV, in Belgium in particular whilst currently in the EU.
    Q2. Is it possible to leave the EU ( I am currently on w WHV in france and living there) for example head to the UK and return back on a tourist visa for the 90 days within the 180 period.

    Thanks alot for your help.

    Kind Regards

  26. First, you’re a legend!

    Second I have a few complicated questions 🙂

    1- As a dual national, one Aussie passport which doesn’t require a Schengen visa, and another that does require a Schengen visa. Can I use the 90 days on one passport, leave the Schengen and re enter with the other to make it a 6 month run?

    2- Regarding the 90 day German agreement with Aus, Can I enter Germany after the 90 days run out from outside the Schengen, then continue traveling to other Schengen areas?

    3- Similar to Q2 but with a WHV, can I stay mostly in the WHV country but continue traveling to Schengen countries past the 90 days.

    For all these questions, I am asking about the possibility not the legality, and happy for you to comment on the legality as well.

    1. I can’t give you official advice on this, but here’s what I understand…

      1 – no, I do not think this is allowed.

      2 – no, you can only stay in Germany if entering on the extra 90-day rule. You are not allowed travel to any other Schengen countries during your stay (see Now, there aren’t always internal border checks when travelling within Schengen but it is a possibility.

      3 – if you have a working holiday visa for a country that’s part of Schengen, yes you can travel to other Schengen countries while that visa remains valid. (But you may only live and work in the country that issued your visa.)

  27. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for all this information it has been really helpful!

    I am planning travel in the Schengen region (less than 90 days) prior to the commencement of my WHV in France, do you know if my 90 day Schengen count stops when I enter France on my WHV?
    I.e. I spend 60 days in Spain, enter France on my WHV, do I use my remaining 30 days in France or can that 30 days be used for other travel in the Schengen region?

    1. As per the other comments above, I can’t really give you specific advice on this. But once your working holiday visa starts, you can still travel a bit within the rest of the Schengen area (separate to the 90/180 day rule).

  28. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for all this information! You may have answered this question but its a quick and easy one

    If i have a WHV Visa to any European Country, do i still have a 90 day limit to remaining Schengen Countries? or am i free to travel to any Schengen Country for over 90 days as long as the WHV has not expired.

    1. Others have asked the same thing, and I have tried to find an answer, but it’s not really clear.

      The best information I’ve been able to find so far is from the German Federal Foreign Office website, in relation to the German working holiday visa (which would have the same rule as any other Schengen country visa): “Your entry visa will allow you to travel within the Schengen area. However please be aware that you will be still subject to the 90 days within 180 days rule outside of Germany.”

      That would indicate that you still can’t spend more than 90/180 days in other Schengen countries. And as a general rule, you should spend the majority of your time (within Schengen) in the country that issued your visa. In practice, whether this is enforced is not clear.

  29. Hi Matt

    I hope you can help me with my current situation. I have a French working holiday visa and from what I understand from this thread, days spent there don’t apply to the 90 day rule for schengen areas. So I can spend as much time as I want in France then still have 90 days in all other schengen countries?
    Specifically I want to clarify my situation because I am scared to get a fine for overstaying. I landed and started my trip at the start of June with 2 weeks in France, then went into another schengen country where I did not get a stamp to indicate I left or show that my time in the schengen zone had started. I have to present been in and out of the schengen zone to carefully extend my time in Europe. I have calculated my 90 days as of present without including those 2 weeks in France at the start because I presumed as I have a visa there they would not count towards my 90 days. Is that correct? I am currently in Spain and was planning to spend another 2 weeks here that will take me to the end of my 90 days, if as I said above this calculation is correct in excluding days in France. If however I should be counting those weeks in France as part of my 90 days I technically would need to leave immediately. I hope this makes sense and you are able to help me, I am hoping that is correct that any time I have spent in France doesn’t count towards the 90 day rule. And if so, when I do leave in 2 weeks do you think I will have trouble with border control because it may look like I have overstayed because I started in France and didn’t get another stamp after leaving? Will I likely need some sort of evidence besides my visa? I am also fearful that it will look like I overstayed because there was a non schengen country that never gave me a stamp and a lot of dates on my entry/exit stamps aren’t clear.

    I would appreciate any help, this is coming from a very scared girl in Europe who doesn’t want to be banned or get in trouble!
    Thank you!

    1. Unfortunately I can’t really give advice on this, sorry. In general, if you have a French visa, the time you spend in France should not be counted towards the 90/180 days while on that visa and within France. However, there is no guarantee that other Schengen countries will recognise this (especially if you can’t prove you were in France during that time). I would personally err on the side of caution and assume that this counts towards the 90 days. Good luck.

  30. Hey Matt,
    If I have a 1 year WHV visa for Germany, after the 1 year is up, can I then fly to France and then spend the usual up to 90 days there? Or does my time in Germany already count for that?
    Thank you!

    1. I don’t know the answer to this, sorry. It might be allowed but personally I wouldn’t risk it. I’d suggest waiting at least 90 days outside of the Schengen Area and then heading to France. (You could go to the UK or somewhere else outside of Schengen in the meantime.)

  31. Hi Matt,
    A friend and I are looking to move to the Netherlands mid-next year. We have two questions;
    1. If we apply for a visa and it is approved, does our 1-year commence from then, or does it commence from when we enter the country?
    2. Do you have any recommendations for an all-inclusive agency that can assist with the entire process from the beginning or even know where we can find one? Our google searches are not leading anywhere.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Rachael, please have a read of our Netherlands working holiday visa guide.

      With the Dutch working holiday visa, the 12 months starts from the date that you apply. You can apply after arriving in the country, but in general you should apply immediately after arriving because it can take 2-3 months for your visa to get fully processed.

      I don’t have any specific recommendations for an agency, sorry. The visa process is relatively straightforward, though, if you follow the instructions in the guide. Finding accommodation is probably going to be the most tricky part, but if you are willing to spend a bit of extra money you can get help from a real estate agent. There are also recruitment agencies such as Undutchables that can help with finding work. But honestly, if you have any questions or concerns, posting on the Australians in Amsterdam Facebook group is likely to be just as helpful as paying an agency.

  32. Hey Matt,
    I’m planning on staying six months in Belgium on a working holiday visa and then travel around Europe after that in other Schengen countries + non-Schengen countries for 4 months. How long can I get the visa for? 6 months in Brussels or the entire 11 months that I’m in Europe? Keeping in mind we are only planning on staying in Brussels for 6 months. Once we leave Brussels to properly travel (we’ll no doubt do weekends away while we are actually staying there) does the 90 in 180 day rule start or is it irrelevant given my working holiday visa could still be active? (I just won’t be residing in Belgium after 6 months, I’ll be travelling)

    Berlin, Scandinavia Mid Jan to Early Feb
    Belgium Early Feb to July
    Travel (Schengen and non-schepgen countries) August to mid November

    Would I have to consider 90/180 rule for the travel in August part or is it a free for all with my visa?

    1. I’ve just realised you’ve tried to answer this for others and it’s really complicated so apologies for the double up!

      1. Yeah, as you say, it’s really complicated. My understanding is that you can travel in other Schengen countries while your Belgian visa is valid, but only for 90/180 days outside of Belgium. I’d suggest that you might want to apply for a full-year visa for Belgium (e.g. with a flight departing from Belgium back to Australia 11 months after you arrive) and then take some smaller trips outside of the country during the year to ensure you comply with the 90/180 day rule at all times.

        If you don’t have a valid visa for a Schengen country after your 6 months in Belgium is up, you would not be able to stay a further 4 consecutive months in Europe as this is more than 90 days. (And even with a Belgian visa, this would also be too long if you’re outside Belgium that whole time).

  33. Hi Matt,
    If I travel around Schengen countries for 3 months, then apply for an Italian working holiday visa (after the 90 days is up), can I do weekend trips to other Schengen countries while working and living in Italy?

    1. Hi Monique. Firstly, note that you need to apply for this visa before arriving in Italy for your working holiday. If you plan to spend 3 months in the Schengen Area and then apply for an Italian working holiday visa, you would need to leave the Schengen Area and wait there until the visa is approved. You could then travel to Italy, and you are allowed to travel to other Schengen countries for short trips while living in Italy with a working holiday visa.

  34. Hey Matt, Basically I’m an Australian citizen and I just got a job with Contiki to guide Europe I will be in Europe/UK in total from March-November about 250 days. So what visas would I actually need as from what I’ve heard a lot of Contiki guides get a visa from 1 country and often have no issue but from what you’ve said you can’t bypass the 90/180 rule with other countries the visa isn’t for?

    Would I just have to get WH visas from every single country I’ll be visiting while working there? Cause that’s like $5000 in visa fees!

    1. I’m afraid I can’t give personal visa advice. In general, you might be OK with a visa for the UK and one European (Schengen) country but I’d suggest asking other Contiki guides what they’ve done. If you have a right to be in a Schengen country you can still travel in other Schengen countries – although it’s not supposed to be more than 90 out of every 180 days in other Schengen countries outside of the one where you have a visa.

  35. Thank you for kindly answering all the questions! You are a Hero!

    My question is, when I finish my working holiday visa in France, can I leave the Eurozone and come back again to have my tourist 3-month visa? so, I could technically be staying in Europe for 15 months? (of course, to travel but not to work)

    1. First of all, you must leave the Schengen Area (ideally from France if this is where your working holiday visa was issued) before your visa expires. After that, you can return to the Schengen Area as a tourist for up to 90 days. Note that this is not on a “tourist visa” as Australians don’t need a visa to stay up to 90 days in the Schengen Area as tourists.

      1. hi Matt
        I m 46 years old, Australian citizen.
        can I get working holiday visa for any country of Europe?
        could you please answer me?
        thank you

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