France’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

France’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians
Paris, France. Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash.

If you’re an Australian aged between 18 and 35 years old, you could be eligible for a French working holiday visa!

This visa lets you live in France for up to a year, and should allow you to work in the country to help fund your stay (although a supplementary work authorisation may be required). Studying that is “incidental to the holiday” (such as taking some French language courses) is also permitted.

This page contains information about the French working holiday (young traveller) visa for Australian citizens. It was last updated on 30 December 2022.

Key facts about France

  • Population: Approx. 67 million
  • Official language: French (“français” in French)
  • Capital city: Paris
  • Largest cities: Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Toulouse, Nice
  • Currency: Euro
galeries lafayette building
Paris, France. Photo by Margerretta on

France Working Holiday Visa requirements for Australians

France offers Working Holiday visas to citizens of Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Taiwan & Uruguay. See the France Visas website for more information.

This information is only applicable to Australian citizens. Please note that while the maximum age to apply for this visa is 35 for Australians, Argentinians & Canadians, the maximum age for other nationalities is 30.

To apply for a France working holiday visa as an Australian citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Aged between 18-35 years old (inclusive) at the time of application
  • Have a return plane ticket from your country of residence to France (or an affidavit promising you will leave France before your visa expires)
  • Have enough funds to support yourself during the initial period of your stay (as a rough guide, you should have at least AUD5,000 in savings)

You cannot apply for this visa if you:

  • Are accompanied by dependent children
  • Have already held a French working holiday visa

The official France Visas website contains limited information about this visa. But this PDF document from the French embassy in Australia contains some more information about the French working holiday visa agreement with Australia that may also be useful, including the prerequisites and rights that come with the visa.

The Consulate General of Sydney does have a visa section, but there is no hotline and they specifically state that they do not provide information about visa procedures, required documents, visa appointments or processing times.

Documents needed to apply for this visa

When applying for a Working Holiday Visa for France as an Australian citizen, the France Visas website says will need to provide the following documents:

  • Long stay visa application form
  • A valid passport with at least two blank pages and that will be valid for at least 3 months after the end of your intended stay in France (you need to scan all passport pages which are not blank)
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs (ICAO standard)
  • Proof of a return flight booking to/from France, or an affidavit confirming that you will leave France before your visa expires
  • Adequate travel/health insurance covering (at a minimum) medical, hospital and repatriation costs for the entire stay in France
  • Proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during the initial period of stay in France (e.g. a bank statement showing that you have had at least AUD5,000 in your account for the past 3 months)
  • Proof of initial accommodation (e.g. a hostel booking/offer of free accommodation for when you arrive in France)

Please note that this information is subject to change. When you start your visa application, a full list of up-to-date document requirements will be provided to you. If you have recently applied for this visa and the required documents were different to those on this list, please let us know in the comments below!

The French working holiday visa is classified as a long-stay visa, which has a fee of €99 (approx. AUD153). There may also be fees payable to VFS Global (approx. €40-75, or AUD63-119).

How to apply for a French Working Holiday Visa in Australia

You can no longer apply for this visa directly to the French consulate in Sydney. If you’re an Australian resident, you’ll need to visit a VFS Global office.

You can apply for a Working Holiday Visa between 3 months and 15 days before your intended arrival date in France. (Note that it is not possible to apply more than three months in advance.)

Since January 2021, French visa applications in Australia must be submitted to VFS Global. You’ll need to visit a VFS Global office to provide the required documentation and provide biometrics, but the French consulate is still responsible for processing visas.

You’ll need to start your visa application on the France-Visas website. Once you’ve submitted the application form, you can make an appointment to attend a VFS Global visa application centre to provide biometrics (fingerprints & photo taken) and pay the applicable fees. VFS Global offices are available in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

If you’re having trouble finding an appointment on the VFS Global website, keep checking regularly as new appointments are released. You could also try clearing your cache or using an incognito window in Google Chrome to access the appointments page.

Once your visa is processed, you can return to the VFS Global office to collect your passport. Or if you provided a prepaid envelope/paid an additional fee, it will be mailed to you.

Visit the VFS Global website for more information.

We recommend that you begin your visa application and make an appointment well in advance. According to the French consulate, the average visa processing time is 15 days. It could take longer in some cases.

Applying outside of Australia

According to the France-Visas website:

Australian, Canadian and Colombian nationals may file their visa application with the visa centre of their choice. Nationals of other countries or territories, in contrast, must file their application with the visa centre empowered in their country or territory of nationality.

If you would prefer not to apply for a French working holiday visa in Australia, you can apply from another country where you are legally staying. However, you cannot apply while already in France.

It would generally be easier for most Australians to apply from within Australia. French embassies/visa centres in other countries may be less familiar with this type of visa. But if you can’t or don’t want to apply in Australia, check the Visa Wizard on the France-Visas website for a list of visa application centres in the country where you want to apply.

In your Visa Wizard search, select:

  • The “place of submission of application” as the country where you want to apply from,
  • Your visa type as “Long-stay (>90 days)”,
  • Your plans as “Other”, and
  • Main purpose of stay as “Working holiday”.
You can check for a current list of fees, documents required and places where you can apply for a French visa using the French government’s Visa Wizard.

Arriving in France

After arriving in France, you would need to validate your long-stay visa within 3 months. Ideally, you should do this immediately.

This can now be done online. See the France Visas website for more information.

To connect with other Australians living in France, you may wish to join the Aussies In France Facebook group.

Working in France

After being issued with a working holiday visa, arriving in France and validating the visa (as per above), you would generally then receive automatic authorisation to work in the country. However, there may have been a recent change affecting Australian citizens.

According to the France-Visas website:

This is a long-stay visa containing the statement: “Vacances-travail” (Working holiday). Its duration is one year and may not be extended, unless otherwise stipulated. It will entitle you to undertake paid employment on a secondary basis, without prior approval from the French Administration.

Despite this, an Australian recently reported in the comments section of this article that Australian citizens are no longer automatically granted a work permit in France. Indeed, this appears to be confirmed by this page about work authorisation on the French government’s website.

Please see this article for more information on this. If you’ve had any experience with this new rule, please also let us know by commenting on that article.

While best efforts are made to keep this information updated, we do not guarantee its accuracy. If you spot an error, would like to suggest new information to be added or simply have a question, please let us know in the comments and we’ll endeavour to respond or update the article as quickly as possible!

Before asking a question, please read through the previous comments to check if your query has already been answered.

Matt Graham

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 60 countries and has lived in New Zealand, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands.

153 thoughts on “France’s Working Holiday Visa for Australians

  1. Hi there, thank you for all the info. Is it possible to apply for a visa and plan to travel 6 months after? Does your vosa start once you are in France or once you are accepted for the visa?

    1. You can apply for a French working holiday visa up to 3 months before your intended date of arrival in France. The visa is valid for a year from when you arrive in France.

  2. Hello thank you for the information. Is France currently accepting applications with COVID happening and everything ?

  3. my daughter is from australia and is currently in germany for 2-3 months and has an opportunity to go to France to do a student program with horses. Can she get a longer stay visa once she arrives in France as the program is for 6 months

  4. Hello, I turned 35 last year – is the French visa for those 35 and under or could I still apply up until I turn 36?


  5. Thanks for the info, for a working holiday visa do I need a letter provided by the ‘town hall’ (I’ve read that in a couple of places) saying I will be hosted by someone or is a signed statement by my host saying they will accomodate me sufficient?

    1. The visa requirements are subject to change, but at this stage, the France-Visas website does not actually list proof of accommodation as a current requirement for the working holiday visa. See

      That said, while I have no personal experience with this, I believe a simple signed letter from your host should be sufficient in the event you were asked for proof of accommodation.

  6. So like most other long stay visas, your future employer doesn’t need to apply for a residence/work permit for you if you have the working holiday visa?

    1. No, because the working holiday visa is not contingent on you having a job in France. In fact, there is no actual requirement to work in France.

      Have a look at the France-Visas website, which says: “This is a long-stay visa containing the statement: “vacances travail” (working holiday). Its duration is one year and may not be extended, unless otherwise stipulated. It will entitle you to undertake paid employment on a secondary basis, without prior approval from the French Administration.”

      Keep in mind that the main purpose of this visa is to have a holiday in France, with the possibility to undertake temporary work to help fund your stay. It’s not intended for people who are moving to France specifically to take up a new job.

  7. Hi Matt! Two questions. The Working Holiday visa is considered a long stay visa. It is not considered a short term work visa, correct? Also, you answer this in your 25 Feb 2022 message but I just want to be very clear: is there any obligation on the part of the employer to file any documentation with the local authorities in order to employ someone with a working holiday visa? If not, is the expectation that the employer and employee will just create a contract of sorts and then execute it?

    1. Hi Adi.

      Yes, this is a long-stay visa.

      Regarding your other question, you should probably contact the relevant French authorities if you want a definitive answer on the obligations of employers & employees. But the France-Visas website, which I linked to in the response above, is clear that you don’t need approval from the French government to take up casual/short term work while you are in France on a working holiday visa.


  8. Thank you so much for this information. Do you know if a working holiday visa can be transferred to another type of visa (such as a talent passport) after I arrive in France, so I can extend the amount of time in France from 1 year to up to 4 years? Or do I strictly have to leave after 1 year? Thanks!

    1. I don’t believe there is a possibility to extend or “transfer” this visa to another visa type. However, I don’t see any reason you couldn’t apply for another type of visa (if you are eligible) when your working holiday visa expires.

  9. Hey there.. just wondering if it’s allowed to have multriple entries to france during that year? can you travel outside france for a while during that period?

  10. Hello, I was wondering what the rules are for travelling to other European countries are while you have this Visa. Are you still limited to 90 days in other Schengen area countries?

      1. Hi Matt,

        Further to this question, if you travelled to other Schengen countries while working and used your 90 days, could you come back to France for 90 days on your working holiday visa and then travel to other Schengen countries again? As in would being in the country where you have a working holiday visa count as time ‘out of the zone’. Does that make sense?

  11. Hi Matt,

    I am researching a few different scenarios to travel to Paris either this year, or in 2024.

    One of the scenarios I am researching is to maintain my current job with my Australian employer, but work remotely for 6-12months. Do you know if I could base myself in Paris with a working holiday visa, but still work for my Australian employer?

    Another scenario I am researching is to work ideally full time, but possibly part time, for a French employer for a year. As you mentioned above “the main purpose of this visa is to have a holiday in France, with the possibility to undertake temporary work to help fund your stay” do you know if I could work full time for a French company on a working holiday visa? Or is the work restricted to part time and casual jobs?

    Thank you

    1. Please note that this is not legal advice, however I don’t see any obvious issues with you working remotely in France on a working holiday visa. The visa entitles you to work in France, although this is not a requirement. However, you should probably speak to an accountant about any possible tax implications.

      If you would like to work for a French employer with your working holiday visa, this is possible but it is really not intended that you would work full-time for the same employer for the entire year. If you wanted to do this, a work visa may be more appropriate. Part-time/casual work is generally fine, though.

    2. Hi Jennifer,

      I have the 1 year working holiday visa and am currently in my 2nd week in Paris and trying to navigate exactly this. My Australian employer is happy for me to work from my laptop but there are international tax obligations (a company like papyayaglobal can act as the middleman). If you work for a small company who are prepared to “pretend you are in Australia” then you could do that, but otherwise to work from France for a foreign company you will need to have the required documentation. And by that I mean the Attenstation de Droits. I am currently in the process of getting an RIB (bank account) and working from getting the Securite Sociale, Carte Vitale and Attestation de driots but there is a chance I have to wait 3 months to receive the Attestation de driots… Currently working through it but French bureacracy is known to be particularly hellish (probably because they have such a big public sector). Anyway, I am happy to share information as I find it if you like? My email is [email protected]

      1. Hi Stephen,

        I am currently exploring this option and feeling a bit concerned by what I’ve read. I’d love to hear about your experience. Could you provide some info? It would be greatly appreciated!

  12. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for all this helpful advice! I plan to apply for a french working holiday visa but enter the Schengen Zone via Spain. Will this cause me problems at the border?


    1. This should be alright, but it will probably be helpful when you apply for the French visa to also show a flight booking entering France, e.g. another flight booking or a connecting flight from Madrid to Paris. When you arrive in Spain, you can show your French visa along with proof of onward travel to France at the border.

  13. Hi,
    I have been granted a working holiday visa for France. The dates are written on the visa 07/02/22 -07/02/23 what I can’t seem to figure out is am able to enter France at any point during those dates or do I need to arrive within a certain time from of the visa starting. Hypothetically could I enter France a week before the visa expires…

    1. I don’t see any specific reason you would have to arrive exactly on the date the validity period starts, but there wouldn’t be any real benefit in arriving later as you would get less time to stay in France. But I don’t know for sure – best to check with the relevant French authorities if in doubt. The main thing is that you need to validate your visa within 3 months of arriving.

    1. The only way to apply for this visa is through VFS Global, so I hope this isn’t the case. Very frustrating if so. I think you’ll just have to keep trying to find an available appointment with VFS…

      1. Thanks mate, finally managed to make one. They just seem to be so booked up, have to wait for one to open up.
        Following up on this. One of the required items is a “ Medical certificate stating that the visa applicant’s health permits him or her to exercise a professional activity (if the bilateral agreement provides for this).”

        Does everyone need to get a medical certificate?

        1. Hi Todd,

          Do you have an idea of the appointment wait times at the moment? How soon were you able to get an appointment?

        2. Todd, you might want to check with VFS Global (if you can reach them), but I don’t think this is a requirement for Australians getting this type of visa.

          For what it’s worth, this document from the French embassy in Australia says “no health examination required” for this type of visa for Australians –

        3. Hi Rani,
          I think I was very lucky I managed to book an appointment time. My partner is still waiting to book. It looks like we might have to fly to Sydney to get an appointment for her

  14. Hi Matt,

    So, just to clarify.. you are able to undertake salary work it may be full-time but part-time/casual work is expected. Are you also able to freelance casually or work in casual jobs where you must invoice the employer? Or MUST you be employed under a salary contract if you’re wanting to work?

    Thanks for the info!


    1. Hi James, when I went to VFS global I didn’t have one so they printed me one to sign in front of them

  15. Hi Matt,
    Can you study (do a course in France) also while on a French working holiday visa?

  16. Thanks Matt, your advice is invaluable.
    Do you know which criminal record check we need? There seems to be an option with or without fingerprints and both are used for visas but the french requirements are unclear.

    Rani, I have been in the same situation as you re no available visa appointments. This morning the VFS helpdesk replied to my email and advised me to a) keep checking the website as it’s the only way to book and b) use Google Chrome with freshly cleared caches (apparently this is essential) to make the appointment. I was able to book online today for Brisbane using my phone. Best of luck!

    1. I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think the bilateral agreement between France and Australia requires you to get a criminal record check for the working holiday visa. Did VFS Global or the French embassy specifically tell you that this is required?

      Good tip on getting a VFS appointment, by the way.

      1. Hi team, at my VFS appointment they said it isn’t mandatory for this type of visa so don’t bother

  17. Hi Matt, I’m hoping to join my partner (not married) who is being transferred to Paris for work and will be getting a long term work visa through that. I’m also trying to find a job before I go (with little luck as most employers want me to be here before they’d hire me). Do you know if it is possible for me to 1. get a working holiday visa, go to France, perhaps do a short term language course and try to get a long term job? Then 2. Once I get a long term job switch visas while remaining in France. Or would I need to wait for the working holiday visa to expire, come back to Australia and apply for the long term work visa from Australia?

    Many thanks

    1. This should be fine. The working holiday visa is not specifically intended for you to join your partner, but you can reside in France and do some language classes with this. Once you’ve found a longer term job, you could apply for a work visa etc. and switch over to that. You would need to check the requirements for the work visa application but I don’t believe you would need to return to Australia to do that.

  18. Hey Matt!
    Thanks for the info. Super helpful. I’m an Aussie citizen currently a resident of a different country. Is it possible to apply for a French WHV from outside of Australia?

    1. According to this document, you can apply from any country where you are legally a resident –

      It would probably be easiest for most Australians to apply from within Australia as French embassies in other countries may not be familiar with this type of visa. But it should be technically possible. You just cannot apply from within France.

  19. Hi Matt, I don’t think you validate this type of visa online. There is no option for Vacance Travail

  20. Hi there, so to clarify with the 90/180 rule, say I want to do lots of travel in the Schengen area between the months of June – September (less than 180 days), the most amount of days I can be out of France is 90 days ? I was hoping to do a very long backpacking trip around Europe possibly longer than 90 days but this would not be allowed ? And how does this work if I want to go to countries that are not in the Schengen area such as Croatia ?

    Last of all once my visa ends, can I leave France but do some more travel around the Schengen area before I go back to Australia ?

    Thanks !

    1. The French working holiday visa gives you the right to live and work in France. It doesn’t give you the right to reside in other European countries, so you would still be limited to staying up to 90 out of every 180 days as a tourist in other Schengen Area countries outside of France, even while holding this visa. However, you are free to visit other European countries that are outside of the Schengen Area (such as Croatia or the UK) and your time spent there would not count towards your 90 days in the Schengen Area.

      Once your French visa expires, you are expected to leave France immediately. I’m not 100% sure, but I believe you could exit and then re-enter the Schengen Area in this case as a tourist. The time you spent in Schengen countries other than France during the previous 180 days would still be counted towards your 90 allowed days, so keep this in mind when calculating how long you can stay.

      If there is any doubt, please check with the French embassy or get proper advice on this. I’m not an expert on this topic and could have missed something.

      By the way, this article might also be of interest:

  21. Hello! Thanks so much for this article and the helpful comments.

    I’m wondering: Once you’re approved for a working holiday visa, are you free to enter France from any destination? Or does Australia have to be your original port of departure on the way to France in order to ‘activate’ your WH visa? In my case I plan on spending a month in the U.S, before flying over to France.

  22. Hi guys, thanks for all the helpful info, where the french govt website has almost none!

    I have a question regarding this dot point under the conditions for ‘long-stay visa: vacances travail’
    -Australian, Canadian and Colombian nationals may file their visa application with the visa centre of their choice. Nationals of other countries or territories, in contrast, must file their application with the visa centre empowered in their country or territory of nationality.

    Does this mean that as an Australian I can apply for the French working visa in another country?

    1. Based on that wording, it does sound like that should be possible 😉

      The only thing is that if you apply in another country, the French embassy/consulate may not be familiar with the procedure for working holiday visa applications by Australians. I’m therefore not sure I would recommend it, but please let us know if you try applying in another country and are successful! 🙂

  23. Hello. Thank you for all this advice. Can I please clarify something. I have obtained a French working holiday visa which starts in July. I’m flying to Rome in May and then travelling in Italy. I’ll cross from Italy to France in July but as they don’t check passports at the border I will not get my passport stamped. Do I just do the online visa validation and that will be all – ie I don’t need an official border stamp?

    1. You should probably double-check this, but as far as I’m aware, you’ll get your passport stamped in Italy and then would just need to validate your French visa online as soon as you arrive in France.

      If you’re worried about this, you could always take a cheap flight (or even train!) to London and then travel back from London to France – you’d then get your passport stamped when you actually arrive in France.

  24. Hey !

    My working-holiday VISA starts on May 31st, can I go to France before that date ?

    Thanks !

    1. I don’t know the answer to this exactly, sorry.

      You wouldn’t be able to enter France *on your working holiday visa* before the start date. But I believe you could probably enter the Schengen Area as a tourist before this date, assuming you haven’t already spent more than 90 out of the last 180 days in the Schengen Area.

      Personally I would just wait until 31 May though if there is any doubt, to avoid potential complications. That’s in less than a week from now.

  25. HI There,
    Very excited for my travels to france, I have appointment with Embassy on 14th of June (As quickly as I could get one) does anyone have any instances of wait time taking longer than 3 weeks. As I have a flight booked on the 11th of July

    1. Hi Leo- no idea how long the visa process takes but I’m in a similar situation. I have my appointment booked for 28 June with a plan to head out by mid July. Please keep me posted on how you go. Also – if you can’t make that 14 June appointment, let me know as I’m trying to get an appointment asap.

  26. Hello. Thank you very much for the information provided. Could you get your WH visa approved, visit another Schengen country (like Italy) and then fly to France straightaway? For example:
    1) I would like apply from Australia for my WH visa now with start date 17th October
    2) I would travel to Italy from July to October (as a tourist) and then fly to France so I can get there by 17th October

    Would it be possible?

    1. I believe this should be OK, as long as you don’t spend more than 90 days in Italy before travelling to France and your visa validity period has started when you enter France.

      You might want to double-check this though, I could be wrong.

  27. Thank you very much for the information. Do you know how to issue an “affidavit to leave France”. Is this a simple document or needs to be legalised for someone? I am afraid I couldn’t find much information on the internet. Any help will be really appreciated

    1. Someone has already asked this. My response was: “The France-Visas website doesn’t note any specific guidance or requirements about this. Any basic template should do just fine.”

  28. Hi There,
    I note that the Police check and Medical certificate are not actually required for the French WHV.

    What about the ‘Note Verbale’ that is mentioned by the required documents?

    Does this mean I need an invitation letter by the French embassy?

    Is this required for a working holiday visa Australia –> France?

    Also do you know if there are limitations on how many employers you can have in the 12 month period there?

    1. The France-Visas website states “If you have an official travel document, a note verbale is required.”

      I believe “official travel document” refers to things like official passports. If you just have an ordinary Australian passport (as most people do), you wouldn’t need this.

      There is no specific limit to the number of employers you can have in France during your 12-month stay. The French government just says that “Work and also study or training should be incidental to the holiday.” (See

  29. Hello,

    I was wondering what travel/health insurance you recommend for this visa as I know the VFS do not accept all types of insurance – do I need to be covered for COVID?


    1. The France-Visas website just says “one-year travel insurance covering medical, hospital and repatriation expenses”. So you would need to make sure your insurance policy covers your entire period of stay in France and that it covers each of these things. But I don’t think there’s any specific requirement for COVID-19 cover. (Many insurance policies now cover this anyway.)

      I have personally found Insureandgo’s backpacker insurance useful in the past as they allow you to return to Australia one or two times during the middle of the insurance period – this could be useful if you plan to travel back to Australia at all during your year in France, as most other insurers will end your coverage as soon as you set foot back in Australia. But most travel insurance policies should provide the necessary coverage for medical, hospital and repatriation expenses – just make sure you read the PDS carefully and check that the policy document specifically states it will cover these three things.

      Some other countries do require a minimum amount of cover for each of these categories (e.g. €30,000 or AUD50,000) but I don’t think France specifies this.

      I do plan to write an article about travel insurance in the coming months with more details, keep an eye out for it 🙂

  30. Hi there,

    We are Australian citizens in the UK and looking to apply for the French working holiday visa. Do you know if this is possible outside of Australia and which VFS office we can go to in Scotland? I assume Edinburgh but we can’t find any information on applying outside of Australia.

    Thanks so much 🙂

    1. According to this document, you can apply from any country where you are legally a resident –

      It would generally be easier for most Australians to apply from within Australia as French embassies/visa centres in other countries may not be familiar with this type of visa. But it should be possible to apply in the UK – the only rule is that you cannot apply from within France.

      According to the France-Visas website, there is a TLScontact office in Edinburgh which handles French visa applications –

      1. Thanks Matt! One more q please – we are staying with friends on arrival but they don’t have access to their legal home owner documents. Does a letter from them suffice or does it need to be a legally binding document/proof of house purchase?


        1. I don’t know the answer to this, sorry, but I would suspect a simple hotel/hostel booking or letter from your friends should be OK.

          Perhaps Sonia (see the comment below) might know for sure?

  31. Hello,
    I recieved my WHV for France today:
    Wanted to confirm for those above what documents I gave:
    – application form
    – passport, ID photo taken recently
    – 5000 AUD sufficient funds balance in a statement generated 2 weeks prior to appointment
    – insurance with cover for medical, hospital and reparations
    – cover letter outlining my intention to go to france signed
    – affidavit witnessed by practioner
    – confirmed initial accomodation
    – confirmed one way flight ticket

    Now I have another question – I have an employer interested in hiring me over the period of the visa.
    However we are unsure if I can work for 1 employer for the 12 month duration and no where in the bilateral agreement is it mentioned. When I ask the Sydney Consulate, I’m sent to the VFS, When I ask them, they send me back to the Sydney Consulate. The Australian Embassy Paris is also not answering calls.

    Anyone have any advice or experience?

    1. Thanks Sonia for the info about which documents you needed to provide, I’m sure others will find this helpful.

      Were you required to show proof of initial accommodation, or did you just include this anyway? The France-Visas website doesn’t mention this. If so, can you share what was required for this?

      Regarding your question, this document suggests that there is no specific limit to the duration you can work for a single employer in France while your visa remains valid: The main condition is that the work should be “incidental to the holiday”.

    2. Hey Sonia,

      Would it be possible for you to show a copy of the template you used for your cover letter and affidavit?

      Also thanks Matt for all this information! It is proving very useful for the application process.

  32. Hi Matt,

    What a fantastic website, thank you for all the very useful information.
    I’m a dual Aussie/UK citizen, wanting to apply for a working holiday visa before i turn 36 in April 2023.
    Any idea when Denmark and Italy might announce their age limit increases allowing people over 30 to apply for a WHV?
    I have France and Switzerland noted as options for me.
    Canada doesn’t appeal to me.
    Are there any other countries you can think of that offer WHVs to 35 year olds?

    Thank you

    1. Hi Mark! Have a look at this article for info on working holiday visas for people over 30 –

      The increase to the age limit for the Danish and Italian working holiday visas should have theoretically happened on 1 July 2022, based on the Australian government’s announcement, but this doesn’t appear to have been implemented yet and I don’t know when it will happen, sorry.

  33. Hello Matt!
    Do you know if we need to validate the WHV within three months of arrival? I checked on the website for VLS-TS, but the vac.trav is not there. Maybe because our visa is exempt from applying for a resident permit, there’s no need to validate it either? Please let me know if you have any insights into this matter.

    1. Someone else who has recently applied for this visa may be able to comment, but I don’t believe this requirement has changed. This isn’t a visa with an obligation to apply for a residence permit, and it doesn’t fall into the “VLS-T” category (temporary visas with 3-6 months validity) so I would assume it falls into the “Long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (VLS-TS)” category as per this page –

      If you already have the visa, you should be able to validate it online (or at least check if this is required) after arriving in France by plugging in your visa number here –

  34. Hi Matt
    Thank you for the information provided. For example my French WH visa was granted with start date as 28/08. However, I am still planning to travel around the EU before entering to France for the first time around 5/11. Would my visa start date will remain the same (Aug-Aug) or would change as soon as I arrive to France (Nov-Nov)? My first EU country was Switzerland, so my passport got stamped on July 2022

    1. If your visa was granted from 28/8, that’s when your 12 months will start. Arriving in France at a later time will not extend it.

      Also, keep in mind that you can only stay in the Schengen Area (outside of France) for up to 90 out of every 180 days. So if you arrived in Switzerland in July, and remain inside the Schengen Area, you would need to enter France by October (within 3 months after your passport was stamped on arrival).

  35. Hey Matt,

    My boyfriend and I are doing a 1-2 year travel holiday and plan to work a ski season in France over 2023/24. We are leaving Australia on the 29th November 2022. We are travelling for 3-4 months in SE Asia before flying to London to purchase a van for a European roadtrip in March. We would prefer to apply in Sydney but I read somewhere that you have to validate it within 3 months of receiving it? Or do you get to select your date of which your visa starts?
    Last resort, we plan to apply from the UK. However, I would be on a tourist visa there so would i not be considered a legal resident of the place of which Im applying from?

    1. Hi Caity. As far as I’m aware, you can only apply within 3 months of your intended arrival date in France. Therefore, you would need to apply from overseas if out of Australia for the 3 months before arriving in France.

      I think you might be able to apply from the UK, as long as you’re staying there legally. I have seen one document that says you need to be a resident where you are applying, but not sure that this is completely accurate/enforced. The France-Visas website says: “Australian, Canadian and Colombian nationals may file their visa application with the visa centre of their choice.” See

      Might be best to contact a TLS contact centre in the UK directly if in doubt.

      If that doesn’t work, you might need to return to Australia to apply for the visa. But I would try to do so in the UK if I were you.

  36. Can you provide any information about the contact question on the WHP visa application? Specifically, the question asks, “Name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number of employer/host institution/host family, etc.” I do not know anyone in France. Is this a requirement? Thank you!

    1. I’m not sure why this is on the form – sounds like a generic question which might be more relevant to other types of long-stay visas. If you really don’t know anyone in France, I’d just leave it blank and see what happens. It’s not a requirement for the working holiday visa to have a host/contact in France.

    2. Hi, I’m surprised that people can get WH visa this moment! Japanese can’t apply for the visa since 2020 because of covid. I’m waiting for any announce about WH visa from french government …

  37. Hey Matt and everyone,

    Great info you’re sharing here. Thank you.

    Can anyone tell me about uploading documents? Do I need to upload them on the French Visa website or do I send them to VFS Global direct? Do I just bring the photocopied versions to my appointment with VFS Global?

    Cheers for any info.

    1. I can’t answer the second part of your question, but I believe all documents would be submitted to VFS Global rather than the French visa website or embassy.

  38. Hi there, I’m not sure if this thread is still active but I’m having trouble finding any answers to this question: I don’t have a job or accommodation lined up at the moment but the visa application asks for my host/employer contact details and accommodation details. I really don’t want to have my visa refused due to ‘incomplete details’ but I don’t see how I’m supposed to get a job without a visa but then I can’t get a visa if I don’t already have a job. Surely there is a way to bypass this section – for the moment I’ve just put ‘NOT KNOWN’ in each of those boxes.

    Please let me know if anyone knows how to deal with this.


    1. You’re correct that pre-arranging a job and accommodation is not a requirement for this visa.

      For accommodation, I would list the name of the hotel/hostel or address where you will stay initially when you arrive in France. For host/employer, I would probably just leave it blank or write N/A.

  39. Hi. Just letting you know that a criminal record and medical certificate proving you are fit for work are now required for the visa.

    1. Hi Otis, may I ask please where you got this information?
      The France-Visas visa wizard does state that these are required “if the bilateral agreement provides for this”, but I don’t think the agreement between Australia and France includes those requirements.
      Did VFS Global specifically tell you a criminal record check and medical certificate were required when you tried to apply for this visa?

  40. Hi, I’m hoping you know the answer to this as I’ve tried contacting the prefecture, embassy and still waiting for a reply from VFS! I’m currently on the working holiday visa (type D) and it’s due to expire very soon. I understand that this visa is not able to be extended but according to the information I have read, I am eligible for a short stay tourist visa 90-days (type C) and because I’m from a visa-free country I don’t need to apply. Since I am already in Europe though, do I need to leave the Schengen area altogether at the end of my current visa (e.g. go to the UK) and come back to get my passport stamped at the border and have a short stay visa commence? Hope this makes sense! Thanks!

    1. Assuming you are able to stay another 90 days in the Schengen Area as a tourist (I cannot give you advice on this), yes, I believe you would need to leave the Schengen Area and then return.

  41. Hey Matt
    The list of requirements also says “if you have an offical travel document, a note verbal is required” do you know what this might be referring to.

  42. Also forgot to ask, in the requirements it wants a criminal record check and medical certificate but in brackets after both sections it says “if the bilateral agreement provides for this” do you know if there is any agreement between us Aussie and the French that you’d have to provide these documents, I’m applying overseas in the uk and I can’t find anything on this bilateral agreement. Got any thoughts.

  43. Is there a specific format for the affidavit requirement… is this the same as a statutory declaration here in Aus?

    1. Hi Taya, not sure if this helps but I just used the template I found in the website (I’m based in Victoria) it’s a super simple template. Nothing fancy. It’s not the same as the statutory declaration though – this is an affidavit. It is an oath/promise that you take. As opposed to a stat dec which is just a “fact.”

  44. Hi Matt,

    First of all thank you for your invaluable help and advice on this help. It’s nice to see everyone helping each other and a little community of Aussies all trying to make it in France.

    Just had a query re. “You can only apply for the WH visa 3 months before you intend to be there.”

    I submitted my application mid October with an appointment set for the 30th of November and in my application they asked for my intended date of arrival in France and I mentioned Monday April 3rd 2023 (the earliest I can finish up at my current job is mid-March). At no point of the application did I get any indication that this date was too far in the future – I even bought my health insurance with this date in mind.

    Does this mean when I go to my appointment they’ll refuse my application? Or get my visa start 3 months from the app date?

    I thought it made sense for them to ask for an intended arrival date as it’s hard to just guess when would someone get their visa/passport back. A mate applied last year in December and he only got his passport back in February and left for France in late March/early April.

    Cheers! I’ll keep you guys posted about any events during my appointment on the 30th.

    Best of luck everyone with your future plans!

      1. Hey Caleb! I actually got my appointment next week. They turned me back as I was too early to submit my visa application (more than 3 months in advance).

        How did you go? When are you planning on travelling to France? I’m planning for April!

        1. Oh right, that’s annoying. Had my appointment on the 14th of December and planning to go on the 1st of February. Haven’t got my visa back yet but hopefully in the next week or so, they said allow for 21 working days so fingers crossed no delays. Good luck with your appointment!

      2. Hi Caleb,
        Did you end up getting your visa?

        I’ve applied Dec 12, for travel in March – still waiting.

        1. Hi Nick,

          Yes, got it on Monday, I called VFS and they suggested I email stating an update on the visa processing time as it had been longer than 21 working days. They didn’t respond but within two days the visa was processed and mailed back with no issues. I’d suggest if your visa processing time is longer than 21 working days (which it would be now) you email them just to get an update on how much longer it will be and hopefully that will speed up the process, five weeks seems so long to wait and not having a passport was stressing me out.


  45. Hey, thanks for the info!!
    I’m looking at the most cost efficient way to do the travel insurance and saw some credit cards provide free travel insurance for up to 6 months. That wont cover my entire stay in France of course, but I was wondering if I could use that for the first 6 months, then take out a separate travel insurance to cover the remaining stay. Do you think that would work?

    1. I highly doubt that the French government would accept credit card travel insurance as being sufficient, sorry, as this may not cover the minimum requirements for the visa. In general, you would need to purchase a policy with your name on it that meets all the visa requirements.

      Some European countries specifically state that credit card travel insurance is not acceptable for the working holiday visa. I’m not sure if France is one of those, but I wouldn’t risk it.

  46. Hello!

    I’ve been in Australia since almost 4 years. 3 years ago my partner and I met (He’s Australian) – He wants to visit and maybe live back in France with me. Does France do any type of partner visa like Australia does?

    Thanks a lot!

  47. Hi,
    Appreciate this informative website.
    So, I have a young traveler working visa and arrived in France. I received a job offer, but now the employer is quoting “If you have a “Working Holiday visa”, you are automatically granted with a work permit, unless you are Russian or Australian”.
    Unfortunately this seems to be the case as after much searching it is on the French government website
    I would really appreciate your comments on this please.
    So the visa gives the right to work in France, but not the work permit?
    And the employer must apply for this?
    It also seems very unusual to group exception countries as being “Australia and Russia”?
    I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the phrase “secondary employment” which the visa stipulates? Perhaps this has a particular job definition that I couldn’t find?
    Any and all comments welcome. Thank you so much

    1. This is the first I’ve heard of this, but very unfortunate if so. Are you able to apply for a work permit separately?
      The whole point of the working holiday visa is that you are able to undertake casual/secondary employment in France. That’s a key part of it. So if France has changed this, that would be concerning.
      I wonder if it’s perhaps part of the French government’s retaliation for the Australian government cancelling the submarine contract? If so, perhaps this will change again now that the governments seem to be talking to each other again…

    2. Hi Kate,

      Any further development on this? Would be super helpful to hear about the outcome of your situation!

    3. An update on my situation. (Sorry for not monitoring this page for the helpful replies to my query before now).
      My original information posted still holds true. What I have learned one month ago is when the employer completes the French government website to register their employee to obtain a work permit, the job will fall under one of two categories: CDD or CDI (see below).
      I needed to submit additional documentation, and it took 3-4 weeks for the government to turn around and say I was not eligible. So very disappointed as I had to turn down this wonderful job I was offered and start my job search from scratch again.
      The decision came down to the role being categorized as CDI (which is a not a short term contract job).
      It has been impossible to learn of this beforehand, instead I have wasted 5 months now of my 12 month traveler work visa.
      So, the type of job is important as well, that is, seasonal, or short contract (basically that would not displace other French job seekers) – but this is not really stated clearly anywhere.
      Please note all this time I am holding a young traveler work visa.

      CDI is a “Contract Duration Indeterminée” – essentially an open-ended contract, or permanent employee contract.
      CDD is a “Contract Duration Determinée” – a fixed-term contract, or temporary employee contract.

      1. Thanks for the update Kate, and sorry to hear you’ve had all this trouble. I don’t think this is fair, particularly as there was no way for you to know this would be the case beforehand. The French government doesn’t really explain this anywhere.

        If the job really is a good one and your employer would be prepared to sponsor you, and you would be interested in staying in France for a longer period, perhaps it might be worth looking into a different type of visa such as a work visa? I don’t know if this is possible and this isn’t something we’re able to provide assistance with, but it does seem like a shame not to try to pursue this further!

  48. Does anyone have a definitive answer if Australians need to have a medical certificate to get the French Working Holiday Visa? There seems to be nothing online about it or what statements the certificate would need to include, I’ve got all the other items on the checklist but wondering if anyone has got the visa without a medical certificate stating they can work/travel?


    1. Hey Caleb,
      Did you end up finding this out? I have my VFS appointment tomorrow and didn’t realise I might need medical & police checks – feeling nervous!

      1. Hi Susan, at my appointment we didn’t need to submit them because of the bilateral agreement but we had them anyways just in case and submitted them with all of our other documents but it wasn’t on the VFS checklist but it was still very vague. Good-luck with your appointment!

  49. Was just hoping if there might be any first-hand feedback floating about for those that applied for the WH visa while outside Australia as a visitor/tourist in another country (e.g. UK). Seems ambiguous given earlier comments, so would love to hear if anyone managed to do it?

    1. I’m in the same situation. I contacted the French embassies in the country I’m in now and they said it’s not possible. VFS emailed me saying it’s possible, so I’m waiting for their next reply…

  50. Hey everyone,

    Since I found this page super helpful, and I know how stressful these processes can be, I thought I’d pay it back and recount my experience at VFS Melbourne – I hope this helps someone 🙂

    First things first, they turned me back the first time around (in November) for coming in too early, ie. my intended arrival date in France was more than 3 months in the future (April 2023). This was a nightmare to resolve and it was a bit difficult to rebook the appointment as I had to contact the centre directly, they forgot who I was/why I was contacting them directly to book again (even though they had instructed me to do so), etc. So make sure you’re somewhat clear on your intended arrival date and that your appointment happens no more than 3 months before that date. Worth noting, the person who served me at VFS seemed to allude that the “official” date of your trip (and start of your visa) is defined by the dates on your travel health insurance, since you need to be covered for the whole year you’re in France. So for example, my health insurance starts from April 3, 2023, so that’s the date they took into account as my intended arrival date/start of my one-year visa for France.

    In terms of documents, I presented everything as listed below and they didn’t really mention whether the police check and medical certificate were needed or not. However, I’ve always erred on the side of caution, so it’s best to bring more/extra, than less, for these type of bureaucratic situations. I did notice that on some form they made me sign they listed my proof of accomodation as the only “extra document”, meaning the police check and medical certificate were probably required in the end. Also it seemed like the most important document was the bank statement, so make sure you present a recent bank statement or transaction record for the last 3 months showing that as of the date of the statement, you have at least $5000 AUD available.

    My list of docs for VFS Melbourne:
    – Passport
    – Copy of identification page of passport and ALL pages with any entry/exit stamps, other visas, etc.
    – ID Passport Photograph (my photo was taken at the appointment, but you can bring one if you got it taken elsewhere).
    – My one year travel health insurance statement/print-out.
    – Medical certificate from my GP (really simple, just stating that I’m in good health, can work and travel, etc. For this I just went to my GP and explained what I needed and he just did a quick general health check-up and typed the certificate for me).
    – AFP Police check
    – Bank statement/Transaction record (for the last 3 months and clearly showing your balance as min. $5000 AUD available)
    – Extra: A signed cover letter (the person who served me seemed to be pleased I included a cover letter).
    – Extra: A signed letter from a French-national friend basically saying in case of any difficulty he would be happy to let me crash with him in his apartment while in France, etc.

    Best of luck! And I hope 2023 brings good things!

  51. Hi Matt. Any updates on obtaining the working permit once getting to France? We have just received our working visas to move over in April with the sole purpose of the working holiday format. Am a little concerned now.

    1. Hi Simone,

      I’m on the same boat. Hoping to move there at the start of April. Not sure if this is helpful, but I had a friend who just got back from a year in France at the start of January (under a working holiday visa) and he told me he was never asked for a work permit, word for word what he texted me when I asked whether he needed a work permit: “Hey, no technically I didn’t need anything but a copy of the visa in my passport (employers send it to the employment office and it’s a strangely lax situation).”

      This is beyond confusing/misleading, I also find it a bit odd that the requirement for a work permit for Russians and Australians is only found through digging deep through in the French government website. Nowhere to be found in the general France Visas website or widely available working holiday visas information.

      Anyone else who would have an update on this situation?

  52. Hi Matt,

    Hoping you can assist here – my friend is currently travelling throughout Europe, she used her 90 days Schengen limit straight away but wanted to continue to travel throughout Schengen countries. She applied for a French WHV while she was in Belgium, and this has allowed her to not only spend longer in France but travel throughout Schengen countries once again, even just after using her 90 day limit on her basic Schengen Visa. The only catch she communicated to me is she only has the ability to leave and return to the Schengen countries once while using this Visa.

    This sounds too good to be true as I can’t imagine the French WHV allows further time in the Schengen after just being there for 90 days. Would you know anything regarding this?

  53. Hi All,

    Here’s a short summary of my application (at VFS Perth):
    – passport (copies of all pages)
    – 2 photographs (EU visa standard)
    – 365 days insurance certificate (I went for ahm, medical & hospital cover) + PDS printout
    – Bank statement, last 3 months (balance > $5k, regular spending)
    – Return flight booking printout
    – Affidavit to leave France before visa expiry (for some reason VFS wanted this, even though I had the return tickets)
    – Letter from host/relative in France offering accommodation (typed, signed, no special form)
    – AFP police clearance (+ copy)
    – Cover letter (stating my general plans while in France, why I’m interested in going there for a prolonged period, how I’m going to support myself)

    I did *NOT* provide a statement from a GP – VFS asked if I had one, but said it wasn’t required.

    Appointment 12/12, processed 27/01.
    Visa label in passport says it’s Type D, VLST, Dispense TS.
    Multiple entry, valid 12 months from requested date of arrival (or period of insurance cover).

    Still unsure whether the visa needs to be validated upon arrival. My intuition tells me it doesn’t, but any further input on this would be appreciated.

      1. Hi All

        How do I write affidavit to leave France?.

        I’m planning to arrive in Paris on 23 May 2023 and I need to leave Paris before my visa expires but I still won’t be able to book any flights to leave Paris for May 2024 because it’s still 1 year and 3 months away.

        Any help will be very helpful

    1. Yes, we are from Melbourne and we applied in Sydney. Make sure you choose the right VFS location in the application form on the France Visas website when you apply.

  54. Hi Everyone,

    I’ve read through this incredible resource and the content and comments have been amazing!

    My wife and I have been trying every day to make a booking at VFS Global Brisbane to lodge our French Long Stay Visa Documents since 23rd Feb with no success. I’ve tried everything, different browsers, private none private sessions, creating a new account on VFS and nothing is working.

    The portal shows days and times available, I try to book a day and it takes me to the payment section and it just bugs out and says that the session I selected is not available, even though you can still go back and select that booking time again or other booking date and times with the same message.

    I’ve been emailing VFS Global Helpdesk since the 23rd to alert them of the online issues with the portal but I keep getting the same generic responses with no solution.

    We need to lodge asap as we take off for Europe on the 9th of May and Land in France on the 9th of June. The earliest booking slot we can make is obviously the 9th of March but because we are leaving in May we need to have our application processed in time for departure on May 9th.

    Does anyone out there have any answers?
    Appreciate any help.


    1. Hi Ray,

      Not sure if this is any help, but I’ve got a direct email address for the VFS centre in Melbourne. I have no idea whether they’ll be able to help you at all, since you’re trying to lodge in Brisbane, but perhaps it’s worth a try? Maybe you can explain your situation or perhaps they can give you a direct email for the Brisbane centre?

      [email protected]

      Good luck!

      1. Hi Karlo,

        Thanks for providing that email address.

        I finally got through to someone at VFS Global Brisbane via a phone number that is now listed on the website. Using the phone number (+61 2 8278 4160) I was connected to a call center for VFS Global Australia and they escalated all my previous email correspondence to the Brisbane office which contacted me the next day via email offering to make a manual booking (not sure if this is normal). Note this was after I sent 11 emails to VFS Global Helpdesk over a period of 13 days.

        VFS Global Helpdesk is slow with generic responses, so as a bit of advice for anyone trying to make a booking, double check that the booking portal is operating correctly otherwise you’ll miss out altogether. These are the problems I experienced;
        1. The portal would identify that there was an “earliest booking available” after selecting a region from the dropdown (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne etc)
        2. It would then display a calendar that showed no available slots regardless of the region or month I selected
        3. When the portal eventually worked days later it would display availabilities but once I reached the payment portal to lodge the booking it would display an error message saying that the booking was no longer available even though you could reboot the portal and it would still be visible and could be selected.

        If anyone is experiencing anything like this make sure to keep checking and escalate your concerns.
        Hope this was helpful for anyone trying to make a booking.

  55. In regards to Australians needing an additional work permit for a Working Holiday Visa – I contacted the Australian embassy in France and they confirmed it was a mistake on the French website (after contacting the French authorities). NO additional work authorisation is needed if you have the WHV and an Australian passport 🙂

      1. I’m in the same situation. I contacted the French embassies in the country I’m in now and they said it’s not possible. VFS emailed me saying it’s possible, so I’m waiting for their next reply…

    1. Sorry, my comment above in the reply was meant for another comments about applying while a non-resident abroad.

      Yes, it’s great that we don’t need the additional work permit 🙂

    2. Hey Ashe,

      It’s such a relief to read your comment! A potential employer raised this issue with me and I didn’t have a definitive answer, so we couldn’t proceed with the hiring process.

      Would I be able to contact you via email to get a copy of your correspondence with the embassy? I’ve already sent them an email, but last time I did that it took them a month to respond!

      Thanks in advance!

  56. Can confirm too, my friend contacted the French Service-public department who told her there was no need for a work permit for Australians on the “Visa vacances-travail” 🎊

  57. If I change my arrival flight into France after submitting the application to the official France visa site, but before the VFS appointment, do I need to resubmit my application and/or do the whole process again? Only a day difference in it, but not sure if the “intended date of arrival” can be updated?

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