The 2013 France-Canada Youth Mobility Agreement is an opportunity for Canadians between 18 and 35 years old to travel to France for up to 36 months to improve their understanding of French language, culture, and society through an experience focused on tourism, academic study, internships, or employment.
Every year, about 1,000 Canadians head to France with a Working Holiday Visa in their passport. This step-by-step guide will help you get started with your application and your travel plans.
Don’t forget to refer to the official instructions here for up-to-date news and the latest requirements.
To learn more about your next steps once in France, read Landing in France with a WHV – a guide to your first steps.
How many visas are issued each year?
For 2019, Canada is releasing 14,000 visas in various categories for French nationals. In return, France is also giving out 14,000 visas to Canadians citizens.
The French embassy and consulates don’t disclose the total number of visas available to Canadians or the number of visas available in each category. However, as far as we know, the quota has never been reached so it shouldn’t be an issue to submit an application even late in the calendar year.
How much does it cost to apply for a WHV?
French consulates do not charge a fee to process Working Holiday Visa applications. However, VFS Global, the official French government third-party partner, does charge a processing fee (around €25) that must be paid when you book the application drop-off appointment.
You may also have to budget for transportation to the nearest VFS Global Centre.
Here is an overview of the general eligibility requirements for the visa categories.
You must be between the ages of 18 and 35 as of the application date (i.e., you can apply until the day you turn 36).
You must hold a Canadian passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the last day of your stay in France.
First, second or third participation
Under the 2013 Agreement, which came into effect on January 1, 2015, you may be able to participate a second time in the Young Professional Development and the Working Holiday Visa categories.
You may even be eligible to participate up to three times in the Inter-University Exchange and Practical Internship categories. However, note that in this case, the total duration of your stay in France cannot exceed 36 months.
You may have participated in a similar visa program for another country before, it will have no incidence on your French visa application.
The 2013 Agreement doesn’t include a specific provision for dependents accompanying a visa holder obtained under the France-Canada Youth Mobility Agreement. If you do have dependents who will travel with you, they can either apply for a visa under the Agreement, or apply for a long-stay or short-stay tourist visa.
For visa application guidelines and requirements, check out the Visa Wizard on France-Visas.
Minimum funds required and return ticket
You must provide proof of financial resources for the amount of €2,100 euros (about 3,000 Canadian dollars) and have a return ticket or show additional funds (1,000 Canadian dollars) to prove you will be able to buy your ticket back to Canada.
You must provide proof of medical insurance covering health care needs (including hospitalization) and repatriation for the duration of the stay in France. This is crucial, especially if your provincial/territorial health plan doesn’t cover your expenses abroad.
French authorities also recommend buying personal liability insurance coverage.
When should I apply?
Applications are accepted three months before your planned departure date at the earliest.
Working Holiday Visa application steps
As of 2018, you must submit your application to a VFS Global Centres. It will then be forwarded to the French Consulate General of France in Montreal for processing.
Here are the six steps of a Working Holiday Visa application:
Step 1: Create an account on France-Visas.gouv.fr, the official website for visa applications to France.
Step 2: Fill out the first part of your visa application online.
Step 3: Book an appointment with a VFS Global Centre to submit your application in person.
Step 4: Complete your visa application online once the appointment booked.
Step 5: Drop off your application at the designated VFS Global Centre and submit the required biometric data.
Step 6: Wait for your passport to be sent back to the VFS Global Centre with the visa.
You can download the visa application kits—Young Professional Development (3A visa), Inter-university exchanges (3B visa), Practical Internship (3C visa), Work Holiday Visa (3D visa)—from the France-Canada Youth Mobility Agreement page of the French Embassy in Canada website.
Last edit in February 2019