The Working Holiday Visa (long-stay visa) to France

Published: 12-03-2020



Every year, more than 45,000 French nationals embark on a Working Holiday Visa (WHV) adventure—and in return, 5,000 backpackers choose France as their WHV destination.

Who can apply for a Working Holiday Visa to France?

As of March 2020, France has signed Working Holiday Visa agreements with 15 countries. So far, 14 agreements are currently in effect—the Peru-France agreement has been signed but the program hasn’t started yet.

Passport holders of the following countries are eligible to apply for a WHV to France:

  • Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Hong Kong, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea, Taiwan, Uruguay (must be 18-30 years old)
  • Argentina, Australia, Canada (must be 18-35 years old)

What’s the first step?

The official visa website for France is France-Visas. It offers info on the different kinds of visa available and required to work and study or simply visit the country.

Go to “Coming to France for…” and choose “Young traveller (working holiday)”.

Note that different names are used for the WHV—the key words should be “working holiday” (“vacances-travail” in French) and it’s in the “long-stay visa” category.

Use the Visa Wizard to get started. Complete the required fields (“Your situation,” “Your stay” and “Your travel document”) and click on “Search.” On the next page, select “Other” under “Your plans” and select “Working Holiday” under “Main purpose of stay”. The Visa Wizard will give you a list of supporting documents required. You can click on “Submit online application” or print the page as a reference if you’re not ready to apply yet.

Where can I find more info?

French consulates around the world can also provide more info (note that those located in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong don’t have a page dedicated to this visa…).

Where should I apply?

Australian, Canadian and Colombian citizens can submit their application to any French consulate around the world. All other candidates must submit it to the consulate located in their country of citizenship.

What’s the deadline to activate my Working Holiday Visa?

Once the WHV issued, you have up to 3 months to travel to France and activate it.

But, but… I have more questions!

We’re here for you! The community has been helping travellers planning their WHV adventure for 15 years.

Feel free to ask your question(s) on the forum, in the “France” subsection. You can write in English, Spanish or Portuguese—we can even help you in other languages, we’re a global community! 🙂


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Hi, I am Canadian who is turning 36 on Jan 21, 2021. I just got my PvT visa approved from embassy and the visa duration is Jan 19, 2021 – Jan 18, 2022. Due to Covid19, I would like to enter and activate my visa as late as possible. Would you know when I can enter France latest? Would it be Apr 19 2021? Would it be still okay if I have turned 36 already? Thanks!!

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Hey! Any chance you could share your experience applying for the PvT visa in Canada? I’m from canada as well…I applied in the Toronto VFS office a couple weeks ago and I see that my application is still “under process”. I just wanted to get an idea of other people’s timelines for approval. Thanks!!

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