Thursday, December 5, 2013


Two months before I leave for one full year, it's also time to get some paperwork done. In Canada young professionals (18-35) have some work and travel visa options offered to them. You don't need a letter of offer for a job but there are a few things you should know when applying for the Youth Mobility program.

Seems quite easy at first they give you a checklist of what you need. Put in 24$ for recent "passport" photos to be included in your visa application. You need basic things such as a one way flight reservation, a letter of motivation which explains why you want to live in Germany for a year. You will need a proof of first housing from the person you'll be living with or hotel reservations upon your arrival in Germany.

The tricky part is the health insurance. With your visa application you will need to provide proof of health insurance coverage for the length of your stay abroad and in Germany that include what they call "liability insurance" in case you run someone over with your bike or something like that. I've asked around (banks, credit card companies, travel agencies) no one in Canada seemed to know what that was or what it covered exactly so I purchased my insurance straight from the Germans, it included the liability insurance, covered the visa requirements and cost almost the same as the prices I was looking at here in Canada.

Now the fun part, there are two German Consulates in Canada where you can get your visa application approved. Toronto and Vancouver! This is a bitch because what if you're from Timmins, Ontario or Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan? The lady I spoke to told me that they take fingerprints and therefore you need to apply in person. Well I had to book a day off and take a train at 5:30 am to make it to my 11:30 appointment at the German Consulate in Toronto. I got off pretty easy with a 76$ round trip on VIA Rail.

The application process takes two weeks and I should get my passport back in time for my trip in December. Did I mention you have to give them a prepaid self addressed envelope if you don't want to have to go back to Toronto to pick it up between the hours of 1-2pm on a weekday?

Here's a few links to get you started:

Youth Mobility Program
German Consulate in Toronto