Free Guide to Work & Travel in France for Canadians 

Download a FREE Guide to planning and having an amazing working holiday in France. This comprehensive guide, created by our knowledgeable travel advisers, is tailored for IEC-qualified Canadians and provides essential information on the entire process. Learn how to apply for your visa, get insider information on how to land a great job, find accommodation about where to travel and get answers to all other questions you may have.  

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Key Facts about France

Capital City



Euro (EUR) 



Time Zone

GMT (+2)


68.043 Million


buses, trains, ferries, taxis, and domestic flights 

Area Code



551,695 km²

Overview of the Working Holiday Program in France

The Working Holiday Program in France offers Canadian citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to live and work in France for up to 12 months. This program aims to promote cultural exchange and provide young individuals with the chance to experience the French way of life while gaining valuable work experience. 

To participate in the program, Canadians must apply for a working holiday visa through the Embassy of France in Canada. The visa allows them to engage in temporary employment, such as seasonal work, internships, or other short-term jobs. Participants are responsible for arranging their own employment and accommodations in France. During their stay, working holiday visa holders can explore the rich cultural heritage of France, travel to various regions, and immerse themselves in the local lifestyle. They can also take part in language courses to enhance their French skills. 

It’s important to note that the availability of working holiday visas may be limited, and there might be specific requirements regarding health insurance and financial means. Applicants should consult the official website of the Embassy of France in Canada for up-to-date information and application procedures. 

Overall, the Working Holiday Program in France provides Canadians with an incredible opportunity to work, travel, and experience the vibrant French culture while fostering personal and professional growth. 

Working Holiday Program in France

Eligibility Requirements for IEC-Qualified Canadians 

France has certain requirements for Canadians traveling for a working holiday visa. To make the most of a working holiday in France, Canadians must meet specific eligibility criteria for the application process:   

  • Be a Canadian citizen 
  • Have a valid Canadian passport (valid for at a minimum 6 months after arriving in France)   
  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive)  
  • Must never have benefitted from this visa or the other types of visas under the mobility agreement 
  • Provide proof of sufficient financial resources to provide for any initial expenses at the start of your stay and to leave the country at any time during your stay 
  • Have round-trip flight tickets or proof of funds to support yourself in France
  • Have a clean police record 
  • Not be accompanied by a dependent child 
  • Be in good health 

Through the French working holiday visa, you can stay in France for up to 12 months. 

Navigating the France Working Holiday Visa Process 

Your journey in France begins with understanding the visa process. Here is a guide to your visa application to allow an easy transition from Canada to France. 

Step 1: Document Preparation 

The first step in the process is gathering the necessary documents. This includes your valid Canadian passport, proof of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay (a bank statement that certifies you have success to at least 2,500 EUR in available funds), a return ticket or proof of funds to purchase one, and a clean police clearance certificate. You should also have medical insurance coverage for your stay.  

Step 2: Fill Out and Submit Visa Application 

The next step is to complete the Working Holiday Visa application form, which can be found on the official website of the Embassy of France in Canada. Attach all the required documents, including a cover letter explaining your motivations and plans for the working holiday in France. Make sure to provide accurate and honest information in this step. Any discrepancies can lead to delays or even denial of your application. Pay the required visa processing fees, which may depend on the embassy or consulate where you submit your application.  

Step 3: Attend a Visa Interview (if necessary) 

In some cases, you may be required to attend a visa interview at the French embassy or consulate. This step helps assess your suitability for the program and verify the authenticity of your application. 

Step 4: Receive Your Working Holiday Visa 

If your application is approved, great news! You will receive your working holiday visa, allowing you to live and work in France for up to 12 months. There are just a few more things to do upon your arrival in France. 

Step 5: Prepare for Travel and Arrival 

Make travel arrangements to France and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance. Upon arrival, you may be asked to provide additional documentation to immigration officials, such as proof of accommodation or a return ticket. 

It’s important to note that the specific requirements and procedures may vary, so it’s advisable to consult the official website of the Embassy of France in Canada for the most accurate up-to-date information. In addition, Go International can provide you with assistance and tips on navigating your way through the visa application process.  

France Working Holiday Visa Process

Strategizing for Your Working Holiday in France 

Embarking on a working holiday in France requires careful planning and preparation. Here are some key areas to focus on: 

  • Financial Planning: The first crucial step in preparing for a successful working holiday is creating a comprehensive budget that aligns with your financial capabilities. Take into account your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses to effectively manage your finances and avoid overspending. France offers an enticing experience, so plan your finances wisely to make the most of it.
  • Accommodation: Finding suitable housing is vital when relocating to a new country. Research different accommodation options like short-term rentals, hostels, or long-term leases. Opting for shared accommodation can be a cost-effective choice, leading to significant savings. Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations regarding rentals in France.
  • Transportation: It is crucial to understand the transportation system in your destination city. If you plan to stay in one place for a while, consider purchasing a car or bike, ensuring you have the necessary licenses. Public transportation is also a convenient and affordable option for exploring France and neighboring European countries. Remember, preparing for a working holiday in France goes beyond packing and booking a flight. It involves understanding the country, its customs, and its laws. Plan your journey in a way that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the enriching experience that France has to offer. 
  • Bank account: Opening a bank account is essential for receiving your salary and managing your finances. You will need your passport, visa, and address details to initiate the process of opening a bank account in France. 

Finding Work in France

To find work in France on a Working Holiday visa, adopt proactive strategies. Research the job market and sectors matching your skills and interests. Improve your French language skills. Utilize online job boards like Pôle Emploi, Indeed, and LinkedIn. Network with expats, professionals, and community groups. Connect with friends or acquaintances in France for job leads. 

Register with temporary work agencies specializing in short-term employment. Explore seasonal opportunities in tourism, hospitality, and agriculture. Cold call or send direct applications to companies. Tailor your resume and cover letter to the French market. Be persistent, adaptable, and comply with visa requirements. 

Research labor laws and regulations for visa holders. Ensure compliance and make the most of your working holiday experience in France. With proactive efforts, networking, and language skills, increase your chances of finding work. Embrace opportunities and make the most of your time in France on a working holiday visa. 

Finding Work in France

Embracing the French Culture and Lifestyle  

Embracing French culture and lifestyle is an enriching experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty and charm of the country. From savoring delicious cuisine to appreciating art, literature, and fashion, there are countless ways to embrace the unique French culture. 

Indulge in the culinary delights of France, from the delectable pastries and cheeses to the exquisite wines and gourmet dishes. Explore local markets, sample regional specialties, and learn about the art of French gastronomy. Immerse yourself in the arts by visiting museums, art galleries, and theaters. France has a rich artistic heritage, and you can admire masterpieces by renowned artists, attend captivating performances, and participate in cultural events and festivals. 

Embrace the slower pace of life by enjoying leisurely strolls along charming streets, sipping coffee at sidewalk cafés, and engaging in the French tradition of “joie de vivre” – finding pleasure in everyday moments. Learn the language and interact with locals to deepen your understanding of the culture. Engage in conversations, practice your French, and develop meaningful connections that will enhance your cultural experience. 

Overall, embracing French culture and lifestyle opens doors to a world of beauty, refinement, and joie de vivre, allowing you to create lasting memories and a profound appreciation for this captivating country. 

Embracing the French Culture and Lifestyle 

Travel in France 

France is a captivating nation, adorned with numerous captivating attractions that provide insights into its varied cultural, historical, and natural marvels. As a Canadian fortunate enough to have an IEC-qualified working holiday visa, you’ll be able to embark on a fascinating journey of discovery throughout this enchanting country. Here are some must-see destinations:   

  • Paris: The City of Lights captivates with its iconic landmarks, romantic ambiance, world-class museums like the Louvre, and a charming blend of history and modernity. 
  • Provence: Known for its picturesque landscapes, lavender fields, charming villages, and delectable cuisine, Provence offers a quintessential French experience. 
  • French Riviera: The glamorous playground of the rich and famous, the French Riviera boasts stunning beaches, luxurious resorts, vibrant nightlife, and charming coastal towns like Nice and Cannes. 
  • Mont Saint-Michel: Rising from the sea, this medieval abbey is a marvel of architecture and spirituality, surrounded by breathtaking views and mystical ambiance. 
  • Loire Valley: A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Loire Valley is renowned for its magnificent châteaux, lush vineyards, and picturesque countryside, making it a paradise for history and wine lovers alike. 
Travel in France

How long can I stay and work in France on a working holiday?

The working holiday program (which International Experience Canada identifies as a 3D visa) allows Canadian citizens between the ages of 18 to 35 to live in France with 4 to 12-month visas that can be renewed up to a maximum of two years. 

What is the processing time for visa application?

The processing time is approximately 30 days. It is recommended to apply for a working holiday visa a few months before the planned arrival date. 

How do I begin my Working Holiday Visa application for France?

If you are eligible, you may begin your application through the official website for visa applications to France.  

Can I apply for a working holiday in France if I’m 35 years old?

Yes, it is okay if you are 35 at the time of application. See more about the France working holiday visa for Canadians here. 

How long does it take to process the visa?

Typically, it will be processed within 15 days, but can be extended up to 45 days in particular cases. 

Should I give my biometrics to apply for the France working holiday visa?

Yes, all visas issued by France are biometric visas. More information on visa application guidelines can be found here.

Do I need a formal job offer before I enter France?

No, you do not need a formal job offer if you are applying for a working holiday visa. 

A working holiday in France for Canadians presents remarkable chances for adventure, personal development, and cultural immersion. The possibilities are abundant, ranging from finding employment in thriving industries to fully embracing the French way of life, including “joie de vivre” and indulging in culinary delights. It is crucial to plan ahead, ensuring all necessary paperwork and medical requirements are fulfilled. Embrace the anticipation of an extraordinary adventure that will have a lasting impact on your personal and professional growth. Create cherished memories and acquire valuable skills, such as proficiency in the French language, during your working holiday experience in France. 

We highly encourage all eligible Canadians with IEC qualifications to give serious thought to applying for the Working Holiday program in France. If you or someone you know is considering a working holiday in France, please feel free to reach out to us. We are committed to offering help and guidance in any way we can. 

Internship in France (Gold)

Gain valuable international work experience in your field during an internship in France. This is your chance to combine a trip to Paris with a major boost for your resume and future career. All placements are individually organized according to your preferences and skills.

Your French skills are rusty? Don’t worry, this package includes 4 weeks of French Language lessons.

Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, Paris
2-6 months

Internship in France (Silver)

Interning in France is a great opportunity to gain international work experience in your field for your studies or future career. Internship placements are available in a variety of industries for 2-6 months.

The Silver Package is only eligible to advanced students, who can demonstrate a high proficiency in French (B2/C1) and/or knowledge of France.

Bordeaux, Lyon, Nice, Paris
2-6 months

Work and Travel Hospitality in France Program

Have you ever dreamed about moving to Paris? This is your chance to live in France while gaining international work experience in hospitality, tourism or sales. This package guarantees an on-arrival paid job placement in Paris.

Your French skills are rusty? Don’t worry, this package includes 2 weeks of French Language lessons.

Nice, Paris
4-12 months

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