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Canadians in Europe: How to live and work across the pond

Let's get into Europe and how to move to this side of the world. I did a poll on my Instagram titled “If you could move to Europe easily would you?” and I got many responses from people that would want to move and ones that like the idea and want to know more so I decided that this would be a great blog post. I am currently living in the UK, specifically London, and this was one of the best decisions of my life. I grew up in Jamaica and immigrated to Canada and having a Canadian passport is honestly the best thing that my parents could have done for me. Many times when I speak to people they think that I jumped through hoops to get here and the truth is, I did not. I applied for a working visa and I got approved within 3 weeks. Canada has really strong global connections in the world that allows their citizens to work and live in different places with ease. If it was up to my Jamaican passport, unfortunately I would have never had these opportunities. So to my fellow Canadians, you are blessed, take advantage of the opportunities if they are of interest to you, it just may change your life. In this blog, I want to expand on some places of interest in Europe that Canadians are able to move to with just a simple visa application.


#1 - United Kingdom (Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme)


Visa Details: The Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme allows Canadians aged 18-30 (from 31 January 2024, you can apply if you’re 18 to 35) to live and work in the UK for up to two years. This visa offers the chance to experience the vibrant British culture and explore its diverse regions.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 30 years old, (from 31 January 2024, 18 to 35)

- Financial requirement: You'll need to show proof of sufficient funds of £2,530

- Application Process: Apply online and attend a biometric appointment.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is currently £298, and the healthcare surcharge, which is usually £470 per year.


Work and Travel Opportunities: With this visa, you can work in various industries in the UK. From London's finance sector to the charming countryside, the UK has much to offer. It's also an ideal gateway for exploring Europe.


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#2: France (Working Holiday Visa, PVT)


Visa Details: The French Working Holiday Visa, also known as the PVT (Programme Vacances-Travail), is designed for Canadians aged 18-35. It allows you to live and work in France for up to one year.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 35.

- Financial requirements: Demonstrate sufficient funds for your stay, min $2500 CAD, and have a return ticket

- Application Process: Apply through the French consulate or embassy.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is free for Canadians

- Other: Never have already partaken of the working holiday programme and not be accompanied by a dependent child


Work and Travel Opportunities: This visa enables you to work in France while experiencing its rich culture, cuisine, and landmarks. Whether you're in Paris, the French Riviera, or the charming countryside, you'll find plenty to explore.


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#3: The Netherlands (Working Holiday Program)


Visa Details: The Dutch Working Holiday Program is open to Canadians aged 18-30. It allows you to live and work in the Netherlands for up to one year.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 30.

- Financial requirements: Show proof of funds to support yourself based on your own estimates, have a return ticket or show that you have enough money to purchase one

- Application Process: Apply at the Dutch embassy or consulate.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is € 70

- Other: Never have already partaken of the working holiday programme and going to the Netherlands for cultural exchange.


Work and Travel Opportunities: Explore Dutch culture, art, and history while working in various sectors. Enjoy the scenic canals of Amsterdam and the vibrant city life.


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#4: Germany (Youth Mobility Visa)


Visa Details: The German Youth Mobility Visa, also known as the "Working Holiday Visa," is available to Canadians aged 18-35. It permits a stay of up to one year, during which you can work, travel, and experience German culture.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 35.

- Financial requirements: Show proof of sufficient funds.

- Application Process: Apply at the German embassy or consulate.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is $110 CAD

- Visa Duration: This visa allows for a one-year stay in Germany, with the option to extend.


Work and Travel Opportunities: With the German Youth Mobility Visa, you can work in a variety of sectors. Explore Germany's rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cities, such as Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg.


Resources:




#5: Italy (Working Holiday Agreement)


Visa Details: Italy offers a Working Holiday Agreement to Canadians aged 18-35. This visa allows for a one-year stay, during which you can work and immerse yourself in the art, history, and culture of Italy.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 35.

- Financial requirements: Provide evidence of sufficient funds, and a departure ticket

- Application Process: Apply at the Italian consulate or embassy.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is €116.00, and the healthcare surcharge

- Other: A declaration of intent to work temporarily to supplement financial resources


Work and Travel Opportunities: Italy is a treasure trove of art, history, and culinary delights. Immerse yourself working in Italy while exploring its iconic cities like Rome, Florence, and Venice.


Resources:




#6: Spain (Youth Mobility Program)


Visa Details: Spain offers a Youth Mobility Program to Canadians aged 18-35. This program allows for a one-year stay in Spain for work, travel, and cultural exploration.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 35.

- Financial requirements: Show proof of sufficient funds 2,602.67 CAD, return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase it, and medical travel insurance coverage

- Application Process: Apply through the Spanish consulate or embassy.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is $150 CAD.

- Other: A motivation letter, proof of accommodation


Work and Travel Opportunities: Immerse and learn about the unique cultural experiences Spain has to offer, from flamenco dancing to the stunning architecture of cities like Barcelona and Madrid.


Resources:





#7: Portugal (Working Holiday Agreement)


Visa Details: Portugal offers a Working Holiday Agreement to Canadians aged 18-35, allowing them to live and work in Portugal for up to one year. This is an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture of Portugal.


Eligibility Criteria:

- Age requirement: You must be between 18 and 35.

- Financial requirements: Provide evidence of sufficient funds for your stay, return ticket or sufficient funds to purchase it, and adequate health insurance

- Application Process: Apply at the Portuguese consulate or embassy.

- Visa Fees: The application fee for this visa is €75


Work and Travel Opportunities: Portugal offers a diverse range of experiences, from the historic streets of Lisbon to the beautiful beaches of the Algarve. Experience working in Portugal while enjoying its stunning scenery and warm hospitality.


Resources:




These seven countries were chosen based on which countries I felt that the majority of people would be interested in. There are many other countries in Europe that offer this such as Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Luthuania, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland so feel free to do your own research if those other countries are of interest to you. With all these visas, you will need a valid Canadian passport to apply. I hope this has been helpful for those looking to change scenery for a year or two and experience an unforgettable chapter living overseas. My personal advice is that, do your research on the country that you want to go to, there is so much information online. Find your tribe on TikTok, Facebook groups, Instagram as there are so many Canadians moving abroad, talk to them, get a feel from their experience and most importantly, just do it! I promise, you will not regret it. If you are looking for any advice on England and London specifically, send me a message, I am always happy to chat and share my resources innit.


One thing about Europeans, they love football, my first football match to see Manchester City play


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