Working Holiday Visa in Switzerland

About this visa

7 Steps to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Switzerland

Young travelers from the listed participating countries are able to participate in the Youth Mobility Program to work and travel in Switzerland for up to one year!

You must have a trainee placement in Switzerland in order to apply for this visa. Find out how below.  


EU countries (Incl. Switzerland) are starting to reopen their borders to international travelers. However, before heading off to Europe be sure to double check with the country's Embassy or Consulate in your home country as the EU countries are not legally bound to follow this new EU recommendation.

Participating countries

Switzerland has made Working Holiday visa agreements with the following 13 participating countries:

If you are a Citizen of Switzerland and are considering a Working Holiday experience in one of the participating countries above, contact the Embassy of the country in question for more information.

With this visa you can

This visa allows you to:

  • Live in Switzerland up to 18 months
  • Work for an employer for 18 months
  • Re-enter Switzerland during the visa period

Things to note

In order to participate in the Youth Mobility Program you must find a trainee placement in Switzerland before applying and a trainee permit must be granted.

Trainee permits are granted on the basis of a written contract of employment with an integrated training programme. The employment contract must be signed by the employer and the trainee and should include at least the following details:

  • Type of employment and training programme (job description, schedule, courses, etc.)
  • Duration of employment (maximum 18 months)
  • Salary, trial period, period of notice
  • Working hours, holiday entitlement
  • Health and accident insurance (according to the Health Insurance Act)
  • Travel expenses

**Young professionals are required to work in the occupation that they have learned or in their study major. Part-time work or working as a self-employed person are not permitted.


  1. You are a citizen of one of the participating countries mentioned above.
  2. You are 18-35 years old (Australia: 20-30, New Zealand and Russia: 18-30).
  3. You have completed vocational training (apprenticeship, university of applied sciences, university; the agreement with Canada also admits undergraduates to work in Switzerland as part of their bachelor’s degree programme, the application must be accompanied by confirmation of enrolment at a college or a university).
  4. You work in the profession in which you have been trained.
  5. Access is possible for all professions, for professions that require diploma recognition, the corresponding permit must be enclosed.
  6. Your salary is based on the going rate for the region and sector, as for a job starter. Where a collective employment agreement (CEA) exists, the salary must be based on this. Otherwise, the salary must comply with cantonal wage guidelines and the recommendations of professional associations.
  7. Work permits are granted for a maximum of 18 months (several stays are possible as long as their overall duration does not exceed a total of 18 months).

Note: The visa conditions outlined above are subject to change without notice.

How to apply

  1. Receive a trainee permit from a Swiss business
  2. Collect the required visa document. You can find the checklist here
  3. Fill out the visa application form
  4. Submit the visa application in your home country. You can find the addresses here

The immigration authority in Switzerland for processing Working Holiday visa's is The Federal Council of Switzerland.

Go to: The Federal Council of Switzerland

Need more help?

If you are seeking advice about Working Holiday visa's drop a comment below and we will be happy to answer any Working Holiday & Youth Mobility visa question you have! We are travellers too! 🙂

Ask a question below

27 thoughts on “Working Holiday Visa in Switzerland”

  1. Hi, I’m Canadian but currently travelling. I will not be home before I arrive on Switzerland. How can I apply for the working by holiday visa while abroad? Am I eligible for this viss while already on a tourist visa in switzerland?

  2. Hi there

    I am currently in the UK for the next 2 years with a tier 5 Youth Mobility Visa but home is New Zealand, hoping to get a Working Holiday Visa as a nurse in Switzerland, do you know if I can do this from the UK?


  3. Hey I wanted to know, if you can start a working holiday at any point during the year or if there are special dates to begin?
    I’m Swiss and I’m living currently in Switzerland and I’d like to help a friend from Canada. He stays in Toronto for the moment.

  4. Hello, I represent an organization with a school in Geneva and hundreds of young teachers. Can USA or Canadian young teacher volunteer and work at schools in Geneva with no salary or salary coming from USA or Canada?

  5. Hi, i am indonesian, could i apply working holiday in switzeland? Or only certain countries allowed for working holidays?

  6. Hi there,
    I would like some clarification on the age limit to apply for a working holiday visa /Youth Mobility program in Switzerland.

    In the conditions, it states to be eligible:

    You are 18-35 years old (Australia: 20-30, New Zealand and Russia: 18-30).

    I’m 31 years of age and from Australia. Can I apply for this visa?

    If not, what other options/visas are available for me to work and live in Switzerland?

    Thank you in advance.

  7. Hello, I’m turning 28 this year and I’ve been teaching English since 2015. I’m interested in working in Switzerland as a teacher or even as an Assistant teacher. Is it possible to search for a job online for this? Or should I just contact the embassy?

  8. I’m living in Australia and have a girlfriend in Switzerland, I want to go and live with her and do some work also I’m a cabinet maker/carpenter. Can I get a visa and go over there to find work or do I have to find work before I go?

  9. Hello I’m from New Zealand and am 28 years old currently living in Germany and working under a working holiday visa.

    With your working holiday visa can I only work in Switzerland??

  10. Im 27, Canadian and have 8 years experience in the kitchen, provided i can find a work contract, what are the minimum educational requirements?

  11. We are a 23 and 24 yo Australian couple looking to work and travel all over switzerland, however this page says you need a letter from an employer…

    Is it not possible to just come there and travel while getting odd casual jobs in a new location each week?

    I feel by having to line up an employer, it’s more of a career driven visa that requires you to stay with one employer in one place the whole time.

    My partner is in mental health support services and I am in hotel management and hospitality. We are both CIT qualified in our fields

    Our hope was to move around and find jobs as we go (We do have financial savings and family (permanent residents) in Switzerland too).

    Can you clarify?

  12. Hi I am Jan from PH, 27 years old and would like to give a try for Working Holiday Visa as it has been my dream – to live and work in Switzerland – since i was young. How should I start? Can you enlighten me how to get this “Receive a trainee permit from a Swiss business”? I am currently working as an accountant overseas.

  13. Hi there,

    So to be clear, you must have a trainee offer to apply for the working holiday visa in Switzerland? You cannot just apply for the visa and have it granted so that you can live/travel in Switzerland and look for work while you are there?

    Most working holiday visa allow the visa to be granted and then you would find work etc once you arrive.

    Thank you,

  14. Hi, I am 25 years old Australian, I am planning to apply for an internship position in Switzerland. Can I apply for a youth mobility visa for the internship? Or should I go for a regular working visa?

  15. Hi,
    I’m a Canadian citizen currently living in Luxembourg, and also have a permanent address in Canada. I have a job opportunity from a well-known Swiss company in Zurich. I’m under 35 which should make me eligible for the Youth Mobility program. But, the position is very senior and I’m not a “trainee”. Can I still use this Youth mobility program?

  16. Do you have to know German to work in Switzerland. Can you work in an office trainee environment that you can do work in English? And what if I have a medical condition and can’t work to the full capacity like a normal person. Is there a job for people with disability?

    1. Hi Chievhong, this visa is an opportunity to experience another culture and working is optional as a means to help cover your living costs during your stay. Regarding casual work positions in Switzerland for people with disabilities I would reach out to disability service organisations both in your home country and in Switzerland prior to arriving.

      There isn’t a requirement to know German to be able to work in Switzerland though employers may require this. You should check with your closest Swiss Embassy or Consulate as to whether your medical condition will impact your Working Holiday/Youth Mobility experience and how they can assist you.

      1. Hi I am from Australia and an Engineer. I have 2 years experience and I would love to use the visa to get some work experience and connections in Switzerland. Can a regular graduate type job qualify as a traineeship?

    1. Hi Andrew, thanks for asking. You should check with the Swiss Embassy or Consulate in Malaysia to confirm your eligibility for the Working Holiday/Youth Mobility visa program or other alternate visa options.

  17. Hello, I am confused after searching through the website. First of all, my husband and I are both 31 year old Americans but will most likely be 32 before we apply for any type of visa. When I search for which Working Holiday Visas are available to 32 year olds, Switzerland is on that list and USA is listed in the participating countries above but Switzerland is NOT listed when I look at the page for Working Holiday Visas for Americans. If Switzerland lists USA as a participating country, why isn’t Switzerland listed when I search for Working Holiday Visas by my home country?

    Also, Australia is listed when I search for Working Holiday Visas for 32 year olds but when I look at Australia’s page, it states that one of the conditions is that you have not yet turned 31. So why does Australia show up on that list?

    I’m simply trying to figure out for which countries we are eligible for a Working Holiday Visa as 32 year old Americans. Any help and clarification is much appreciated.

  18. Hey I’m just confirming I’m from Australia and I’m 31 does this mean I’m not eligible for a working holiday visa?

    1. Hi John, bad news John. Looks like our information here is not current and due to the unique way that Switzerland requires all States to vote on any changes to their society a bilateral agreement between Australia and Switzerland is a long way off… let alone one for Australian Citizens up to 35. 🙁

      Other visa options for Switzerland include a traditional work visa but that will require you to have a job offer. I would recommend looking at neighbouring countries that issue Freelancer/Self-employed visa’s, this visa type has no age restriction and typically give you at least 12 months residence in their country; e.g. Germany and France.

      I’ll be cleaning up this Page later today to reflect this new information as there are some Working Holiday Visa/Youth Mobility agreements requiring me to confirm with each Consulate if they are still applicable; e.g. Canada, New Zealand, Russia.

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