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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All!

I just went through the 2E VISA application process (Working Holiday Visa under the Canada/France Youth Exchange Agreement). We are Canadian and will be moving to France for a year. I thought it might be helpful to go through some of the requirements and paperwork needed for those of you trying to get this Visa as well. I know it can be stressful, and I found this forum and online blogs to be very helpful when trying to gather all my Visa documents.

Return flight ticket or proof of sufficient financial means: I purchased my departure and return tickets through Air Canada. Since you can’t get a return flight booked more than a year in advance I called them and explained my situation (having to buy the ticket early for the visa). They marked on my file that I would not be charged for changing my return flight date. For the visa, I printed out my online tickets and highlighted a section in the notes page that said “Ticket Particularities: Refundable” I also wrote beside this that I would be changing my departure date once I was able to and once the date I needed was available to book. They had no problem with this, even though the return date on my ticket wasn’t actually the return date that I was going to be coming back on.

Proof of sufficient financial means: To show this I simply went to my bank with the annex 7 “Proof of Sufficient Financial Means” affidavit and had them sign it and stamp it at the bottom. The lady at the front greeting desk actually did this for me in about 2 seconds. We are going for a whole year, but you only need to show that you have at least $3,000 dollars in your account. This affidavit is all you need to prove that.

Cover Letter Addressed to General Consulate of France: I wrote this one page letter in English, despite reading from some people that you should write it in French, and it was accepted just fine. Make sure to include your dates of travel and the reasons why you want this visa. I made sure to include that I wanted to learn about the French culture and travel in France and that I also wanted to learn the language. I also mentioned that I hoped to obtain a job, since this a working holiday visa.

Document from your provincial insurance indicating that you retain access to this organism for duration of stay: To get this go to your Service Ontario office and tell them you are travelling and for how long. If it is for a year like us you will have to get a new health card that covers you for the year you are away. Tell them you need to get “continuous OHIP eligibility” coverage while you are away. They will issue you a new health card for the year you are away, it will have limited coverage. When you return to Canada you will have to get a new health card. I photocopied the paper health card they gave me and also asked the lady to write me a letter saying we would retain our coverage while in France. I had to specifically ask for the letter, she did not offer it. However, she was very willing to write it and was very helpful. I submitted the letter and the photocopied paper version of my health card as proof.

There is a helpful link that I can't post because I am not an active member yet. But if you go to the Ontario Ministry of Health website and look up Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan, Longer Absences from Ontario it should take you to an information page. Find the section on "absences outside Canada". It will have information on the type of coverage you are eligible for while travelling outside Canada.

Additional Medical Insurance Certificate: There are tons of insurance companies out there. We decided to go with Blue Cross, you will have to call them if your trip is for a year. They set us up with Travel Insurance with Emergency Medical Care for $723. They emailed us a receipt. I included the receipt as my proof of purchase, as well as a copy of the insurance certificate they mailed us, and a brochure that I highlighted with our coverage.

Insurance certificate for personal liability: We did some research and discovered that you can’t really get this kind of insurance in Canada, it’s a European thing. So, we filled out the affidavit number 6 saying we will obtain this insurance once we arrive in France.

We handed all this in and got our Visa in the mail the next day. Make sure if you aren’t picking it up in person that you bring an Xpress envelope with you for them to mail it back. Also, make sure you check and bring with you all the original and copies that are required , this will make it easier when it comes time to get the Visa if you have everything they need.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask. I know how stressful it can be, but you can do it!
 

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Hi Cokernut, thanks for the info, it was very helpful! I am trying to go through this process as well. I was wondering if you went through any organizations like Swap, or did you already know someone in France, or did you do this all on your own (in which case I am extremely impressed!)

The French visa application asks applicants where they will be working and where they will be living once in France. Did you already have this picked out before obtaining your visa? If not what do you write down on the form? I contacted Swap to assist me in these matters, but they have not contacted me yet. I could always contact the French Consulate in Montreal, but having worked in the same building where it is situated, I saw first hand the numerous people that walked through their door on a daily basis and only want to go to them as a last resort !

Are you and your friend-spouse in France yet? I have visited France, but only as a tourist, if you are already there do you recommend it as a place to work-live?

Thanks!

Traveling Gnome
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Cokernut, thanks for the info, it was very helpful! I am trying to go through this process as well. I was wondering if you went through any organizations like Swap, or did you already know someone in France, or did you do this all on your own (in which case I am extremely impressed!)

The French visa application asks applicants where they will be working and where they will be living once in France. Did you already have this picked out before obtaining your visa? If not what do you write down on the form? I contacted Swap to assist me in these matters, but they have not contacted me yet. I could always contact the French Consulate in Montreal, but having worked in the same building where it is situated, I saw first hand the numerous people that walked through their door on a daily basis and only want to go to them as a last resort !

Are you and your friend-spouse in France yet? I have visited France, but only as a tourist, if you are already there do you recommend it as a place to work-live?

Thanks!

Traveling Gnome

Hi Traveling Gnome,

Glad to be of help. We didn't go through any organizations like SWAP, we just did it on our own and I did a lot of research on the internet and this site to help out. It was a lot of work, but we figured it out eventually. I'm sure an organization would be a ton of help to answer any of your questions though, we probably should have thought to do that.

We fortunately already knew where we would be living because my fiance's school (he is here on a student visa doing a year of his PhD here) set up a place for us to live on his campus, kind of like a residence. So we already had an address for where we would be living and we put that in. As far as work, I didn't put anything down, as I didn't have a job lined up. It didn't seem to be a problem, since I had proof of financial means (the $3000). I also mentioned in my cover letter that I planned to look for work once I was here. My fiance didn't need to show he had a job because, like I said, he is here as a student. He did have to show he was enrolled in the school however and that he had financial means too (which he will have from a scholarship).

The consulate isn't much help with questions. If you call them or go in without an appointment they won't even help you at all. In fact we found the only way to get any help from them was to email them using the email we found on their website. Usually we just figured out the answers to our questions by researching online. My fiance also happened to have a contact at the french embassy that helped us answer some questions as well, so that was a big help.

As far as how we like it. Well we just arrived last Tuesday, so we've only been here a week. I'm enjoying it so far. The food is great and it's beautiful here. I do find it a bit of an adjustment and difficult at times since I don't speak French very well, so if you do speak French you will probably be better off than me. There can definitely be a language barrier when trying to get some things done, like trying to open a bank account (something we are still working on). I'm planning to try and teach myself French as the year goes on and I'm sure that will make my experience a better one.

I haven't looked for work yet, as we just got here and I have enough money to get by for awhile. So, I can't comment on how that experience is yet. But, so far it seems like a nice place to live. All it takes is some wine and baguettes to keep me happy :)

Hope that helps and good luck with your visa application.
 

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Thanks @cokernut! This thread is super helpful. I too am moving to France for a year with my partner - he is doing a post-doc at Universite Bordeaux 1 - and so I am applying for the 2E Visa to live and work over there with him for a year.

A few specific questions:

Hi All!

Insurance certificate for personal liability: We did some research and discovered that you can’t really get this kind of insurance in Canada, it’s a European thing. So, we filled out the affidavit number 6 saying we will obtain this insurance once we arrive in France.
1) Have you got this insurance for personal liability yet? Where do you get it from and how much does it cost?

2) Did you address in your cover letter that you were moving over with your partner who was on a different visa type?

3) How long did the Visa processing actually take after you had your appointment/submitted the documents?

ETA: 4) Have you started looking for a job yet? I've heard you have a submit the job offer to get an actual permit to work?

Thanks!

Jackie
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks @cokernut! This thread is super helpful. I too am moving to France for a year with my partner - he is doing a post-doc at Universite Bordeaux 1 - and so I am applying for the 2E Visa to live and work over there with him for a year.

A few specific questions:



1) Have you got this insurance for personal liability yet? Where do you get it from and how much does it cost?

2) Did you address in your cover letter that you were moving over with your partner who was on a different visa type?

3) How long did the Visa processing actually take after you had your appointment/submitted the documents?

ETA: 4) Have you started looking for a job yet? I've heard you have a submit the job offer to get an actual permit to work?

Thanks!

Jackie
Hi Jackiejohnstone!

Sounds like you have a similar situation to us. My fiance is over here on a 2B Visa doing part of his PhD and I came along with him for the adventure. We are living in Toulouse, but Bourdeaux sounds lovely and we'd love to visit. You'll have to let us know how the wine is!

As far as your questions go:

1) Yes, we did get the insurance once we got here. You can't really get it in Canada. There are many insurance companies here you can get it from and many of the banks sell insurance too. We opened up a bank account a few weeks after we got here (which is quite the process by the way). We got an account with a bank called Credit Agricole because it was the only one where we could find an English representative. Credit Agricole also sold insurance, so when we opened our account we also purchased the insurance. It cost about 50 Euros for a years worth of insurance. I think the liability insurance is called something like "Assurance Responsabilite civile vie privee" here. We just asked for liability insurance and the lady at the bank told us it was probably this kind, since this is the kind of insurance all French citizens are responsible for having.

2) Yes, I did address in my cover letter that I was moving over with my Fiance and that he was applying for the 2B visa. I said I wanted to join him on the adventure while he was there for his studies. However, I also included in my letter that I wanted to take the opportunity to travel while I was there and to learn about the french culture. I also mentioned wanting to learn french.

3) We handed in our visas in person at our appointment in Toronto. We included express envelopes and they were mailed back to us within a few days ( I think it was only something like 2 days). It was really quick, which I was quite surprised by. However, be careful to double check things when you get them back. Although my visa was fine and ready to go, we noticed that they spelled my Fiance's middle name wrong. So make sure you clearly spell out your name and that they have everything right. It wasn't that big of a deal, we just emailed them and mailed them the passport back. They wrote in pen on the top the mistake they made and initialed it. We were worried that wouldn't be very official, but we haven't had any problems with it, other than it took another 2 weeks for it come back with the corrections.

4) I haven't started looking for a job yet. I'm not sure if I'm going to work yet or not. I might just take the year off and try to learn french or maybe take an online class (I'm a supply teacher and there are lots of classes I could take online). I have some savings and my fiance has a scholarship, so we'll see how far that takes us. I might try tutoring people in english or trying to find a job somewhere if funds are low. However, I'm not sure how easy that is in our area, especially because I don't speak much french. From what I understand getting a job can be a bit complicated, however I can't speak from experience since I haven't tried to get one yet.

Sorry for the long winded post. I'm a lady of many words. Hope that helps. When are you planning to come to France? Let us know how Bordeaux is, it's one of the places on our list to visit.

Good luck with the visa process!
 

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Cokernut, This post is incredibly useful. Thank you for taking the time to write it and to answer questions. Finding information regarding the WHV for France has been challenging!

I am currently in the process of applying for the 2E visa. I just got back from Service Ontario after getting the receipt for the new healthcard. But when I mentioned a letter, the lady looked at me crosseyed and said there is no such thing. Do you happen to have a copy of said letter? Or maybe a quote from the letter so that I can specifically tell the staff what I need typed up. I would love to use it to show Service Ontario what I need. I'm worried that without it, the French embassy will not approve my application when I finally get in for my appointment.

Hope your stay is amazing!
 

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I have to chime in. I ve been reading this forum a lot in anticipation of my trip to France. Finding this posting has been such a helpful tool that i joined this site just to thank you. That's an obvious testament to how useless the french consulate can be.

I just had my meeting at the consulate office in Toronto and it was no problem. The french government no longer requires this letter, all you need is a receipt stating that you will retain coverage during your stay which is the piece of paper that you get at service ontario.

A quick word to anyone anxious about the application process. It is really a breeze as long as your paperwork is organized. Even if its not (i had messed up the dates for my ohip coverage, but went back in and got two year extension coverage to be safe) its a simple fix to email them any corrected information.
 

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If you're really concerned about additional information from ohio you can request that they fill out an eligibility assessment for ohio coverage. As i stated it is no longer necessary to provide this as the receipt they give you states your coverage eligibility but its an extra precaution to put the mind at ease.


Thanks again cokernut!!!0000
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cokernut, This post is incredibly useful. Thank you for taking the time to write it and to answer questions. Finding information regarding the WHV for France has been challenging!

I am currently in the process of applying for the 2E visa. I just got back from Service Ontario after getting the receipt for the new healthcard. But when I mentioned a letter, the lady looked at me crosseyed and said there is no such thing. Do you happen to have a copy of said letter? Or maybe a quote from the letter so that I can specifically tell the staff what I need typed up. I would love to use it to show Service Ontario what I need. I'm worried that without it, the French embassy will not approve my application when I finally get in for my appointment.

Hope your stay is amazing!
Hi!
Glad I could help. I wouldn't be worried if you didn't get a letter. Like dannycooks says below, I think you'll be fine as long as you have the receipt they gave you. I don't even think they really looked at my letter to be honest. But I put a copy of the receipt and the letter in just in case.

In fact, when we went in they didn't know what we were talking about when I asked for a letter either. I printed out a copy of the VISA requirements and I highlighted the part where it said we needed a letter and showed it to the lady at Service Ontario. We must have got a nice lady because she told us she could type one up if we wanted. She went into her office for five minutes, typed out a quick letter on her computer that basically said , in summary:

-our health insurance would remain in force during the dates of our trip

- during our absence from Ontario reimbursement of medical services was subject to the applicable rates of the Ministry of Health of Ontario

- reimbursement was limited to $400.00 canadian dollars a day for emergency hopsitalization.

- and that they suggested we take out private insurance to cover costs
differences

I don't think it was any official letter or anything and she didn't really seem to know what I was talking about when I first asked. I think we just happened to get a nice lady and she wrote out something herself on the spot. But, like dannycooks says, you should be fine with just the receipt. So, don't worry about it if they don't give you a letter.

Good luck with the application process. It won't be as scary as you think, so try not to stress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to chime in. I ve been reading this forum a lot in anticipation of my trip to France. Finding this posting has been such a helpful tool that i joined this site just to thank you. That's an obvious testament to how useless the french consulate can be.

I just had my meeting at the consulate office in Toronto and it was no problem. The french government no longer requires this letter, all you need is a receipt stating that you will retain coverage during your stay which is the piece of paper that you get at service ontario.

A quick word to anyone anxious about the application process. It is really a breeze as long as your paperwork is organized. Even if its not (i had messed up the dates for my ohip coverage, but went back in and got two year extension coverage to be safe) its a simple fix to email them any corrected information.
Thanks for helping dannycooks! Good to know you don't need the letter anymore. There's so much conflicting information out there when applying for a VISA. I feel like nobody knows what they are doing.

Glad you found the post helpful. I know I was super confused and stressed when I was applying for mine and I was hoping this post would alleviate that stress for someone else going through the same process in the future.

Enjoy your stay in France and again, glad I could be of help.
 

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Cokernut, so much useful information. It's always so great to have someone who can give you tips who has actually gone through the process of obtaining a 2E visa.

I'm from Nova Scotia and was wondering if you (or anyone) knew off hand whether or not I will need to travel to Montreal (closest French consulate to NS) to make an appointment. If so, is this to be done after I submit all my documents via mail, during or before? I've looked on the website a bunch of times and it's not very clear what the steps are. I proceeded to call them where I got an automated message telling me to email them. So I did and received a reply stating that all the information is on the website. So now I am back to square 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cokernut, so much useful information. It's always so great to have someone who can give you tips who has actually gone through the process of obtaining a 2E visa.

I'm from Nova Scotia and was wondering if you (or anyone) knew off hand whether or not I will need to travel to Montreal (closest French consulate to NS) to make an appointment. If so, is this to be done after I submit all my documents via mail, during or before? I've looked on the website a bunch of times and it's not very clear what the steps are. I proceeded to call them where I got an automated message telling me to email them. So I did and received a reply stating that all the information is on the website. So now I am back to square 1.
Hi Jd34! Glad I could help.

I don't know for certain about your question, because I lived close enough to the Toronto Consulate that I just went in person. However, I did a quick search for the Montreal Consulate and it looks like they actually prefer people applying for the 2E visa to send it by mail, so you probably don't have to go to the consulate in person.

This is the link where I found that information:
Visas : prise de rendez-vous / Scheduling an appointment - Consulat général de France à Montréal

- FOR THOSE CANADIANS AGED 18 TO 35 who wish to travel to France under the France-Canada Youth Exchange Agreement and other Canadian students, please do not schedule an appointment, as you are required to submit your application by mail ONLY : click here.
That sends you to this link:


France-Canada youth exchange agreement ? Biometric Visas - Consulat général de France à Montréal


- You are required to send your visa application by mail, in an express post envelope, to the following address:
Consulat général de France à Montréal
Service des visas
1501, rue McGill College – suite 1000
MONTREAL (Qc) H3A 3M8

and this not to take the place of people who are required to make an appointment.

- A pre-sent envelope Xpresspost (size 241x318mm) must be joined to the demand to return your passport and visa. Envelopps from Courier Services like Purolator, Fedex, UPS … are not accepted.

Application processing times : between 2 and 3 weeks

The visa is free.

Originals documents which are not photocopied will not be returned.
Looks like you just have to mail your documents and photocopies in an Xpresspost envelope. Make sure you include another envelope so they can send back your passport. You probably also want to make sure to keep a copy of everything for yourself before you send it off.

The only thing is, it might take a little longer to do by mail, so keep that in mind with your timing for your trip.

Hope that helps. I think that is correct information.

-Ellen
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi!

I am all ready to mail in my 2E application to Toronto.
Do I need to send in a fee$$? Or is this Visa free.

Thanks!
Hi benperson,

I'm pretty sure that under the Canada France Youth Agreement you do not have to pay for this type of visa. I don't remember paying anything when I got my 2E visa.

Hope that helps.
 

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I'm from Vancouver and I'm currently trying to apply for the 2E Working Holiday Visa. Let's hope things will progress smoothly... o.o...

Thank you cokernut for such a detailed explanation of the process you went through! It was sooo helpful... I'm also interested in purchasing insurance from Blue Cross. Could you tell me what was the name of insurance package? And did you show the representative what was required by the 2E visa and then they helped you? I'm just a fresh graduate so paying $723 seems a bit expensive for me T.T...

I also have a few questions for everyone. Hopefully someone knows the answer. I heard that with a working holiday visa, we can only receive jobs where the contract is 'determined' and is in the time length of our visa. We then have to go back to Canada to apply for another visa... Does anybody know someone who has actually done this? Or is there a loophole or another way to do this without going back to Canada?
 

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As far as I know, on a working holiday visa you are limited to CDD jobs (i.e. limited term employment) and you MUST return to your home country at the end of the visa term.

The Canadian consulate states pretty clearly on their website that a working holiday visa is good for 12 months, with "the possibility of a 6 months increase" only for the "young professionals" visa (2A) - so 18 months max and then you MUST return home. For all other forms of working holiday visa, the maximum term is 12 months.

Take a look here for more information: France-Canada youth exchange agreement - La France au Canada/France in Canada
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Cokernut, (or anyone else who is in my situation right now),
On the affidavit (annex 7), it states that you need a "director" to sign and stamp it. I was wondering if you actually got the director/manager or just someone working at the bank that has access to your accounts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Cokernut, (or anyone else who is in my situation right now),
On the affidavit (annex 7), it states that you need a "director" to sign and stamp it. I was wondering if you actually got the director/manager or just someone working at the bank that has access to your accounts.
jd34,

I did not get it signed by a director and it seemed to work out just fine. I think as long as it as the bank stamp with the signature it should be fine if you get it signed by anyone at the bank. I just walked in, went up to the welcome desk and explained what I needed to the lady there. She happened to have just come back from studying in France and knew exactly what I needed, so I didn't have any problems getting the signature (not sure if it will be as easy for everyone, I may have just lucked out).

Hopefully you can get it as easily as I did. Good luck.
 
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