Working Holiday Visa Canada

Have you ever wanted to explore what Canada has to offer but weren’t sure where to start? Why not try a working holiday? Getting a Canadian Working Holiday Visa can be a fun way to earn money while exploring the country, and it is easier than you might think!

Where Do I Start?

One of the best paths to work and travel in Canada is to take part in the International Experience Canada program (IEC). This program allows for youth in other countries to visit Canada and to work for anywhere from one to two years. However, you can only take part in the IEC if you are between the ages of 18-35.

If you are the correct age, then there are two ways you can be eligible for the IEC program. One is if your country has an existing IEC agreement with Canada. Every country that has one of these agreements in place has its own specific eligibility requirements, which you can explore here.

The other way to take part in the IEC program is if you use what is called a recognized organization (RO). ROs can help you understand more about Canadian culture, taxes, laws and languages, and most importantly, they can help you find a job. ROs are typically organizations that cater to youth, and can be for-profit, non-profit or educational in nature. There are usually fees associated with using an RO. A list of ROs can be found here.

How Do I Apply?

The first thing to do is to create an IEC profile. This will let Canadian authorities know that you want a Working Holiday Visa. Once you’ve completed the official profile, you’ll be placed into a special “pool” of candidates that are determined based on your country of origin and by visa type (in this case, the visa type will be the Working Holiday Visa). Over the course of the year the Canadian authorities will hold “draws” that select candidates at random until all positions are filled.

If you are successfully chosen by a draw, only then will you be invited to fill out the official application for a work permit. If you receive an invitation to apply for the Working Holiday Visa, you’ll have 10 days to complete the application. However, once all the Working Holiday Visas are given away for the year, the pool will close for the season. For the best results, become a candidate as early as possible in the season.

What Kind of Visa Will I Need?

To get yourself a Working Holiday Visa as a part of the IEC, what you’ll need is what is called an open work permit. This is a work permit that gives the recipient the ability to work for any employer they want, with very few exceptions. As mentioned above, you can only apply for the Working Holiday Visa to Canada if you have already completed an IEC candidate profile.

The application process is relatively easy, and the permit will be issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, otherwise known as the IRCC. Whether you’re coming from Hong Kong, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom or China, everyone is welcome to enjoy the benefits of a Working Holiday Visa.

Keep in mind: While researching online about your working visa to Canada, you may see a reference to a Canadian government department other than the IRCC called Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). These two are actually the same department. The IRCC is simply the new name for the CIC, and not all websites have been updated since the name change took place in 2016.

What If I Don’t Have a Job Offer Before I Arrive?

That’s ok! If you don’t have an existing  job offer, you can still take part in the IEC Working Holiday Visa program. In fact, getting a Working Holiday Visa for Canada can even be a way to fund your vacation! By taking on temporary work in Canada, you can give yourself the financial flexibility to explore our country, or use your time to gain professional experience in a Canadian setting.

Will Are the Eligibility Requirements?

Gaining entry to Canada is relatively easy. As long as the you are in the correct age category (18-35 years old), can prove your citizenship in your country of origin, and do not have any serious medical or criminal issues that might cause you to be inadmissible, your will be eligible to receive a Working Holiday Visa and enter Canada. You will also need a valid passport for the duration of your stay.

How Much Will It Cost?

First, you’ll need the equivalent of $2,500 when you arrive to help cover some of your preliminary expenses. You must also be able to purchase health and travel insurance for the length of your stay in Canada. This is very important. Having travel insurance is mandatory for all IEC work permits.

And make sure that the travel insurance you buy covers the entire duration of your stay in the country. You cannot buy a short term travel insurance and then extend it later. And if you do only purchase temporary travel insurance (such a three or six month term) then when you arrive in Canada, you run the risk of the border agent or immigration officer only giving you a three or six month visa, as opposed to receiving a full one or two-year visa.

To get a Working Holiday Visa in Canada, it is also necessary to pay a participation fee of CAD$150, and an open work permit holder fee of CAD$100. You should also have either A) a round-trip ticket home to your country of origin, or B) the financial resources to buy a ticket at the end of your time in Canada.

Contact Us

For answers to all of your questions, make sure to get intouch with us today for an immigration consultation! The first 20 minutes of our conversation is absolutely free. At Tudor House Immigration, we’ve got the answers and advice you’ll need to help make your Canadian dreams come true!

Need Assistance?

Speak with Canadian Immigration Specialist Chris Brown from Tudor House Immigration Services.

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“Chris was both knowledgeable and helpful. He made us feel at ease when asking questions and gave us valuable advice that would have been difficult for us to find on our own.”

Alana B – May 18, 2020