Canadian Working Holiday Visa – Everything You Need to Know

Canadian Working Holiday Visa – Everything You Need to Know

In the past decades, tourism has experienced continued growth and became one of the fastest growing economic sectors globally. However, things came into a grinding halt last year due to the global pandemic.  

2020 has been undeniably a rocky road but the new year brings the hope of new air corridors opening up and better testing protocols, as well as brainstorming adaptive measures to restart global travel, trips abroad will start becoming easier again. 

If you are looking for an international getaway, you may want to consider applying for a working holiday visa in Canada. The 2021 International Experience Canada (IEC) season will open on 1 March at 9 AM EST. A working holiday visa will allow you to work part-time while basking in the beauty of Canada’s majestic mountains, forested valleys, and beautiful blue rivers and lakes.    

Why Apply for Canadian Working Holiday Visa?

The Working Holiday Visa is a temporary open work permit that lasts between 12 and 24 months, depending on your country of origin. This visa is ideal for those who haven’t settled on a career path yet and want to gain valuable global experience. 

The best thing about the Working Holiday Visa is that it will allow you to earn money so that you can fund your travels during your stay.

The International Experience Canada (IEC) working holiday visa is only available to citizens and permanent residents of certain countries, and there is always a limit placed on the number of times you may participate in the program.

Thus it is important that you plan well beforehand. Think and understand what you want to see and do, so you can plan your work around your travel plans.

Eligibility Requirements for Canadian Working Holiday Visa

To be eligible for the Working Holiday category, you must be a citizen of any of the following countries and belong to the indicated age group:

Country of OriginAge RequirementCountry of OriginAge Requirement
Australia18 to 30South Korea18 to 30
Belgium18 to 30Latvia18 to 35
Chile18 to 30Lithuania18 to 35
Czech Republic18 to 35Mexico18 to 29
Costa Rica18 to 35Netherlands18 to 30
Croatia18 to 35New Zealand18 to 35
Denmark18 to 35Norway18 to 35
Estonia18 to 35Poland18 to 35
France18 to 35Slovakia18 to 35
Germany18 to 35Slovenia18 to 35
Greece18 to 35Spain18 to 35
Hong Kong18 to 30Sweden18 to 30
Ireland18 to 35Taiwan18 to 35
Italy18 to 35Ukraine18 to 35
Japan18 to 30United Kingdom18 to 30

You should hold a valid passport, which must be valid for the duration of your intended stay in Canada. The open work permit you will be issued cannot be valid for longer than your passport, and you don’t want to have your stay cut short because of that.

Additional requirements are:

  • Have at least $2,500 CAD to cover your expenses in Canada.
  • Have health insurance for the duration of your stay, which you may be required to show at border control when you arrive in Canada.
  • Be admissible to Canada – this means no criminal record, no serious health issues.
  • Have a return air ticket to your home country, or sufficient financial resources above the required $2,500 CAD to be able to cover the cost of your return ticket.

How It Works

To start the process you will need to create a profile on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

In most cases you will be required to give biometrics.

Your profile is entered into a pool of applicants, from which successful candidates are drawn on a first come, first served basis.

If you want to work in Canada within the next 12 months, it is highly recommended that you become a candidate as soon as possible. If you are successfully selected, you will be invited to apply for the IEC working holiday visa. You will only have 10 days to accept the invitation, and then a further 20 days to apply online for your open work permit.

If you do not respond within the given time frames, and your invitation expires, you will have to create a whole new profile, get accepted into the pool again and be selected again.

If you choose to decline the invitation due to unforeseen circumstances, it will not have a negative impact on any future applications.

Documents You Will Need 

  • Proof of financial support 
  • Police clearance certificate 
  • Medical exam (only in certain cases) 
  • Passport 
  • CV/Resume Digital photo of yourself 
  • Family information form

Processing time is around four weeks, but if there is anything missing, your application will be returned. You may be asked to go for an interview with a Canadian official in your country.

It is recommended that you wait until your application is approved before purchasing plane tickets, health insurance or making any other financial decisions.

The Best Time to Visit Canada

Winter in Canada

Most working holiday participants love the winters in Canada. This means an abundance of jobs in ski resorts, restaurants and retail stores as tourism thrives from November through to February.

Once you have your working holiday visa, finding a part-time or seasonal job in Canada is a lot easier than you may think. Once you have secured your open work permit there are a lot of different opportunities.

Be sure to pack warm, we know it gets cold down south, but up north is a whole different ball game. 

Summer in Canada

The summer is a great time to travel the country. The balmy days and green countryside make for some of the best road trip backdrops you could ever ask for.

Popular summer jobs include ranch hands, harvesters, delivery drivers and camp counsellors. Minimum wage in most provinces is around $13 an hour.

Another reason you want to travel through Canada in the spring and summer months is that you are able to camp a lot more comfortably, which will save you a lot of money on accommodation.

How Long Can You Stay in Canada?

The IEC working holiday visa is typically valid for 12 months so you could spend a year working and travelling all over Canada, experiencing both seasons and everything in between.

There is now an option to extend your IEC visa for up to 24 months if you want to stay in Canada for longer.

Application Amid the Pandemic

Due to the on-going pandemic, only participants with a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction and a valid job offer are eligible to travel to Canada right now. You must also be able to start your job as soon as you complete your quarantine. Check the start date on your job offer before you travel.

Applying for Your IEC Visa

There is a fair amount of healthy competition when it comes to the Canadian working holiday visas from participating countries around the world. It is important to get your application in early, ensure that your online profile is done correctly and that you stay on top of the process.

If you want assistance with your application, contact your IAM visa coordinator.

The Canadian working holiday visa is one of the best ways to see and explore everything the country has to offer, and the experience will also count massively in your favour if you ever decide to immigrate to Canada.

What are your thoughts on getting a working holiday visa? Talk to us in the comment section below.

IaM can help with your visa application to the United States, the UK & other countries

If you need help with a US visa, a UK Visa, or visa to Europe, including help with appointment booking obligations, IaM can help. For more information and advice on US immigration, UK immigration law and US visa applications or if you need any help or assistance please, reach out to your Visa Coordinator at IaM.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.