A working holiday can be a truly life-altering experience. Living, working, and traveling to different environments allow you to have various life experiences. A working holiday will enable you to get to know many different cultures, environments, and people from all walks of life. This can teach you new approaches to business, experience a foreign country, and develop your language skills.
All this can provide you with the knowledge and understanding you can carry for the rest of your life. As a result, a working holiday in Canada is a fantastic option for those looking to gain life experience – it is also hugely beneficial to Canadian work experience to better compete in the global economy. If you’re a travel influencer or love to travel, backpack, and explore new places for a few months, then Canada’s unspoiled wilderness and urban splendor await you.
The Canadian Working Holiday program allows young adults from designated countries (we’ll list these countries a bit later) to travel and work in Canada for 12-24 months, moving from job to job throughout the country. The best thing about a Canada Working Holiday is that you can earn money to fund your travels during your stay in Canada.
So, if you feel this would benefit you, you’ve come to the right place. To enjoy a Canada working holiday, you must get a Canadian working holiday visa from International Experience Canada (IEC).
The IEC has a youth mobility agreement with 35 countries. This allows the citizens of the designated countries to visit Canada as open work permit holders. A Canada open work permit allows foreign workers to work for whomever they choose over a certain period, provided the company is Canadian.
This visa program is specifically for young people who:
If this sounds like you, a Canadian Working Holiday Visa may be your perfect start. However, if you’re unsure whether having a working holiday in Canada is your best option, click the button below to talk to a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant who can help you find exactly which visa program is best for you.
As mentioned above, only citizens of countries with a youth mobility program can participate in the Canada Working Holiday Visa program. If you aren’t from one of those countries, you can apply through an organization recognized by the government of Canada. However, these, too, are only available in certain countries.
The countries that are involved in Canada’s youth mobility program are as follows:
|Eligible Countries in the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program|
If you aren’t from any of these countries, you may have the opportunity to get a working holiday visa in Canada via the following recognized organizations:
|Registered Organization||Age Range||Eligible Countries|
|GO International||18-35||IEC countries, USA|
|A-Way to Work/International Rural Exchange Canada Inc.||18-35||IEC countries only|
|Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)||18-35||IEC countries only|
|Stepwest||18-35||IEC countries only|
|SWAP Working Holidays||18-35||IEC countries, USA|
|AIESEC Canada||18-35||IEC countries, Brazil, India|
|International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)||18-35||IEC countries,& IAESTE country partners|
Suppose you’re a citizen of one of the approved countries or can apply through one of the organizations. In that case, you must also fulfill the following criteria to be eligible to apply for a Canada working holiday visa.
If you can fulfill these criteria, apply for a Working Holiday Visa Canada. Once you prove your eligibility, you can opt to have the RCIC represent you for your working holiday visa application process. If you’re unsure how an RCIC can help you, look at our RCIC introductory page. If you would like an expert to handle this process for you to ensure that the process is done as effectively and efficiently as possible, click the button below.
The IEC Working Holiday Visa application process is relatively straightforward and can be completed online from any country via the government of Canada’s website.
There are two ways to register with the IRCC. You can either register with a GCKey or with a Sign-in Partner. A GCKey is a unique credential approved by a Canadian government-provided authentication service.
Sign-in Partners are financial institutions partnered SecureKey Technologies. SecureKey Technologies provides online identity services.
Once you’ve created your account, select the “International Experience Canada” option to open the Come to Canada questionnaire. Doing this process correctly is vital for the success of your application. If you want to ensure nothing gets left out, chat with an RCIC who can help you submit the best application possible.
Your first step is to fill out the Come To Canada Questionnaire on the government of Canada’s website. This form asks you basic questions such as your:
You will be advised on which programs and processes are best for you based on your answers to these questions. Once you complete the form, you will receive a personal reference code (it will look like this: JM1234567890).
Once you submit your profile, you will be entered into your chosen IEC pool. If your profile is eligible, the Canadian government will present you with an Invitation to Apply (ITA).
The Canadian government will notify you via your account if you’re invited to apply for the IEC. After that, you’ll receive instructions on what to do next. Thereafter, you have twenty days to accept the invitation. Once you accept the invitation, you must apply for a work permit.
To get a work permit, you’ll have to:
The documentation is as follows:
You will also be asked to submit further information about your working background and the type of work you intend to do in Canada. Again, ensure all documents are readable and in color before submitting. Candidates are advised to submit all relevant supporting documents, as failure will delay processing times.
Once you’ve assembled your documentation, you must pay your fees. The IEC Working Holiday visa fees are as follows:
|Canada Open Work Permit||100|
Once you submit your application, the Canadian government will contact you to verify that your information is valid, that you’re eligible to work in Canada, and that you’re admissible to Canada.
This is the one step you can’t do online. However, you only have to give your biometrics once every ten years, so if you’ve traveled to Canada in the last ten years, you can skip this step. However, a few guidelines help make the steps easier if you need to submit your biometrics.
The Working Holiday Visa processing times take around 56 days and upwards. This process is the last possible time you can take back your application and get your money back, but at this point, it can take a long time. If your application is incomplete, you may be asked to produce additional documents, which can elongate the process. Once your application has been assessed, the Canadian government will contact you.
The government will issue you a Port of Entry letter if approved. If you haven’t, they will send you a letter explaining why.
Once you’re approved, it’s time to pack your things and get to Canada. Make sure you bring all of the documents given to you by Canada’s government. This includes:
The Canadian border authorities will check all these documents at your Canadian port of entry. You will be forced to return home if your documents are incomplete or invalid.
Here’s a handy guide to help you stay in Canada even when your working holiday has ended.
Yes, however, the IEC does have an on and off-season. The season generally starts around March, but it depends entirely on your country of origin.
You can do a wide variety of jobs during your IEC working holiday. Here are a few examples of typical working holiday jobs. Moreover, there are jobs advertised by each Canadian province to meet the in-demand work needs of those provinces.
With so many fantastic opportunities, choosing to travel and work in Canada via a Canada working holiday is now more accessible than ever. It can bring a wealth of experience you won’t find anywhere else. If you feel this is perfect for you, talk to an RCIC to determine your eligibility and ensure your Working Holiday visa application process goes as smoothly as possible.
One of our recent clients, Samuel John, 31, is a prime example of what is possible when one utilizes the services of a Canadian immigration agency. Despite having traversed many immigration processes due to his career, Sam found that the Canadian immigration process was all but impenetrable without the help of immigration professionals. However, with the help of our RCICs, Sam was able to start his Canadian journey in a way that was perfect for him. Here, Sam discusses his experience of starting his journey to Canada with us.
If you want to have the difficulty, stress, and guesswork taken out of your Canadian Working Holiday Visa application, schedule a consultation with an RCIC to find out how you can start a journey of a lifetime as quickly and efficiently as possible!