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What Is a Working Holiday Visa for Canada?
This temporary resident visa allows young people to live and work in Canada for up to two years. If you’re eligible for this type of Canadian visa, it’s the perfect way to experience all that the country has to offer – from its stunning natural scenery to its vibrant cities.
The visa allows foreign students from 35 countries under International Experience Canada (IEC) agreement to live and work in Canada lawfully. Depending on your country, you may be eligible for a 12-month or 24-month permit.
Candidates must submit a profile to the Canadian government informing them they wish to obtain a working holiday visa. Proposals will be formally accepted, and successful applicants will be sent an official invitation to finish their work permit application in good order. This success is contingent on availability and eligibility, however.
You must create a profile on the IRCC website to obtain the visa. Candidates for the visa are selected randomly through draws that are carried out regularly. You can become a visa candidate soon after your country’s opening date.
To increase your chances of being accepted into the program, it’s best to apply early. You’ll be requested to document one or more ‘pools’ as decided by work permit and country category. IRCC is committed to providing at least 5 days prior notice before the final rounds of invitations for each category and country.
Who Can Apply for a Working Holiday Visa?
You can apply for a working holiday visa if you’re between 18 and 30 or 35 (the maximum age for an applicant will depend on the applicant’s country of citizenship, as specified in the International Experience Canada list) and a citizen of an eligible country (35 countries with a “bilateral mobility agreement for youth” with Canada).
You must also meet the following basic entry requirements:
- have a passport valid for the period of your stay in Canada
- be in good health
- no criminal convictions
- proof of financial funds amounting to a minimum of CAD 2,500
- medical insurance for the duration of your stay in Canada
- be able to show that your intention is to return to your home country at the end of your stay
- have a round-trip ticket or the sufficient financial means to purchase a ticket back home at your visa expiry
- dependents must not accompany you
- be a resident of your home country to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in Canada if you are citizens of certain countries
How to Be a Candidate for a Working Holiday Visa?
Here is the process you should follow to be a candidate for the working holiday visa:
- Fill out the Come to Canada form. This is the preliminary review of your candidacy for the IEC work permit. You’ll get a personal reference code if you fulfill the requirements.
- Create an account by entering the personal reference code
- Create your complete IEC profile.
- After you advance with your profile, select the appropriate IEC pool or pools in which you would like to participate. Most applicants will only be able to join one pool, but some may have multiple options.
- All you can do now is wait to be invited to apply (ITA). You’ll need an invitation to move forward with the process.
- You get ten days to start your working holiday visa application if you get an ITA. Alternatively, you can deny the invitation.
How to Submit an Application for a Work Permit?
By following the instructions as specified on the ITA, you should be able to apply for a working holiday visitor visa. The application will likely require:
- After you accept the ITA formally by pressing the ‘Start Application’ button, you get twenty days to apply and deposit any associated fees.
- Arrange and submit all the requested documents to IRCC. However, if you don’t have them instantly, you can submit proof that you’ve applied for a medical exam (if needed) or a police certificate.
- You will need to pay the participation fee for the work permit of CAD 150 and another CAD 100 if you are an open work permit holder.
- The IRCC may ask for additional/supplementary documents after reviewing your application.
- If your application process is successful, you will be sent a letter of introduction (LOI). This is your valid travel document; you must show it to border service officers at the Port of Entry (POE), like a border crossing or airport. You will receive your work permit from a border services officer or an immigration officer. Make sure to bring all required documents for entering Canada.
Other International Experience Canada (IEC) Categories
While the working holiday visa is very popular in the listed countries, it is not the only IEC category. Here are some of the other categories:
If you’re a young professional looking to gain some work experience in Canada, the Young Professionals category of the IEC visa might be for you. To be eligible, you must have a signed contract or an employment offer letter from a Canadian employer. Once you have that, you can apply for the visa and, if approved, begin your professional adventure in Canada. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up loving it so much you decide to stay!
International Co-op (Internship)
This category is for foreign young professionals enrolled in post-secondary institutions who want to complete an internship or work placement in Canada. The permits under the category are usually valid for 12 months, but some applicants might get a longer permit for their citizenship. To be eligible, applicants must be registered students for the internship duration.
The International Co-op category is for applicants with a contract or signed job offer letter for a work placement (or an internship) in Canada that supplements their academic curriculum requirements in their citizenship country. Applicants must meet the above-mentioned requirements to be eligible for this visa in Canada
How Can IAS Help?
The International Experience Canada program is managed by Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). If you meet the eligibility requirements and are interested in applying for a Canadian working holiday visa, IAS can help. One of our immigration lawyers will assess your eligibility and provide guidance on the application process.
We will also check eligibility criteria, review your documents and submit your application to the IRCC on your behalf to avoid processing delays. We understand that the process can be confusing, and our team is here to help you with every step.
If you want to learn more about how we can assist you with your Canadian working holiday visa, please contact us at +1 844 290 6312 for immediate help and assistance.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 8:15 am
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The application for the visa is now open for 2022. If you match the criteria discussed above, you can apply for the visa.
You will need enough money to support yourself for the first few weeks of your stay, as it may take some time to find a job. We recommend having at least CAD 2,500 in savings. However, the processing fee for the Working Holiday Visa is only CAD 150.
The age limit for a Canadian working visa is between 18 and 30 or 35. The maximum age for an applicant will depend on the applicant’s country of citizenship, as specified in the IEC list.
The processing time for the visa depends on the visa office. It can take anywhere from a few weeks up to six months.
The Working Holiday Visa is a popular option for young people looking to live and work in Canada. The application process is relatively straightforward, but there are a few requirements that you must meet. However, it is always recommended that you consult a professional to ensure that your application is complete and meets all the requirements.
Here is the list of countries whose citizens are eligible for the International Experience Canada program, which includes the working holiday visa (only IEC participants):
|Country||Age eligibility||Maximum validity||Medical Exam needed?|
|Costa Rica||18-35||12 months||No|
|Czech Republic||18-35||12 months||No|
(Danish citizens who reside in Greenland and the Faroe Islands are also eligible)
|Hong Kong||18-30||12 months||Yes|
|New Zealand||18-35||24 months||No|
|San Marino||18-35||12 months||No|
|South Korea||18-30||12 months||Yes|
|United Kingdom||18-30||24 months||No|
The youth mobility agreement between Canada and Ukraine is currently under review. As a result, Invitations to Apply for an International Experience Canada permit are not being sent now.