Working Holiday Visa Canada

Your Immigration Consultant for Canada

Working Holiday Visa Canada

Your Immigration Consultant for Canada

The Working Holiday Visa, a part of International Experience Canada (IEC), offers young people from select countries the chance to obtain an Canadian work permit. Successful applicants will receive a work permit for one or two years, without needing to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

The Working Holiday Visa is a great option if you want to live and travel temporarily in Canada and have the freedom to work wherever you want. If you have the goal of Canadian Permanent Residence, it is also a suitable first step. The work experience you gain in Canada can qualify you for the Canadian Experience Class, allowing you to enter the Express Entry immigration system. By obtaining a qualifying job offer, you can also qualify for permanent residence through the Provincial Nominee Program.

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    Basic Requirements for the Canadian Working Holiday Visa

    The basic requirments for the Working Holiday Visa are:

    • Citizenship from one of the 30+ participating countries
    • Between 18 and 35 years old (maximum age varies by country)
    • Have at least CAD$2,500 in funds upon arrival to Canada, and health insurance for the duration of your stay
    • For some countries, you should be a resident in your country of nationality

    Working Holiday Visa Eligibility by Country: Work Permit Length and Age Limit

    Participation in the Working Holiday Visa, and broader International Experince Canada (IEC) program, is limited to specific countries that have a reciprocal agreemenet with Canada. In 2024 participation is open to citizens of most countries in the European Union as well as the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and Hong Kong.

    Below is a table of all particpating countries, the age limits, and the maximum duration of the work permit.

    Country of CitizenshipWorking Holiday LengthAge Limit
    Australia24 Months18-35 
    Austria12 Months18-30 
    Belgium12 Months18-30 
    Chile12 Months18-35 
    Costa Rica12 Months18-35 
    Croatia12 Months18-35 
    Croatia12 Months18-35 
    Denmark12 Months18-35 
    Estonia12 Months18-35 
    France24 Months18-35 
    Germany12 Months18-35 
    Greece12 Months18-35 
    Hong Kong12 Months18-30 
    Ireland24 Months18-35 
    Italy12 Months (initial work permit 6 months)18-35 
    Japan12 Months18-30 
    Latvia12 Months18-35 
    Lithuania12 Months18-35 
    Luxembourg12 Months18-30 
    Netherlands12 Months18-30 
    New Zealand23 Months 18-35 
    Norway12 Months18-35 
    Poland12 Months18-35 
    Portugal24 Months18-35 
    San Marino12 Months18-35 
    Slovakia12 Months18-35 
    Slovenia12 Months18-35 
    South Korea12 Months18-30 
    Spain12 Months18-35 
    Sweden12 Months18-30 
    Taiwan12 Months18-35 
    United Kingdom24 Months18-35 

    Steps to Apply for the Canada Working Holiday Visa

    Applying for the Canada Working Holiday Visa has two main steps: (1) Creating an IEC Profile, and (2) Applying for the IEC Work Permit.

    How to Create your IEC Profile:

    1. Complete the Come to Canada Questionnaire, which assesses your eligibility for an IEC work permit. If you qualify, you'll get a personal reference code. Use this code to create your CIC account. If you have an Authorized Representative (Immigration Consultant or Lawyer) they can create the profile for you.
    2. Build your IEC visa profile.
    3. Submit your profile and choose the IEC pool(s) you're interested in.
    4. Wait to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). When you receive your ITA, you will have 10 days to accept the invitation. After accepting the ITA, you will have 20 day to submit your work permit application and pay any fees.

    How to Apply for the Work Permit

    1. Collect and upload all required documents.
    2. Pay the application fees.
    3. If your application is approved you will receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI).
    4. Travel to Canada. You need to bring your Letter of Introduction, along with proof of your travel insurance and proof of funds. You will receive your work permit upon arrival at your Port of Entry (Airport or Land Crossing).

    Required Documentation for the Working Holiday Visa

    The documents required for the Working Holiday visa include:

    • Passport. Your passport must be valid for the duration of the work permit you are applying for. If your passport is about ot expire, the work permit will only be issued to the expiry date.
    • Police Certificates for each country where you have lived for 6 months or more, since the age of 18.
    • Proof of Funds to show you have at least of CAD $2,500 available. The standard document to prove your funds is a recent bank statement.
    • Proof of Medical Insurance that is valid for the duration of the work permit

    Other International Experience Class (IEC) Categories: Young Professionals and International Co-op

    Young Professionals Work Permit

    The Young Professionals program offers foreign nationals an opportunity to gain professional work experience in Canada. To apply, applicants need a job offer from a Canadian employer. Successful candidates receive an employer-specific work permit, requiring them to work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada. This program suits individuals with a job offer that contributes to their professional growth. Eligible positions typically fall under National Occupation Classsifcation (NOC) TEER levels 0, 1, 2, or 3.  Participating countries have different annual quotas for this program, so applicants should check their country's quota to assess their chances of success.

    International Co-op Work Permit

    The International Co-op Internship program enables international students to fulfill internship or work placement requirements in Canada as part of their post-secondary education. To qualify, applicants need a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada that is necessary for completing their studies. Successful candidates receive an employer-specific work permit, obligating them to work for the same employer in the same location throughout their stay in Canada. This program is beneficial for international students registered at a post-secondary institution, those with a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada, individuals needing such experience to complete their studies, and those willing to work for the same employer in Canada. Interested applicants should review the requirements for their country to understand the application procedures and quotas for the program.

    What's New for the International Experience Classs (IEC) in 2024?

    Here's a summary of the updates for IEC 2024:

    • UK: British Citizens aged 18-35 can now enjoy two participations, totalling 36 months. The first participation allows for 24 months under any IEC category, followed by a second participation of 12 months. Plus, those who initially participated for 12 months before 2015 are eligible for a second participation of 24 months.
    • South Korea: South Korean citizens aged 18-35 now have the opportunity for two participations and can apply for the Young Professionals and International Co-op (internship) categories. While Canada permits repeat participation in the Working Holiday and Young Professionals categories, applicants can only participate once in the International Co-op category.
    • Finland: Finnish citizens aged 18-35 can now work in Canada for up to 12 months under any of the three IEC programs.
    • Iceland: Icelandic citizens aged 18-30  can participate in the Working Holiday program, with the option to extend for a total of 24 months with one renewal of a 12-month participation.
    • Ukraine: Canada and Ukraine have signed a bilateral agreement, paving the way for IEC participation for Ukrainians in the future

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