How to Prepare for Your Working Holiday in Canada

Have you recently applied to and been a recipient of an International Experience Canada’s (IEC) Working Holiday Visa program? If you are, then notwithstanding the good news, we are positive that there are some questions you may have regarding the preparations you need to do before embarking on your working holiday to Canada.

To help prepare you for the trip and ensure that you are adequately equipped to deal with the one- or two-year trip, we have compiled a comprehensive set of information that we are positive will greatly assist you during your travels.

Working Holiday (IEC)

Working Holiday

International Experience Canada is a department within Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that offers temporary immigration visa programs to international youth from countries with a youth mobility program. Its Working Holiday Visa program is the most commonly used of the three programs it offers.

Recipients of the working holiday can work and travel in Canada on an open work permit for the better part of a year or two. The available work permit allows the recipients to be employed at any location of their choice in Canada, allowing them to travel across the vast expanse of the North American nation.

Every year the IEC opens its pools for new applications. This marks the beginning of the new season, essentially the timeframe for new applications to be accepted. For example, the 2023 IEC Working Holiday season opened on the 5th of January.

Prepare for Your Working Holiday in Canada

Prepare for your working holiday

Prepared Documents

A working holiday in Canada comes with many benefits. However, as with all things, those benefits can only be received based on a firm and solid foundation of responsibilities that the recipient needs to meet beforehand.

These responsibilities are presented mainly in the form of documents that need to be certified to validate that the working holiday recipient is who they say they are and, therefore, can avoid any possible legal ramifications of dealing with a case of falsified identity.

Failure to present these documents upon your arrival in Canada can lead to you being barred from gaining entry into the country, and at most, you may be deported. So let’s take a look at some of these essential, prepared documents.

Proof of Financial Support

You’ll need to provide proof of financial support through bank statements. These documents will serve to verify that you are capable of supporting yourself during the period of your stay in Canada. At the very least, your bank statement should reflect a positive (credit) balance of 2,500 Canadian dollars (C$) upon your arrival in Canada.

Medical Exam

You need to undergo a medical exam with a Canadian government (IRCC) approved medical practitioner to prove that you have a clean bill of health, are able-bodied and not prone to any chronic illness and/or comorbidities.

Canada is in great need of adults who can work, won’t be a burden on the Canadian healthcare system through illness or possession of preexisting disease and thus productively contribute overall to the growth of the Canadian economy. Working holiday recipients are no exception to this requirement.

Health Insurance

Though at the point of making your application, it is not required to have health insurance once you’ve successfully applied to and become a recipient of the Working Holiday program. Before you arrive in Canada, you must apply for and have a health insurance policy.

The health insurance policy should last for your stay in Canada. The Canadian government emphasizes servicing its citizens and permanent residents with healthcare provisions. However, as a temporary work permit holder through the Working Holiday Visa, you’re not eligible to receive health services from the government.

Police Certificates

As proof of a clean criminal record, you need to provide a police certificate. This is required from all working holiday recipients who have resided in the country they applied from for more than six months since they were 18.

Suppose you can’t obtain a police certificate before the deadline for its submission. In that case, you can submit the receipt for your application as proof that you applied or a copy of the email you receive acknowledging your application.


You must provide a copy of your CV or resume with information about your education, qualifications and work experience (with the main duties included). This is needed by the Canadian companies who you’ll be under the employ of.


You need to provide a clean and legible copy of your passport. Your passport must be valid at the point of application submission and for your stay and departure from Canada.

Digital Photo

You must provide a high-resolution photo of yourself, so the Canadian government can have a documented visual identification of the working holiday recipient.

Family Information

You must provide information about your family by completing the family information form about:

  • Spouse or common-law partner
  • Parents
  • Children, step-children and adopted children

Electronic travel authorization (eTA) or Visitor Visa application

An electronic travel authorization or visitor visa will be issued to a recipient once their work permit application has been approved. Whether or not you receive an eTA or Visitors visa depends on your country of citizenship.

Proof of Residency

You need to prove that you’re a resident of your country of citizenship as part of the verification process of your eligibility to apply.

Because there’s only a limited and specific number of countries that have an international youth mobility program, there is an opportunity that youth from countries that are not eligible to apply may present fraudulent credentials to try to enter Canada illegally.

Pay Your Fees

For the Working Holiday Visa program, you must pay an IEC fee of 161 C$ and a work permit holder fee of 100 C$.

Once you’ve taken care of all the prepared documentation, you can move on to preparing for your stay once you’re in Canada.

Necessities for Work and Travel in Canada

Financial Self-Sufficiency

Financial Self-sufficiency is a necessary component of being able to afford your stay in Canada. There is no financial grant that comes with a Working Holiday Visa program. Therefore the only means of sustaining yourself is through your means and ensuring that you have money to sustain yourself throughout your stay.

For most people, especially youth, it is very difficult to obtain some form of financial stability unless they come from a privileged background. The only way they can financially sustain themselves is through their means. Therefore, the necessity of job security is paramount.

As a result, we recommend that you prioritize making a list of all eligible job prospects you’re eligible to apply for. Take care to check the in-demand occupations list of each province periodically.

Pack Travel Equipment

As the program’s title implies, the Working Holiday Visa program involves a significant amount of travelling. This inevitably means that you will need the requisite equipment to travel from one place to the next as per the needs of your Canadian employer or your discretion.

Tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, water-absorbent clothing, sneakers, parkas and clothing that protects you from the cold, water basins etc., are all needed when travelling from one place to another.

Wireless Telecommunications

A lot of explorative travel in Canada is bound to involve travelling to Canada’s remote woodlands and snow lands. To secure your safety against any possibility of getting stranded alone away from the help provided in civilized society, we recommend that you have some form of wireless telecommunications technology at your disposal to use.

This technology will be useful in securing the help needed to find you and take you back into society. Besides getting stranded, you are still vulnerable to sickness and injury and should help not be around, or in short supply, a smartphone or tablet will be of great use to you.

Building Relationships

Canada is a vast, highly complex network of a country with a societal, economic and cultural history steeped into the nation’s fabric and gives it a distinctly unique identity to the rest of the world.

As a foreign newcomer to this country, coming in fresh to this environment can be a daunting task for many, especially for non-gregarious youth still finding and forging their own identity.

As a tactful way to cope with this isolation and also as a way to build valuable social capital with Canadians who may help secure your future in Canada, we highly recommend making valuable contacts and forging relationships with Canadians you can connect with.

Why Work and Travel in Canada?

Work and travel in Canada

If you decide to work and travel in Canada, you will be given the opportunity of a lifetime. Canada has one of the most revered standards of living among the world’s nations, with free government healthcare, housing, education and employment benefits. It also ranks among the world’s most multiculturally diverse and tolerant countries.

This lends a welcoming aspect to visiting Canada, making it an attractive destination to visit or migrate to, even for the most reluctant prospective clients.

The vastness of the nation also makes it a noteworthy destination for people with wanderlust. With a varied topography that covers different biomes with distinct flora and fauna, you will never run out of interesting places to see and explore.

How We Can Help you Move to Canada for Your Working Holiday

How we can help you move to Canada

It takes a lot of time and effort to immigrate to Canada, whether temporarily or permanently. Even the most well-informed prospective immigrant is liable to possibly falter in at least one of the stages of the application process.

As a way to avoid this possibility, we recommend getting in touch with CanadianVisa, an immigration consultancy company affiliated with Registered Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCIC) who can assist you with the facilitation of your eligibility tests, gathering your required documentation in order, paying your fees and submitting your application to the relevant Provincial Nominee program.


What is the Best Way to Prepare for a Working Holiday in Canada?

Ensuring you’re financially self-sufficient is the best way to prepare for a working holiday in Canada.

What is the Worst Thing you Can do to Prepare for a Working Holiday in Canada?

Not having the required legal documents is the worst thing you can do while preparing for Your Working Holiday in Canada. You are liable to be deported or barred entry into Canada if you do so.

How Can I Make Sure I Meet all the Preparations Required for a Working Holiday in Canada?

Contact an immigration consultancy company like CanadianVisa, which is affiliated with RCICs. Through collaborative consultation, they’ll assist you with all the preparations you need to make before embarking on your journey to Canada.