Secrets to Make the Best of Your Working Holiday in Canada

In search of new adventures in a faraway land but still need to work to be able to afford it? Why not go on a working holiday in Canada? You can apply for a working holiday visa in Canada and experience The Great White North in all its splendour - while working part-time.

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

To be able to travel and work in Canada temporarily, for a certain period of time, you'll need a Working Holiday Visa (WHV). This document allows you to do so for 12 to 24 months.

As soon as you've applied for your WHV and have success with your application, you'll be granted an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), which will allow you to enter the country.

Note: The eTA only allows you to enter the country, not work in Canada.

The International Experience (IEC) Canada Working Holiday


The International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday program is a visa program that has become the gateway to exploring everything the magnificent North has to offer while building valuable networks and establishing lifelong friendships. Thirty-five countries participate in this program, with each country given a set amount of placements in three different categories.

If you are eligible, you'll be placed into a pool and, if successful, be selected to apply for a visa via the IEC program.

Types of working holiday Visas

There are three kinds of Canadian Working Holiday Visa categories under the (IEC) Program:

  • Working Holiday Category: Working holidays are a great option if you'd like to travel while working in Canada.
  • Young Professionals Category: This category is great for gaining professional work experience to beef up your resume up a notch on an international level.
  • International Co-op Category: The International Co-op Category is ideal for giving your work experience in your discipline an international edge while wandering around the beautiful Canadian landscape.

Who Can Apply to the IEC Programs?

Anyone who is a citizen of a partner country may apply to one of the categories. Should you not be a citizen of a partnering country, you could still apply via an IEC recognized organization (RO).

Where to Work on Your Working Holiday

To be realistic, landing that perfect part-time gig on your Canada working holiday visa may not be a fuss-free experience. While the word part-time may have you thinking these kinds of jobs will be easy to find, it's probably a good idea to head in prepared, with an open mind. Do some research so that you know where to start looking once you land northside.

Ideas for Working Holiday Jobs


Knowing what kind of job you'd like to be doing on your working holiday in Canada will save time, as you'll immediately be able to put all your energy into finding your position of choice. Here are some part-time options for you to consider:

Au Pair

If you're great with children and have some babysitting experience, this may just be the best job for you. There are said to be many au pair jobs in Canada with packages that often include accommodation.

Food service worker: Barista/Bar/Restaurant Work

Whether you've worked in the food industry or not, it's likely that you'll find a part-time job in this sector in Canada. While you may not need a qualification for some of these jobs, you may, however, be required to get “Serve It Right” certification, which is a training program for the service industry. You could also be asked to do a first aid and food safety course.

Freelance Writer

If you're great with the art of storytelling, you may want to consider doing some freelance writing while you're travelling around Canada. How can you do this? By getting in touch with various online media sites that frequently employ freelancers. You could write while exploring, from a coffee shop, a hostel or while on an adventure in the Canadian Wilderness.

Virtual Assistants

The need for virtual assistants has dramatically increased in the last few years, and even more so with the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most entrepreneurs need assistants for the daily running of their businesses. Tasks may include admin, running social media platforms and really whatever it takes to make sure the business runs smoothly. Note that you will have to be proficient in English and/or French and will have to have your own laptop and access to the internet and a telephone.

Farm Jobs

Love a more rural setting? Then you may just have the best time working as a fruit picker or animal feeder. Remuneration for farm jobs are said to be quite competitive and usually include board and lodge. Best of all, you'll probably have the best time in the country air, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

House Sitting

Are you a pet lover? Fine with general household duties? Then being a house sitter could be a great way for you to earn some money while having accommodation for each leg of your Canadian adventures sorted. You might not always earn top dollar, but it's a great option to ensure that you have a safe base in each region you visit.


There are loads of opportunities for part-time teachers in Canada. You could teach languages as a TEFL teacher or run classes in other areas, like yoga, dancing, skiing, etc. The options are endless here.

There are loads of other part-time job options, including positions in retail, the hospitality sector, summer camp and food and goods delivery.

Below are a few job sites to get you going on your search:

The whole point of your working holiday in Canada is to be able to have the adventure of a lifetime. So make sure you're not solely focused on working! With that said, here are some places you have to plan your working holiday around:

Top Places to Make Sure You See

Canadian Museum of Nature

Obsessed with natural history? Well then, this is your kind of museum. The Canadian Museum of Nature was first built to be a natural history museum but later expanded to have an anthropology and history department.

Jasper National Park

Edmonton, Alberta's Jasper National Park is the perfect setting for those who enjoy hiking through canyons, whitewater rafting, or simply absorbing the magnificent scenery.

Miles Canyon and the Yukon Wildlife Preserve

If you're going to be exploring the Yukon territory, don't miss Miles Canyon and the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. You'll be able to see all kinds of animals, from the fox to the muskox. Try going to this area in the winter months to experience the Northern Lights in its full glory.

Royal Ontario Museum

This beautiful museum pays tribute to art, culture and natural history. It has more than a million visitors per annum and exhibits ranging from natural wonders to ancient civilizations.

Niagara Falls

You can't spend months in Canada and not visit Niagara Falls - so make sure you experience this roaring, captivating site. Try to go on the little boat trip and get lost in the mist for the ultimate experience.

Get Ready For Your Canadian Adventure

Now that you know where to start with your job search and which destinations to add to the top of your travel list for Canada, you can get started with the most important element before you can get there - your Canada working holiday visa. While sorting out your documentation, make sure you’ve also got the following covered:

  • Plans for car rental
  • Learn about the Canadian public transport system
  • Create a savings account and budget so that you'll be able to survive while job-hunting
  • Get the necessary certification that may be needed for the job you want
  • Set up a bank account
  • Organize a sim card


How Long is a Working Holiday Visa Valid?

It’s valid for 12 - 24 months. You may stay for the duration or leave and go back as many times as you like during that set time-frame. Border services will reassess every time you enter. Because the WHV is a work permit, not a visa, you may not be allowed to re-enter though and may require a new visitor visa in order to re-enter.

Is Canada Currently Accepting Working Holiday Visas?

The country has announced that the Working Holiday Visa program (IEC program) will be re-opened.

Do I Need A Covid-19 Vaccine For Canada?

Yes. Due to the current travel restrictions, Canada will only allow fully vaccinated IEC participants to enter.