3 Ways to Stay in Canada After Your IEC Working Holiday Expires

You’ve been living and working in Canada on your International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday Visa, and, let’s be honest; it’s been amazing. So much so that staying in Canada for the foreseeable future is a great option. But unfortunately, your Working Holiday Visa is set to expire soon. This means you may have to leave the country you’ve grown to love so much. Fortunately, this doesn't have to be the case. Thanks to Canada’s open-door policy regarding international immigration - there are many pathways to stay in Canada even after your IEC working holiday visa expires.

Suppose you’re looking to continue working in Canada, you can start studying at one of Canada’s world-class educational institutions or make Canada your permanent home. In that case, there are several significant pathways for you. This article will break down what each pathway is , what the criteria are and how to apply, making sure your Canadian dream doesn’t have to end.

Canadian Permanent Residence (Canada PR)

Gaining Canada PR allows you to stay in Canada permanently and have the opportunity to apply for full Canadian citizenship. While there are dozens of programs through which foreign nationals can get Canada PR, the most popular Canada PR process is the Express Entry system. It’s i the most commonly preferred route since it’s the fastest route to gaining permanent residency, as the Canada PR process under the Express Entry Program can take as little as six months.

How does the Express Entry System work?

The Canada PR processis draw-based. First, applicants create a profile on the Canadian government’s Express Entry web portal. Then, they enter details like age, level of education, work experience, marital status, adaptability, job offers and language ability. These factors are evaluated and converted into a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score. Then, approximately every two weeks, an Express Entry draw takes place, and those with the highest CRS scores are issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA) for permanent residence.

Once an applicant’s Express Entry profile is complete and their CRS score is effectively calculated, the application is placed into one of three application streams. They are as follows:

The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP)

This program is specifically designed for applicants with a valid degree in a professional occupation.

The Federal Skilled Trade Program (FSTP)

This program is for skilled workers with a valid qualification in a specific trade, such as a diploma - it is for skilled worker with a valid job offer for at least one year in Canada.

Canada Experience Class (CEC)

This program is specifically for skilled workers who have lived in Canada in the last 12 months.

If your IEC Working Holiday visa has allowed you to stay in Canada for over a year, you can apply for Canada PR through the Canada Experience Class.

Suppose you plan on gaining permanent residence via Express Entry, you must apply at least six months before your Working Holiday Visa expires, which will allow for the Canada PR process to be completed.

How to Apply for Express Entry

Applying for Express Entry is a relatively simple process. However, you must understand exactly what the process entails so you can ensure you maximize your chances of getting your Canada PR as soon as possible. The process can be broken down into six steps:


Step 1: Check if you meet the requirements.

Each of the Express Entry streams has its own specific set of requirements. You can find a full breakdown of these streams in this article.

Step 2: Create an Express Entry profile

You create an Express Entry profile and enter in all of the aforementioned information.

Step 3: Receive a CRS score

Once your details are entered, your score is calculated and represented out of 1200.

Step 4: Get an Invitation to Apply

Keep up to date with Express Entry draws via your online profile to see if you’ve received your ITA.

Step 5: Collect Supporting Documents

Once you receive your ITA, you have 60 days to submit all of the necessary documents. These documents include::

  • Passport
  • National Occupation Classification (NOC)
  • Education credential assessment report
  • Recent language tests
  • Provide Proof of Funds to show you can support your family
  • Provide Police Certificates
  • Prepare for a medical exam from certified health professionals
  • Letters from previous employers validating your work experience
  • Canadian job offer (If you have one)
  • Provincial Nomination (If you have one)

  • Step 6: Pay Your Fees and Submit Application for PR

    To receive your final permanent residence, you must pay the necessary permanent residence fees. Below is a full breakdown of the necessary fees:

    Fees $CAN

    Your application

    Processing fee ($850) and right of permanent residence fee ($515)

    Your application (without right of permanent residence fee) 850

    Include your spouse or partner

    Processing fee ($850) and right of permanent residence fee ($515)

    Include your spouse or partner (without right of permanent residence fee) 850
    Include a dependent child 230(per child)

    If you feel like this may be the option for you and you want to ensure you have everything you need to qualify for permanent residence as soon as possible, we recommend you speak to an expert. Click the button below to speak with a Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant to help you with every step of your Canada PR process.

    Study Permit

    If you don’t want to stay in Canada permanently or don’t qualify for Canada PR before your Working Holiday Visa expires, you may want to look at additional temporary options. If you want to study in Canada after your working holiday, a fantastic way to extend your time in Canada is through gaining a Canada study permit.

    Canada has some of the highest quality education in the world and numerous fantastic programs and schools for international students. For a better idea of what to expect from Canada’s education system, have a look at this article.

    The process of gaining a study permit is relatively simple but has a number of steps you cannot skip. They are as follows:

    Step 1: Get Accepted to a Canadian University

    Before you can even apply for a study permit, you must be accepted by a Canadian Designated Learning Institution (DLI). A DLI is an educational institution designated by the Canadian government to admit international students. The best way to do this is by contacting the university or college of your choice directly and apply based on their criteria. If you’re accepted, you may start your process.

    Step 2: Apply for a Canada Study Permit

    You can apply for your study permit online via the Canadian government website or via paper. Applying online, however, is far quicker and easier. The documents you will need to enclose with your application are as follows:

    • an acceptance letter from a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
    • a valid passport or travel document
    • proof you can financially support yourself while in Canada

    Depending on which country you’re from, and which university you’re applying to, you may also need to include:

    • a letter of explanation
    • a certificat d’acceptation du Québec (CAQ)
    • a custodian declaration

    It’s vital to ensure that you include everything you need as any missing documentation can cause significant delays in the processing of your application.

    Step 3: Pay Processing and Biometric Fees

    As with any visa or permit, there are several fees you must pay for your application to be accepted. They are as follows:

    Fees $CAN
    Study permit (including extensions) – per person 150

    Restore your status as a student

    Restore your status ($200) and a get a new study permit ($150)


    On top of this, depending on which country you’re applying from, you may also have to submit your biometrics (fingerprints and photograph) to get your Canada study permit. The fees for these are as follows:

    Fees $CAN
    Biometrics – per person 85

    Biometrics – per family (2 or more people)

    Maximum fee for a family of 2 or more people applying at the same time and place


    Biometrics – per group (3 or more performing artists)

    Maximum fee for a group of 3 or more performing artists applying at the same time and place


    Step 4: Do your medical exams & police clearance

    To prove you’re in physical good health to continue your stay in Canada, you will need to get a full medical exam by a panel certified physician. You will also need to have a police background check to ensure you haven’t been involved in significant criminal activity.

    Step 5: Wait for your application results

    Once your application is submitted, the only thing left to do is wait. The general waiting time for a Canada Study permit is around 16 weeks.

    Work Permit

    If you don’t want to study but still want to continue to live and work in Canada, a Canada work permit may be the way for you. While applying is a relatively simple process, it does have very specific requirements that you must fulfill. The process can be broken down into three primary steps:

    Step 1: Choose your Canada Work Permit

    There are two types of work permits. They are as follows:

    Open Work Permit

    You will be able to work for any employer in Canada and will not have to prove that your employer had to pick you over local applicants via a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

    Closed or Employer-specific Work Permit

    You are allowed to work as a foreign national but you have to work for a specific employer, under specific conditions and for a specified time. These are far easier to get but do require a job offer from a said Canadian employer.

    Only certain applicants will be allowed to work with an open work permit, whereas most people with a Canadian job offer will most likely be able to gain a closed work permit. To ensure you can get a work permit, you must do the following, which leads us into step two.

    Step 2: Check your eligibility

    To be eligible for a Canada work permit you must do the following:

    1. Prove you’ll leave Canada once your work permit expires;
    2. Show you can financially support both yourself and any family members while in Canada and to return home;
    3. Obey the law and have no criminal record (as shown via a police clearance certificate);
    4. Not be a danger to Canada’s security;
    5. Be in good health (as shown via a medical exam)
    6. Not plan to work for an employer on the list of employers who failed to comply with the conditions;
    7. Never plan to work for a company that regularly offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services, or erotic massages.

    Step 3: Submit the Application

    If you fulfill all of the above criteria, your work permit application can be submitted on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

    Depending on which country you’re from, you may have to submit additional documents which will be specified by the IRCC.


    Can you get another Working Holiday visa after it expires?

    Depending on your country of citizenship, yes. However, you may have to wait a year after your Working Holiday Visa expires to apply again.

    Can you stay in Canada as a tourist after your Working Holiday visa expires?

    Yes. You will be able to remain in Canada for a further six months with a tourist visa after your working holiday visa expires. However, you will not be allowed to work on a tourist visa.

    How long do work/study permits last for?

    A study permit generally lasts the length of the specific course you’ve applied to. Upon completing your course, you may apply for a Postgraduate work permit (PGWP) which will allow you to stay in Canada long enough to get another job.

    A work permit generally lasts 1-2 years but does give you the opportunity to gain permanent residence via the CEC Express Entry program after a year.

    Keep Your Canadian Dream Alive


    There are a vast array of ways to ensure that you don’t have to say goodbye to the great white north just yet. If you’re still unsure as to which pathway is best for you, click the button below to begin talking to an RCIC so you can make sure your Canadian dream continues on.