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2020 Working Holiday Visa Program (IEC) Now Open!

It’s official! The 2020 season for the working holiday visa program is now officially open! Young adults, aged 18 to 30 years old, from 36 eligible countries (including Canada) can now apply to live and work in Canada through the IEC (International Experience Canada).

Working in Canada will not only open up doors to your professional future internationally, but it will add value to your resume. It also allows you to discover things about yourself that you never knew, make lifetime friendships and create unforgettable experiences.

If you are from one of the following countries, you may qualify to apply to live and work in one of the most incredible countries in the world.


Eligible Countries in the International Experience Canada Program
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Chile
Costa Rica
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Ireland
Italy
Japan
Korea, Rep.
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Mexico
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Portugal
San Marino
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
Ukraine
United Kingdom

You can apply through 3 categories under the IEC Program:

  • The Working Holiday Category - fund your vacation by working temporarily in Canada;
  • The Young Professionals Category - gain professional work experience to add to your resume and compete globally; or
  • The International Co-op Category - gain valuable international work experience in your relative field.

Once you have been accepted for one of the categories you will be able to live and work in Canada on a temporary basis. The great thing about this immigration program is that it gives you the opportunity to gain some of the Canadian work experience needed to apply for permanent residency, putting you a step ahead of the pack.

Interested in expanding your horizons? Simply click the link below to start your journey to Canada or keep reading to find out more about this exciting immigration program.

How Do I Know if I Can Apply?

man standing on mountain with backpack | working holiday visa to Canada

There is one application process for all 3 categories, although each one has its own set of eligibility criteria. You will need to answer a few questions when creating your personal profile, after which you will receive a personal reference code. These questions will be about your nationality, where you live, student status, and job offer (if applicable). This is important as you will need this code to complete your application.

In order to be eligible to live and work in Canada through this program, you will need to be between the ages of 18 and 30, and be from one of the 36 eligible countries mentioned previously.

Below are the eligibility requirements for each program:


Eligibility Requirement for IEC Program Categories
Working HolidayYoung ProfessionalsInternational Co-op
no job offer neededhave a Canadian job offer that adds to your professional developmenthave a job offer, work placement or internship in Canada
you wish to work for more than one employeryou will work for the same employer (you will need to qualify for a job classified at NOC level 0, A or B or possibly NOC C (post-secondary diploma certificate or degree)you must be a registered student at a post-secondary institution
you want to work in more than one placeyou will be working in the same location while you’re in Canadayou have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada (which is necessary to complete your studies) This will be completed in the same location for the same employer.
you want to earn some extra money while you travelyou will be paid for your employment and not be self-employed

How Does It Work?

Once you have answered your questionnaire and created an online profile, you will be entered into a draw pool. Each country has its own draw pool for each of the 3 categories below.

  1. The Working Holiday Category;
  2. The Young Professionals category; or
  3. The International Co-op Category.

You can submit your profile to one or more of these pools and if you are accepted by more than one category, you will receive an invitation in the order listed above. In other words, if you have applied for both the Working Holiday and International Co-op categories, for example, you will receive an invitation for the Working Holiday category. If there are no places available to you in the Working Holiday Program, you will then receive an invitation for the International Co-op category.

There are regular rounds of invitations during the season will take place until all of the available spots have been filled by eligible candidates who want to live and work in Canada.

How Do I Apply

person writing in book and working on laptop | apply for working holiday visa to Canada

Step 1 is to create an IRCC (Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada) account. This is where you will upload your personal information along with your personal reference code which you should have received after completing your questionnaire.

Step 2, is to submit your profile and choose which IEC draws pools you would like to be entered in to. Your profile will remain active until the end of the season or if you are no longer eligible for the IEC.

Step 3 is to accept your invitation to apply for your visa. This has to be done within 10 days of receipt of confirmation that you have been accepted to your chosen program.

What’s Next?

Next steps are to apply for a work permit and travel visa, to be able to enter the country. You will need to do this within 20 days, as well as pay your appropriate fees. Your employer will also need to pay the employer compliance fee through the Employer Portal and should send you your employment number as you will need this when you apply for your work permit.

Be sure not to forget to upload any supporting documents that may be required, such as medical and police certificates, if requested.

Next, you have to pay your participation, biometrics and work permit fees. If necessary you will be sent an instruction letter requesting you to submit your biometrics. You will have 30 days to complete and submit this at a visa application centre.

If all goes well and you are accepted, the IRCC will send you a Port of Entry Letter, which you will need when you arrive in Canada.

Furthermore, start packing and planning for the adventure of a lifetime!

More tips on everything you need to know about your move to Canada, visit our blog here.

How We Initiate Your Working Holiday Aspirations

two women laughing after getting working holiday visa to Canada

Immigration to Canada can be both complex and confusing. By using our accredited Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) you will not only optimize your chances of success in the visa application process, but you will receive expert advice on which program is best for your personal needs. Our RCICs are registered with the ICCRC and are legally permitted to assist you by evaluating your eligibility, reviewing all documentation and submitting it to the Canadian government on your behalf.

Don't risk your chances of living your Canadian dream. Let us make sure that all forms are completed correctly and sent in on time. All you have to do is complete our online form and we’ll take care of the rest. It's just that simple.

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