How to Stay in Canada After Your IEC Working Holiday

Is your working holiday nearing its end? Not ready to leave the Great North? The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to. Canada has over 100 different visa programs designed for foreign nationals to experience Canada in many different and unique ways.

The Working Holiday Visa is one of the most popular ways to explore Canada with part-time employment for up to 2-years. During their time in Canada, Working Holiday Visa holders tend to make new friends, expand their networks, and have a blast exploring our big, beautiful country and its rich multicultural heritage. Once you have acclimated to life in Canada it’s pretty hard to give it all up.

So, how do you stay in Canada after your IEC Working Holiday? Here are 5 great options to consider next!

How to Stay in Canada After Your IEC Working Holiday

Whichever option you choose to extend your stay in Canada, it’s important to remember that your status in Canada must at all times be valid and you should never let your visa surpass its expiry date or you could wave goodbye to your chances of visiting Canada again. For these reasons, it’s good to plan ahead and have a solid visa plan based on your end-goals. 

1. Do It Again!

Girl at lake in Canada taking pictures

Ready for round two of an epic working holiday in Canada? Depending on your country of citizenship, you may be able to apply to participate in International Experience Canada (IEC) again. Unfortunately, for certain countries such as Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Poland, Slovakia, and Spain, there is a one-year waiting period before you can apply for another Working Holiday Visa.

2. Find a Steady Job


A Working Holiday Visa is essentially an open work permit which allows you the freedom to work for more than one employer in Canada, without obtaining an initial job offer or getting an LMIA document. However, an open work permit is only issued in special circumstances, like when you apply for a Working Holiday Visa again or if you are the spouse of a permanent resident applicant, for example.

Another great option to stay and work in Canada after your IEC working holiday is with the support of an employer. If you secure a valid job offer, you can apply for an Employer-Specific Work Permit to work in Canada for another 6-months or longer depending on your contract.

The benefit of an Employer-Specific Work Permit is that the work experience you gain counts towards your permanent residency points, unlike an open work permit.

3. Get Educated in Canada

Girl Studying in Library

Home to some of the top universities in the world with impressive international student alumni and affordable tuition, Canada is a great place for anyone looking to further their education. It’s also a terrific option to stay and gain a post-secondary qualification in Canada after your IEC working holiday.

How so? Well, Canadian education opens the doors to many opportunities like a Post-Graduate Work Permit which is another type of open work permit designed with the intention of allowing graduates to gain significant work experience that’ll allow them to obtain permanent residency in Canada much easier. This option is perfect for you if you want to make Canada your permanent home.

You’ll be happy to know that a student visa is quite easy to get. All you need to do is choose an eligible university or college, enroll for a program of at least 8-months and lastly, apply for your student visa with a letter of acceptance from your post-secondary intuition of choice.

Learn more: Study in Canada: How a Canadian Qualification Will Change Your Life

4.  Take a Break 

Man lying on a deck in front of a lake

Not quite done exploring all the wonders of Canada? We don’t blame you, as the second biggest country in the world, you’ll never be able to see enough or experience it all in just one trip. From backpacking through Canada, visiting the diverse and breathtaking landscapes of Canada's top national parks, to attending that much-awaited music festival - there’s so much to do, with so little time.

Luckily, you can check off everything on your holiday itinerary with a visitor visa! A visitor visa allows you to stay in Canada for up to 6-months after your IEC working holiday visa. The only downfall? You won’t be able to work in Canada with a visitor visa to fund your travels.

However, if you have enough savings to sustain yourself, and your end-goal is to have a good time and not a long time in Canada - then this will be the ideal option for you.

5. Apply Directly for PR-Status

Canada flag

Change your status from temporary visitor to permanent resident. While you’re enjoying your stay in Canada, whether it's with your working holiday visa, work permit, study permit, or visitor visa, you can get the ball rolling and apply for permanent residency inside of Canada or even from your home country through the Express Entry immigration system for skilled foreign workers. The Express Entry system is a points-based portal that sends the highest-scoring candidates Invitation to Apply for permanent residency. The entire process can take as little as 6-months!

Candidates are scored against eligibility criteria such as:

  • Age
  • Skilled Work Experience (Inside or Outside of Canada)
  • Level of Education (Inside or Outside of Canada)
  • Language Abilities (French or English)
  • Job Offer
  • Provincial Nomination Achieved
  • Adaptability
  • Your spouse’s credentials

Having Canadian education and valid work experience will improve your chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply for permanent residency in Canada.

Talk to Us For All Your Visa Needs

So, which option do you like best? We can help you stay in Canada after your IEC working holiday. CanadianVisa.Org is a certified visa and immigration agency situated in Vancouver, Canada. Are you in the area? Stop by and say hi or leave your details in the contact sheet and one of our friendly consultants will give you a call.

We are a team of professional Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants who are certified by the Government of Canada to help you with your visa and immigration needs. We take care of the entire visa application process on your behalf - from the eligibility assessment, paperwork filing and finally submitting an optimized application. But best of all, we give you expert guidance every step of the way. Tell us about your goals, let’s make it happen.