How to Apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa (IEC 2022)

Would you like to travel across Canada but also earn money while doing so? If yes, then the Canadian Working Holiday Visa is the perfect way to do just that! You’ll be able to see places such as CN Tower and Royal Ontario Museum within the bustling cities or Moraine Lake and Whistler Blackcomb for some breathtaking views.

So, how can you apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa? Let’s take a look below to find out how you can both travel and earn Canadian work experience.

What is a Working Holiday Visa (WHV)?

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The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is part of the International Experience Canada (IEC), which has a youth mobility agreement with 35 countries, that allows the citizens of those countries to visit Canada with an open work permit. The permit can either be valid for 12 or 24 months long, this all depends on the origin of your country.

Which countries are part of the Working Holiday Visa?

Take a look at the eligible countries that may apply for Canada’s WHV program:


Eligible Countries in the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program
AustraliaAustriaBelgium
ChileCosta RicaCroatia
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
FranceGermanyGreece
Hong KongIrelandItaly
JapanKorea, Rep.Latvia
LithuaniaLuxembourgMexico
NetherlandsNew ZealandNorway
PolandPortugalSan Marino
SlovakiaSloveniaSpain
SwedenSwitzerlandTaiwan
UkraineUnited Kingdom

Good to know!

Some of the above countries allow its citizens to apply only once while others allow you to apply twice, within different pools. It’s important to check how many times you can apply and if you’re eligible, as all participating countries have different requirements and conditions.

What are the requirements to apply for Canada’s WHV?

You’ll need the following in order to be eligible for the WHV:

  • Valid passport;
  • Be a part of the 35 participating countries;
  • Aged 18-35 (the cut-off is 30 for certain countries);
  • $2,500 to cover initial expenses;
  • Health insurance;
  • Police clearance certificate;
  • Round-trip ticket or sufficient funds to cover one; and
  • No dependents.

Please note that your dependents aren’t able to come to Canada with you when travelling on a visa through the IEC program.

You also don’t need a job offer to qualify to apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa which is a huge benefit for you, as this gives you time to find a job once you reach Canada.

How do I apply for a Canadian Work Holiday Visa?

Step 1: Complete the online form

Create an online profile by answering the questionnaire. This will determine if you meet the criteria to get into the IEC pools. The questionnaire will be about the following:

  • country of citizenship;
  • country of permanent residence (where you live permanently);
  • country of residence (where you live now)
  • student status (if this applies to you); and
  • job offer (if this applies to you).

Step 2: Complete your online IEC profile

If you get a positive result from the above questionnaire, you can complete and submit your IEC profile online. Please note that if you aren't able to complete your profile within 60 days, you aren’t able to submit and start again. So make sure you do it within the time frame given.

Step 3: Submit your profile

After you submit your profile into the pool, you need to wait for the draws to occur. This is where you’ll receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA). Your profile needs to be complete within 10 days of receiving your ITA.

Good to know!

If you’re a foreign national travelling to Canada through the IEC program and you’re vaccinated then you’re able to travel as soon as you receive your work permit. However, certain agriculture and food processing workers may be exempt.

Also, make sure that you get started on your application as soon as possible because the IEC has a capped quota of applicants.

What is the processing time for the WHV?

Your application for the 2022 IEC season will most likely be processed within an eight-week timeframe. This timeframe will begin once you have submitted all documents required of you which includes biometrics. Also, the fee starts from $156.

Places to see when in Canada

From beautiful mountains to breathtaking national parks

Jasper National Park - Based in Edmonton, this is the perfect destination if you enjoy hiking through canyons, whitewater rafting or just want to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of some incredible scenery.

Whistler - A beautiful resort in British Columbia that has everything from skiing and snowboarding to bungee jumping and bobsled rides. There are also plenty of local stores in the Whistler Village where you can spend some downtime. Those who prefer the warmer weather can visit Brandywine Falls Provincial Park in the summertime.

Whitehorse - Based in the Yukon territory, you’re able to explore Miles Canyon and even see the Yukon Wildlife Preserve. Here you’ll find all sorts of animals from foxes to muskox. You’ll want to visit this destination during winter as you’ll be able to witness the magical northern lights.

From the bustling cities to historical museums

Royal Ontario Museum - This is a beautiful museum dedicated to art, world culture and natural history. The museum has over 1 million visitors every year. You can see incredible exhibitions from dinosaurs and spiders to Vikings and Roman exhibits.

Canadian Museum of Nature - If you’re interested in natural history, then this is the museum to visit. It was initially built to only be a natural history museum, but then later expanded to include anthropology and a human history department.

Canadian Museum of History - If you’d like to deep dive into Canada’s history, this would be the place to do just that. There are several exhibitions including First Peoples of the Northwest Coast and From Time Immemorial — Tsimshian Prehistory. It’s a great place to learn all about the traditions of the Aboriginal people.

Top jobs to do when in Canada on a Working Holiday Visa

  • Ski instructor
  • Server
  • Bartender
  • Barista
  • Retail assistant
  • Local guide
  • Ski/Board technician in a rental shop

FAQs: Canada WHV

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Below is a frequently asked question, answered by one of the RCICs we work with, David Allon.

Question: How can I stay in Canada after my Working Holiday Visa?
Answer: You can apply for CEC or try to find an employer that will sponsor you.

Can I extend my Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

You’re able to extend your stay in Canada as a visitor. This is generally valid for six months, please note that you’ll need to apply for the extension at least 30 days before your Working Holiday Visa expires.

How long does the IEC pool take?

The wait for an invitation can be anywhere between three or four months long, if you’re successful, the application process will be an additional six to eight weeks.

Is Canada accepting Working Holiday Visas?

Canada has announced that they are re-opening the Working Holiday Visa program (IEC program) for a new season which is great news. Around 22,384 invitations have been sent to applicants already.

So, now that you know how to apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa, all you need to do is check if you’re eligible and you could travel and earn Canadian work experience in 2022.