The IEC Working Holiday Visa 2021 Season is Officially Open

We have been waiting for months for this moment; youths can officially come to Canada to work and travel again. As of 1 March 2021, the IEC Working Holiday Visa program is accepting applicants. Of the 33 countries that are participating in the program, 22 are officially open, with the rest expected to follow suit shortly. But, there is a new requirement for your IEC Working Holiday visa for 2021 to be issued.

To be eligible to travel to Canada, you will require your Port of Entry Letter of Introduction, which is granted once your application is approved. You will now also require a valid job offer. Previously this was not required, you were granted an open work permit and Canada was your oyster. Now the Canadian government needs to know you intend to start working when you arrive in Canada, after you have completed your mandatory quarantine period.

How To Apply For Your IEC Visa in 2021

Work in Canada in 2021-IEC working holiday visa

Step 1. Become a Candidate

This is the easiest part, create an online profile and enter yourself into the IEC working holiday visa pool. There are another two programs, the Young Professionals visa and the International Co-op visa, but those are for university students and graduates who want to gain work experience specific to their qualification.

It is highly recommended that if you want to work in Canada within the next twelve months, that you create your profile as soon as possible.

It’s free to create a profile, you will only need to pay the $156 processing fee if you are selected and accept your invitation to apply.

Step 2: Submit Your Profile

When you have answered all the questions and your profile is complete, you will be given your options on which pools are available to you. If the result is more than one, feel free to enter one of the other two pools. This can only increase your chances of getting an ITA.

It’s important to note that submitting your IEC profile is not the same as applying for your Canadian work permit. You will use your ITA to apply for your work permit after you are accepted. If you do receive an ITA, you can pay the processing fee, submit your work permit application and check your status. This is the only way to get an IEC work permit.

Step 3: Provide Proof of a Job Offer

The current travel restrictions have made it mandatory for IEC applicants of all visa programs to provide proof of a job offer in Canada. You will need to send an email to with the following information:

  • Your IEC application profile number
  • Full name [as it appears on your passport—family name followed by given name(s)]
  • Date of birth [YYYY-MM-DD]
  • Country of residence
  • Date you created your IEC profile
  • Employment information: employer [name], located at [address], may be contacted at [telephone number or email].

State clearly that you are applying for the working holiday visa in 2021, and attach a copy of your job offer to the email. As far as possible, try to make sure that your job offer contains all of the following information:

  • Business’s legal name and business’ operating name
  • Job title
  • Physical job location including city and province or territory
  • Main duties of the job
  • Expected start date of employment
  • Expected duration of employment
  • Employer’s primary contact information
  • Wage and hours of work

There is no deadline for this step, but remember it is a requirement to get your invitation for the IEC working holiday visa. If you are not from one of the countries currently participating in the IEC program, you can use a recognized organization to apply for your working holiday visa. In this instance do not worry about sending the email, rather follow the instructions your organization gives you.

Where to Find a Working Holiday Job in Canada

Summer Camp jobs in Canada-IEC working holiday visa

There a numerous sites and programs for young travellers to find temporary work in Canada, Here are some of the more popular examples of companies that arrange everything on your behalf:

If you are not too keen on using a paid program (because let’s face it, they can take a significant chunk of your hard earned income) to secure a job offer, you can always apply to resorts, farms, warehouses, etc. yourself. Just about any temporary paid job you can find on Indeed, Google or Workopolis. And then there is old faithful, the king of Canadian job boards:

Which Countries Are Participating in the IEC Visa Program

Explore Canada with friends-IEC working holiday visa

Here is the list of countries currently participating in the IEC system. Remember, if your country isn’t on the list, you can apply through a Recognized Organization to the IEC visa program of your choice.

Countries Currently in IEC
CountrySpot AvailableSpot Available
Costa Rica80San Marino25
Czeck Republic1,000Portugal1,750
Greece180South Korea4,000
Hong Kong200Sweden580
Italy1,000United Kingdom5,000

There are a few things you will require for your working holiday visa in 2021, such as travel insurance and a minimum bank balance to cover any unforeseen expenses, like having to quarantine for a couple of weeks when you first get to Canada. Everything you will need can be found here.

How You Can Prepare For the 2021 IEC Season

If you want to find a job that suits you rather than be placed in a job by a company who sees you as just a number, you can apply with Create an account and get access to your own personalized user dashboard with a complete checklist of the steps you need to follow. You can upload all your documents and chat to certified visa professionals if you have any questions as you go and until you get your port of entry letter and IEC working holiday visa for 2021. The most important thing to do is get the ball rolling early. You start the job hunt, and let us take care of the rest.