Working Holiday Visa (IEC 2022)

Are you looking for an adventurous way to work and travel overseas? Apply for a working holiday visa in Canada which gives you the opportunity to stay in amazing cities like Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, working part-time while traveling through the breathtaking expanses of the country. The International Experience Canada (IEC) program provides young individuals with the opportunity to do all this and more.   

Working Holiday Visa in Canada - IEC 2022

The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) is part of the International Experience Canada (IEC) and is available to citizens of 35 countries that have a consensual youth mobility arrangement with Canada. The Working Holiday Visa is a temporary open work permit that lasts between 12 and 24 months, depending on your country of origin.

This popular visa category is designed for adventurous young adults who want to travel while working part-time in Canada. It’s ideal for those who haven’t settled on a career path yet and are looking for gap year opportunities abroad. If you’re a travel influencer or simply love to travel, backpack, and explore new places for a few months, then the unspoiled wilderness and urban splendor of Canada await you.

The best thing about Canada's Working Holiday Visa is that it will allow you to earn money so that you can fund your travels during your stay. This is a great way to pay off all the expenses you will incur while in Canada. 

You will also gain valuable Canadian work experience to better compete in the global economy. Your career horizons will broaden by working with people who have diverse cultural backgrounds while learning new approaches to doing business, experiencing a different country, and developing your language skills.

What You Need to Know About the Working Holiday Visa

Below you will find details about the Canadian working holiday visa program, including eligibility requirements and the application process as well as the steps that are involved once you have applied. The 2022 IEC season is open and accepting applications. As part of a new COVID-19 measure, IEC participants must be fully vaccinated or have a valid job offer and be able to start working as soon as the mandatory quarantine is complete in order to enter Canada.

Don’t let uncertainty stop you from applying for a Canadian working holiday visa. There is a lot of preparation you can do beforehand, and we can help you with a complete IEC Working Holiday checklist! 

Who Can Apply for the Working Holiday Visa?

Take a look at the list below to see if you are a citizen of one of the qualifying countries!

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

To discover the top 5 Working Holiday Visa destinations in Canada, visit this page.

How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada

Man backpacks through Canada on working holiday

The Canadian Working Holiday Visa is an extremely popular option and has strict quotas for each county that is filled every year. The application process is a 2-step process that consists of creating an online profile and submitting a complete application. Here are the most important initial steps:

  • Step 1: Create an online profile where you’ll be asked questions based on the criteria listed below.
  • Step 2: Wait for the draw to take place where you will need to receive an invitation. You need to complete your profile within 10 days of receiving this invitation.
  • Step 3: Submit an application within 20 days of receiving your ITA.

You need the following to apply :

  • 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

The Working Holiday Visa program is very popular and has a capped quota of applicants, so it’s crucial to get your application started as soon as possible. Another aspect to keep in mind is that you need to include biometric data, including electronic fingerprints at a designated venue in your home country before departure.

Where to Work in Canada on a Working Holiday?

Your job search can wait until you are physically in Canada but you can also start looking and planning remotely. Are you looking for resort-based work? Casual, part-time shift work? An internship to begin an exciting career? Or something completely different? Thinking long and hard about how you want to spend your 12-months or more in Canada, may help you establish a solid plan and an epic trip itinerary which will help you reach all of your goals to make the most of your Working Holiday! 

Job ideas for Working Holiday Visa holders:

  • Farms and ranches that offer jobs working with horses or picking fruit from fragrant orchards;
  • Ski resorts that offer instructor positions or hotel work;
  • Summer camp guides and instructors; and
  • Retail and delivery work

Additional IEC Programs

Young Professionals

Woman sits in a boardroom on her working holiday

The Young Professionals Program is aimed at secondary graduates who have studied already and are seeking employment in Canada. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain working experience in the country, paving the way for future immigration plans or simply gaining a global outlook on working life. It can also connect you with further working opportunities in Canada that might broaden your field of expertise. 

The only major requirement for this type of working holiday visa is a signed letter of employment from a Canadian company. It’s up to you to organize this aspect and make sure you adhere to the other criteria (such as a valid passport) before applying to the program. If successful, you are granted a temporary working visa for 12-24 months with the option of extending depending on how long your company wishes for you to stay on as well as what documentation they can provide to motivate an extension. 

Industries that you are likely to find skilled work in include:

  • Science
  • Law
  • Health
  • Education
  • Commerce
  • Communication

International Co-op Internship

Colleagues have a meeting during a working holiday abroad

The International Co-op Internship is a wonderful program for those that are still studying at a post-secondary institution in their country of origin. You can acquire valuable overseas work experience related to your field of study. This is for students who intend to complete a work placement or internship in Canada as part of their academic curriculum. You will need to find work that is relevant to your field and makes sense in terms of furthering your skills.

The eligibility requirements are the same as those for the Canadian Working Holiday Visa except that there is less flexibility in the sense that you will need to acquire a job offer/letter of employment to process your application. This permit is generally only valid for a 12-month period as most internships will not exceed this. It’s also important that you check if your country of citizenship is participating in the internship program before applying. 

Top Tips Before You Go to Canada With a Working Holiday Visa 

So, you may be all set in terms of documentation and you have received your ITA but there are still some specifics that you need to prepare for once in Canada. Here are some tips for you to consider before you set off to visit this vibrant nation. 

  • Make plans to hire a car or get familiar with the public transport system;
  • Save up for expenses that arise before your first paycheck;
  • Make sure you have the correct certifications for the industry you plan to work in eg. Occupational First Aid or Food Safe for the hospitality industry;
  • Don’t forget to apply for your tax refund at the end of the financial year;
  • Apply for travel insurance for the year;
  • Get a local sim card (useful for contacting your workplace as well);
  • Set up a bank account; and
  • Find an affordable money-transfer app.

What Are the COVID-19 Updates for IEC?

There have been some changes in regards to the IEC requirements for foreign nationals who are fully vaccinated as well as those who are unvaccinated. Please note these changes were made active from September 2021.

For the fully vaccinated:

You don’t require a job offer in order to enter Canada, but you will need to provide proof of vaccination. You will also have to follow Canada’s special COVID-19 travel requirements.

For the unvaccinated:

You don’t need a job offer to submit your profile to the IEC working holiday category pool or to receive an invitation to apply. You will, however, need a job offer letter from a Canadian employer in order to enter Canada and activate your work permit.

FAQ 1: How do I extend my Canadian working holiday visa?

You’re able to extend your visa as a visitor, this is typically valid for six months. Please note that you need to ensure when you request an extension, that you apply for a visitor record at least 30 days before your work permit expires.

FAQ 2: How long does a Canadian working holiday visa take to process?

Once submitted your application and payment, it can take up to 8 weeks to be processed. Additional documents may be requested from you. If you're successful, the IRCC will send a Port of Entry Letter to your account.

FAQ 3: How long is a working holiday visa valid?

The Working Holiday Visa is valid for 12 - 24 months. You can either stay for the entire duration or leave and re-enter as many times as you like during that period.

The border services will re-assess admissibility each time you enter. As the WHV is a work permit and not a visa, you may not be able to have re-entry accessibility and therefore you aren’t guaranteed re-entry. You may need a new visitor visa in order to re-enter.

FAQ 4: How many times can I apply for a WHV?

Certain countries who are part of the list of eligible countries partaking in the IEC agreements, then you may apply for a WHV permit twice. Please visit the government website to see if your country is able to do so.

Make use of our services to ensure that you get a full profile assessment, choosing the correct working holiday visa program for your background. We assist you in collecting all the necessary documents for your Canadian working holiday visa and guide you through the entire application process. Apply today to join other young professionals in their journey to discover all that Canada has to offer. 

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