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Working Holiday Visa in Canada: Your Path to Work Abroad

Working Holiday Visa in Canada

Dreaming of a Canadian adventure? Ever thought about working and traveling in the Great White North? The Working Holiday Visa in Canada is your ticket to an exciting journey filled with diverse experiences, professional growth, and the chance to immerse yourself in the Canadian way of life. Whether you are looking to earn money while exploring, seeking financial independence, or expanding your career, this visa opens doors to various opportunities. 

Moreover, it’s a unique opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and meet people from around the world. You will connect with individuals from all over the world, establishing connections that go beyond borders. It’s a chance to learn from different perspectives and create memories that will stay with you forever. So, are you ready to delve deeper into the world of Working Holiday Visas in Canada? Scroll down to know more!


Table of Contents


What is a Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

The Working Holiday Visa for Canada is a type of temporary visa that allows young adults from certain countries to travel to Canada and work legally for up to one or two years. This program is part of the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative, which aims to facilitate cultural exchange and international exposure for individuals aged 18 to 35. Commonly referred to as the Programme Vacances-Travail (PVT), it’s a favored choice among those looking to earn money while exploring Canada. 

Successful applicants receive an open work permit, providing flexibility to work for any eligible employer in Canada at any location. They don’t need a job offer beforehand and can search for employment opportunities after arriving in Canada. Canadian employers are not required to obtain a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to hire individuals with open work permits, making the job search process easier for Working Holiday Visa holders.

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What are the Key Benefits of a Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

Exploring a new country through a Working Holiday Visa offers a wide range of benefits and opportunities. They are:

  • Cultural Exchange: You will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Canadian culture and interact with people from around the world.
  • Financial Independence: Earning money through work in Canada can help cover your living expenses and travel within the country.
  • Travel Opportunities: Canada’s vast and diverse landscapes offer endless travel opportunities, from exploring national parks to experiencing vibrant cities.
  • Career Development: Gaining international work experience can enhance your career prospects back home.

Which Countries Have Working Holiday Visa Agreements With Canada?

Canada has established Working Holiday Visa agreements with a range of countries, allowing young individuals to explore Canada while gaining valuable work experience. Check out the Working Holiday Visa Canada age limit and participating countries:

Countries with Working Holiday Visa Agreements
Working Holiday Visa Canadas Global Opportunities
CountryAge limitWorking Holiday
Andorra18 to 30Yes
Australia18 to 35Yes
Austria18 to 30Yes
Belgium18 to 30Yes
Chile18 to 35Yes
Costa Rica18 to 35Yes
Croatia18 to 35Yes
Czech Republic18 to 35Yes
Denmark18 to 35Yes
Estonia18 to 35Yes
France18 to 35Yes
Germany18 to 35Yes
Greece18 to 35Yes
Hong Kong SAR18 to 30Yes
Ireland18 to 35Yes
Italy18 to 35Yes
Japan18 to 30Yes
Korea, Republic18 to 30Yes
Latvia Republic18 to 35Yes
Lithuania18 to 35Yes
Luxembourg18 to 30Yes
Mexico18 to 29Yes
Netherlands18 to 30Yes
New Zealand18 to 35Yes
Norway18 to 35Yes
Poland18 to 35Yes
Portugal18 to 35Yes
San Marino18 to 35Yes
Slovakia18 to 35Yes
Slovenia18 to 35Yes
Spain18 to 35Yes
Sweden18 to 30Yes
Switzerland18 to 35No
Taiwan18 to 35Yes
Ukraine18 to 35Yes
United Kingdom18 to 30Yes

These agreements offer a remarkable opportunity for young individuals to engage in Canadian culture, engage in professional pursuits, and embark on journeys, thereby expanding their horizons and crafting indelible experiences.

Who is Eligible for a Working Visa Holiday in Canada?

To meet the requirements for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada, individuals should:

Eligibility for Working Holiday Visa in Canada
Find out who qualifies for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada
  • Citizenship: Hold citizenship (passport) from one of the specified countries that have a “bilateral youth mobility agreement” with Canada under the International Experience Canada program.
  • Age: Be within the age range of 18 to 30 or 35 (inclusive) at the time of application, with the upper age limit determined by the applicant’s country of citizenship, as specified in the International Experience Canada country list.
  • Passport Validity: Possess a valid passport that remains valid for the entire duration of their stay in Canada, as the work permit’s validity cannot exceed that of the passport.
  • Financial Resources: Have a minimum of CAD 2,500 in financial resources upon arrival in Canada to cover initial expenses.
  • Health Insurance: Obtain health insurance that covers the entire duration of their Working Holiday Visa in Canada, and be prepared to provide proof of insurance upon entering the country.
  • Admissibility: Meet Canada’s admissibility criteria, which include factors related to criminality and security.
  • Departure Ticket: Before departure, either have a round-trip ticket or possess the financial means to purchase a departure ticket for the end of their authorized stay in Canada.
  • Dependents: Travel without dependents, as the Working Holiday Visa program typically does not allow for accompanying dependents.

How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

Canada’s Working Holiday Visa program offers an exciting opportunity for young individuals to experience life and work in this diverse country. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada:

Step 1: Get to Know the IEC Pools

The IEC program operates seasonally with quotas for each country and category. Quotas determine the number of work permit applications accepted. Invitations to Apply (ITAs) may exceed the seasonal quota in some cases and multiple rounds of invitations may occur within each category for each specific country. Candidates who are selected for consideration will receive an invitation to apply for a work permit, enabling them to work in Canada.

Step 2:  Profile Submission

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you have the option to submit your profile for multiple IEC categories. However, it’s important to note that you can only create a single profile. Your profile will remain in the pool until the end of the season until you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), or until you are no longer eligible, depending on which of these conditions occurs first.

Before starting your application, it’s essential to set up an account on the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

Step 3: Assess Your Eligibility for IEC

To determine if you qualify for the International Experience Canada program, you can begin by completing an online eligibility questionnaire. If you already have an Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada account, you can access the questionnaire by logging in and selecting ‘International Experience Canada.’

During this eligibility questionnaire, you need to provide the following details:

  • Nationality
  • Age
  • Language ability
  • Family members
  • Education
  • Work experience
  • Income and/or net worth
  • Details on any job offer
How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada
Applying for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada

Step 4: Complete Your IEC Profile Online

If you were signed in to your IRCC account when verifying your eligibility, your details will be automatically transferred to your IEC profile. However, if you filled out the questionnaire without signing in, you can use the personal reference code provided at the end of the questionnaire to pre-fill a portion of your profile.

Then, you can proceed to complete your International Experience Canada profile by adding additional details to verify your identity and contact information. You have 60 days to finalize and submit your IEC profile.

Step 5: Submit Your IEC Profile

After finalizing your profile, you will receive information about the IEC pools that are accessible to you, including the Working Holiday Visa, Young Professionals, and International Co-op. You have the option to submit your profile to multiple pools to increase your opportunities for obtaining a visa.

Step 6: Wait for an Invitation

Invitations for various IEC categories are organized into multiple rounds, with a specific number of rounds depending on your country of application. If you are chosen for any of these categories, you will be granted an Invitation to Apply for a work permit.

The invitation rounds are conducted individually for each country. Initially, invitations are extended for the International Co-op category, followed by the Young Professionals category. The final round of invitations is reserved for the Working Holiday Visa category.

This sequencing implies that if you meet the eligibility criteria for both the Young Professionals and Working Holiday Visa categories (and there are vacancies in both), you will first receive an Invitation to Apply for the Young Professionals category. You have the option to decline or accept this invitation. If there are no available spots in other categories you qualify for, you may ultimately receive an Invitation to Apply exclusively for the Working Holiday Visa category.

Apply for a Work Permit Under a Working Holiday Visa in Canada

Applying for a work permit in Canada is a significant step towards your international adventure. Follow these steps to simplify the process and ensure a hassle-free transition to your new Canadian experience.

1. Accept Your Invitation: Click the ‘Start Application’ button after receiving an Invitation to Apply. You will have 20 days to complete your work permit application and pay the necessary fees.

2. Employer’s Contribution: If you are applying under the IEC Young Professional or International Co-op categories, your employer needs to pay a CAD 230 compliance fee through the employer portal before the 20-day deadline. They will provide you with an Offer of Employment number, which you will need for your application.

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3. Gather Your Documents: Given the 20-day time frame for your work permit application, start gathering the necessary documents as soon as you are accepted into the Working Holiday Visa pool. You will typically need your passport, proof of residency, police clearance certificate, resume, medical test results, and a photograph. Additionally, be prepared to show proof of sufficient funds for your trip and either a return flight ticket or the means to purchase one.

4. Pay the Fees: For a Working Holiday Visa in Canada, you will need to pay a participation fee and an open work permit holder fee.

5. Application Review: IRCC will assess your application and may request additional documents if necessary.

6. Letter of Introduction: If your application is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI) in your account. Keep this with you when traveling to Canada. You will need to show it to an immigration officer at a Port of Entry (POE), like an airport or border crossing, to receive your work permit.

7. Prepare for Arrival: Ensure you have all the required documents for your arrival in Canada.

What is the Processing Fee for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

The total fee for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa amounts to CAD 346. This includes a CAD 161 IEC fee, a CAD 100 open work permit fee, and a CAD 85 biometric fee. It’s essential to be aware that there could be supplementary expenses to consider, such as expenses related to travel documents, photocopies, courier services, delivery charges, and additional costs.

What is the Processing Time for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

Seven weeks is the timeframe for processing to commence after you have successfully submitted all the necessary documents, including your biometrics. Nevertheless, processing durations can vary due to seasonal variations, the overall number of applications, and various factors. Therefore, it’s advisable to visit the government’s website for the most current information on processing times.

Other Categories Under the International Experience Canada

Besides the well-known Working Holiday Visa category, Canada offers some other exciting options for international youth. Now, let’s delve deeper into these alternative choices:

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals category targets foreign youth, especially graduates from post-secondary institutions, aiming to advance their careers through professional work experience in Canada. To qualify, applicants must secure a job offer or employment contract with a Canadian employer before applying.

International Co-op (Internship)

The International Co-op (Internship) category caters to foreign youth who are currently enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their home country. Candidates should have the intention of undertaking a work placement or internship in Canada as a requirement of their academic curriculum. Additionally, they must remain registered as students throughout the duration of the internship. 

Permits granted under this category typically have a validity period of up to 12 months, although certain participants may receive extended durations based on their citizenship. Applicants must obtain a job offer letter or contract for a work placement or internship in Canada that aligns with the academic requirements of their home country’s curriculum. 

Canada Awaits: Your Working Holiday Adventure Begins Now

With a Working Holiday Visa, Canada isn’t just a place on the map; it’s an experience waiting to happen. As you explore this incredible country, meeting people from around the world and embracing the Canadian lifestyle, you will discover that it’s not just about work—it’s about cultural exchange, financial independence, travel opportunities, and career development.

Furthermore, this journey offers the chance to push your boundaries and discover your true potential. It’s a time to learn about yourself, gain confidence, and adapt to new environments, all while creating a treasure trove of memories.

FAQs Related to Working Holiday Visa in Canada

Here are some common questions often asked about the Working Holiday Visa in Canada, along with their respective answers.

Q. How do I get a Working Holiday Visa for Canada?
A. To obtain a Working Holiday Visa in Canada, follow these steps: Understand IEC pools, submit your profile online, check your eligibility, complete your profile, submit it, wait for an invitation, apply for a work permit, and prepare for your arrival.

Q. Who is eligible for Canada Working Holiday Visa?
A. To be eligible for the Canada Working Holiday Visa, you must originate from a nation with an IEC agreement, meet age requirements (which vary by country, typically 18-30 or 35), hold a valid passport, demonstrate proof of funds, have health insurance, meet Canada’s admissibility criteria, and travel without dependents.

Q. Can an Indian get Working Holiday Visa in Canada?
A. Indian citizens are not eligible for this visa due to the absence of an International Experience Canada (IEC) agreement. Check with the Canadian embassy for updates.

Q. What is the duration of my stay in Canada with a Working Holiday Visa?
A. The duration of your Working Holiday Visa can be either 12 or 24 months, depending on your country of citizenship. However, the length of your work permit may also be influenced by additional factors, including the validity of your passport and your health insurance coverage.

Q. Is it possible to bring my family to Canada with a Working Holiday Visa?
A. No, you cannot bring your family members, such as your spouse, common-law partner, or dependent children, with you on a Working Holiday Visa. If your family members want to join you in Canada, they must individually meet the requirements for a visitor visa, study permit, or work permit.

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