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How to obtain a Working Holiday Visa for Canada

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If you wish to work and live in Canada temporarily, one of the easiest visa options for you is the working holiday visa. The working holiday visa allows applicants to obtain a work permit for 2 years maximum.

Applicants can submit an application for a working holiday visa through the International Experience Class Program. International Experience Class provides an opportunity to work, live, and gain some Canadian work experience in Canada. The duration of stay depends on the status and class of visa that you have received.    

Visa Application Form

 

Applying for a working holiday visa through the International Experience Class Program requires:

  • Firstly, filling out an online application format
  • After receiving your information, you will be notified about the outcome of your application by email. Your invitation letter will also be mailed to you.
  • Next, you must get your documents ready for submission: • Firstly, fill out an online application form at www.cic.gc.ca/english/immigrate/application/wwv.asp. 
  • Then, pay the processing fee: $195 CAD (before tax) or US$ 175 (before tax) depending on your country of origin. 
  • Then, attach all required documents and photos: 
  • Valid passport (1-year validity), including at least 6 months remaining until your intended arrival date in Canada 
  • Health insurance coverage of a minimum of 60 days from the day you start your job 
  • Signed IELTS (if English is not your first language) 
  • Transcripts from high school or university 
  • An employment contract or letter of employment from your employer 
  • Medical exam report
  • Proof of adequate finances (employment contract or bank statement showing sufficient funds) 
  • Bank statement showing enough funds to cover expenses during your entire stay in Canada 
  • Police record check (including police abstracts from countries that are part of the visa waiver program). 
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Note: if you have ever been denied a work permit for a criminal offense or serious traffic offense, you will need to get a new police record check prior to submitting a new application for a working holiday visa.

After completing all the necessary steps, submit your documents and apply for a Canadian study permit if you are planning to pursue studies while in Canada. For more information on study permits, see Study Permits.

Can I get a working holiday visa if I am already working in Canada? 

If you are already working in Canada and wish to work in another province while on your working holiday, you must obtain a provincial nomination prior to applying for a working holiday visa. For more information on provincial nominations, see Provincial Nomination Program.

Who is Eligible to apply for a working holiday visa in Canada?

Only those people who meet the following criteria are eligible to apply for a working holiday visa in Canada:

(a) Meet the requirements listed above ( i.e. possessing an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of at least Band 7 and proof of adequate finances);

(b) Hold a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after the end of your stay in Canada;

(c) Have no criminal convictions that prevent you from entering Canada or disqualify you from receiving a work permit;

(d) Provide medical evidence that shows you are free from tuberculosis;

(e) Be between the ages of 18 and 30 (there is no upper age limit).

Please Note: There are other countries outside of Canada where the Working Holiday Visa program operates, but we do not know if there are any other programs that offer an experience like the one offered by the Working Holiday Visa program in Canada. To find out if there are other programs available to you, please check with the relevant country Embassy or Consulate. We have included links to websites for all the countries that participate in the Working Holiday Visa program.

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What is the International Experience Canada (IEC) program?

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program allows Canadians and foreign nationals with pre-existing immigration pathways (for example, as students, international workers, etc.) to come to Canada for short-term volunteer work placements of up to six months duration.

There are three programs under the International Experience Canada (IEC), including Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-Op.

Working Holiday Program:

For young people aged 18 to 30 who want to do part-time work or internships while traveling abroad.

Young Professionals Program:

For professionals between the ages of 18 and 35 who want to do part-time work or internships while traveling abroad.

Co-op Internship Program:

For university and college students between the ages of 18 and 30 who want to do part-time work or internships while traveling abroad.

How much does a working holiday visa for Canada cost? 

A working holiday visa for Canada costs around $250 CAD per month for a single person. The price will vary depending on your location. In order to get a working holiday visa for Canada, you will need to have an international passport and proof of financial means.

Can I travel outside of Canada during my working holiday visa?

As a working holiday visa holder, you can only travel outside of Canada if you are on a paid placement with a Canadian employer. A paid placement must be at least 40 hours per week, but it can be lower than 40 hours per week if your employer agrees.

What kind of paperwork do I need to apply for a working holiday visa for Canada?

In order to apply for a working holiday visa for Canada, you will need to fill out an application form which is available online at www.cic.gc.ca. It is important to note that all supporting documents must be included with your application.

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Do I need a criminal record check before I apply for a working holiday visa for Canada?

It is not mandatory to get a criminal record check before applying for a working holiday visa for Canada. You can choose to get a criminal record check when you are submitting your application.

How do I find a job while on a working holiday visa for Canada? 

When you arrive in Canada on a working holiday visa, you can choose to stay in your province of residence or move to another province if you want to find a job in that province. Your options include looking for work online, applying for jobs posted in your province of residence, asking friends and family members if they know of any jobs that might be suitable for you, or searching the newspaper or using other employment services.

 

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