Canada Working Holiday Visa Application Process
Canada is a popular place to visit for people who live in other countries and want to see the country’s beautiful nature and friendly culture. If you’re young and want to go on an adventure abroad, a Working Holiday Visa is a great way to explore Canada’s diverse scenery and multiculturalism while also making money to pay for your trip.
Youth from 35 different countries can get a Canadian Working Holiday Visa, which lets them live and work in Canada for up to two years. In this article, we explain in detail how to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada, including who is qualified and how to get an open work permit through this program.
What is a Working Holiday Visa?
International Experience Canada (IEC) offers youngsters from selected nations a two-year Working Holiday Visa to live, travel, and work in Canada.
The Working Holiday Visa, also known as programme vacancies-travail (PVT), is popular among 18-35-year-olds who desire to work and travel around Canada.
Working Holiday Visa holders can work for any qualifying Canadian employer in any place. Also, Working Holiday Visa holders can hunt for work in Canada without a job offer. Working Holiday Visa holders can also apply for jobs without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in Canada.
Countries That Have a Working Holiday Visa Agreement With Canada
Bilateral Youth Mobility agreements with Canada make the Working Holiday Visa program available to 35 nations. Australia, Belgium, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine, and the UK are the participating countries. The government website lists eligible countries.
Who is eligible for a Working Holiday Visa?
If you meet all of the following requirements, you may be qualified for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa:
- You are from one of the 35 countries that are part of the program.
- You’re between 18 and 35 years old (in some countries, the most you can be is 29 or 30).
- You want to work in more than one place for one or more Canadian companies.
- You don’t have a job offer in Canada.
- You want to make money so you can pay for your trip to Canada and stay there.
Other visa categories under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program
International Experience Canada (IEC) offers many work and travel opportunities, including the Working Holiday Visa. This program offers two more experience categories. To improve your chances, you can submit your profile to multiple category pools.
- Young Professionals: Young Professionals (YP) must have a Canadian work offer that will help them develop professionally. YP candidates receive an employer-specific work permit and must work for the same employer in Canada.
- International Co-op (Internship): If they have a Canadian internship or co-op job offer and need to complete a work placement as part of their studies program, overseas students may qualify for the International Co-op IEC category. You can only work for one Canadian employer if you qualify for this category.
How to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada
A step-by-step guide to applying for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa:
1. Understand how IEC pools work
Global Experience Canada’s quotas change annually. In the 2023 IEC season, France has 7,000 Working Holiday Visas, 2,200 Young Professionals, and 4,250 International Co-op. The quota shows how many work permit applications each category will accept. ITAs may exceed the season’s allotment.
Each category may have multiple invitation rounds per country. Shortlisted individuals can apply for Canadian work permits.
You can enter multiple IEC categories if eligible. Only one profile is allowed. Until you acquire an ITA, the season ends, or you’re no longer eligible, your profile will remain in the pool.
2. Become an IEC candidate
- Create an IRCC account before applying.
- Check IEC eligibility: Complete the online questionnaire to determine IEC eligibility. Sign in to your IRCC account and select “International Experience Canada” to access the questionnaire. The 10-minute quiz asks about your citizenship, permanent residency, residence, student status, and job offer (if applicable).
- Complete your online IEC profile: Your IEC profile immediately includes eligibility information from your IRCC account if you were signed in. If you completed the questionnaire without signing in, pre-fill part of your profile with the personal reference code you received at the conclusion. You can then add identity and contact information to your International Experience Canada profile. IEC profiles must be submitted within 60 days.
- Submit your IEC profile: You’ll learn about the IEC pools (Working Holiday Visa, Young Professionals, and International Co-op) after completing your profile. To increase your visa chances, enter your profile into many pools. Your prospects of getting an ITA in the following round are shown in the IRCC timetable.
- Wait for an Invitation to Apply (ITA): Depending on your country, IEC categories may have many invitation rounds. You’ll get a work permit invitation if you’re chosen. Each country issues invitations for the International Co-op category first, followed by Young Professionals. Working Holiday Visa ITAs come last. If there are slots in the Young Professionals and Working Holiday Visa categories, you’ll receive an ITA for Young Professionals first, which you can accept or refuse. You may acquire a Working Holiday Visa ITA if no other categories are available.
3. Apply for a work permit under Working Holiday Visa
Invitations to Apply are not work permits or visas to Canada. After receiving an ITA, apply for a work permit, pay the money, and get a port of entrance letter of introduction. IEC Working Holiday Visa work permit application process:
- Accept your ITA: 10 days to accept or reject an ITA. Acceptance gives you 20 days to apply for a work visa. Go to “Continue my profile/application” in your account, pick the Work permit application, and click “Start application” to accept an ITA.
- Gather essential documents: As soon as you’re approved into the Working Holiday Visa pool, start assembling your documentation for your work permit application. You only have 20 days. A passport, residency evidence, police clearance certificate, resume, medical test results, and photo are usually required. You may also need to show proof of sufficient funds and a return flight ticket or money to buy one.
- Submit your work permit application: Continue your work permit application on your IRCC account. Complete the application and upload all required documents.
- Receive your port of entry letter of introduction: If your application is approved, you’ll receive a port of entry letter of introduction to present to the border official when you enter Canada to collect your work permit. The border officer will review your documents and question you before granting a work permit.
How long can you stay in Canada on a Working Holiday Visa?
Your Working Holiday Visa may last 12 or 24 months, depending on your nationality. Your work permit length may also rely on other criteria like your passport’s validity, health insurance, and more.
Some nations let adolescents repeat the International Experience Canada (IEC) program under different categories.
What is the processing fee for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada?
Working Holiday Visa processing costs $346 CAD. This includes $161 IEC, $100 open work permit, and $85 biometric fees. Travel documents, photocopying, courier and delivery fees, and more may be extra.
Do you need proof of funds to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada?
You must produce at least $2,500 CAD to cover your expenses in Canada (other nations may require more). However, the cost of living in Canada is expensive and it can take long to find work, so carry enough money to cover your living and travel expenditures for at least four to six months. Arrive’s cost of living calculator estimates Canadian city monthly expenses.
You must also have a return airplane ticket or enough money to buy one before your work permit expires.
What is the processing time for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada?
Your Working Holiday Visa application will be processed five weeks after submission. This usually excludes biometric submission time. Please check the government’s website for updated processing times due to seasonality, overall application volume, and other variables.
Can you bring your family to Canada on a Working Holiday Visa?
Your Working Holiday Visa prevents your family from visiting Canada. Your spouse, common-law partner, or dependent children must apply for a visitor visa, study permit, or work permit to visit Canada.
Do I need health insurance to apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada?
Before entering Canada, Working Holiday Visa holders must buy health insurance for their whole work permit. If your health insurance is insufficient when you enter the country, your visa may be rejected or your work permit shortened. Even if you qualify for a two-year visa, you may receive a six-month visa provided your health insurance is good for six months.
Your health insurance must cover medical, hospital, and repatriation to be valid. To avoid emergency costs, buy enough health insurance, even though the IRCC does not set a minimum.
Can I apply for PR after staying in Canada on a Working Holiday Visa?
Many Working Holiday Visa holders settle in Canada after seeing its beauty and diversity. Your Working Holiday Visa may help you apply for PR programs later if you gain Canadian job experience.
Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) programs under Express Entry provide applicants CRS points for Canadian experience. The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) program may accept applicants with one year of Canadian managerial, professional, or technical trade experience (NOC TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3).
Young people from 30+ countries use the Working Holiday Visa or programme vacances-travail to visit, travel, and work in Canada. With a Working Holiday work permit, you can tour Canada and make money. If you fall in love with Canada while exploring, your Canadian employment experience will help you get PR.
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