explore canada

If the thought of exploring Canada and getting to experience what it’s like to live and work there has ever crossed your mind, or you actually have a plan to do all of that, but you haven’t figured out how to go about that, we’ve got you covered.

Of course, a working holiday is all you need, and the first step to getting one in Canada is securing an IEC working holiday visa and then a work permit.

What’s more, with such a working holiday visa, you can fund your vacation in Canada with temporary work. Under this category, you’ll be issued an open work permit. In fact, consider this category a suitable option if you are yet to receive a job offer, want to work for more than one employer, want to work in more than one location, and earn some money to fund your travels.

Generally, there’s a lot to know and understand about moving to Canada on a working holiday visa, and our goal is to help you with the much-needed information.

What is an IEC working holiday Visa

If you are hearing the term International Experience Canada (IEC) for the first time, note that it’s an initiative by the Canadian government through which working holiday visas and several other visas are offered.

The working holiday visa allows young people aged 18-35 from over thirty countries to work temporarily in Canada, either for one or two years. The length and required age of the permit depending on your country of citizenship.

You’ll want to look through the list of participating countries as this will help you know what’s required.

If your country of citizenship is not on the list, you still have a chance to be part of the IEC program. Make sure you seek the help of an IEC recognized institution. Such companies have been authorized by the Canadian government to offer additional help to those who need assistance applying for a work holiday visa in Canada.

Other IEC visas include the young professional’s visa and the international co-op internship Visa.  

The Process

The first thing you are required to do as a candidate after confirming that you are a citizen of the IEC participating countries is to create a profile on the Canada Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. This will notify the Canadian authorities of your desire to have a Canada holiday working visa

Applying to become a candidate

Step 1: Complete the eligibility questionnaire. It’s an assessment designed to check if you are eligible for the IEC work permit. You may have to answer questions about your nationality, age, language ability, education, income/network, and family members, and share details on any job offer(s)

Step 2: If the results show you qualify, you’ll get a personal reference code, which you’ll then use to set up your account.

Step 3: Complete your IEC profile. This should be done within sixty days. If you fail to meet the deadline, you’ll have to begin again. You’ll also be required to join one or several “pools” based on your country of citizenship and the category of the work permit. Examples include UK: Working Holiday and Australia: Working holiday.

Draws happen regularly where a random selection is made, and those selected are given an invitation to apply (ITA) for a work permit. This goes on until the available spaces are all filled for the year. Therefore, you can set up a profile anytime and become a candidate, provided the application is open for your country.

For most countries, the pools for visa applications open in November and close around September or October the following year.

valid passport

Only successful candidates will receive an invitation to apply for a work permit. However, in order to qualify as a candidate and get a chance to receive the ITA, you must:

  • Have a passport valid for the time you intend to stay in Canada. Note that the work permit you’ll be issued can’t be longer than your passport’s validity.
  • Have the equivalent of CAD $2,500 when you land. The money will help to cover the initial expenses.(food, accommodation, transport, etc. ).
  • Be in a position to enroll for health insurance for the duration of your stay. It must cover medical care, repatriation, and hospitalization. You may have to present this on landing.
  • Have a round-trip ticket prior to departure or the financial capacity to buy a departure ticket once your authorized stay in Canada comes to an end.
  • Not bring along dependents.
  • Pay all the required application fees.
  • Be capable or worthy of being admitted to Canada; i.e., have no criminal record, not forgetting to mention that you have to be a citizen of the IEC participating countries and of the required age. Some of the requirements vary from country to country, so make sure you are aware of the specific requirements of your country.

How To Apply For A Work Permit

  • Once you receive an ITA, you’ll have a 10-day window to decide whether or not to proceed with the application.
  • If you accept the invitation, you’ll be given 20 days to complete your application and submit it. Relevant fees will also have to be paid within this period.
  • Find and upload all the required documents. If they are not available, upload a document that shows proof that you’ve applied for the document(s) in question.
  • Submit your application and wait for IRCC to assess it. Sometimes they may ask for extra documents.
  • If your application sails through, a letter of introduction (LOI) will be sent to your account, which you are supposed to bring with you when you travel to Canada, alongside other documents, like a police certificate and medical certificate. Once you present what’s required to an immigration officer at the point of entry, they will issue you with a work permit.

You don’t have to apply for an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA). Even though travelling to Canada by air requires that you have one, it will automatically be issued together with your IEC visa. And once you arrive, make sure you’ve applied for a social insurance number as that will help you to get a job.

If you find it difficult, time-consuming, or tedious to apply for a Canada working holiday visa directly with the IEC, you can always enlist the help of an agent. There are plenty of them in Canada, and their job is to offer all the support you need during the visa application process for a specific fee.

Canadian Working Holiday Visa In Brief

You’ll be glad to find out that Canada has a wide range of industries to accommodate just about any skill set. From hospitality, retail, and tourism to tech and manufacturing, you name it. Therefore, don’t worry much about not finding something that will suit your specific skill set and needs.

We hope that our guide has been of great help to you and made things clearer when it comes to applying for a Canadian working holiday visa. It would be great if you become a candidate as early as possible, as this will get you to participate in many draws, which will eventually boost your chances of being selected.

Lastly, before proceeding with your application, make sure that you meet all the requirements and are prepared well enough to begin your journey.