Working Holiday Visa for Canadians is a real thing and it lets those who have a Canadian passport travel outside of their country of citizenship and work elsewhere. Working for a Canadian employer is a great thing, and hundreds of thousands of people travel and immigrate to Canada for this particular reason, but there are many Canadians who work abroad as well.

These are mostly young people who want to travel to a foreign country, experience living abroad for an extended time, and maybe pick up a foreign language. On the other hand of the spectrum are those who are not as young anymore, who travel abroad to work as professionals, help open new branches of their Canadian company, and improve their professional standing. In addition to this, there are practicals abroad for all who study at culinary colleges or even for those who study fashion.

All of this is possible thanks to the Canadian passport. It allows you to travel to 148 countries of the world with no visa, and it even allows you to work in 30 of them. This being said, there are still countries that ask for a visa and a working visa in particular. The processing time, having sufficient funds, and being eligible overall are important – so let’s have a closer look at the issue at hand, and let’s see what you can do so that your working holiday visa does not get declined.

What Is a Working Holiday Visa?

Getting a working holiday for Canadian citizens is not that difficult, but it allows you to travel to 30 countries in the world and work there. This simple document can be obtained through the IEC Canada – International Experience Canada and all you need to do is satisfy the eligibility requirements for the program. An essential, and exclusive one, is your age at the time of application. Most countries allow citizens between the ages of 18-30 to join their programs, and most of these agreements are signed bilaterally, meaning that whatever country you can travel to, the citizens of that country can travel back to Canada as well.

These permits, or working holiday visas, are valid for 12 or 24 months, and at this time, you can travel the country and work there. As you would need heavy bank statements to travel for a period this long, this program is great for most people, as it allows them to work and travel, securing the necessary funds to ensure they get to visit all they want to see. The visa requirements are straightforward as long as you are eligible to enter these countries.

Who Can Apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

Not everyone can enter the pool of candidates for the working holiday visa program, but as long as you are a Canadian citizen, have a valid passport, and are a young adult, you should be fine. There is an application form to fill out and a few more prerequisites you should consider before planning your next destination.

A working holiday for Canadians is available in some 30 countries, and each of these has its prerequisites, including those related to the work position you can take there. And while some allow a 12-month stay, others do so in 24-month intervals. The visa requirements are modest.

How To Apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

The working holiday visa is somewhat similar to the Canadian working visa in that it allows you to work for a limited period. The only difference is where you work. As a foreign national, you can work in Canada for 12 months or even longer, up to 24 months. When it comes to the period of employment, this will depend on the period of validity of your working holiday visa, as well as the country you will be travelling to, as well as the program that you will be travelling on.

The application process is pretty much straightforward. It is carried out on the IEC website, and the longest part of the application itself is gathering all the required documents. Let’s consider how to apply for the working holiday visa in more detail:

Start the Application Process

To start the application process for this type of visa, you will need to create an IEC (International Experience Canada) profile. This is done on the IEC website, and this is only the first step to joining the program. Before this, you should decide where you would like to travel and for how long. You should also understand that Canadian citizens can travel to any country on the list of participating countries, but foreign nationals can only travel to Canada.

If you are from a participating country and would like to travel to a country that is not Canada, you cannot use the IEC program but rather inquire about similar agreements between these two countries.

Gather The Requirements for Work and Travel

The requirements for Work and Travel Canada are simple: all you need is a valid passport, the citizenship of a participating country (including Canada, but no refugee citizenships or passports are allowed), the Port of Entry letter, proof of funds or reasonable funds that will help you live in the country of your choice until your first paycheck and enough to purchase your return ticket if you haven’t done so already. In addition to this, you will need proof of health insurance and copies of documents you have submitted during your work permit application.

These include but are not limited to (as you may be asked to submit additional documents when travelling to Canada). Please always check, as these documents may change depending on the time of application, the time frame you plan to spend in Canada, and your status – Canadian students may need some documents but not others, while foreign students may not need all of the below-cited documents):

  • IMM 1295 – Application for Work Permit made Outside of Canada
  • IMM 5707 – Family Information
  • IMM 5409 – Statutory Declaration of Common-law Union – if applicable
  • IMM 5476 – Use of a Representative – if applicable
  • IMM 5475 – Authority to Release Personal Information to a Designated Individual – if applicable
  • Proof of Fee Payment – can be done online, you will need a debit or a credit card
  • Photocopy of your passport or other travel documents, containing your passport number, the issuance date, the expiry date, your photo, your name, your date and place of birth
  • Two passport-style photographs
  • Photocopy of your marriage license or certificate or an equivalent issued by your country – if applicable
  • Any additional documents that may be needed to settle your application

It is best to have all these documents ready when applying on the IEC website. The reason is that the draws are made in a random order. Once the draw has been made and you have been selected, you will only have 20 days to submit all the documents and ask for the work permit. This is to say that time is of the essence, and if you think that 20 days is too short of a period to gather all the documents, it is best to start early.

Submit Your Application

Finally, you can submit your application and be ready to travel when you get the working holiday visa. When travelling, always keep safe, learn about the country before departure, and make sure to stay away from trouble – public morals are different in different countries, so you may want to consider them all before travelling. Common sense is usually enough to stay out of trouble – if something is illegal in your own country, it is probably illegal outside of it as well.

Check Out Canada Working Holiday Visa | All You Need to Know:

Places With Working Holiday Visa Program For Canadians

The International Experience Canada program is a great program to ensure you get to practice your language, people skills, and intercultural competence in your destination country. The maximum period that you can stay in any of them is equal to the validity period of the visa that has been issued to you, and eligible applicants can get 24 months at maximum, depending on the country they travel to and the stream of the program that they have joined. Here is a list of countries that you can travel to, and you should decide before the visa application, as the country that you travel to could have a say in the prerequisites for the working holiday visa.

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

Each of these countries allows you to stay for a different period, and each has different programs you can join. Most of the countries on the list only have 3 programs available, although a fourth program is available in France only. When planning your travel to a country, you should always consider whether you have a single-entry visa or not.

If you do, and you leave the country that you got the visa for, you will most probably not be allowed to come back. When it comes to multiple-entry visas, you will be able to travel abroad and come back to the country that you work in. Depending on the country, you may also get a stamp in your port of entry – make sure that you get the right date on it, as this is the date by which you have to leave the country.

Here are the countries that have the IEC agreement with Canada, the programs they allow you to travel on, as well as the maximum stay that is allowed in that country. Make sure to understand that this information may change as the agreements between countries change, so always check for the most up-to-date information that you can.

CountryWorking Holiday ProgramYoung Professionals ProgramInternational Co-op ProgramAges Allowed in the Program
Australia2 Years2 Years2 years after the first visit18-35
Austria1 Year1 Year6 Months18-30; 18-35
Belgium1 YearNot AvailableNot Available18-30
Chile1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Costa Rica1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Croatia1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Denmark1 YearNot AvailableNot Available18-35
Estonia1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
France2 Years2 Years1 Year18-35
Germany1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Greece1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Hong Kong1 YearNot AvailableNot Available18-30
Ireland2 Years2 Years1 Year18-35
Italy6-month work permitNot AvailableNot Available18-35
Japan1 YearNot AvailableNot Available18-30
Latvia1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Lithuania1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Luxembourg1 Year1 Year1 Year18-30
Mexico1 Year1 Year1 Year18-29
Netherlands1 Year1 YearNot Available18-30
New Zealand23 MonthsNot AvailableNot Available18-35
Norway1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Poland1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Portugal2 Years2 Years2 Years18-35
San Marino1 YearNot AvailableNot Available18-35
Slovakia1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Slovenia1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
South Korea1 YearNot AvailableNot Available18-30
Spain1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Sweden1 Year1 Year1 Year18-30
SwitzerlandNot Available18 months18 months18-35
Taiwan1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
Ukraine1 Year1 Year1 Year18-35
United Kingdom2 YearsNot AvailableNot Available18-30


How Long Does a Working Holiday Visa Last?

If you have applied for a working holiday visa or plan to do so, you should know that your visa will last between 12 and 24 months. When it comes to the length of stay in your destination country, it is useful to know that it depends on the country you are travelling to and the program that you are travelling via. Some countries allow only six months of stay, with a possible extension to another six months for travelling alone.

Where to Go on A Working Vacation?

The IEC program allows you to travel to some 30 countries. When looking for the best country for yourself (unless you are travelling with friends), consider a country that you would like to visit, rather than a country everyone else has been to. Your weather and food preferences should play a big role. The same goes for your language preferences and interests. Have you been studying French for years and would love to practice it: France and Belgium may be the best. You get the idea.

Do You Guys Know Any Websites Where I May Apply for A Job on A Working Holiday Visa?

Looking for a job in a foreign country may not be easy, so it is always best to first explore your options. Usually, as your stay will be longer, but not long enough for your employer to be willing to do the work, it is usually a good idea to join a recognized organization and start looking for jobs there. The local websites aimed at IEC visitors/workers can help as well, but make sure that they are official and understand that you may not enjoy the same level of legal protection as you would in Canada if issues arise.

Does a Canadian Citizen Enroll as An International Student Need a Working Holiday Visa for Australia?

If you are a Canadian citizen and would like to travel to Australia, you are in luck. You do need to apply for a working holiday visa, but the countries have a bilateral agreement, so a passport holder from both countries can travel to the other country. The stay is limited to 1 year, but this is perfect for gap years, backpacking trips, and getting to know this beautiful continent.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to the working holiday visa in Canada, if you live in one of the 30 countries that Canada has signed a bilateral agreement with, you can travel to Canada with very little hassle. You will need to have certain documents and meet the eligibility criteria, but as long as this is done, you can consider yourself ready for the trip. We recommend taking this lifetime opportunity to work on your language skills and intercultural competence and to spend as much time travelling as possible.