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Canada Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday program caters to people who want to immigrate to Canada temporarily for work and travel around. If you want to move to the country, the next step is determining eligibility for the Canada Working Holiday Visa. Hence, you need to know more about the requirements and the visa application process.

Contact our professional lawyers at 0333 305 9375 for assistance in your application process. Whether in person, by phone, or online, we’re here to help you.

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    Benefits of Choosing IAS Canada Immigration Lawyers

    When it comes to obtaining a Canada visa or permit, IAS Canada immigration lawyers are well-equipped to help you.

    With IAS’ track record of successfully helping clients visit or immigrate to Canada successfully, we can help you achieve your goal.

    Our dedicated immigration lawyers provide our services through a comprehensive and personalised approach. With IAS, you enjoy:

    Compassionate support from an experienced immigration lawyer dedicated to your success

    Support in gathering supporting documents and completing a high-quality application.

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    Regardless of what your Canadian immigration query might be, IAS is here to help and support you. Call us or enquire online to learn more about how we can help you.

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    What Is the Working Holiday Visa?

    The working Holiday Visa is a visa that allows foreigners to visit and work in Canada. It’s a residence permit allowing citizens of certain countries to move to Canada to work and travel for up to 12 or 24 months.

    Typically, this visa is available for immigrants between 18 and 35 years. However, applicants from certain countries aren’t eligible if they’re over 30.

    You can engage in most Canadian jobs by successfully applying for the Working Holiday Visa Canada. Nonetheless, you must take a medical test and pass it to work in certain job positions.

    Jobs under the Working Holiday Visa programs assist immigrants in covering their living and travelling expenses.

    The Working Holiday Visa is one of the International Experience Canada (IEC) visas. The IEC program has three visas permitting young immigrants to move to Canada for work experience.  The individuals can work in Canada for up to two years.

    You will need this kind of visa for a working holiday to Canada. You’ll get a visitor visa if you want to visit Canada, but it isn’t a work permit.

    3 adults around a table discussing work matters

    How Does a Working Holiday Visa Work in Canada?

    International Experience Canada has an agreement on youth mobility with 30 countries.  This agreement allows residents of the specified countries to move to Canada as Working Holiday Visa holders for open work permits. Therefore, foreign nationals work for any Canadian employer over a certain period.

    Working Holiday visa applicants must be young people who:

    • Expect to work in Canada and travel around the country
    • Can work for multiple Canadian employers
    • Desire to supplement their living and travel expenses by earning in Canada
    • Don’t have a job offer in Canada
    • Lacks a specialization in any career

    If this description matches your case, you may be an eligible candidate. Contact us for advice if you aren’t sure if that’s the course you should take.

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    Which Countries Are Eligible for Working Holiday Visas in Canada?

    There are 30 countries with working holiday visas in Canada. Hence, you must be a citizen of one of these countries and meet the country’s age specifications to apply for the visa. The countries include the following:

    18-30 years

    • Andorra
    • Austria
    • Hong Kong
    • Iceland
    • South Korea
    • Japan
    • Netherlands
    • Sweden
    • Luxembourg
    • Sweden

    18-29 years

    • Mexico

    18-35 years

    • Australia
    • Chile
    • Czech Republic
    • Costa Rica
    • Croatia
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • San Marino
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Taiwan
    • Ukraine
    • United Kingdom

    After confirming that your citizenship falls under one of the listed countries, knowing the recognised organisations for Work Holiday Visa is essential. They include the following:

    • A-Way to Work/International Rural Exchange Canada Inc.: IEC countries only
    • Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN): IEC countries only
    • SWAP Working Holidays: IEC countries, USA
    • GO International: IEC countries, USA
    • Stepwest: IEC countries only

    Working Holiday Visa Requirements

    You qualify for the Working Holiday Visa in Canada if you meet the eligibility criteria below:

    • Return ticket: You either have one when being admitted to Canada or an amount of money enough to acquire the ticket upon your arrival in the country.
    • Citizenship: Your citizenship should be from one of the countries under the International Experience Canada (IEC).
    • Pre-travelling residence: After completing the Working Holiday Visa application process, applicants from some countries must remain in their country of origin.
    • Admissibility: You should be in good health and have no criminal records once you get to Canada. Proof of the same is a requirement.
    • Valid passport: The validity of your passport should cover the entire duration that you’ll be in Canada.
    • Financial stability: You should have a minimum of CAD$2,500 during your admission to Canada.
    • Age: You should range between 18-30 or 18-35 years, depending on your nationality.
    • Health insurance: It should cover the entire period of your stay in the country.
    • Dependents: Dependents must apply separately
    • Fees: You must be able to pay all the necessary fees.

    For application advice for the Working Holiday Visa, call our immigration experts. They’ll review your country’s specific details and gauge your eligibility for this visa.

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    Step by Step guidance on the application process for the Working Holiday Visa

    You apply for the Working Holiday Visa through the Canadian government website. The application process is straightforward; you can do so from any country.

    Here are 8 basic steps you need to take into the IEC pool:

    Step 1: Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) Account Creation

    You can register with the IRCC in the GCKey and Sign-in Partners.

    GCKey Registration Option

    A GCKey is a unique authentication service-approved credential provided by the Canadian government. Here is how to register:

    • Go to the Canadian government website.
    • Click on the ‘Register with a GCKey’ tab
    • Select the ‘Sign Up’ option
    • Read and Accept the signup Terms and Conditions
    • Create a username and a password
    • Craft your security questions and answers
    • Click ‘Continue’ to move to the ‘Sign Up Complete’ page.
    • Read and Accept the registration Terms and Conditions.
    • Create your IRCC by keying in your details and following the subsequent steps.

    Sign-In Partners Option

    Private financial institutions partnered with the Canadian Government Sign-In to provide online identity services. Here’s how to register:

    • Go to the Canadian government website.
    • Click on the ‘Register with a Partner’ Sign-In tab.
    • Select your financial institution. If yours isn’t on the list, immediately go for the GCKey option.
    • The key in your banking sign-in details is ‘Continue.’
    • Read and Accept Terms and Conditions of Use.
    • Create your IRCC account by entering your details and following the subsequent steps.

    After successfully creating your IRCC account, click the ‘International Experience Canada’ option. This will take you to the ‘Come to Canada’ questionnaire.

    This step is significant to your application’s success. Therefore, feel free to contact us for assistance to ensure you don’t miss out on anything.

    Step 2: The Come to Canada Questionnaire

    To fill out the Come to Canada questionnaire on the Canadian government website, you need to enter basic details such as follows:

    • Age
    • Nationality
    • Language proficiency
    • Work experience
    • Education credentials
    • Student status (if applicable)
    • Income and net worth
    • Family members
    • Job offer details (if any)

    The information you provide in the questionnaire helps the immigration office to advise you on the best processes and programs. Also, you’ll receive a personal reference code after completing the form.

    Furthermore, you’ll be added to the IEC pool upon submitting your profile. You will receive an invitation to apply for a work permit if you’re eligible.

    Step 3: Invitation to Apply

    Eligible candidates receive an Invitation to Apply for the IEC through a notification from the Canadian government through their accounts. Consequently, you’ll receive subsequent steps to apply.

    Moreover, the Canadian government gives you 10 days to accept the invitation. After accepting, the immediate step is to apply for a work permit.

    Step 4: Work Permit Application

    To apply for a working holiday work permit, you must do the following:

    • Provide proof of your submitted IEC profile information.
    • Elaborate on your background and educational achievements.
    • Provide required documents
    • Employment history and your target work in Canada

    Step 5: Fee Payment and Profile Submission

    Fee payment: The IEC Working Holiday Visa fees include CAN$172 and CAN$100 for IEC participation and Canada Open Work Permit, respectively.

    Profile submission: After you submit your application, the Canadian government contacts you to verify the validity of your information, your eligibility to work in Canada, and your admissibility to the country.

    Step 6: Biometrics Submission

    You can’t undertake this step online! Nonetheless, you don’t have to worry because you only need to submit your biometrics once in 10 years. Additionally, a few tips guide you in making your submissions when the time comes.

    Here is how:

    • Pay the applicable fees during application submission to speed up the process.
    • The Canadian government will send you a letter asking you to get biometrics within 30 days.
    • Visit the visa office in person to give your biometrics.
    • You must make an appointment before visiting most Visa Application Centers (VACs).

    What Biometrics Do You Need to Submit?

    Once you get to the IRCC office, they’ll collect the following:

    • Photograph: Taking off your digital photo.
    • Fingerprints: Electronic capturing of your ten fingerprints.
    • Biographic data: Personal details such as name, date of birth, and more, as indicated in your travel document or passport.

    Tips for Taking Fingerprints and Photos

    To ease your biometric process, here are a few things to keep in check:

    • If your fingers have injuries or cuts, allow them to heal completely before submitting your biometrics.
    • Avoid any henna on your hands before you visit the visa office.
    • Don’t wear light-coloured clothing or headgear. Nevertheless, religious-related headgears are acceptable.

    What Are the Applicable Biometric Fees?

    The applicable biometric fees are outlined below and depend on the number of candidates.

    • An individual: CAN$ 85
    • Family (2 or more): CAN$ 170
    • Group (3 or more artists): CAN$ 255

    You need to pay the fees for every submission unless you’re exempted. The fee is non-refundable even if your application doesn’t go through.

    Step 7: IEC Work Permit Application Processing

    The visa office takes about 56 days to process your Working Holiday Visa. At this point, you have the last chance to withdraw your application and get a refund. After this step, you can’t turn back!

    The immigration office might request additional documents if you submit an incomplete application. That can prolong the process. After the application assessment, the Canadian government will get in tach with you.

    Upon the government’s approval, you’ll receive a Port of Entry letter; if not, you’ll receive an explanatory letter.

    Step 8: Move to Canada

    Once you have been approved, you can travel to Canada! Ensure that you carry all the documents you got from the Canadian immigration office.

    They include:

    • Travel documents
    • eTA
    • Open Work Permit
    • Port of Entry Letter

    The Canadian border authorities check the completeness and validity of all these documents at the Port of entry to Canada. You’ll have to go back if they don’t meet the standards.

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your Canada Working Holiday Visa application.

    What Documents Do You Need to Include for the Canadian Working Holiday Visa Application?

    There are several documents you need for your visa application, including the following:


    You must submit a copy of your passport, and your citizenship country on your passport should match the country of your target IEC pool. The copy of this document should be clear and readable.

    Additionally, the passport must be valid at your application submission time and remain valid throughout your stay in Canada.

    The IEC work permit you get doesn’t cover any period after the expiry of your passport. Therefore, if the validity of your document is elapsing soon, it’s advisable to renew your passport before making an application.

    Medical Exams

    You must undertake a medical exam with an IRCC-approved doctor. Then, upload the test results documents into the system in the ‘Optional Doduments’ or the ‘Proof of medical exam’ section. Only do these tests after receiving an Invitation to Apply.

    After the medical exam, you won’t have to do anything else if you did the tests upon IRCC’s request. However, you receive a confirmation letter if it were an upfront.

    Moreover, the validity of your medical exam is one year, and your Working Holiday Visa expiry date can’t exceed this duration. If you fail to move to Canada when you did the exams, you’ll have to take others when the time comes.

    What Are Medical Exams Requirements?

    Here’s what you need to carry on your medical exam day:

    • Identification document, preferably a passport
    • Eyeglasses or contact lenses, where applicable
    • Previous medical condition report or test results
    • Medical Report form transmitted to you by IRCC (if it’s not an upfront)
    • Four recent photos (if the physician isn’t using eMedical). Enquire in advance by contacting the physician.

    Police Certificates

    This document is obtained from a government detailing the individual’s criminal record or stating that they have no criminal offences. In some cases, your Work permit application will be rejected if you have a criminal activity history as a result of criminal admissibility.

    You must provide police certificates for all the countries you’ve stayed in for six consecutive months or more since you turned 18 years. The immigration officer might ask you to provide more police certificates during your application process.

    The standard police certificates include:

    • Good conduct certificate
    • Clearance certificate
    • Judicial record extracts

    Nonetheless, these certificates may have different names in some countries.

    If you fail to obtain your police certificates before the Working Holiday visa application deadline, just upload evidence that you have applied. You can provide the following as proof:

    • A copy of the police certificate application fees payment receipt, or
    • A screenshot of the email or page confirming your online order for the certificate.

    Furthermore, police certificate acquisition is different in various countries. In some, there are special instructions for the same. The countries include:

    • Switzerland
    • Spain
    • Mexico
    • Japan
    • France
    • Belgium
    • Australia

    Digital Photo

    You must upload your digital photo. The photo should clearly show your head’s full front view and shoulders’ top parts. In addition, your face should take the central part of the photo.

    Photo dimensions include:

    • Final photo frame size: 35mm x 45mm minimum
    • Head size: 31mm to 36mm
    • Pixels: 420 x 450

    If you opt to scan an existing photo, ensure that:

    • It has a minimum of 600 PPI resolution
    • Its file format is JPEG or JPEG2000
    • The file size is at least 60KB, and the ideal size of 240KB
    • The image is coloured: 24 bits per pixel in RGB colour space.

    Moreover, you should confirm your digital photo file specifications before uploading. How? By right-clicking on the file from your computer.

    Family Information

    You must provide family information by completing the IMM 5707 form during your application. In this form, you’ll give information about your children, parents, and spouse or common-law partner. The details include their nationality and their date o birth.


    A copy of your Resume/Curriculum Vitae (CV) is another vital document you must produce. This document describes your educational background, qualifications, and work experience.

    At this stage, you only need to upload a basic resume as it doesn’t contribute much towards getting a job in Canada. However, once you get to looking for a job in the country, you need a detailed CV.

    Additionally, you should ensure that all your documents are coloured and readable before submission. Failure to submit relevant supporting documents delays the process.

    Find out how we can assist with your Canada Working Holiday Visa application.

    Other International Experience Canada Programs Categories

    Besides the Canadian Working Holiday visas, there are two other categories under the IEC program. These include:

    • Young professionals
    • International co-op (Internships)

    Young Professionals

    Under this category, foreign youth from participating countries gain professional work experience by working for Canadian companies. The applicants are particularly postsecondary graduates interested in furthering their careers. Once approved, they receive an employer-specific work permit.

    What Are the Eligibility Requirements?

    The Young Professionals program eligibility requirements include the following:

    • A signed letter proving an employment contract or a valid job offer as stated by IRCC
    • An employment offer that’s within your expertise
    • A valid passport on arrival and your entire stay in Canada. Your work permit validity equals the passport expiry period.
    • Be a citizen of one of the IEC-specified countries and have a Young Professional pool profile.
    • Your age should range between 18-30/35 years, depending on your nationality.
    • At least CAN$ 2500 on arrival to Canada to cover initial expenses.
    • Have health insurance covering your entire stay in Canada.
    • Be admissible to the country.
    • Have a round-trip ticket or enough funds to purchase one.
    • Pay correct fees and in time
    • Have no accompanying dependants.

    International Co-op Internship

    This IEC program allows young travellers from the specified countries to work as interns in Canadian companies. These foreign nationals must:

    • Be enrolled at their country’s post-secondary institution.
    • Prove that the internship or work placement is necessary for their study completion.
    • Agree to work for the same employer throughout their stay.

    All the other eligibility requirements are similar to the ones for the Young Professionals program.

    Colleagues in meeting

    Valuable Tips for Your IEC Working Holiday Visa Application

    Apply the following tips when applying for your visa to prevent its bouncing in the IEC pool:

    • When completing your working holiday application form, leave no unfilled fields. If a specific question doesn’t apply to you, type ‘Not Applicable’ or simply ‘N/A.’
    • Avoid entering job details in the ‘N/A’ employment or work questions.
    • Leave no time gaps in your Resume or CV. The document helps the IRCC  to understand your movements before you apply for the visa. The gaps suggest that you travelled to other countries during that time and can lead to a request for a police certificate(s). Consequently, there’s delayed processing of your application.
    • Have at least two copies of all your letters and documents. Carry one copy with you as you travel to Canada and leave the other home for backup.
    • If you have several documents for a specific category, use an online converter to turn them into a multi-page PDF.
    • Cross-check your documentation, and have someone else check it for you.
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    How Can IAS Help?

    Applying for a Canada Working Holiday Visa is a journey that requires extra care. Otherwise, you might take too long or even be unsuccessful in the end.

    However, if you’re planning to move to Canada for work and travel under the Work Holiday Visa, you can seek help from our professional immigration lawyers.

    Our lawyers will assess your eligibility for the Holiday Visa and assist in submitting your application. Additionally, these experts will answer all queries and clear any existing mistrusts.

    Also, the filling of forms and documents gathering on your own can be tedious. Thankfully, you don’t have to strain.  Hiring one of our immigration specialists gives you access to professional advice and support in your entire application process. That way, you can eradicate mistakes and the stress of going through the Canadian immigration system.

    Contact us today at 0333 305 9375 to find out how our team can help in your situation.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Yes, Canada is accepting Working Holiday Visas at the moment. Their application for the year 2022 is now open. All you need to do is examine your eligibility, and if you qualify, visit the Canadian government website and submit your application through the immigration system.

    You need CAD$ 250 for a Working Holiday Visa Canada. This amount of funds includes a CAD$ 150 participation fee and CAD$ 100 for every work permit holder. Additional funds may include vital documents processing fees and your support funds of about CAD$ 2500 once you get to Canada.

    A Working Holiday Visa in Canada has a maximum validity of 12 or 24 months. The duration depends on the visa holder’s nationality. Thirty countries have entered into bilateral reciprocal agreements with Canada for their young people to work and explore the country.

    Yes, you can stay in Canada after your Working Holiday Visa expires. A Visitor Visa allows you to extend your stay in the country up to 6 months after the Working Holiday Visa runs out. However, you can’t engage in any work, but you can reside and travel in Canada. Be sure to apply for a Visitor Visa at least 30 days before lapsing your work permit.

    Yes, you can get a second Working Holiday Visa Canada. Holders of two passports from IEC-specified countries can apply twice for a Canadian Working Holiday permit.

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