Canada Working Holiday Visa

It’s possible to work while traveling. Canada working holiday visa is for those who want to travel around Canada, but may not be able to afford it. So, they can work to meet their traveling expenses in Canada. You can do it too with a Canada Working Holyday Visa. It allows you to earn some good money and use it to travel. 

What is the Working Holiday Visa?

The Working Holiday Visa gives you both work and travel opportunities within Canada. The visa is a part of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. It’s the most popular visa for young people (usually students) who wants to go to Canada and visit the places in the country since this visa allows them to get an International Internship or work in Canada as young professionals.

It’s relatively simple to qualify for the IEC and for the Working Holiday Canada. One way is if your country of citizenship has an agreement with Canada to exchange young workers. You could also contact a Recognized Organization (RO).

For a fee for IEC Canada, recognized organizations help young people with their applications and in getting a job. Here are 3 of the Recognized Organizations that assist youth who want a Working Holiday Visa:

  • SWAP Working Holidays
  • GO International
  • Stepwest

If your country is one of those that has an agreement with Canada or you choose an RO, then you can start the Working Holiday Canada process. Once you get your Holyday Visa, you will get an Open Work Permit, which means that you can go to Canada and then find a job. The visa is best when you want to work with different employers and at different locations. 

Also, the Working Holiday Visa allows you to stay in Canada for 1 year as long as you plan to return to your home country. During this time, you are allowed to travel anywhere you want within the country and change jobs/employers.

How to apply for the Canada Working Holiday Visa?

There are 6 main steps that you must follow during your application process for the Working Holiday Visa. But before we discuss these steps, keep in mind that the application process can take some time. So you need to be patient and do it right from the very beginning. 

1. Create your International Experience Canada Profile

Your International Experience Canada Profile must enter into the “applicant pool.” To do it correctly, follow these instructions when you submit your profile to the Government of Canada:

  • Create your Government of Canada account using your GCKey or bank information on their official website.

  • Take the eligibility test which will ask you questions about your:

    • Country of residence
    • Country of citizenship
    • Country of permanent residence
    • Any job offer that you may have
    • Whether if you are a student or not

If the system determines that you are eligible for the IEC, you will be redirected to the page where you have to fill out your profile forms.

  • Complete all the profile forms with the necessary information which will include your:

    • Personal information
    • Passport number
    • Travel information
    • Contact information
    • And more

  • Submit your profile so the system can determine if you can enter the pool for the working holiday visa.

You don’t need to complete your profile immediately. If you need to wait for some information, it’s better to wait and be sure. Just keep in mind that you must finish it and submit it within 60 days of starting it.

2. Enter in the pool of applicants

There are a limited number of Visas which the Government of Canada issue every year. All of the applicants enter a pool for each category of the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program. After you complete your profile (if everything is correct), you’ll enter in the pool of applicants. 

Once you are in, you’ll be in the pool of candidates for one season, which means a whole year. If the season ends and you do not get the invitation to apply, then you must submit your profile again.

Moreover, you may be eligible for more than one pool. For example, you can enter in both the Young Professionals and the Working Holiday Visa. However, you cannot enter twice for one pool of candidates.

3. Get an invitation to apply

This is literally a matter of luck. Known as rounds of invitation, it happens several times during the season. The Government of Canada randomly picks candidates from a pool and invites them to apply. Here you can check the schedule for the rounds, several candidates in the pool, and your chances of being selected.

When you get picked for an invitation, it will show up as a message on your account. There you’ll have the options to either accept or decline the invitation. You have to make a decision within the 10 days after receiving the messages.

Don’t worry if you have/want to decline the invitation, you can continue to be part of the pool for the next round of invitations. If you accept the invitation, you will then have 20 days to apply for a work permit.

4. Apply for a work permit

You will only have 20 days to submit the application for the work permit. Start by filling out the necessary forms to submit your profile. For the working holiday work permit, you must do the following in the section where it will ask you about your offer of employment:

  • In the field of the Offer of Employment Number, you must type “A9999999”;
  • Select “No” in the question “Has your employer paid the Employer Compliance Fee?”;
  • In the employer address field type “Non-applicable – Working Holiday”;

Once you fill out all the forms, the system will generate a list of supporting documents that you have to submit. Every list is personalized according to the applicant, but most of the time, it can contain the following requirements:

Police Certificates 

This includes all countries where you have lived for more than 6 months since you were 18 years old. In some cases, (depending on the country) you may not be able to get all of them in 20 days. If that happens, then you must submit proof that you have requested them and be ready to show them later. People with a criminal record won’t be allowed to have a work permit.


You must list your education, qualifications, employment history, and your current job and location if you have one in your resume.

Medical Exam.

It’s necessary, especially if you had been in countries which poses a danger to your health or if you are planning to work in a job which requires it. You should visit a doctor to issue a certificate of good health. This for the form IMM 1017B – Upfront Medical Report, which you must upload in your application.

If for some reason you can’t get this form in the 20 days, you can submit the application and attach proof that you are waiting for the form.

Passport and Digital Photo

You must submit a digital photo of yourself according to the Photo Requirements and a clear copy of your passport. The last one must be valid until the date of your departure from Canada. Also, 

Submit other forms:

  • IMM 5645 – Family Information;
  • IMM 5707 – Family Information;
  • Schedule 1 – Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada.

If you are using a Recognized Organization, submit a letter which proves that the RO is assisting you for your Working Holiday in Canada.

5. Pay the Fees and Submit Application

There are two different fees that you must pay when you submit your application: the International Experience Canada fee of CAD 100 and the Open Work Permit Holder fee of CAD 100 for the Working Holiday Visa. There is also an additional fee that you may need to pay too. If you are asked to submit biometrics, the fee for this part is CAD 85.

The Government of Canada will go through the application after you pay these fees and submit all the documents. The Consulate may ask you to go through an interview or submit more information to determine whether or not you are eligible. You must complete their requirements, or your work permit application will be denied.

6. Get your PoE Letter and Travel to Canada

Once your application is approved, you will get a letter of introduction or Port of Entry (PoE) letter to Canada. It’s necessary that you have this letter with you at all times when you travel. 

Also, do not forget to carry these documents with you when you first enter to Canada:

  • Your passport
  • Your PoE letter of Introduction
  • CAD$2,500 that is the proof that you have enough funds for your stay in Canada for the first 3 months
  • Evidence that you have valid health insurance in Canada
  • A return ticket from Canada to your country of residence or enough funds to purchase a ticket
  • Copies of the supporting documents from your work permit application 


Although the validity of your work permit is one year, the Canadian Consulate can consider the possibility of a visa extension. After your work permit expires, you must return to your home country, or you will face the music.