Fund your vacation and explore the provinces with temporary work in Canada! The Working Holiday Visa is a part of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Under the IEC program, a successful Working Holiday Visa candidate will receive an open work permit, which will enable the candidate to work for nearly any employer in Canada, with a few exceptions.
Who Is Canada Working Holiday Visa for?
A working holiday is a good option for you if:
- You don’t have a job offer yet;
- You want to work for more than one employer in Canada;
- You want to work in more than one location;
- You’d like to earn some money so that you can travel; or
- You are a foreign youth aged 18 to 35. For candidates from some countries, the age limit is 18 to 30 years old.
The type of work permit you to get for a working holiday is an open work permit. An open work permit allows you to work at most jobs in Canada. However, there are some jobs where you’ll have to get a medical exam first.
A working holiday provides temporary work permits to young people from over 30 countries, so they can legally live and get a job in Canada. The permits are valid for either 12 or 24 months, depending on your country of citizenship.
Candidates must first create a profile through the IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada), which notifies Canadian authorities of their desire to receive a working holiday visa in Canada.
Successful candidates will receive an invitation to formally complete their applications for a work permit, however, this success is subject to eligibility and availability.
Working Holiday Visa: Eligibility
To be eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada, candidates must:
- Be a citizen (passport holder) of 1 of the 36 countries that have a “bilateral youth mobility agreement” with Canada. In other words, one of the International Experience Canada participating countries;
- Have a valid passport for the duration of the stay in Canada (the work permit issued must not be longer than the validity of the passport);
- Be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 (inclusive) at the time of application. The upper age limit depends on the applicant’s country of citizenship, as outlined in the International Experience Canada country list;
- Have the equivalent of at least CAD 2,500 on landing to help cover initial expenses;
- Be able to take out health insurance for the full duration of their Working Holiday Visa in Canada (participants may have to present evidence of this insurance at the point of entry in Canada);
- Be admissible to Canada;
- Have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket or the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket for the end of their authorized stay in Canada;
- Not be accompanied by dependents;
- Pay the appropriate fees; and
- Citizens of certain countries are also required to be residing in their country of citizenship at the time of applying for their Working Holiday Visa in Canada.
Country or Territory of Citizenship
|Country / Territory||Age Limit||Working Holiday||Young Professionals||International Co-op (Internship)|
|Andorra||18 to 30||Yes||No||No|
|Australia||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Austria||18 to 30||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Belgium||18 to 30||Yes||No||No|
|Chile||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Costa Rica||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Croatia||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Czech Republic||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Denmark||18 to 35||Yes||No||No|
|Estonia||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|France||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Germany||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Greece||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Hong Kong SAR||18 to 30||Yes||No||No|
|Ireland||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Italy||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Japan||18 to 30||Yes||No||No|
|Korea, Republic||18 to 30||Yes||No||No|
|Latvia Republic||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Lithuania||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Luxembourg||18 to 30||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Mexico||18 to 29||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Netherlands||18 to 30||Yes||Yes||No|
|New Zealand||18 to 35||Yes||No||No|
|Norway||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Poland||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Portugal||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|San Marino||18 to 35||Yes||No||No|
|Slovakia||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Slovenia||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Spain||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Sweden||18 to 30||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Switzerland||18 to 35||No||Yes||Yes|
|Taiwan||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ukraine||18 to 35||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|United Kingdom||18 to 30||Yes||No||No|
Requirements to Participate
To be eligible to participate in the IEC and the Working Holiday Visa program, you must meet at least 1 condition:
- Your country or territory of citizenship must have a Youth Mobility Agreement in place with Canada, or
- You may be able to participate through a recognized organization.
Some countries limit participation to only one instance, while others permit two participations but in different program categories. It is critical to determine your eligibility before applying since each country’s regulations are different.
Even if you are invited to apply, you cannot exceed your country’s allowed participation limit. Once you have submitted your application, an officer will evaluate your eligibility, including any previous participation. Before submitting an application, it is essential to read and understand all of the requirements.
IEC Selection Pool
Draws take place at “regular intervals”, where candidates are selected at random to receive an invitation to apply for a work permit until all places are filled for the year. This means you can create a profile and become a candidate at your leisure, any time after the opening date for your country.
Candidates can check the rounds of invitations for each country through the IEC schedule to know:
- The start and end dates of the rounds of invitations for each country and category
- Total number of candidates in the IEC pools
- Your chances of receiving an invitation this season
However, your best bet is to become a candidate as early as possible for a working holiday visa in Canada, as this IEC category is particularly popular. This will expose you to a greater number of draws.
You are only allowed to have 1 IEC profile at a time. However, you may qualify to enter one or more IEC “pools” as determined by country and work permit category. Once you have completed your profile, IRCC will inform you of the available pools to which you are eligible to submit your profile. For example, you may be qualified for both Working Holiday and Young Professionals pools.
Invitations to Apply are granted in the following order:
- International Co-op (Internship)
- Young Professionals
- Working Holiday
If your profile is in both the International Co-op (Internship) and Working Holiday pools, you will be granted an Invitation to Apply for the International Co-op category first. Only if there are no vacancies left in the International Co-op (Internship) category will you receive an Invitation to Apply for a Working Holiday work permit.
IRCC has committed to giving at least 5-day notice before each country’s and category’s final rounds of invitations, which will mark the closure of that pool for the season.
Receiving an Invitation to Apply does not mean you get a work permit automatically. To obtain a work permit, you must:
- Provide proof of the information provided in your IEC profile
- Submit additional information regarding your education, work history, and background
- Provide any other necessary supporting documents when requested
If you are in an IEC pool, it is recommended that you begin obtaining any required supporting documents for your work permit application, as some documents may take several months to acquire. The “Invitation to Apply” draws can happen at any time, so please be prepared to submit the work permit application and supporting documents within a limited time.