Working Holiday visa is referred to as International Experience Canada visa. IEC program allows young people below 35 years of age who hold valid passports of eligible participating countries to travel and live in Canada. This visa allows people to holiday in Canada while working part time to manage expenses for a period of one to two years.

Eligibility criteria for working holiday visa:

To apply for this visa, you must hold valid passport from the country involved in the Working Holiday Program with Canada.

Following are the eligible countries –

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong-Kong
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom
  • Mexico and Ukraine: The youth mobility agreements between Canada and these countries are currently under review. So, the IEC pool for Mexico and Ukraine is currently not open.

Generally you can apply for Working Holiday Visa if you:

  • Hold a valid passport from a country involved in the Working Holiday Program (one of the 30 countries listed above) with Canada
  • Have turned 18 years of age but have not yet turned 30 or 35 at the time of application (upper age limit depends on the applicant’s country of citizenship)
  • Have enough money to support yourself on a working holiday visa (about CAD $ 2,500)
  • Have health insurance for the duration of their working holiday visa in Canada
  • Meet the admission to Canada criteria
  • have enough money to buy a return or onward travel ticket at the end of your stay
  • Will not be accompanied by dependent children at any time during your stay

Step by Step Process of applying for working holiday visa in Canada:

  • Step 1: Create online profile if you meet the eligibility criteria:

The first step to apply for IEC is to check your eligibility by filling Come to Canada questionnaire on Canadian immigration website. A personal reference number is created for your account. You can fill in all details using the personal reference number and IEC profile builder. Submit your profile and select the appropriate category in which you want to place your profile in the IEC pool.

  • Step 2: Profile submission to International Experience Canada pool:

If you receive an Invitation to apply and you choose to apply for IEC visa you will have exactly 10 days to start your application or to decline the invitation. After your select the “Start Application”, you will have exactly 20 days to pay and submit work permit application.

  • Step 3: Apply for Work Permit and payment of compliance fees by the employer:

If you have applied for Young professional and International co-op (internship) category, your employer needs to pay the C$230 Employer Compliance fee through the employee portal on Canadian immigration website. Once your employer pays the compliance fees a unique number is generated. 

  • Step 4: Document submissions and Visa fees payment:

Now you need to include all supporting documents with your application. Please include medical examination and police certificate documents along with your application. Once you have submitted the required documents you need to pay a participation fess of C$ 126 and C$ 100 as work permit holder fees.

  • Step 5: IEC and Work permit assessment:

During the evaluation of your profile for temporary work permit application, you may be requested for additional documents. In case you choose to withdraw your application, this is the last opportunity for you.

  • Step 6: Receive Letter Of Introduction:

If your application is selected you would be given an official document called “Port Of entry” which is your welcome pass to Canada.

 Processing time for Working Holiday Visa:

As per Canadian immigration website, it takes about 2-3 months of processing time to process work permit applications. This service time is for processing of duly completed applications along with required documentations. Applications are generally processes on a “first-in, first-out” basis.

There can be delay in processing times or even refusal may occur in case you:

  • Don’t submit a complete application
  • You don’t provide additional documentation or clear a medical exam as required by the officer.
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Me and my wife were really confused with the process of getting a PR Visa for Australia, so we did some research online and chose Visas abroad to help us. We finally received out Visa at the earliest all because of the efforts of the Visas abroad team. Two thumbs up and a Big YES for Visas Abroad if you are looking to get your visa.

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