Working Holiday Visa Canada IEC (Explained)

Working Holiday Visa Canada IEC (Explained)

The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) in Canada is a program under the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative, designed to promote cultural exchange by allowing young individuals from participating countries to work and travel in Canada for a temporary period. Eligible applicants, typically aged between 18 and 35, can obtain this visa, offering them the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, explore Canadian culture, and travel within the country.

The duration of the visa varies based on the participant’s country of origin but generally allows for a stay of up to one or two years. Holders of the Working Holiday Visa have the flexibility to work for any employer in Canada, providing a unique opportunity for personal and professional growth while immersed in a new cultural environment.

Difference Between Working Holiday & Canadian IEC

The Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and the International Experience Canada (IEC) program are related concepts, but there are distinctions between them.

FeatureWorking Holiday VisaInternational Experience Canada (IEC)
Applicants TargetedPrimarily young individuals from specific countries, usually aged 18 to 35.Broad range of participants, including those seeking work, internships, or co-op experiences.
Work and Travel PurposeAllows participants to work and travel in Canada for a temporary period.Encompasses various streams with specific work and travel opportunities, not limited to a working holiday.
Employer FlexibilityProvides flexibility to work for any employer in Canada during the visa period.Varies depending on the specific IEC stream; some may have specific employer or job requirements.
Duration of StayDuration varies based on the participant’s country of origin, usually up to one or two years.Duration varies by stream, and it may range from a few months to a couple of years.
Program CategoriesOne specific category under the IEC umbrella.IEC includes various streams, such as Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op.
Application ProcessParticipants apply specifically for the Working Holiday Visa.Applicants may choose the IEC stream that aligns with their goals, such as Young Professionals or International Co-op.
Eligibility CriteriaTypically age-restricted (18 to 35), with additional criteria specific to each participating country.Eligibility criteria vary for each IEC stream and may include factors like education level and job offer requirements.
Cultural Exchange EmphasisEmphasizes cultural exchange through work and travel experiences.Promotes cultural exchange across various streams but may have specific goals, such as professional development or academic collaboration

The IEC visa encompasses three distinct categories

  1. Working Holiday
  2. International Co-op
  3. Young Professionals

The Working Holiday program, known for its popularity within the IEC, stands out as it doesn’t necessitate a prearranged job offer. Participants in this category have the flexibility to work in various industries and locations across Canada, immersing themselves in the nation’s diverse landscapes and culture.

For the Young Professionals program, applicants are required to secure a job in Canada before applying. Geared towards attracting highly skilled individuals, this program offers them the opportunity to contribute their expertise to the Canadian workforce while experiencing life in the country.

Conversely, the International Co-op program targets students who have successfully secured a co-op placement in Canada. This category provides students with the chance to gain practical work experience in their field of study, bridging the gap between academic knowledge and real-world application. It presents a unique opportunity for students to integrate what they’ve learned into a practical work setting.

Who is eligible to apply for a Canada Working Holiday (IEC) visa based on nationality and age?

NationalityAge RangeAdditional Notes
Australia18 – 30Must be from specific regions of Australia.
Austria18 – 35
Belgium18 – 30Must be a student or recent graduate.
Chile18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Costa Rica18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Croatia18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Czech Republic18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Denmark18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Estonia18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
France18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Germany18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Greece18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Hong Kong18 – 30Must have graduated within the last 12 months.
Ireland18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Italy18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Japan18 – 30Must be a student or recent graduate.
South Korea18 – 30Must be a student or recent graduate.
Latvia18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Lithuania18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Luxembourg18 – 30Must be a student or recent graduate.
Mexico18 – 29Must be a post-secondary student.
Netherlands18 – 30Must have graduated within the last 12 months.
New Zealand18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Norway18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Poland18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Portugal18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
San Marino18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Slovakia18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Slovenia18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Spain18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Sweden18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Switzerland18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
Taiwan18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.
United Kingdom18 – 35Must be a post-secondary student.

Write Eligibility Requirements for Working Holiday Visa Canada

  1. Nationality: Applicants must be citizens of a country that has a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada, allowing for participation in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
  2. Age: Typically, participants must fall within a specified age range, which varies by country. Most often, the age limit is set between 18 and 35 years old.
  3. Educational Status: Some countries may have specific requirements related to education, such as being a current post-secondary student or having graduated within a certain timeframe.
  4. Health and Travel Insurance: Applicants are usually required to have health and travel insurance for the duration of their stay in Canada.
  5. Financial Means: You must possess a minimum of CA$ 2,500 to sustain yourself during the initial three months of your stay in Canada.
  6. No Criminal Record: Individuals with a criminal record may be ineligible. Applicants are typically required to provide a police certificate as part of the application process.
  7. Adherence to Program Rules: Applicants must adhere to the rules and regulations of the Working Holiday program and the specific requirements outlined by the Canadian immigration authorities

Getting a Working Holiday work permit

Securing a Canadian working holiday visa hinges on your country of application, as different nations exhibit varying levels of competitiveness. The selection process, conducted through random draws from the Working Holiday pool, is influenced by the number of applicants from each country. Countries with larger pools may face more competition, decreasing the likelihood of acceptance. Additionally, each country possesses a distinct quota for working holiday permits, potentially impacting your chances based on the size of the allocation.

To maximize your opportunities, it is advisable to enter the pool promptly as the 2024 season is open, emphasizing that an extended presence in the pool increases your likelihood of selection. The Working Holiday permit is notably competitive among the three IEC programs. For those with access to the young professional program, engaging in job searches within Canada can enhance the probability of securing employment and subsequently bolster the chances of a successful application.

Working Holiday Canada Visa Application Procedure

Step 1 – Eligibility Check

Before applying, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria, including age, nationality, and educational status. Each participating country may have specific requirements.

Step 2 – Create an Online Profile

Access the International Experience Canada (IEC) online system and create a profile. Provide accurate information and ensure that you have all the necessary documents ready for upload.

Step 3 – Enter the Pool

Once your profile is created, enter the pool for the Working Holiday program. The pool is essentially a candidate database from which random draws are conducted.

Step 4 – Wait for the Invitation

Invitations for a Working Holiday Visa are issued through random draws from the pool. It’s important to note that the likelihood of receiving an invitation may depend on the demand from your country and the number of available spots.

Step 5 – Accept the Invitation

If you receive an invitation, you’ll need to accept it within a specified timeframe. This involves confirming your interest in participating in the program.

Step 6 – Complete Full Application

After accepting the invitation, you’ll need to complete the full application. This includes providing additional details, submitting required documents, and paying any associated fees.

Step 7 – Biometrics and Medical Exam

Some applicants may be required to undergo biometric data collection and a medical examination as part of the application process. Follow the instructions provided by the immigration authorities.

Step 8 – Wait for Visa Approval

Once you’ve submitted the complete application, you’ll need to wait for the visa approval. Processing times can vary, so it’s important to check the official website for updates.

Step 9 – Travel to Canada

Upon receiving your Working Holiday Visa, you can make arrangements to travel to Canada. Ensure you have all the necessary documents, including your visa and any required permits.

Required Documents for Working Holiday Visa

  1. Include a copy of your passport’s Bio-Data page, ensuring its validity for the IEC program application and your stay in Canada. Note the correlation between the work permit’s validity and your passport’s duration.
  2. Provide an updated resume.
  3. Submit a passport photo.
  4. Obtain a Police Certificate, reflecting your criminal record or a declaration of no criminal records from countries where you’ve lived over six consecutive months since turning 18.
  5. Demonstrate financial means of at least CAN $2500, supported by bank statements, a convertible currency bank draft, or other suitable proof.
  6. For applicants from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East since July 31, 2018, biometrics (fingerprints and a photo) are mandatory, with instructions provided after visa application.
  7. Furnish proof of comprehensive travel medical insurance covering medical care, hospitalization, and repatriation for your entire stay in Canada

Working Holiday Visa holders can explore employment opportunities

  • winter resorts (including roles like ski instructor, receptionist, or accountant), the retail industry, hotels, bars, restaurants, summer camps, farms, ranches, au pair positions, and more.
  • Deliberate planning in advance for your 12 months or longer stay in Canada can assist in crafting a robust plan and an exciting trip schedule, facilitating the achievement of your working holiday goals

Tax Deduction in Working Holiday Visa

  • If you have worked in Canada on a Working Holiday, you may be eligible to claim tax back.
  • Many working holidaymakers in Canada overpay tax and are entitled to refunds each year.
  • It is crucial to file a tax return by the Canadian tax return deadline, which is 30 April.
  • You might be due a tax refund if you have overpaid income tax, Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), or Employer Insurance (EI).
  • For a hassle-free process, consider filing with Taxback, a team of tax experts.
  • Taxback services include reviewing your personal circumstances, ensuring you receive the maximum legal tax refund, and tracking down any missing payment documents, including the T4.
  • If you have left Canada, Taxback can send your refund to you anywhere in the world

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do I apply for a Canada Working Holiday visa?

Each country participating in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program has a designated “pool.” Candidates can create a profile in this pool to be considered for rounds of invitations. If selected, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), allowing you to obtain a Working Holiday permit.

How hard is it to get the IEC Working Holiday visa for Canada?

The difficulty of obtaining an IEC Working Holiday visa can vary among countries. Some countries may have more applicants, making it easier for their citizens to secure a working holiday visa. It is advisable to enter the pool as early as possible to enhance your chances. If your work permit is approved early, you have a year to activate it, allowing flexibility in planning.

How much does the Canada Working Holiday visa cost?

The total cost of a Canada Working Holiday visa is CAD $341, comprising IEC fees (CAD $172), Open work permit fee (CAD $100), and Biometrics fee (CAD $85).

How long can you stay in Canada on a working holiday visa?

The Working Holiday category is designed for British citizens looking to travel in Canada and find temporary paid employment to support their trip, with a maximum duration of up to 24 months. British citizens can participate in IEC once.

How long does it take to get a working holiday visa in Canada?

The processing time for a working holiday visa in Canada is 56 days from the date of submission. Processing begins after biometrics are submitted and may pause if additional documents are requested

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