The whole process of a working holiday visa in Canada can be a bit overwhelming to many like it was for us.

Therefore we have decided to put this article together for you.

We have spent over a year on a working holiday visa in Canada and loved it.

There are, however, certain things we wish we had known earlier and made our life easier, but we didn’t.

Thankfully we know now and are here to share it with you in this post.

Working Holiday Visa application process facts.

If you are planning to move to Canada, there are several visa options available to you:

  • We opted for the International Experience Canada program(Working Holiday Visa in Canada), and the process took about three months (but this varies from person to person and country to country).
  • From when we first applied to the pool, getting selected and submitting all papers to finally being approved.
  • If you are between 18-30 or 35 years old (depending on the country you are from), you might be eligible to apply.
  • To find out details, please go to the Government of Canada site here.

Canada gives you an open work permit on WHV, and you can stay with one employer for the whole duration of your visa (compared to Australia where we could only work with one employer for six months).

  • Make sure to print out your POE or save it somewhere for easy access. Trust me people forget passwords all the time.
  • Your passport has to be valid for the duration of your work permit.
  • If you have a new passport after you get your visa, don’t panic, advise at the immigration office at the time.
  • If you have a new passport, make sure that your passport number gets updated on your work permit before leaving the desk.
  • You will also require a new eTA in this case, so apply for it as soon as you have your new passport.

In order to get started, applicants must first create a profile with International Experience Canada (IEC). This will notify Canadian authorities that you are interested in receiving a Canadian working holiday visa. As per eligibility and availability, applicants will receive the go-ahead to formally complete their application for a work permit. If you were wondering, ‘How much is a working holiday visa for Canada?’ The answer is $150 CAD. This figure includes government processing fees and all Canadian work permit costs.

Once you get approval from IEC, you will need to fill in the Come to Canada questionnaire. This is assessed to determine your eligibility for an IEC work permit, which is essential if you want to work in Canada. The moment your questionnaire is approved, you will be given a personal reference code.

This code needs to be used to create your account. You are required to build your account by submitting your profile and choosing the IEC pool(s) you want to be in. Based on eligibility, you will be allowed to apply for one or more IEC pool(s).

Once this is complete, you have to play the waiting game, as you will need an invitation to apply (ITA) in order to continue the process.

If you receive an ITA, you will have 10 days to start your application for a Canada working holiday visa. There’s also the option to decline the invitation if you wish to do so.

The final part of your working holiday visa Canada application process is getting a work permit in Canada. You signal your willingness to obtain a work permit by accepting the ITA. Thereafter, you will have 20 days to submit your work permit application and pay any relevant fees.

If you are applying for International Co-op or IEC Young Professional, your employer will need to pay CAD$230 that is billed under ‘employer compliance fee. They will also need to send you the Offer of Employment number, which is critical in continuing your work permit application.

Then you need to upload all the required documents asked by IRCC. Your application will be assessed, and if needed, you may be asked to submit additional documents.

Once your work permit application is a success, you will receive a letter of introduction (LOI) in your dashboard. You need to bring this LOI with you to Canada and present it to the immigration officer at a Port of Entry (POE). At this point, you will be given a work permit, which is your ticket to staying and working in Canada.

Once you are armed with your new work permit in Canada, it’s time to put it to the test. Although your job hunt can wait till you are physically in Canada, we recommend that you do your research before reaching the country. Be sure of what kind of roles you are looking for. It could be resort-based work, or part-time shift work, or even an internship in a career that fascinates you. You need to have a clear understanding of what you wish to do in the 12-24 months that you are in Canada. If you don’t, that’s okay too. We have some interesting job ideas that could be perfect for you –

  • Jobs on farms and ranches.
  • Jobs entailing work with horses
  • Picking fruit from fragrant orchards
  • Ski resorts that offer instructor positions or hotel work
  • Summer camp guides and instructors
  • Retail and delivery work

Our Top Tips For Going To Canada With A Working Holiday Visa In Canada

Going to Canada will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. It is the second-largest country and its friendly and liberal immigration policies make it very easy for students from all over the world to enter Canada. Apart from offering students globally recognised degrees, Canada is especially known for its diploma and vocational courses among international students.


When you receive your working holiday visa in Canada and are ready to leave for Canada, follow these simple tips –


  • Even before you receive your first paycheck, save up for expenses.
  • Make sure to hire a car beforehand, or get familiar with the public transport system.
  • Ensure you have the right certifications for the industry you will work in. Example – Occupational First Aid or Food Safe for the hospitality industry.
  • Apply for a tax refund at the end of the year.
  • Apply for travel insurance for the whole year.
  • Get an international sim card from the airport.
  • Set up a bank account before reaching Canada.
  • Find and download an affordable money-transfer app.



Some Additional IEC Programs

A working holiday visa in Canada is popular among people who wish to live and study in Canada, as it gives them a work permit. This can be used in the following categories –


Young Professionals

The Young Professionals programme is targeted at secondary graduates, who want to advance in their careers by gaining professional work experience in Canada. In order to do so, applicants need to have a bonafide employment offer letter or a contract of employment with a Canadian employer. Apart from this, you will also need to adhere to the other criteria (such as a valid passport) before applying to the programme. If successful, you will be entitled to a temporary working visa for 12-24 months, with the option of extending based on how long your employer wants you to stay. Here are some of the industries where you can find skilled work –


  • Health
  • Science
  • Education
  • Law
  • Communication
  • Commerce



International Co-op Internship

The International Co-op Internship is crafted for students who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship. With this programme, students can gain valuable experience in their field of study. This programme is ideal for students who intend to finish a work placement or internship in Canada as part of their academic curriculum.


The eligibility criteria for an International Co-op Internship is similar to that of a Canadian working holiday visa. The only difference between the two is that there is less flexibility in the International Co-op Internship process. Anyway, the International Co-op Internship allows you to live in the country for a period of 12-months. Do check if your country of domicile participates in the internship programme before applying.