Working Holiday Visa in Canada

Working Holiday Visa in Canada 2017

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Are you looking to get a working holiday visa in Canada (also known as International Experience Canada, IEC visa or working holiday Canada) for 2017?

If you are, you’ve come to the right place. This section will provide you with an overview of all the relevant steps required steps for this type of immigration to Canada, which allows you to live and get a job in Canada for either 12 or 24 months.

The IEC Working Holiday Visa program for 2017 opened on October 17, 2016. Read our news announcement here.

Please read the information and associated links carefully. Errors while applying for a working holiday visa in Canada can be costly, and can delay your immigration to Canada.

Tips and jobs

Before we begin, we’d like to draw your attention to these resources. If you’re looking to make the most of your working holiday visa in Canada, it’s essential that you review these pages:

Take a minute to join our network and we will send you a comprehensive IEC working holiday visa in Canada FAQ article that we have researched for you.


On this page:

Who can apply?

International Experience Canada (IEC) is a working holiday visa in Canada program. It allows people from many different countries under 35 years of age to work in Canada for a temporary period, of one or two years.

Citizens of participating countries can now begin creating their 2017 profile. The full list of participating countries is:

ChileCosta RicaCroatia
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
Hong KongIrelandItaly
LithuaniaNetherlandsNew Zealand

Mexico and Ukraine: The youth mobility agreements between Canada and these countries are currently under review. As a result, the pools are not open.

How to get a working holiday visa in Canada

You can obtain a working holiday visa in Canada through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Apply directly to the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) to avoid paying any fees to agents for vague additional services.

The current application process was revealed in November 2015, and remains in place in for the 2017 program.

One of the biggest changes is you no longer need to wait until the early months of the new year to begin the application procedure for a working holiday visa in Canada.

The new system will draw applicants at random at “regular intervals” 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.

However, your best bet is to apply early for a working holiday visa in Canada. This will expose you to a greater number of these draws.

You’ll be asked to enter one or more ‘pools’ as determined by country and visa category. ‘Australia: Working Holiday’ and ‘Ireland: Young Professionals’ would be examples of pools.

CIC has committed to giving at least five days notice before each country’s and category’s final rounds of invitations, which will mark the closure of that pool for the season.

The following is a general overview of the IEC visa process to achieve your working holiday visa in Canada:


To be eligible for a Working Holiday visa in Canada, candidates must:

  • Be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the 30 countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada.
  • Have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada (the work permit issued will 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).
  • Have the equivalent of CAD$2,500 on landing to help cover initial expenses.
  • Be able to take out health insurance for the 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.
  • Citizens of certain countries are also required to be resident in their country of citizenship at the time they apply for their IEC Working Holiday visa in Canada.

Become a candidate:

  • Complete the Come to Canada questionnaire. This is used as an initial assessment of your eligibility for a working holiday visa in Canada. If you meet the criteria, you’ll receive a personal reference code.
  • Enter this code to create your MyCIC account.
  • Build your IEC profile.
  • Submit your profile and choose the IEC pool(s) you want to be in. Some candidates will only be eligible for one pool, some will be eligible for more.
  • At this stage, it’s a case of waiting for the IEC rounds for your pool to begin. You’ll need to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to continue the process.
  • If you receive an ITA via MyCIC, you will have 10 days start your application for a work permit, or to decline the invitation.

Apply for a work permit:

  • If you choose to accept the ITA, you’ll have 20 days from the day it’s received to submit your work permit application and pay any relevant fees.
  • In the Young Professional and International Co-op categories, your employer also needs to pay the CAD$230 employer compliance fee through the employer portal before the 20 days expire.
  • Gather and upload all the documents (e.g. police or medical certificates) requested by CIC. If you don’t have these immediately, you can upload proof that you’ve applied for a police cert or medical exam.
  • Pay relevant fees. To get a working holiday visa in Canada, it will be necessary to pay a participation fee of CAD$150, and an open work permit holder fee of CAD$100.
  • The CIC will assess your application and may request additional documents.
  • If your application is a success, a letter of introduction (LOI) will be sent to your MyCIC account. Bring this with you on your journey to Canada as you’ll need to present this to an immigration officer at a Port of Entry (POE), such as an airport or border crossing. This is where you’re provided with a work permit.

Other types of IEC visa

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals category is designed for foreign youth, particularly post-secondary graduates, who wish to further their careers by gaining professional work experience in Canada.

Participants must have a signed employment offer letter or contract of employment with a Canadian employer before applying.

The employment offer must be within the applicant’s field of expertise, as proved by area of training or work experience, and contribute to his or her professional development.

The job offered in Canada must be classified as a National Occupation Code (NOC) Skill Type Level 0, A, or B. The eligibility requirements for the Working Holiday visa in Canada, listed above, also apply to the Young Professionals category.

International Co-op (Internship)

The International Co-op (Internship) category is designed for foreign youth who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship.

Applicants must want to complete a work placement or internship in Canada to fulfill part of their academic curriculum and be registered students for the duration of the internship. Visas issued under this category are generally valid for up to 12 months.

Applicants must have a signed job offer letter or contract for a work placement or internship in Canada that meets the requirements of their academic curriculum in their country of citizenship. The eligibility requirements for the Working Holiday visa in Canada, listed above, also apply to the International Co-op category.

Further help with your working holiday visa in Canada

We have a page on this website dedicated to answering your frequently asked questions.

You can post questions to Moving2Canada’s working holiday visa in Canada forum, where thousands have gathered to provide help and guidance to one another.

Use the magnifying glass in the top-right to search through previous queries and see if you can get instant answers.

Achieving your working holiday visa for Canada is pretty straightforward if you are willing to study the available resources. Please read all the available guidelines and documents.

Once you have your application under way for a working holiday visa in Canada, you can review these guides for more help:

For more information on the working holiday visa in Canada, see these links:

For guidance on obtaining police certs (or Garda certs), see here:

Finally, ensure you have a friend double-check everything because making mistakes can cost you a few months or result in rejection. Best of luck!

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