Interested in a working holiday in Canada in 2021? Find out about International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday work permits (sometimes referred to as a Working Holiday Visa in Canada) on this page.
COVID-19 Update for IEC
In September, 2021, Canada changed the IEC requirements creating different entry requirements for candidates who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and those who are unvaccinated.
If you are unvaccinated/partially vaccinated: You don’t need a job offer to submit your profile to the IEC working holiday pool or to receive an invitation to apply. However, you will need a job offer from a Canadian employer in order to enter Canada and activate your work permit. Get tips with our guide on finding a job for IEC, plus check out this employment opportunity from Young Guns Container Crew.
If you are fully vaccinated: You do not require a job offer in order to enter Canada, but you will need to provide proof of vaccination. You will also have to follow Canada’s special COVID-19 travel requirements.
What is the IEC Working Holiday Visa in Canada program?
It 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, 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 application for a work permit, however this success is subject to eligibility and availability.
Who can apply?
View the full list of International Experience Canada participating countries, including the different categories of work permits that are available.
New for IEC: Moving2Canada GO
Not sure how or where to start the process of moving to Canada on a Working Holiday? Don’t worry, we have an amazing tool to help you organise absolutely everything: Moving2Canada GO.
With this free new service, you’ll receive a personalised progress checklist, relevant resources, and regular reminders of your most important tasks.
How to get a Working Holiday visa in Canada
You can create a profile on the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.
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.
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 these draws.
You’ll be asked to enter one or more ‘pools’ as determined by country and work permit category. ‘Australia: Working Holiday’ and ‘Ireland: Young Professionals’ are examples of pools.
IRCC 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.
Here’s how to become a candidate, and receive an invitation to apply for an IEC working holiday visa in Canada.
To be eligible for Working Holiday Visa in Canada, candidates must:
- Be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the 35 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 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, as outlined in our 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). View providers and get quotes on our travel insurance for Canada page.
- 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 dependants.
- Pay the appropriate fees, as outlined in the ‘Apply for a work permit’ section below.
- Citizens of certain countries are also required to be resident in their country of citizenship at the time they apply for their Working Holiday Visa in Canada. See residence requirements here.