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International Experience Canada: Working Holiday Visa

Are you a young adult who wants to spend a couple of years discovering a new country, travelling, working temporarily and gaining new and exciting life experiences in Canada?

If you are between the 18 and 35 years old (30 years old for some nationalities) and are citizens of France, Switzerland, Australia and other countries, and do not want to apply for a Work or Study Permit, the International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday program may be the perfect opportunity for you to fund your travels with temporary work. Through the IEC, you may stay and work in Canada for anywhere between three and 24 months under certain conditions. The Working Holiday program gives you an open work permit, and is one of three travel and work experiences, or “pools”, offered through the IEC. You can find out if you’re eligible here.

The Working Holiday is the most popular and competitive program out of the three available, and places are very limited; there are more candidates than spots available, so if you do decide this is the route you want to take, make sure that you apply early and have all the necessary documents ready.

A summary of the process of applying:

  1. The IEC season starts in the autumn, accepting applications for the following year – you have more chance of success if you apply as soon as possible!
  2. To begin your application, submit your profile into one of the pools, for free – in this case, the Working Holiday program.
  3. From these pools, candidates will be selected at random and invited to apply for a work permit. There are multiple rounds of invitations that take place throughout the season, and continue until there are no spots left or the season ends. There is every chance you may not be invited to apply.
  4.  If you are one of the lucky candidates to be invited to apply, you have 20 days to submit an application for a work permit, so make sure you have all necessary documentation ready, and are able to pay the required fees (including the IEC participation fee, CAN$150 for 2018, and an open work permit holder fee of CAN$100).

The Working Holiday program really is a fantastic chance to live, explore and experience Canada and all it has to offer…dramatic landscapes, warm and interesting people, diverse cultures, vast amounts of wildlife and endless adventure opportunities. Why not take a chance and apply!

To find out about the other IEC pools, see our blog on International Experience Canada here.

About the Author:

I founded ARIANNE Relocation Canada in 1997 in order to assist families relocating to Montreal, and then all over Canada. I have a lot of advice and stories to share about how to successfully move and relocate to Canada! If I can be of help please contact me at manon@ariannerelocation.com

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