Working Holiday Visa Canada Complete Guide!

Can you imagine touring Canada and living an incredible adventure? Don’t worry, here is the complete guide with all the information for the Canadian Working Holiday Visa. It is one of the most demanded visas and it is undoubtedly the one with the longest and most complex application process. With this complete guide, we will make the process easier for you. Stay tuned!

What is the Working Holiday?

The Working Holiday Visa Canada is the golden pass to live the adventure in Canada for one year. And the best thing is that not only does it allow you to live the experience, but you can also work and study there in a completely legal way!

Not everyone can apply, but if you are lucky enough to get one of these visas, a lot of advantages await you:

  • They give you the opportunity to spend up to 12 months in Canada, and if you get hooked, you can even stay longer!
  • There is no limit on working hours, so you can get a full-time job without any problem.
  • Fancy a Canadian getaway? No problem! You can enter and leave the country whenever you want.
  • You can study for up to 6 months without having to stop working. Perfect for improving your English and getting more job opportunities

What are the requirements to apply for the Working Holiday for Canada?

  1. Age: To be eligible for the Working Holiday Visa Canada, you must be between 18 and 35 years old. If you wish to extend your stay, you can apply for the Young Professional
  2. Nationality: Not all countries are fortunate enough to have a bilateral agreement with Canada to apply for the Working Holiday Visa. These are the nationalities that can apply:
    • Germany
    • Andorra
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Chile
    • South Korea
    • Costa Rica
    • Croatia
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Estonia
    • France
    • Grace
    • Hong Kong
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Latvia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Mexico
    • Norway
    • New Zealand
    • Netherlands
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • San Marino
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • Ukraine
    • United Kingdom
  3. Valid PassportYour passport must have an expiration date well in advance for the entire application process and your stay in Canada. If it expires, you will have to apply for a tourist visa with the new passport and process the visa change at your country’s embassy.
  4. Solo Travel: The Working Holiday Visa Canada encourages you to enjoy the adventure on your own, without dependent children or partners to accompany you. But don’t worry, your loved ones can apply for other types of visas, such as tourist, student or work visas, on their own.
  5. CV in English: Your resume is important! Don’t forget to send a copy in English that highlights your education, skills and work experience.
  6. Funds: Prove that you have the necessary funds to stay in Canada for at least 3 months (about 2500 CAD*), plus money for your flight home. This is usually supported by a recent bank statement.
  7. Medical Certificate: If you plan to work with children, in hospitals or have lived more than 6 months in certain designated countries, you will need a medical certificate issued by the Canadian Immigration Department.
  8. Criminal Record: Although a criminal record is generally not requested, if you have lived for more than 6 months in a country other than your own, you will probably be asked for this document.
  9. Medical Insurance: You should take out medical insurance to cover medical care, hospitalization and repatriation during your stay in Canada.
  10. Biometric Data: This includes your photo and fingerprints, which you generally must provide after submitting your application.
  11. Pay the fee: Finally, wait for the invitation to apply for the Working Holiday Visa Canada, and be prepared to pay the required fees. This generally includes a general fee, a work permit and biometric data.

Working Holiday Visa Canada Application

There are only a few places available for the Working Holiday Visa Canada, but there is another key detail you should keep in mind: the allocation of these places is decided the old-fashioned way… yes, by lottery! yes, by lottery! The Canadian government has opted to take a chance. Let’s see how to apply step by step:

Account creation:

The first thing you need to do is to create a GCKey account on the Canadian immigration website . Just click on “Register with GCKey”, enter your username, password, answer a few security questions and accept the rules. And here’s an important tip: don’t forget the answers to these questions! You will be asked for them every time you log in to your account 😉.

Then, fill in your profile with your first name, last name and email address. This will allow you to take the first step to join the group of candidates for the Working Holiday visa Canada. But before that, you need to take a questionnaire to see if you qualify. It’s simple, just click on “Apply to come to Canada” and answer a few questions. You will be asked about your nationality, passport, date of birth, whether you already have a job in Canada, and more.

After completing the questionnaire, choose the option “International Experience Canada (IEC)” to say that you want a visa and apply to that program. At the end, they will tell you which of the three groups you are qualified to enter.

Application to join the pool

Once you know you are in the game, it’s time to submit your application. Just click “Continue”, and you will see a table with all the forms you have to complete. It will tell you if you have finished them, if they are in process or if they are still missing.

Don’t worry, some of your data will already be filled in because you entered them before. But you will also need to add contact info and have your passport handy.

When all the forms say “Completed”, select “I agree” to accept the rules and put your electronic signature. Then, click on “Transmit” to send your request.

In a few seconds, you will receive a letter stating that your request to join the group is approved. But be careful, it is not the invitation, it only confirms that you are already in the group and are eligible for the draw. So cheer up!” 😄

Invitation letter

So, if you receive the long-awaited invitation (ITA), congratulations! It means that you have been chosen in the pool draw and can now apply for the Working Holiday Visa Canada. 😃 But be careful, the invitation letter is not the visa itself, it is only the notification that your profile has been selected, and now you have to decide if you want to go ahead (or if you no longer want to participate).

It is important to know that during the time the pool is open, raffles are held every week.We recommend that you check your account regularly to see if you have received the letter. You have 10 consecutive days to accept it, or to decline it if you no longer wish to continue, by clicking on “Decline invitation”. Of course, if you want to proceed, choose “Continue Application”. Once you accept the invitation, you have exactly 20 days to complete your application, which means sending all the required documentation. Don’t leave everything to the last minute, the sooner you do it, the better!” 😄


Now that you have accepted the invitation, it is time to move on to the application phase. Don’t worry, it’s not as complicated as it seems! At this stage, you must complete four forms similar to the ones you filled out previously. These forms include personal data, contact information, details of your travel documentation, work and study history, and whether you have lived in another country before.

After filling out each form, be sure to click “Validate” to save your information. In addition, you will need to attach documents that support what you have declared in the forms. This includes:

  • A copy of your passport, only the page with your data.
  • A passport-style photo of your face.
  • A background certificate, which must be in Spanish and translated into English or French.
  • Proof that you have funds, such as a summary of your bank account.
  • If you have a driver’s license, you will need your driver’s resume, in Spanish and translated into English or French.
  • Your resume, which must be in English or French.
  • You must download the family information form from the immigration page, complete it and attach it.

In some cases, you may be asked for additional documentation, such as criminal records from other countries where you have lived for more than 6 months. For example, if you have already done a Working Holiday in another country, you will have to provide the background of that place 😉.

Biometric data

Once you have made the payment, within 24 hours, you will receive an email with the BIL (biometric instruction letter) in your inbox. This letter will explain where and until when you can process your biometric data.

It is important to remember that you have 30 days to complete this procedure, and you must do it in person. Be sure to bring the printed BIL to your appointment. We recommend that you book an appointment as soon as possible after receiving the mail, so you will have enough time and avoid any setbacks. Biometrics are carried out at Visa Application Centres (VACs) authorized by the Government. You can find a list of places where you can do this on the Immigration Canada website – so don’t worry, everything is under control! 😉

Visa Approval: POE Letter

Once you have done all that, you just have to wait for the POE (Port of Entry) letter, which is basically your golden ticket to enter Canada. From the moment you receive it, you can start making plans for your trip!

Remember that once your visa is approved (the day it is sent to you), you have one year to land in Canada. From the date of your arrival, you have one year to enjoy your stay.In addition to the first steps to living and working in Canada, be sure to bring some important documents with you when you arrive:

  • Have the POE letter printed.
  • Show a bank statement showing that you have at least CAD 2500 (about USD 1,800) in available funds.
  • Bring a copy of your health insurance policy that covers the entire duration of your visa.

Ready, now you are ready to live the Canadian adventure! 😊

How to get a job in Canada?

Here are some tips for working with the Working Holiday Visa:

  1. Keep an open mind and a positive attitude. In Canada, there are jobs that don’t require many special skills, so be flexible and don’t dismiss those opportunities.
  2. Prepare a good resume. In Canada, it is common for resumes not to have a photo. If you want to give it a special touch, accompany your CV with an updated portfolio and a cover letter.
  3. Always inform yourself about the minimum wage in Canada. Currently, the minimum wage at the federal level is about CAD$16.65 per hour.
  4. Use all available tools. Hand out resumes in the traditional way, sign up for job boards, search Facebook groups of expats in Canada and ask for recommendations from friends and other contacts you make.


And what kind of jobs can you find with the Working Holiday Visa?

With this visa, you are allowed to work in virtually any type of job, as long as it is not on the “ineligible list”.

Since your idea is to enjoy and work, it is best to look for jobs that do not require a great deal of experience, such as waiter, kitchen assistant, cleaning, babysitting, and others. With these jobs, you can earn around 520 to 670.80 Canadian dollars per week. And if you get tips, even better!

In general, these jobs don’t require a lot of work experience, but some require an intermediate level of English. So be sure to take this into account before sending your resume. Good luck in your job search in Canada! 😉

Extend the Canadian Working Holiday Visa

When you’ve been living in Canada for a while, you start to feel something special, a deep connection to the place. You get attached, you enjoy it to the fullest and you become passionate about it. You feel at home and don’t want the experience to end. But, there is a catch: your visa is time-limited.

Don’t worry! There is a way to extend your Canadian adventure for an extra year. The government offers the Young Professional Visa, a kind of “super power” that allows you to stay another year and continue accumulating experiences.

It’s a great opportunity to improve your skills in a global context. The requirements to obtain it are quite simple:

  • Get a job offer that contributes to your professional growth.
  • Work for the same boss during your first year in Canada.
  • Enjoying Canadian life for another year. 😄

If you have any further questions about the Working Visa Canada, we are happy to help you🙂