Provincial Nominee Visa

How to obtain a Canada Working Holiday Visa

How to obtain a Canada Working Holiday Visa


If you want to spend a working holiday in Canada, then you should learn more about the International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday work permits. The IEC is also known as the Working Holiday Visa in Canada and it could be your ticket to living temporarily while working in the Great White North.


What is the IEC?


The IEC offers applicants temporary work permits to live and work in Canada. The work permits are only for young individuals, so you will need to meet the age requirements to apply for the work permits. If you do qualify for the age requirements and come from one of the more than 30 countries the work permits are offered to, then you can apply for the IEC.


An IEC is valid for up to 24 months. The length of your stay is dependent on your country of origin. Therefore, you may receive a 12-month or 24-month work permit to legally live and work in Canada.


You must first create a profile to begin the application process. The profile notifies the Canadian authorities of your interest in receiving a working holiday visa for Canada. If you are a successful candidate, you will receive an invitation to complete an application for a work permit. Your success is subject to eligibility and availability of IEC work permits.




Which countries participate in the Canada working holiday visa scheme?


There are three different categories available to candidates to apply for work permits to Canada. Depending upon your country of residence and nationality, you may be limited by the categories as all three are not offered to every applicant. In the case of France, there is actually a fourth option available to applicants. The categories for working holiday visas are:


  • Working Holiday
  • Young Professionals – This category is for foreign youth, especially for post-secondary graduates, seeking to further their careers by receiving professional work experience in Canada. You must sign an employment offer letter or contract for employment with a Canadian employer before applying for the work permit.
  • International Co-Op – The category is designed for foreign youth that are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of origin. You must complete a work placement or internship in Canada to fulfill a portion of your academic curriculum. In addition, you must be a registered student for the duration of the internship.


An open work permit allows you to be employed with an eligible employer. The employer must be eligible to hire you, however. An employer-specific work document ties you to a particular employer. The employer will be listed during the application process, meaning your work permit is tied to that company/business.


You will need to undergo medical exams to receive your work permit. However, these medical exams are only needed if you traveled or lived in specific countries for six or more months prior to arriving in Canada.


Countries that are a part of the IEC program include:


  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Chile
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic,
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Ukraine
  • United Kingdom


To find out if your country is a part of Canada’s IEC program and additional information, please visit the official participants website.




What documents do you need for the IEC application?


During the application process, you will need to upload several documents to gain a work permit. Documents must be uploaded once you reach the work permit application stage. You will be given notice when these documents are needed.


However, it is important to plan ahead to have all the documents needed to upload. It is a good idea to begin culling together the documents in advance to prevent you from rushing around later on and being short on time.


You will need to upload:


  • Police certificates – These must be from countries in which you have spent six or more months living in consecutively since turning 18 years old.
  • CV/resume – This document will describe your education, qualifications, and work history.
  • Passport – You must provide a clear copy of your passport to indicate your country of origin.
  • Digital photo – A full front view digital photo of your head and top of shoulders is needed. The photo should follow passport photo guidelines. The photo frame size needs be at least 35mm x 45mm. The size of your head in the photo must be between 31mm and 36mm.
  • Family information – A family information form, known as form IMM 5707, must be filled out and submitted.
  • Program specific documents – Additional documents may be needed to apply for the IEC.




What happens after the Canada working holiday visa application process?


After the application process, you will need to provide further information and documents. These documents include:


  • Biometrics – These include fingerprints and photos submitted electronically.
  • Port of Entry Letter – You will receive a Port of Entry Letter if your application is approved. You will need this letter to gain entry in Canada upon arrival.
  • Visitor Visa/Electronic Travel Authorization – Approved applicants receive a Visitor Visa/Electronic Travel authorization along with their Port of Entry Letter. You will also need this document upon arrival in Canada.
  • Financial support proof – The IEC program requires all approved applicants to prove that they have a minimum of $2,500 CAD to cover expenses upon arrival. You will need to prove you have the financial ability to buy a departure plane ticket to leave Canada upon the work permit expiring.
  • Health insurance – Although you do not need health insurance when applying for the IEC program, you do need it once you arrive. You will need to have health insurance to cover your entire stay in Canada.


The IEC is a great way for young individuals to live and work in Canada. If you are eligible for one of the three categories, then apply today to begin your adventure of a lifetime in Canada.

Editor in Chief - at | Website | + posts

Editor in Chief -

Dr. Montague John (PhD), is one of the World’s leading Canadian Immigration experts. Affectionately known as “Monty” he established more than 25 years ago and it has grown to be one of the most reliable sources of Canada Immigration information.

In 2022 Dr. Montague John (PhD) published his book, “How to Immigrate to Canada” as, which featured as Bestseller in its Category for several weeks. Montague co-ordinates all the qualified contributors at and serves as Editor-in-Chief.