Young people interested to travel around Canada, but have no financial means to do that, have the choice to work while they are traveling. This option gives an opportunity to earn money and use it to travel, and the kind of visa is the Working Holiday Visa.

The Working Holiday Visa is a Canadian work visa that allows young people (usually students) to work and travel in Canada. They can go to Canada to get a job as young professionals and visit the best places in the country. This visa is part of the International Experience Canada (IEC) and it also allows an International Internship.

To be eligible for the IEC and for the Working Holiday Canada, your country of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada to exchange young workers. There is the so-called Recognized Organization (RO) that helps young people with their applications and in getting a job for a fee for IEC Canada.

If your country is one of those that has the agreement with Canada or you choose an RO, then you can begin the Working Holiday Canada process. With this visa, you will get an Open Work Permit, which allows you to go to Canada and then find a job. The visa is best because it doesn’t require a job offer. You can simply travel in Canada and work for different employees.  

The Working Holiday Visa allows you to stay in Canada for one year. During your stay, you can change employers and travel anywhere you want within the country.

These are the following steps to apply for a Working Holiday Visa:

Step 1: Open Your International Experience Profile

Open your Government of Canada account using your or bank information on their official website;


Take the assessment questionnaire to find out about your eligibility. Answer the questions:

  • Country of residence;
  • Country of citizenship;
  • Country of permanent residence;
  • If you have a job offer;
  • If you are a student;

If the system finds you eligible for the IEC, it will take you to the page where you have to fill out the form;

Answer all questions in the profile forms;

Submit your profile.

Step 2: Select a Category You are Eligible For.

Once you complete your profile, you need to choose the pool of candidates for the Working Holiday Visa. Please note that you might select more than one pool. For example, you can enter in both Young Professionals and the Working Holiday Visa.

Your profile will be active for one year. If that period ends and you don’t receive the invitation to apply, then you must open and submit your profile all over again.

Step 3: Get an Invitation to Apply

If you get selected for an invitation, it will receive a message on your account. You can then accept the invitation or decline it. Upon receiving the invitation, you will have ten days to decide about the invitation. If you decline the invitation, you are allowed to remain in the candidate pool for the next round of invitations. If you are in more than one pool, you will have to decline one invitation to get the other. If you accept the invitation, you will then have 20 days to apply for a work permit.

Step 4: Apply for a Work Permit

You must start submitting your application for a work permit as soon as possible because you have only 20 days to do that. The system will ask you about the job offer, but you need to select “Non-applicable - Working Holiday”. 

Once you fill out all the forms, the system will generate a list of particular documents that you have to submit. Usually, it contains the following:

Police Certificates – for all countries where you have lived for more than 6 months since you were 18 years old. If you are unable to get all of them in 20 days, then you must submit proof that you have requested them and be ready to show them to an official at the Canadian Consulate later on. In case of a criminal record, you will be denied a work permit.

Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume 

Medical Exam – if you are going to work in a job which requires it, then you need to visit a doctor who will issue a certificate of good health. This form is IMM 1017B – Upfront Medical Report, which you must upload in your application. If you are unable to obtain this form in the 20 days, you can submit the application, then you can upload a proof that you will be receiving the form.

Passport and Digital Photo –  Submit a copy of your passport that is valid until the date of your departure from Canada. Follow instructions for submitting a digital photo of yourself.

Other forms you need to submit:

  • IMM 5645 – Family Information;
  • IMM 5707 – Family Information;
  • Schedule 1 – Application for a Temporary Resident Visa Made Outside Canada.

Step 5: Submit the Application 

First, you must pay the application fee. You might need to pay the additional cost for biometrics.

The Government of Canada will review your application. If they find you eligible, they will let you know of the next steps you must take. The Consulate may summon you for an interview or ask to present more information. 

Step 6: Get Ready to Travel to Canada

Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter of introduction or Port of Entry () Letter to Canada. Keep that letter with you wherever you travel. You can now take necessary preparations, such as booking your flight to Canada and finding accommodation. At the Border Check-Up Control, you need to provide these documents:

Your passport; 
Your letter of Introduction; 
Proof that you have enough funds for your stay in Canada for the first 3 months (CAD$2500);
Proof that you have enough funds for your stay in Canada for the first 3 months (CAD$2500);
A return ticket from Canada to your country of residence or enough funds to purchase a ticket;
Copies of the supporting documents from your work permit application (See: Step 4).