Work and Travel in Canada in 2021
JUN 29, 2020
So, this year is pretty much a wash for those of us who like to travel. We would be lucky to see another country this year via air travel but I wouldn’t hold my breath. But, and this is a big but, that is no reason to put our lives on hold. If anything we should be planning for next year, big better adventures than ever before. After all, we have nothing but time now and if you are lucky enough to have your income unaffected, you can save even more to have an, even more, epic adventure.
If you’re still reading, you’re interested in coming to work and travel in Canada. You will be given a whole list of reasons why shortly, but first let’s take a quick look at how you can both work and travel in Canada. By working in between your travels, your adventure won't just burn a hole in your wallet and you will meet other amazing people on the same adventure as you. Why not pick up helpful tips, potential travel buddies to help save on expenses and maybe even new friends. The best thing about having foreign friends, you can visit them in their own countries in the future and save a bunch on accommodation.
The IEC Working Holiday VisaWhile you can always get a tourism visa which is valid for six months, let’s be honest, travelling for six months could cost you an arm and a leg. That is why the International Experience Class (IEC) was created. An IEC visa allows the holder to work for any employer in Canada for a limited-term or seasonal work. The types of seasonal work we are referring to is typically jobs in the agricultural, retail and hospitality sectors.
How to get your IEC Working Holiday VisaThere are a limited number of IEC visas available every year, so it is key to get your application in early. At the end of every season the IEC pools are cleared out. There are three categories of working holiday visa for young people who want to work and travel around Canada:
- Working Holiday - if you do not have a job offer yet and want to work for multiple employers while you travel around Canada, this is the program for you. You will be granted an open work permit valid for six months under this program
- Young Professionals - if you have a job offer in Canada that will contribute to your professional career. You can only work for one employer on a limited term contract, and will be granted an employer specific work permit for the length of your contract. You work must be paid and you may not be self-employed under the terms of this visa.
- International Co-op (Internship) - you must be currently enrolled at a post secondary institution with a job offer for work placement or an internship in Canada that will lead to the completion of your studies. You will only be allowed to work for one employer while in Canada and will therefore be granted an employer specific work permit valid for the duration of your internship, typically 12 months.
Requirements to get an IEC working holiday visaThe requirements are pretty much the same for the three categories, except that for the working holiday visa you do not need to have a valid job offer like the Young Professionals visa and the International Co-op visa. If you are eligible you will create an online IEC profile. Depending on your intentions for working in Canada you will be entered into one of the three pools listed above. If your application is successful you will be invited to formally apply; this will mean paying your fees and submitting you application for your work permit as well as submitting the following for your Canadian IEC visa:
- Proof of financial support - you need to show you meet the minimum funds required to get you on your way in Canada, the equivalent of $2,500
- Medical exam - not usually required, but this will depend on your employer or if you have travelled to high risk countries in the past six months.
- Health Insurance - you wont need to show this when you apply, however when you get to Canada you will need to show border control that you have health insurance cover for the duration of your stay.
- Police certificate - if you cannot get one in time, you can provide proof showing that you applied for a police clearance certificate.
- CV or Resume - showing your education, qualifications and work experience. This is mostly applicable to the Young Professionals and International Co-op applicants
- Passport - a clear and readable copy of your passport
- Photo - you will need to upload a digital photo of yourself to the required specifications
- Family Information - a form listing siblings, parents, dependents, common law spouses etc.