How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada in 2023

January 6, 2023


  • Kelia Losa Reinoso

Earn on holiday by applying for a working holiday visa Canada. Are you looking for the adventure of your life but you also need to make your way financially? As a young professional, catching the travel bug is easy when you see how many wonders the world has to offer. However, travelling is expensive. To assist you, Canada has made provisions for young travellers with work experience to work and travel Canada.

Through the International Experience Canada stream, you can enjoy Canadian tourism while making money and paying your way through marvelling at the northern lights to skiing at Whistler Blackcomb.

With this easy, step-by-step guide you can experience the vacation of your lifetime and earn money at the same time.

Step 1: Check your eligibility.

This program caters to young people from over 30 countries. Before you apply online, you should check if you have a passport from one of the countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada, which makes travel between countries easier.

In order to apply, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must have a valid passport for the duration of your stay
  • You must be between the ages of 18-35 at the time of the application. However, the age limit changes in accordance with the country, therefore check if you still qualify if you are between 30-35 years old.
  • Provide financial proof. Because you will be working in Canada you would not have to prove that you have exorbitant amounts of money. However, you need at least $2,500 when you arrive in Canada to assist you in accommodation, travel and food in the beginning.
  • You must have a valid insurance policy for the entire time you’re on a working holiday visa. Ensure your travel insurance is recognized by Canada.
  • You will also need to prove that you will return to your home country, in the form of a round ticket.
  • Show you have enough money to return home.
  • You cannot be accompanied by dependents.
  • Be aware of residency requirements: if you have to be residing in the country of citizenship to qualify for the Working Holiday Visa Canada.

Countries that participate in the bilateral agreement with Canada:

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

Step 2: Make an online profile and apply for a working holiday visa.

The Canadian authorities will then know that you want to receive a working holiday visa for Canada. They’ll invite you to apply with supporting documents and you’ll have 10 days to either reject or submit your application. Upload the following documents onto your dashboard:

  • Police Certificate
  • CV
  • Passport
  • Digital Photo
  • Family Information
  • Program-specific Documents

As part of this step, you’ll need to apply for a work permit which allows you to pick up employment in Canada. You’ll have 20 days to apply for this visa, which will require your employer to pay $230 as an employer compliance fee. Potential employers must send you an offer of employment with a reference number for you to attach to your permit application.

Step 3: Receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI)

A successful application will come in the form of a LOI which you will need to bring with you to Canada and present to immigration at a Port of Entry (POE) like a border crossing or an airport. You’ll be provided with a work permit when you provide this documentation.

Additionally, you’ll need the following at the POE:

  • Biometrics
  • Visitors Visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)
  • Proof of financial support (eg: bank statements)
  • Health insurance certificate
  • Information on the bilateral agreement between Canada and your country to ensure the immigration officers provide you with the correct time period for your visa

Working Holiday Visa Categories

There are three categories or ‘pools’ you can enter into in order to get a visa that will allow you to get your international experience Canada visa. Although you may be eligible for more than one pool, your online profile will only exist in one of these categories.

International Co-op

Also known as internships, this stream allows you to work in Canada if:

  1. you’re a student at a Designated Learning Institution (DLI)
  2. You have a work offer to do an internship
  3. You need to do the internship in order to complete your studies
  4. The employer will not change and the location of the internship would not change

Young Professionals

This stream requires you to have a job offer in Canada that will contribute to your career. It’s employer-specific which means you will remain with the same employer at the same location for the duration of your visa

Working Holiday

This is an open work permit that lets you work anywhere in Canada for any employer (although there are some exceptions). Apply for this category if you do not have a job offer, you might want to have more than one job or more than one place. For example, you might get a job as a ski instructor at a resort, as well as at a restaurant in the nearby town.

Staying in Canada when your Working Holiday Visa expires

 Your adventure in Canada does not have to end when your visa expires. There are various ways for you to extend your stay in Canada.
  • Extend your visitors visa
  • Get an LMIA employer-specific Work Permit with a permanent contract
  • Become a permanent resident by applying through the Express Entry system and selecting the Canadian Experience Class which allows you to apply for PR status with one year of work experience in Canada.


How often do draws take place?

Canada's immigration authorities, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), do draws at regular intervals where candidates are selected to receive a work permit. Doing further research on the days and order of pool selections will give you a better idea of when you can expect an ITA.

How do I get a visitor’s permit?

Because of the bilateral agreement, you will be issued an electronic travel authorization (eTA) or visitor’s visa along with your Letter of Introduction (LOI), which you can use to board the plane to Canada and enter the Port of Entry when you arrive.

What kind of work permit will I receive for my Working Holiday Visa?

There are two types of work permits - An open work permit, which allows you, the applicant, to work for anyone that can legally hire you, and an employer-specific permit, which only allows you to work for a particular employer. The type of work permit you receive will depend on the bilateral agreement between your country and Canada.

How long is the working holiday visa valid for?

Much like the other details of this visa, it's dependent on your country of citizenship as well as which of the three streams you’ve applied for. For example, if you’re from Australia and France you’ll get 24 months, Germany or Netherlands; 12 months and Italy and Austria’s International Co-op; 6 months.

How many times can I apply for a working holiday visa for Canada?

Some countries limit your participation in the International Experience program to one time, while others are recurring. Before you decide to start your work and travel Canada adventure, be aware that even though you apply and get an ITA, you still can't participate more times than your country allows.