How to Work and Travel in Canada

September 13, 2023


  • Wesley Allan

Have you ever dreamt of immersing yourself in the diverse culture of Canada while also gaining international work experience? Well, nothing is stopping you from living this dream. Welcome to the exciting world of a working holiday in Canada. This unique opportunity enables you to work and travel in Canada, experiencing its breathtaking landscapes, diverse culture, and vibrant cities while earning a living.

The working holiday program in Canada is a part of International Experience Canada (IEC), which allows young people from around 30 countries to work and travel across Canada for up to two years. This unique opportunity to work and travel in Canada is a life-changing journey that will broaden your horizons, enhance your resume, and allow you to make lifelong friendships.

From the towering Rocky Mountains to the bustling streets of Toronto, Canada offers infinite opportunities and adventures. With the help of a working holiday visa, you can not only explore these wonders but also gain valuable work experience. It is indeed a perfect blend of work and play.

What Is A Working Holiday Canada?

Working Holiday Canada

Before you start packing your bags, it's crucial to understand what a working holiday visa Canada is and how it works. This visa, also known as IEC visa Canada, is a work permit that allows young individuals from certain countries to work and travel in Canada for up to two years.

The primary purpose of the working holiday visa is to allow young people to fund their travels by working part-time or full-time while experiencing the country's culture and lifestyle. It's a fantastic opportunity to earn while you learn and learn while you earn.

To be eligible for a working holiday visa in Canada, you must be a citizen of one of the 30 countries with a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada. You should also be between 18 and 35 years old (age may vary depending on your home country), have a valid passport, and have enough funds to support your initial stay in Canada.

How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada

How to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa

Have you ever wanted to immerse yourself in the breathtakingly beautiful landscapes of Canada while also having the opportunity to work and earn? A working holiday in Canada could be your ticket to this exciting adventure. This guide will walk you through the steps you need to take to apply for a working holiday visa in Canada.

Step 1: Check your Eligibility

Before you get your hopes up and start packing your winter gear, the first step is to check if you're eligible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. The IEC Canada program is the gateway to your working holiday visa Canada dream.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a citizen of a country with a bilateral youth mobility arrangement with Canada.
  • Be between 18 and 35 (inclusive), have a valid passport, and
  • have the equivalent of 2,500 CAD to cover initial expenses.

Citizens from the following countries have a bilateral youth mobility agreement, allowing young people to enjoy a Working Holiday in Canada:

Eligible Countries in the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program
Australia Austria Belgium
Chile Costa Rica Croatia
Czech Republic Denmark Estonia
France Germany Greece
Hong Kong Ireland Italy
Japan Korea, Rep. Latvia
Lithuania Luxembourg Mexico
Netherlands New Zealand Norway
Poland Portugal San Marino
Slovakia Slovenia Spain
Sweden Switzerland Taiwan
Ukraine United Kingdom

However, you can still acquire a Working Holiday Visa Canada via a recognized organization if you are not from one of the above countries. The recognized organizations are as follows:

Registered Organization Age Range Eligible Countries
GO International 18-35 IEC countries, USA
A-Way to Work/International Rural Exchange Canada Inc. 18-35 IEC countries only
Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) 18-35 IEC countries only
Stepwest 18-35 IEC countries only
SWAP Working Holidays 18-35 IEC countries, USA
AIESEC Canada 18-35 IEC countries, Brazil, India
International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) 18-35 IEC countries,& IAESTE country partners

Don’t get disheartened if you don't meet these requirements. There are other work in Canada options that may be available to you. Remember, every path to your dream destination requires a different map, and this is just one of them.

Step 2: Create an Online Account

After confirming your eligibility, creating an online account is the next step on your work and travel in Canada journey. You can do this on the official Government of Canada website.

This account is your portal to the Canadian authorities. It's where you fill in your details, submit your application, and get updates on your visa status. Secure your account with a strong password and keep your login details safe.

Remember to fill in your information accurately and honestly. Any false information could lead to your application being denied or even a ban from applying for visas in the future.

Step 3: Gather the Necessary Documents and Pay the Fees

Now that you've created an account, it's time to gather the necessary documents for your working holiday visa application. Among other documents, you must provide the following:

  • Your passport,
  • A digital photo,
  • A curriculum vitae (CV), and
  • Proof of financial support or at least 2.

You must pay your fees Once you have uploaded your documents. The fees for a Canada Working Holiday Visa are as follows:

Fees CAD
International Experience Canada fee 161
Biometrics 85

Remember that these fees are non-refundable even if your application is not accepted.

Organize your documents neatly and double-check for any missing ones. A missing or incorrect document could cause delays in your application or even result in your application being denied.

Step 4: Submit Your Profile

With your eligibility confirmed, online account set up, documents gathered, and fees paid, you can submit your profile for the working holiday Canada adventure!

Submitting your profile is like throwing your hat into the ring. This step doesn't guarantee a visa, but you won't get one without it. Remember, your profile is your first impression, so make it a good one.

Once submitted, your profile will be entered into a pool of applicants where it will remain for a year or until an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a work permit is received, whichever comes first.

After You Apply

After you've submitted your profile, the waiting game begins. You'll receive a message in your account when you've been invited to apply for a visa. You have ten days to accept the invitation.

Once you've accepted the invitation, you have 20 days to apply for a work permit. After you've applied for your work permit, you'll need to wait for the final decision on your working holiday visa.

The waiting period can be nerve-wracking, but good things take time. Use this period to research more about living and working in Canada and plan travel.

Top 10 Working Holiday Destinations in Canada

Canada Working Holiday

Canada is a vast country with numerous destinations perfect for a working holiday.


Recognized globally, Toronto, Ontario, has a dynamic sports culture, numerous attractions, and insightful museums. It is a bustling hub teeming with individuals from diverse backgrounds, upscale rooftop lounges, scenic boat ride experiences, various celebratory events, and an array of eateries. Toronto is an ideal launchpad for those keen on delving deeper into Ontario's charm.


Vancouver, British Columbia, is the largest island on the West Coast of North America, where wild nature meets the modern world. It is a spectacular city with natural wonders, outdoor activities, affordability, events and festivals, all-season charm, Canada's French heritage, and family-friendly. Vancouver Island is where wild nature meets the modern world, and you can enjoy the best of both worlds--rainforests, oceans, and mountains.


Characterized by its unique multicultural atmosphere and vibrant energy levels in Montreal, Quebec - a city that effortlessly marries tradition with modernity. Known for hosting the winter carnival alongside local beer brewing traditions, this urban landscape boasts stunning locations such as the Gaspé Peninsula, making it visually appealing for tourists worldwide. Montreal thrives round-the-clock, buzzing with life and dynamism at every corner.


The city of Calgary, Alberta, thriving due to its rich natural resources, offers various adventurous activities such as skiing, hiking, and exploring the renowned Banff National Park. Characterized by its lively atmosphere and dynamism, Calgary provides an excellent environment for both living and working.


Canada's capital city, Ottawa, Ontario, is well-known for being amiable and inviting, with many remarkable attractions. It boasts historical sites steeped in history and vibrant museums that reflect Canadian culture – making it a prime destination for tourists.


Marked by its liveliness amid the calm prairies, Edmonton, Alberta, is an electrifying city that houses North America's largest shopping center - West Edmonton Mall. Its high energy levels and ample opportunities to work or reside here make it ideal.


Despite having a damp climate, Victoria, British Columbia, never fails to mesmerize people with her scenic landscapes, given its coastal location. Popular tourist activities include whale-watching excursions off her coastlines, visiting Butchart Gardens' floral exhibits, or exploring significant artifacts at The Royal BC Museum – reinforcing Victoria’s reputation as an exciting tourist hub.

Québec City

Québec City, Quebec, is a sight to behold, imbued with a European charm and abundant historical background. Hosting the renowned winter carnival and cradled by stunning landscapes such as the Gaspé Peninsula, it embodies history and culture in every corner. The city offers much to explore for tourists.


Bringing life to the prairies with its vibrant spirit, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, stands tall in its pride. It houses attractions like the Saskatoon Farmers' Market and the scenic Meewasin Valley Trail. Radiating vitality and dynamism, Saskatoon presents itself as an exciting locale for living and working opportunities.


Halifax, Nova Scotia, greets you warmly with its friendly inhabitants while boasting a profound maritime past. Top activities include delving into history at Halifax Citadel National Historic Site, enriching your knowledge at the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic, or simply taking leisurely walks on the Halifax Waterfront Boardwalk. With rich heritage around every turn, it invites visitors for an immersive experience.

A working holiday in Canada is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to gain valuable work experience while exploring Canada's diverse and welcoming country. What are you waiting for? Start your journey today!


Can I Extend My Working Holiday visa Canada?

You can extend your visa, depending on your home country's agreement with Canada.

Do I Need Health Insurance for a Working Holiday in Canada?

Yes, it would be best if you had health insurance for the entire duration of your stay in Canada.

Can I Bring my Dependents With Me on a Working Holiday Visa Canada?

No, dependents are not allowed on this visa.