News report | | 17-10-2023 | ±9 minutes reading time

International travellers aged between 18 and 35 who would like to travel across Canada and work there at the same time can apply for a Working Holiday work permit for Canada. This work permit allows you to temporarily work for a Canadian employer and partly finance your stay in Canada.

Working Holiday work permit requirements

To be eligible for a Working Holiday work permit for Canada, you have to meet certain requirements. Read on to find out which ones.

Requirements: nationality and age

Not all international travellers are eligible for the Canadian Working Holiday work permit. Your country of origin, for example, must be a member of the International Experience Canada (IEC) programme. Moreover, you must fall within a certain age range. Here is a list of the nationalities affiliated to the IEC programme that make travellers eligible for the Working Holiday work permit and the age that applicants from each country must be:

Nationality Age
Andorra 18 to 30 years
Australia 18 to 35 years
Austria 18 to 30 years
Belgium 18 to 30 years
Chile 18 to 35 years
Costa Rica 18 to 35 years
Croatia 18 to 35 years
Czechia 18 to 35 years
Denemark 18 to 35 years
Estonia 18 to 35 years
France 18 to 35 years
Germany 18 to 35 years
Greece 18 to 35 years
Hong Kong 18 to 30 years
Ireland 18 to 35 years
Italy 18 to 35 years
Japan 18 to 30 years
Latvia 18 to 35 years
Lithuania 18 to 35 years
Luxembourg 18 to 30 years
Mexico 18 to 29 years
Netherlands 18 to 30 years
New Zealand 18 to 35 years
Norway 18 to 35 years
Poland 18 to 35 years
Portugal 18 to 35 years
San Marino 18 to 35 years
Slovakia 18 to 35 years
Slovenia 18 to 35 years
South Korea 18 to 30 years
Spain 18 to 35 years
Sweden 18 to 30 years
Taiwan 18 to 35 years
Ukraine 18 to 35 years
United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales) 18 to 30 years

Travellers who are not eligiblefor a Working Holiday work permit, may also require another work permit for Canada within the IEC programme. For example, Swiss travellers aged between 18 and 35 may not apply for a Working Holiday work permit, but can apply for an International Co-op Internship work permit.

Passport requirements

All trips to Canada require the traveller to hold a valid passport and the proper work permit. Your passport must stay valid throughout your stay in Canada.

A work permit is no travel authorisation, so you will need a valid visa or eTA Canada in conjunction with your Working Holiday work permit. However, you won’t need to apply for a travel authorisation separately, as you will be granted a visa or eTA Canada as soon as your work permit application is approved. You will get the travel authorisation that you are eligible for.

Working Holiday work permit general requirements

The Working Holiday work permit for Canada is an open work permit, which means you don’t need an employment contract or offer from a Canadian employer before travelling to Canada. In fact, this work permit lets you apply to one or more Canadian employers from your home country or once in Canada. You may work for multiple Canadian employers during your stay, so you don’t have to work for the same employer during your entire stay in Canada.

If you intend to work in healthcare, childcare, elderly care or education, you will have to undergo a medical check-up, as you might be asked to show the results of this examination while applying for the work permit.

You may also do an internship in Canada with a Working Holiday work permit. However, depending on your nationality and age, you may also apply for the International Co-op (Internship) work permit, which is also part of the IEC programme. For further information, check out the article about the work permit for an internship or graduate internship in Canada. If you go to Canada on a Working Holiday work permit, you may also take a short course or training for up to 6 months in total.

The Working Holiday work permit is valid for 12 or 24 months based on the applicant’s nationality. You may not renew your Working Holiday work permit, which means you will have to leave Canada before your work permit expires.

Additional requirements

According to the applicant’s nationality, they might need to meet certain additional requirements to be eligible for a Working Holiday work permit. These include, for example, taking out travel insurance or having a minimum bank balance.

In addition, in some cases, it might be necessary to provide your biometric data. If this applies to you, you will be notified after submitting your application, and you will need to have your biometric data taken at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). You will also be charged a fee.

The application process

If you meet all the requirements, you may apply for a Working Holiday work permit for Canada. The work permit is granted based on a system of pools. You can register for these pools via the Canadian government’s website. Each pool closes either when the maximum number of applications is reached or when the deadline expires. Please note that the amount of Working Holiday work permits granted is limited. Since, in most cases, the number of applicants is greater than the work permits issued, you might not be invited to apply.

You may apply for a Working Holiday work permit via the Government of Canada website. Below is a step-by-step explanation of the application process:

  1. Fill in the so-called "Come to Canada" questionnaire on the Canadian government's website. After completing this questionnaire, you will receive a personal code.
  2. On the same website, create an IRCC account. Select "Apply to come to Canada" and use your personal code from step 1 to start the application process.
  3. Complete your profile and choose which pools you would like to join, in this case the Working Holiday pool.
  4. If you are selected, you will be invited to apply for the Working Holiday work permit. After receiving this invitation, you will have 10 days to decide whether you want to start your application or cancel it.
  5. If you accept the invitation, you then have 20 days to complete and submit your application. You will then need to upload all the required documents, some of which must be requested from certain institutions (e.g. hospital or police station). It’s advisable to request these documents in advance. If you cannot provide certain documents on time, you will need to prove that you did request them on time.
  6. After providing all the documents, you will need to pay the fees. The fee for the Working Holiday work permit is 261 CAD, and it may be paid online with a credit card.
  7. You could be asked to provide your biometric data. If this is the case, you will be notified of this via your account on the Government of Canada website after submitting your application. You will then have 30 days to have your biometric data taken at a Visa Application Centre (VAC). You might have to travel a bit if there is no VAC in your area, so check where the nearest VAC is immediately after receiving the notice.
  8. Your application will then be assessed by the Canadian immigration service. This may take up to 56 days. During this period, the Canadian authorities might ask for additional documents. If so, the 56-day period will be paused, and it will resume after you have uploaded all the requested documents in your account.
  9. During the 56-day assessment period, you can still waive your application. If you do so within this period, you will be refunded the costs incurred.
  10. When your application is approved by the Canadian authorities, you will receive a "Port of Entry Letter" in your account. Print out the letter and take it with you, as you will need to show it upon arrival in Canada.

Do you need a Working Holiday work permit?

Of course, you can just go to Canada for a holiday without working in the country. In that case, you will only need a valid passport and an eTA or visa. You can easily apply for an eTA Canada online via this website. The eTA is also cheaper and faster to apply for than a visa or work permit for Canada. The validity period of the eTA is 5 years in total.

The eTA Canada is also sufficient for friends or relatives who want to visit you during your stay in Canada. In order to apply, they must meet all the eTA requirements. However, it is not allowed to work in Canada on an eTA.

eTA Canada application

e-Visa.ie is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the eTA Canada. e-Visa.ie acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for an eTA directly with the immigration service (7 CAD per eTA, via onlineservices-servicesenligne.cic.gc.ca). However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via e-Visa.ie, our support centre is available to you 24/7. We also check your application before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 7 CAD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 25,18 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous eTA Canada was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.