Working Holiday Programme (WHP) in Canada

Wondering how to trek and canoe through Canada for a year without ending up with a huge gap in your resume? Travel under the Working Holiday Programme ( WHP )! Many countries have signed bilateral reciprocal agreements with Canada, allowing young people to work and live there for 1 or 2 years maximum, depending on the visa holder’s country of citizenship.


How to obtain a Working Holiday Visa for Canada

There might be slight variations of eligibility criteria according to the country you’re from but basically, to get a Working Holiday Visa for Canada , you must:

  • be aged between 18 and 30 on the day you apply to join the WHP (in some countries, 29 or 35 is the age limit),
  • be a citizen of a country which has signed an agreement with Canada,
  • hold a passport from an eligible country which is valid for the duration of the stay,
  • not have participated in the International Experience Canada (IEC) in the Working Holiday category before,
  • have the equivalent of  CAD 2,500, 
  • have WHV insurance (health and repatriation cover) for the duration of the stay. Do wait until your application has been approved before taking out insurance,
  • have a round-trip ticket or sufficient funds to purchase one.

The Working Holiday Visa for Canada is valid for up to 12 months. Participation in the International Experience Canada may be renewable in a different category for the citizens of some countries.

Applying for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada

Canada sets annual quotas for each country participating in the Working Holiday Programme. Some countries reach allotted quota very quickly. Don’t miss the boat: make sure you pay attention to opening quota dates and prepare your application package in advance.

WHVs must be requested online only. There are several steps to follow.

  1. Create a Kompass account and register.
  2. You will receive an email with your account number and instructions for activating it.
  3. Gather the requested documents.
  4. Complete the IEC application form through your Kompass account and submit it.
  5. You will receive a notification of receipt letter within 48 hours.
  6. Pay the participation fee and submit the requested documents.
  7. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive a conditional acceptance letter in your Kompass account.
  8. Create a MyCIC account to apply for a work permit.
  9. Is the CIC assessment positive? You will receive a Letter of Introduction in your MyCIC account. You must show this letter at a Canadian the port of entry.

To find out more about the WHP in Canada:

Check and see if your country has signed an agreement allowing you to go to Canada on a WHP visa: visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website .
Join the WHP community in Canada .
Join the WHP community in Canada .

Date of publication February 3, 2014

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