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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

How to work and travel in Canada with a Working Holiday Visa

International Experience Canada (IEC) gives youth the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to 2 years. The pools for the 2023 season are now open. If you’re eligible, you can create a profile to apply!


Who can apply for IEC?

If you're 18 to 35 (18 to 30 in some countries) and you are a citizen of a country that has an agreement with Canada (most of the European countries), you may be eligible to work and travel in Canada through International Experience Canada (IEC). It's a government program designed to help you gain valuable international work experience and work in Canada and fund the trip of a lifetime. You can also apply via a recognized organization.


Your dependents (children and spouse) can’t come with you to Canada under this program. However, they may apply to visit, study or work in Canada as a separate application.

How many times can I apply for IEC?

Some countries only allow you to participate once. Others allow you to participate twice but in different categories. Because each country is different, it’s important that you check to see if you’re eligible to apply.

How does IEC work?

There are 3 different kinds of work and travel experiences available:

Working Holiday

  • you don’t have a job offer

  • you want to work for more than one employer in Canada

  • you want to work in more than one location

  • you’d like to earn some money so that you can travel

  • You’ll need to get a medical exam first for some jobs

Young Professionals

  • you have a job offer in Canada that counts toward your professional development

  • you’ll work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada

  • work must be paid by your employer

International Co-op (Internship)

  • you’re a student registered at a post-secondary institution

  • you have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada

  • you need to do this work placement or internship to complete your studies

  • you’ll work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada

How to apply for the IEC program?

1. Submit a profile to the IRCC

Your first step is to become a candidate in one or more IEC pools by answering the questionnaire to see if you meet the criteria to get into the IEC pools. Submitting an IEC profile does not mean you have applied for a work permit. You need the invitation to apply to start a work permit application.

2. Stay in the Pool waiting to be invited

If you’re invited to apply, you’ll get a message in your account. The message will list your category and your next steps. You’ll have 10 days to decide if you’ll accept the invitation. From the day and time you accept the invitation, you’ll have 20 days to apply online for a work permit.

3. Apply for a Work Permit

You will need to fill in the online application forms and check the documents needed for your country. Documents you may need include but are not limited to a Passport, Photo, Medical Exam, Proof of financial support, Police certificates, etc.

4. What happens if the Pool is Closed

You’ll be notified through your account that the pools have closed. If you’re still interested in coming to Canada to travel and work as part of IEC, you’ll need to complete and submit a new profile when the next season opens. Once you start, you’ll have 60 days to complete the profile. If you still meet the minimum entry criteria, you’ll get a new IEC profile number. If you do not submit a new profile within 60 days, you’ll have to start over.

If you have any questions about How to work and travel in Canada with a Working Holiday Visa, please feel free to reach out. Please also join my Facebook Immigration Discussion group for Immigration Consultants and lawyers online here.


Our Services

Calver Immigration Consulting Inc. is rated Canada's number one boutique immigration consultancy. We serve clients across Canada and internationally. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in Canada and abroad.

We can assist with applications for both temporary and permanent residency in Canada. We handle applications for study permits, permanent residency, family class sponsorship, visitor visas, work permits, and Canadian citizenship. We also handle criminal inadmissibility cases by developing remedies for refusal.

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