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  • Writer's pictureCalver Immigration Consulting Inc.

Moving to Canada from Australia

What You Should Know About the Working Holiday Visa (IEC)

The Working Holiday Visa is designed for eligible candidates who want to travel and work in Canada without a job offer from a Canadian employer. A Working Holiday Visa is an open work permit, which allows candidates to work for any employer in Canada.

Today, we chat with Australian expat and travel blogger, Beth Gould about her experience coming to Canada from Australia on a Working Holiday Visa!

How to Get a Working Holiday Visa for Canada

First, we’ll overview the basics of applying for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada.

  1. Check to see if you’re eligible. Your country/territory of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that allows you to apply for an IEC work permit. Alternatively, you may be able to use a recognized organization.

  2. Become a candidate. You must create an online profile for IEC, provide your details, and submit.

  3. Wait for a draw. Now that you’re in the pool of applicants, you must wait for a draw.

  4. Get invited to apply. If you’re invited to apply, you’ll have 10 days to accept your invitation and 20 days to submit your application.

  5. Submit all required documents and forms and start planning your trip!

The International Experience Canada program typically holds draws later in the calendar year and they will offer invitations until their quota is met. You can check for the latest draw on the IEC Round of Invitation page.


Beth’s Experience on a Working Holiday Visa

About Beth: My name is Beth Gould, I am 24 years old and originally from Melbourne, Australia. I moved to Canada on an IEC working holiday visa in November of 2018. My partner moved at the same time as me with an IEC visa, however legally we were not spouses or in a common-law relationship.

How long does it take to get a Working Holiday Visa Canada?

It took a month from when I started the application process to when I got the letter informing me that my application had been approved. I completed the “Come to Canada” questionnaire, created my IRCC account, and submitted my application to the IEC working holiday pool on March 4th 2018.

On March 6th, I received an invitation to apply for the IEC visa. I had until March 16th to begin my application and March 27th to submit my application. I submitted my application including all relevant documents (police check, driving record, copies of passport, etc) on March 21st.

On April 5th I received my Port Of Entry letter stating my application to work in Canada had been approved. I moved to Canada on November 26th of 2018, however, my Port of Entry letter stated that I had until April 5th, 2019 to enter Canada and obtain my work permit.

How was your experience crossing the border?

When I arrived in Canada, I had a very smooth experience crossing the border. I had all of my documentation printed out and ready, including my port of entry letter, travel insurance forms, police check, criminal record check, driving record, my job offer and documents showing where I would be staying that night in Vancouver.

The border officer asked me about the type of work I was planning to do in Canada and then checked over my passport and Port of Entry letter. Although they did not check my other documents, I am glad I had them printed out and ready, as everyone has different experiences!

What kind of work do you do in Canada?

While living in Canada I have worked at two companies. I worked at a ski resort in the Rocky Mountains for one summer and two winter seasons and then worked at a tourist attraction in Vancouver.

At both of these companies I worked in the guest services department selling day tickets, season passes and providing customers with general information. Guest Services is a great job to have in Canada. It gives you a chance to learn a lot about the company you’re working for and Canada itself.

Photo credit: Beth Gould

Would you recommend the Working Holiday Visa to others?

I would 100% recommend the IEC Working Holiday Visa to anyone who is thinking about taking the leap! It is an amazing opportunity to not only explore and experience a new country but also to grow and learn a lot about yourself.

It is one of the best things I have ever done and I am so grateful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met along the way. So if you’re thinking of going on a working holiday all I can say is, DO IT! You won’t regret it!

You can follow Beth’s travels in Canada on her Instagram page, @bethgould_ or on her YouTube channel.


Our Services

Calver and Associates is a leading provider of Canadian Immigration services in Durham Region. We serve clients in Oshawa, Whitby, Ajax, and beyond. Our Registered Canadian Immigration Consultant has over 10 years of experience in Canadian Immigration law and over four years of experience serving those in the Oshawa area.

We can provide assistance 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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