Working Holiday - Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for participating in the Working Holiday Program?

To participate in the Working Holiday Program, you must:

  • be a citizen of the country you are applying for 
  • have a valid passport for the duration of your stay in Canada
  • be between 18 and 30 or 35 years (inclusive) 
  • have at least $2,500 in funds
  • have health insurance for the duration of the intended stay
  • have a return ticket or instead prove that you have the financial means to buy a return ticket at the end of your stay in Canada
  • have a credit card for the fees

How much does it cost to participate in the Working Holiday Program?

It costs nothing to submit the profile to the IEC pool. Only after you have received an invitation you can apply for the work permit.

  • All IEC participants must pay the IEC participation fee of CAD $161
  • Then there is the fee for the open work permit for the Working Holiday of CAD $100
  • And an additional fee for the biometric data: CAD $85

These fees will only be paid in the last step of the application after you have uploaded all the documents.

Can I apply for the Working Holiday if I am still under 18 years old?

No. At the time of creation and transmission of the profile, you must be at least 18 years old.

What is a "pool"?

The pool is a draw pot where all applicants create their profile. Once the season starts, a computerized system will randomly and irregularly (usually weekly) pull a certain number of candidates out of the pool throughout the season. It’s like a lottery where everyone puts their piece of paper in and hopes to be drawn.

When does the "pool" open?

The International Experience Program and its pools usually opens in late fall (around November/December) and stays open all year until early fall. Then they close all pools for at least 2 weeks to prepare for the next season. 

What do I need to register in the pool?

To register in the pool you only need a valid passport.

Can I create a profile before the pool opens?

No, you will not be able to create a pool profile before the season opens. 

Do I have to apply for the Working Holiday online, or can I also do it by post?

The working holiday process is an exclusively online process via the pools. It is not possible to apply by post or at one of the Visa Application Centres. No exceptions are made.

When can I apply for the Working Holiday?

You can apply anytime throughout the IEC season. You can always submit your profile to the pool while the pools are open.

Do I have to be in my home country to apply for the Working Holiday?

No, you can apply from anywhere in the world, where you have access to Wifi. 

Some countries have a residency requirement, which means they must provide a mailing address from their home country:

Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden

**NEW for Italy**: If you’re an Italian citizen, you’ll also need to provide a residence certificate (certificato di residenza) to prove you live in Italy. Upload this certificate in the “Optional documents” slot at the bottom of the Document Checklist page in your account. The certificate must be translated into English or French by a certified translator (it cannot be done by you).

How long does it take to receive an invitation?

The Working Holiday Pool is a lottery. A computerized system randomly and irregularly (usually weekly) pulls a certain number of candidates out of the pool throughout the season. An invitation can come after 1 week, after 1 month, after several months. You have the best chances at the beginning of the season, because then there are not so many applicants in the Pools. It is also possible that you do not receive an invitation before the end of the season. Everything is luck of the draw.

During the season the pool numbers update each Friday. Those numbers change constantly because:

  • applicants decline their invitations,
  • applicants let their invitations expire, 
  • applicants miss their deadlines and receive a refusal
  • applicants’ work permit applications are refused due to other reasons

When the pools are open you can check the rounds of invitations

To find out the pool numbers of your country of citizenship

How do I know when the invitation rounds take place?

Only the first round of invitation and final round of invitation is announced. Once you are in the pool, invitations will usually be sent out weekly.

What do I do if I don't receive an invitation before the season closes?

You can try your luck again in the next season. At the end of the season, all profiles are removed from the pool. Every new applicant starts from scratch. New spots will be opened and chances are way better. 

Do I need a job for the Working Holiday?

No, a job is not necessary for the Working Holiday because it is an “open work permit” with which you can work for any employer in Canada.

Do I have a better chance in the pool if I have a job lined up?

No, a job is not necessary for the Working Holiday and has no influence on the chances of invitation. Likewise, an applicant with a doctoral degree has the same chances of receiving an invitation as a cashier or a young traveller who is just applying after high school graduation.

Very important for the questions while creating the profile for the Working Holiday pool!

Even if you already have a job and would like to apply for the Working Holiday, you should answer "no" when asked if you have a job offer.

How do I apply for the Working Holiday Canada?