Working Holiday Canada - To Do List

Questions like “When is the best time to go on a working holiday in Canada?”
Doubtful thoughts like “Can I do it all by myself?” 

These thoughts are perfectly normal when you move to a distant country so far away from home. It really can put you in a dilemma and you think about taking the help of an agency to ease your mind… 

>>> Here is what my opinion is about using an agency for help <<<

Take the first step!

Apply for a Working Holiday

You don’t know when to apply for the Working Holiday for Canada? It’s easy to calculate: After the Working Holiday has been approved, you have 12 months to activate the work permit at the border. So you can apply for the Working Holiday up to 1 year before you want to start the Canadian adventure. 

There are many free step-by-step instructions for the Working Holiday application all over the Internet. Even this info blog has a detailed 8 step application guide with many tips not to mess up. The extensive FAQ section in this group has answers to almost all of the questions that have ever been asked in the Working Holiday Facebook groups.

Once you’ve mastered that first hurdle and have the Working Holiday approval in your hands, I can assure you that it’s only going to get easier from now on. You can be proud of yourself.

Before Departure

Prepare the paperwork for entry

Important information and requirements for activating the Work Permit in Canada >here< on the official Canadian government website. At the immigration office in the Canadian airport you must show: 

  • your passport
  • your Port of Entry (POE) Letter
  • proof of funds
  • proof of Health Insurance
  • a ticket for your departure from Canada or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket and
  • copies of the documents you provided in your work permit application

Cancel subscriptions and contracts at home

These are contracts that you don’t need or can’t use in Canada. Rental agreement, car insurance, telephone, mobile phone contract, gym membership, etc. 

Take out health insurance

Health insurance is mandatory for the entire duration of your intended stay in Canada. You must buy one while you are still in your home country. If you are already in Canada, it must be an “already travelling” policy. 

Order a Canadian SIM card sent to your home

With the SIM card from >>PhoneBox<< you’ll have a Canadian phone number and data as soon as you land in Canada. At the moment PhoneBox has very good data plans with unlimited calls within Canada. You can order it online to be sent to you, or as eSIM if your cell phone supports eSIM.

The good thing with Phonebox, is that you can use a foreign credit card to pay for the plan. Not all carriers allow this.

You can have the SIM delivered to your home free of charge. Order the SIM at least 30 days before departure. 

Book a flight

You should not book the flight until you have received the Working Holiday POE (approval letter). If you are flexible, you can compare prices with Google Flights, Skyscanner, etc. When you check flight prices, do this under incognito mode on your browser. When you browse the Internet, Google remembers your search history and prices could go up. 

Book a room for the first few weeks

Reserve a room in a hostel or Airbnb. It is not recommended to look for a place to stay in Canada from home. When looking for a place to stay remotely, there is a high risk of falling for a scammer. There are so many out there. 

Never, never, never transfer money in advance if you haven’t seen the place with your own eyes. Unfortunately, there are many scammers who want to trick you and many travellers have lost their money because of this. 

Therefore, first book a hostel or Airbnb for a few weeks and look for a place in person while in Canada. This way you can also see if the residential area suits you and how quickly you can get to the city without a car, for example. 

After Arrival

Apply for the SIN

The Social Insurance Number (SIN) is a personal 9-digit number that is used for tax purposes and which you need to work and get paid. You apply for the SIN at the Service Canada office as soon as you arrive in Canada and after you activated the work permit.

You can apply for a SIN this in any “Service Canada” in the city. You don’t need an appointment for this, you just go there in person during opening hours. The application lasts about 10 minutes. All you need is your work permit and passport.

Open a bank account

There are five major banks in Canada that offer a free account for newcomers. >> More info here << 

Transfer money to your Canadian account

Because the Canadian banks offer a credit card with low limit, you should always have some cash in your account. Especially if you have to pay first months rent and rent deposit. Transferring money to Canada is straightforward.

One of the options is >> Wise << 

Look for a place to stay

If the job search was successful and you plan to stay in the city for a little longer, it is advisable to look for your own apartment or a shared flat. Again, and I don’t repeat this often enough, never, never, never transfer money in advance if you haven’t seen the apartment in person. 

Exchange Driver's License

Do I need to exchange my driver’s license for a Canadian driver’s license? This is the question of all travellers who come to Canada with their Working Holiday. The answer is yes. 

Every province has their own rules and deadline in which you must exchange the driver’s licence after you move to that province. Info links: 

Please google the rest of the provinces…