Working Holiday Visa

The Canadian Working Holiday Visa is perfect for those who wish to vacation in Canada but will need to work in the country to support themselves. Irish citizens can apply for this visa and could be granted up to 24 months’ stay in Canada allowing them to work.

For more information or assistance in obtaining this visa type, please call our expert staff on (+353) 061 518 025.

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    What is the Working Holiday Visa?

    The Working Holidays Program is one of the many programs that fall under the operations of International Experience Canada (IEC). IEC aims to provide young people with the opportunity to work and travel in Canada. When holding this visa, an Irish citizen can travel from Ireland to Canada for up to 24 months to both live and work within the country.

    This visa was created by the Canadian government to work as an open work permit. This means that if you obtain this visa, you will be allowed to work in most job sectors, for more than one employer and in more than one location in Canada.

    Total Law can provide you with knowledge and expertise on this visa type, and could help you successfully form your application. Call us now on (+353) 061 518 025.

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    Who Can Apply for the Visa and What is a Recognised Organisation?

    The Working Holiday Visa is available to citizens of a multitude of countries, including Ireland. There is also a general age limit, with applicants having to be between the ages of 18-35 years old.

    However, if you are not an Irish citizen or from one of the eligible countries, there is a possibility for you to apply by receiving support from a recognised organisation. A recognised organisation is either a for-profit, non-profit or educational organisation that offers support to young people as part of the IEC.

    Having support from a recognised organisation means they may help you plan your trip through providing you with knowledge on laws, languages, taxes and culture in Canada. They may also offer support to you in finding employment and accommodation.

    Here is a list of just some of the recognised organisations associated with the Working Holiday Visa;

    • SWAP Working Holidays
    • Memorial University of Newfoundland
    • International Rural Exchange
    • Stepwest
    • GO International

    What is the Eligibility Criteria for the Visa?

    First and foremost, it is important for you to be an Irish citizen or the citizen of an eligible country for you to obtain this visa. As explained, you may also have the support of a recognised organisation to access this visa. However, there are some other eligibility criteria that one may have to meet;

    • Have an Irish passport that will expire only after you working holiday in Canada
    • Being between the ages of 18 and 35 years old
    • Being able to prove that you have $2,500 (Canadian Dollars) or equivalent in savings to support yourself financially
    • Having and being able to prove that you have health insurance
    • Possessing a round-trip ticket that you can present to officials upon arrival, or proving the financial means to purchase a ticket at the end of your working holiday

    Some countries allow you to participate in a Working Holiday in Canada more than once. However, for Irish citizens, you may only obtain a Working Holiday Visa ONCE.

    What is the Application Process for the Visa?

    Step One: Check your Eligibility

    Firstly, you must check the eligibility criteria for the visa, and ensure that you meet all the requirements. There is an online questionnaire that can help you check that you fit all these requirements. If you are found to be eligible, you will be given a personal reference code, which will need to be used in the future.

    Your next step is to then create an IEC profile.

    Step Two: Creating your IEC Profile

    When creating your profile, it is possible for you to fill it out in either English or French. If you are receiving support from a recognised organisation, you will need to have a confirmation letter from them that indicates and proves their support for you.

    The information you provide on your IEC profile will determine if you are eligible for the Working Holiday IEC pool. Only those that make it into this pool will be invited to apply for the visa permit.

    It is essential that once you start the process of applying, you complete your profile for the Working Holiday pool within 60 days. If you do not you will be required to start over again. If you receive an invitation to be in the pool you will need to accept this within 10 days and apply within 20 days of the day you accept the invitation.

    Step Three: Applying for an IEC Work Permit

    You will accept the Working Holiday Visa pool invitation by clicking the ‘“start application” button on your IEC dashboard.

    A Port of Entry letter of introduction will be added to your account if your permit is approved. It will be necessary that you present this letter to the border officers when you enter Canada from Ireland. These officers will make the final decision on your work permit.

    Step Four: Providing your Biometrics

    After applying for your permit, most applicants will have to provide their fingerprints and photographs. If this is needed, Canadian immigration will send you an instruction letter within 24 hours of submitting your application detailing what to do.

    This letter should explain to you how and where you can provide your biometrics. This is usually at a Visa Application Centre or temporary collection point.

    It is necessary that your biometrics are given within 30 days, however if an appointment is not able to be booked in this period, an extension could be given.

    What Documents Will I Need?

    There are a number of supporting documents that you will need to submit along with your application. It is recommended that you start collating these documents when you have been invited into the IEC pool, especially due to the 20 day deadline for submitting your application.

    The required documents include;

    • A bank account statement or other document that proves you have the finances to be stable for your first 3 months within Canada
    • A police certificate
    • A valid irish passport or travel document
    • A CV
    • All completed forms
    • Digital photographs
    • Proof of health insurance, needed at the port of entry
    • A copy of a certificate from your recognised organisation, if applicable
    • Proof of a medical exam, if applicable

    Let it be noted, medical exams are only necessary if you have lived or travelled within certain countries in the 6 months previous to your application. They may also be necessary if you plan to work in healthcare, childcare, elderly care or education.

    What are the Costs and the Processing Times?

    All applicants will be required to pay the IEC participation fee which is CAN$156. You will also need to pay the open work permit holder fee of CAN$100.

    If your application is rejected, you will likely receive a refund. However, if false information is provided or information is left out, you will not be refunded. It will also be required for you to pay a biometrics fee of CAN$85.

    Typically, the IRCC takes 8 weeks to process this visa type. However, it could be longer than this due to workloads and other factors. During the waiting period, you may be asked to attend an interview with an immigration officer.

    Once your application is approved, you can then purchase a plane ticket and health insurance.

    If you have any questions about your Working Holiday Visa, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The maximum length of time one can stay is 24 months. However, you may not be approved to stay in Canada for this length of time. For example, if your passport is only valid for 12 more months, you will only be approved to remain in the country for 12 months or less.

                You first must check your eligibility, to ensure you fit all the criteria. You then must create an IEC profile and wait for an invitation into the IEC pool. From here, you can submit your application, upload your documents, fill out the online forms and pay your fees. You will also have to provide biometrics, and wait for approval.

                The IRCC does not require you to hold a job offer in order to obtain this visa. You may begin your job search when you leave Ireland or when you have been approved and arrive within Canada.