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May 2014

Want to take a working holiday in Canada?


Just imagine staying in Canada for an extended holiday and still be able to work. That’s the beauty of a working holiday. With a working holiday you can choose where to work and structure your work and travel schedule to see more of the country. You get to learn more about Canadian culture, make new friends, build your resume and learn to work in different trades. Sounds appealing?  Read on and see if you qualify.


Why work in Canada?

Australia and Canada have bilateral relations that allow young Australian citizens to participate in the International Experience Canada programme. Australians who are going to Canada for a Working Holiday, once approved, can stay up to two years, even without an initial work offer.

Except for the different weather patterns, Canada and Australia have many similarities. Canada is also a federal country, with Queen Elizabeth as its head of state. Vast opportunities for work are available for those seeking to work while on a holiday. The standard of living is high and the crime rate is low. Canada, like Australia has mountains, prairies, a long Pacific coastline and beautiful wilderness.

It would be quite easy for Australians to fit in. The majority of the ethnically-diverse population speaks English. Unemployment (2012) is at 7.3% and there is a great demand in biotechnology, social and healthcare, ecommerce and ICT, food services, construction, mining, agriculture, aerospace, chemical manufacturing and accounting and finance.



How to work in Canada

International Experience Canada assists those seeking to work temporarily in Canada during their holiday. There are two options: Recognized Organizations – Employer-Specific or through the Recognized Organizations – Working Holiday Category. Available jobs for Working Holiday include administration, business, engineering, trades, retail, hospitality and tourism and several other professions.

Basic requirements

Australian citizens applying to the have to be between the ages of 18 and 30 at the time your application was received by the International Experience Canada (IEC). To help pay for your expenses during the start of your stay you must have the equivalent of 2,500 Canadian dollars and must have health-care insurance covering the whole period of your stay in Canada. You must not have a criminal record and willing to pay a participation fee, currently at 150 Canadian dollars.



Application process

The application process for a Working Holiday Permit is straightforward. Here are the things you have to do:

  •  Australian applicants must register and create an IEC Kompass account.
  • Prepare scanned or electronic copies of the required documents – your passport and updated version of your resume and other documents required under the category you are applying for.
  • Complete your IEC application and submit it together with the required documents, which will be reviewed.
  • Upload you documents and pay the participation fee.

If you are successful in your application for the Working Holiday category, you will be given a work permit with Open Employer and Open Employment location, meaning you can work for any employer in Canada in any location where a position is available. You can choose to work for only one employer or seek other employment within the 24 months that you are allowed to stay. Do note that the Working Holiday visa and your planes tickets are charged separately.

Upon reaching Canada

Since you have been granted a two-year Working Holiday stay, you are required by Canadian laws to apply for a Social Insurance Number. You are also required to apply for a bank account with a Canadian bank and pay taxes.



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