Working Holiday Visa Canada: IEC Canada Visa BUNAC

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Working Holiday (IEC) Visa Canada

To work in Canada you need a work permit from ‘International Experience Canada’ (the IEC) who are the immigration and citizenship department of the Canadian Government. A limited number of work permits are available each year so it’s important to apply early and ensure your application is accurate, for your best chance of being allocated one.

COVID-19 visa changes for 2021

  • Working Holiday visa applications for Canada opened on the 1st March.
  • The 2021 IEC application process has been revised due to COVID-19. You will need to provide proof of a job offer before being issued with an invitation to apply (ITA). An Invitation to apply is the document you need to start a work permit application.

Eligibility

Nationality & age Visa Status Visa duration
American - 18-35 years old Applications opened on the 9th March 2021 - limited visas Up to 12 months
Australian - 18-35 years old Applications opened on the 1st March - unlimited visas Up to 24 months
British - 18-35 years old (31- 35 years old – eligible for BUNAC Recognized Organisation programme – see below). Applications opened on the 1st March - 5,000 visas Up to 24 months
German - 18-35 years old To be announced Up to 12 months
Irish - 18-35 years old Applications opened on the 1st March - 10,500 visas Up to 24 months
New Zealand - 18-35 years old Applications opened on the 10th March - 2,500 visas Up to 23 months

If you hold a passport of another nationality, please head to the International Experience Canada website to check your eligibility.

All nationalities: Have no criminal convictions in the past 5 years

Visa costs

  • Visa cost - $253 CAD
  • Biometrics appointment cost $85 CAD
  • Support Funds required $2500 CAD (Americans don't need support funds)

How can BUNAC help?

BUNAC are the experts on all things Canada. With over 35 years’ experience helping young people to work in Canada, we will guide you through the visa process to make it as simple as possible. The following visa support is included as part of both the Essentials and Ultimate programs:

  • Step-by-step visa guidelines on your personal BUNAC online account, allowing you to submit your visa application correctly first time
  • Access to regular webinars providing you; travel updates, visa process tips and information about working in Canada
  • Access to an exclusive Work Canada Facebook group, allowing you to meet like-minded travellers before you depart
  • Email alerts throughout the IEC season guiding you through each step

Please note that the IEC visa application is made directly through the Canadian High Commission. Take a look at the other pre-departure and in-country inclusions on the Essentials and Ultimate programs.

FAQs- IEC Visa

What is the IEC?

International Experience Canada (the IEC) are the immigration and citizenship department of the Canadian Government. They are responsible for issuing the Work Permit which allows you to work in Canada.

When should I apply?

The annual opening date for the IEC visa selection pool can vary each year and depends on your nationality. Check the table above to see if visa applications are open for your country for 2021. You can enter the IEC pool as soon as it opens, however you won’t receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) until you submit a job offer form.

What does 'entering the pool' mean?

In order to be in with a chance of obtaining an IEC visa, you must submit your application to a pool of candidates looking to do the same. Once you submit your job offer form the IEC then choose candidates at random to accept an 'Invitation to Apply' for the visa and to submit a full application within a specified time frame. Don't worry too much about the process - we will walk you through it step-by-step once you are on the Work Canada program.

What is an invitation to apply?

An Invitation to apply is the document you need before starting your work permit application.


RO (recognized organization) programme

The RO (recognized organization) letter is an exclusive visa programme for those not eligible for the regular IEC Working Holiday visa. This programme is open to.

  • UK Passport holders aged between 31 –35 years old
  • A returning IEC participant that has already done their regular IEC Working Holiday visa - UK passport holders

The 2021 allocation of RO letters is now sold out. Please add your details to our wait list. For more information please see below in the FAQ section.

FAQs- RO (Recognized Organization) Letter

How can I get an RO letter?

The 2021 allocation of RO letters is now sold out. Please add your details to our wait list. For more information please see below in the FAQ section.

Why does BUNAC have access to “Recognized Organization" letters?

BUNAC are partnered with SWAP, an organization that has been allocated "RO Letters" ("Recognized Organization" letters). This means that BUNAC can provide a limited number of applicants with a RO Letter who ordinarily would not meet the criteria of the IEC Work permit program.

  • Age 31-35 years old
    or
  • A returning IEC participant that has already done their regular IEC Working Holiday visa
How much is the RO programme?

There are two programme options to choose from :

  • Work Canada Recognised Organization Essentials - £629
  • Work Canada Recognised Organization Ultimate - £769

These include the same inclusions as our normal Work Canada Essentials and Work Canada Ultimate programs, plus the RO Letter which allows you to have an IEC Pool Nomination.

Please note that the amount must be paid upfront and in full - we will not take deposits. As with our regular Work Canada programs this cost covers the support program, and the RO Letter. This price does not include the cost of the visa itself, the ACRO Police Check, Support Funds and Biometrics Appointment. For a full breakdown of other costs please see our Work Canada Costs page.

Why is the RO programme more expensive than the regular Work Canada program?

The Work Canada RO programme is more expensive than the standard Work Canada program. This is because of the additional fees associated with the RO Letter issuing process.