Work Canada Visa & Eligibility

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At a Glance

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Duration

Eligibility

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 amount of visas are available each year so it’s important to apply as soon as possible for your best chance of being allocated a work permit.

We can then help you get a seasonal job at outstanding resorts in Canada before you go or other jobs when you arrive.

COVID-19 visa changes for 2021

  • The 2021 IEC visa application process has been revised due to COVID-19. You will need to provide proof of a job offer, to be issued with an invitation to apply (ITA). An Invitation to apply is the document you need to start a work permit application.
  • BUNAC are working with our Work Canada Ultimate winter employers on this new requirement and we’ll be able to share more details about securing a job on our pre-placement programme soon.

Check our Travel Advice page for up-to-date information on Canada and applying for your working holiday visa.

Eligibility

British, Irish and German passport holders

Question Eligibility
How long does the visa last? Up to 24 months
How old must I be? 18-30 inclusive for UK passports, 18-35 inclusive for Irish and German passports
How many times can I get the visa? Once in your lifetime
How much does the visa cost? $253 CAD
How much does a biometrics appointment cost? $85 CAD
How much do I need to have available in my bank account as support funds? $2,500 CAD
How many visas are usually allocated? 5,000 for the UK, 7,700 for Ireland (subject to change)

American passport holders

  • Please note : BUNAC have a limited quota of IEC spots for US citizens. Bookings open on the 9th March and early application is encouraged.
Question Eligibility
How long does the visa last? Up to 12 months
How old must I be? 18-35 inclusive
How much do I need in support funds? Not required for US citizens

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

How can BUNAC help?

BUNAC are the experts for all things Canada, and with over 30 years of experience with 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, the first time
  • Access to regular webinars, giving you updates, information and tips about the visa process & working in Canada
  • Access to an exclusive Work Canada Facebook group, allowing you to meet like-minded travelers before you depart.
  • Email and text message alerts throughout the IEC season, alerting you to what you need to do next
  • Already got your visa? Great! BUNAC can help you land a seasonal job at outstanding resorts in Canada before you go, other other jobs when you arrive

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 of the IEC visa pool can vary year on year but the opening can usually be expected any time between October and April. We recommend that you sign up to BUNAC's Work Canada program as soon as it opens each autumn, so that you are fully prepared for the release date.

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. 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 talk you through the process step-by-step once you are on the Work Canada program.

Can I apply for an IEC visa with an Isle of Man passport?

Unfortunately Isle of Man passport holders are not eligible to apply for an IEC visa.

Will I need a biometrics appointment?

Yes - UK passport holders who are selected out of the IEC visa pool and have submitted a complete application to the IEC will need to attend a biometrics appointment at a Canada Visa Application Centre, to give their fingerprints and photos. Please note that currently these appointments can only be done at the Canada Visa Application Centre in London (nearest station: Liverpool Street). Please make sure you factor the need and cost for this, and also the cost of your travel to London for this appointment.

US passport holders will not need to complete a biometrics appointment.


RO (recognized organization) Letters

BUNAC are partnered with SWAP Working Holidays in Canada and are now able to offer a limited number of RO Letters to UK passport holders. The 2021 allocation of RO letters will open on the 16th March at 10am (GMT). For more information please see below. in the FAQ section – including pricing for this service.

FAQs- RO (Recognized Organization) Letter

Why does BUNAC have IEC Pool Nomination?

BUNAC are partnered with SWAP, an organization that has been allocated a number of "RO Letters" ("Recognized Organization" letters). This means that BUNAC is able to provide applicants with a RO Letter on our new Work Canada IEC Pool Nomination programs. If you book onto our Work Canada IEC Pool Nomination programs you will receive RO assistance to be nominated for selection from the UK IEC visa pool.

How can I get an IEC Pool Nomination?

This programme will open on the 16th March at 10am (GMT). Please call the office to secure your space. They will not be available to reserve online. We are expecting the places to be in high demand and fill up quickly.

How much does an IEC Pool Nomination cost?

There are two program options to choose from :

  • Work Canada IEC Pool Nomination Essentials - £569
  • Work Canada IEC Pool Nomination Ultimate - £699

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.

If I choose an IEC Nomination program but change my mind, can I get a refund?

No. Once a RO Letter has been allocated to you, it can then only be used by you. If you change your mind, or can no longer use your RO Letter to receive your IEC visa, you will not be able to get any costs refunded.

Why is the IEC Pool Nomination program more expensive than the regular Work Canada program?

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

How do I know if I'm eligible for an RO/ IEC Pool Nomination

You will need to meet the following eligibility for an RO Letter / IEC Pool Nomination;

  • Age 31-35 years old or
  • A returning IEC participant that has already done their regular IEC Working Holiday visa