International Experience Canada (IEC) program’s Working Holiday Visa (WHV) – Copy

International Experience Canada (IEC) program’s Working Holiday Visa (WHV) – Copy

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Become a Part of the Maple Leaf Family with IEC WHV for Irish, British, Australian and New Zealand Passport Holders

Are you a young adult with an adventurous spirit and a desire to experience new cultures? Have you ever dreamed of living and working in Canada, the land of maple leaves, poutine, and friendly people? Look no further than the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, specifically the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and Young Professional Visa options. This program allows Irish, British, Australian, and New Zealand passport holders among a host of other nationalities on a particular list of countries who hold an IEC agreement with Canada to gain valuable international work experience while immersing themselves in Canadian culture. Not only is it a fantastic opportunity to explore a new country, but it can also be a potential starting point for becoming a permanent resident of Canada. 

Canada is known for its inclusive society, diverse landscapes, and thriving job market. The IEC WHV and Young Professional Visa gives you the chance to not only work and travel in Canada but also to connect with the welcoming Canadian people. Whether you’re interested in working in a bustling city like Toronto or Vancouver, exploring the stunning natural beauty of Banff National Park and Western Canada overall, the IEC program opens doors to countless possibilities. 

In this blog post, we will walk you through the eligibility requirements, considerations, process, fees, and required documents for the IEC WHV and Young Professional Visa. We will also explore the potential pathway to permanent residency that this program presents. So, get ready to make your Canadian dreams a reality and become a part of the Maple Leaf family with the IEC WHV for Irish, British, Australian, and New Zealand passport holders. 

Eligibility and Considerations

If you’re an adventurous young adult with dreams of living and working in Canada, the International Experience Canada (IEC) program is your ticket to make those dreams come true. The program offers two main options for eligible passport holders: the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and the Young Professional Visa. But before you start packing your bags, it’s important to understand the eligibility requirements and considerations. 

To be eligible for the IEC program, you must: 

  • be between the ages of 18 and 35, (30 for some countries) 
  • have a valid passport from one of the eligible countries and 
  • meet certain health and legal character requirements  

It’s also essential to carefully consider factors such as finances, travel insurance, housing, and job opportunities before embarking on your Canadian adventure. Having a criminal record or even a serious medical issue may be a barrier to this, so be sure to consult a professional before applying in case you are inadmissible to Canada. 

Keep in mind that the IEC program is managed by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and it’s important to familiarize yourself with their rules and regulations. So, before you dive headfirst into the exciting world of working and living in Canada, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and consider all the necessary considerations to ensure a successful and rewarding experience. 

Process, Fees and Required Documents

Once you meet the eligibility requirements and have carefully considered all aspects of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, it’s time to dive into the process, fees, and required documents for the Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and Young Professional Visa.

The process for obtaining the IEC WHV or Young Professional Visa involves several steps. First, you need to create an account on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website called a GCkey and complete the Come to Canada questionnaire to determine your eligibility. Once you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will have 20 days to submit your application after accepting the invitation, pay the necessary fees, and provide the required documents.

Speaking of fees, it’s important to note that the IEC program has application processing fees.

  • $100 open work permit fee
  • $85 for biometrics and;
  • participation fees ($161 IEC fee)

The application processing fee covers the cost of processing your application, while the participation fee allows you to take part in the program if your application is approved. These fees are non-refundable, so be sure to double-check your eligibility and requirements before submitting your application.

When it comes to required documents, you will need to provide various supporting documents such as

  • your passport that is in date for at least 2 years from when you intend to arrive in Canada,
  • proof of funds $2500CAD minimum to support yourself during your stay in Canada,
  • 2 full years of travel health insurance or for duration of stay depending on passport you hold,
  • Police Certificates to anywhere you lived for 6 months or more in a row and;
  • your Port of Entry letter provided by IRCC on successful approval.

Additional documents may be required based on your specific circumstances, such as a medical depending on your area of potential employment in Canada, so it’s crucial to carefully review the IRCC website for a complete list of required documents. It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have the full health insurance coverage or it will result in a shortened work permit validity that cannot be extended. I would advise strongly not to use the 2-year permit for 2 summers in Canada while on summer break from university as it wastes your one chance you get to use this option.

Navigating the process, understanding the fees, and gathering the necessary documents can be overwhelming for some. However, with thorough research and guidance from IRCC or immigration professionals like a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant or lawyer, you can confidently complete these steps and set yourself on the path to living and working in Canada through the IEC WHV or Young Professional Visa.

Potential Pathway to Permanent Residency

Now that you’re familiar with the eligibility requirements, process, fees, and documents needed for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program’s Working Holiday Visa (WHV) and Young Professional Visa, let’s explore the potential pathway to permanent residency that this program presents.

One of the major benefits of participating in the IEC program is the opportunity it provides for individuals to potentially become permanent residents of Canada. The potential skilled experience gained through working and living in Canada can be valuable when applying for permanent residency through various immigration streams like Express Entry under Canadian Experience Class), Provincial Nominations or maybe you end up meeting a Canadian partner who can sponsor you under Family Class streams as a Common Law Partner or Spouse if eligible. There will be more blog posts to come on these topics individually. IEC participation if carefully considered can open doors to a long-term plan to build a life in Canada for the lucky passport holders who can avail of this that most nationalities cannot. By immersing yourself in Canadian culture, establishing connections, and gaining work experience, you can enhance your chances of securing permanent residency in the future. If you are planning to come to Canada with a long-term view then ensure you have at least a full year of professional experience before coming here, don’t use it for a summer off college, make sure you have post secondary education eve 1 year diploma or trade certificate. Experience and Education are key components of a successful PR application.

Navigating the immigration system can be much more complex than IEC, so it’s advisable to stay informed and seek guidance in some form from IRCC or immigration professionals to maximize your chances of achieving permanent residency. With the potential pathway to permanent residency that the IEC program offers, you can potentially make Canada your long-term home and continue to enjoy the countless opportunities and experiences this diverse and welcoming country has to offer.

Don’t underestimate the potential of IEC Working Holiday Visas!

As someone who came to Canada as a participant of the IEC working holiday program in 2011, I am living proof of how the IEC program can be a great stepping stone to a future in Canada. I went on to become a Permanent Resident of Canada and then a citizen. I went on to study further at the University of British Columbia (UBC), change career, start a business, and met my wife who is Canadian. This country has given me a lot in life, and it all started with a working holiday visa participation. Keeping an open mind on the possibilities from the start played a role in my journey with professional advice.

If you want to plan ahead go to our consultation booking page at or contact directly

About the author

Picture of Niall Carry

Niall Carry

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R517388)
Practicing RCIC since 2017.

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