How to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa

How to apply for Canada work visaFor those considering working in Canada during their travels, the most important thing you’ll need is a Work Permit, otherwise known as a Working Holiday Visa. The process itself can be done by yourself, and you may be able to save some money in the process. However, if you want to kick back and just wait for the application to go through, there are several companies which can do that for you as well.

If you’re considering putting through the application yourself, visit the Foreign Affairs & International Trade website. They have several guides, and online applications that you’ll need to fill out in order to be considered for a working holiday visa. Make sure you have Adobe Reader, as these documents tend to be in .PDF format. There are certain restrictions & some requirements that you must meet in order to be accepted for a working visa.


  • satisfy an officer that you will leave Canada at the end of your employment;
  • show that you have enough money to maintain yourself and your family members in Canada;
  • be law abiding and have no record of criminal activity (you may be asked to provide a police clearance certificate);
  • not be a risk to the security of Canada;
  • be in good health (complete a medical examination, if required);
  • produce any additional documents requested by the officer to establish your admissibility.

The application process can take quite a while, and will require a lot of reading. An application can be rejected for the smallest of reasons, so go through the application at a slow pace and double check everything. Anyone who thought the application could be done in one sitting, I apologize, but that’s very unlikely.Global Backpackers have a Guide for applying for Canadian Working Holiday Visas, I highly recommend you read through it.

working visa permit canadaIf you’re looking to simplify this process as much as humanly possible, I suggest you look into some third party companies who handle this sort of thing on a day to day basis. I personally recommend – I went through SWAP to obtain my Australian & New Zealand Working Holiday Visa. Their prices are very reasonable and it’s probably the easiest way to get a working visa. This program is aimed at students, however young adults can also use their services. They simply ask that you’re between the ages of 18 – 35. You’ll first need to register with their website, but once registered they’ll be able to answer all of your questions and get the application put through for you. They don’t guarantee you’ll be accepted, but they do this for a living, so you have a way better shot at getting accepted through them.

SWAP Working Holidays is a non-profit program that was put in place by the Canadian Federation of Students. It offers young Canadians the chance to travel the world and work along the way. They’ve been doing this for 30 years, helping thousands plan their working holidays. They can also help those from outside of Canada obtain a Canadian work visa and provide you with all the information needed in order to find a job in Canada.

Remember, these application forms can be a headache, but once completed, and should you be accepted, you’ll be able to work in Canada without much of a problem. Hundreds of thousands of foreign travelers come to Canada each year to find a job, so long as you’re patient, you could be one of them.


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7 Responses to “How to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa”

  1. Vi @ Travel Tips
    November 18, 2009 at 11:09 am #

    I think you mean Working Holidays Visas not Work Permits which are not so easy to get in Canada or Australia, as you need to have job offer in first place. You need to be very special in current economic situation. Btw third party companies are good not just for getting visas, but they also helpful when you arrive into country they provide orientation sessions, internet access and prices are very reasonable.
    .-= Vi @ Travel Tips´s last blog ..Internet in Singapore. It is free, but.. =-.

    • Corbin
      November 18, 2009 at 3:15 pm #

      @Vi – Hi there, thanks for reading and leaving the comment. You’re right, I definitely meant Working Holiday Visas. Thanks for the heads up! I changed a few things around in this post because of you. I should hopefully now have the correct information. Much appreciated!

  2. Michelle Hara
    May 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm #

    Love the information you are giving to visitors and potential residents of Canada. I would like to also point out that, if you would like to apply for government medical insurance in Canada, it may not come for a few months. This is where it would be in your favour to get covered by BIIS for time being.

    Travel Insurance

    For more information!
    Michelle Hara

  3. Ashlea
    November 17, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    I’m a Canadian going to Germany on Swap, it’s good to see people going to Canada on the same program!
    .-= Ashlea´s last blog ..Could a Gap Year Abroad be Right For You =-.

  4. Charlotte
    April 7, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

    This is great information for if you are under 35, but if you have a bit more experience, say 40 years old, does that make a lot of difference?

    Would SWAP still be able to help with the application?

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