Planning a working holiday to Canada can be stressful and confusing – especially if you’ve never lived overseas. That’s’ where we come in! We’ve been sending Aussies on working holidays to Canada for over 20 years! We are the experts and are happy to answer any of your questions!

When going heading on a gap year to Canada there are so many things to consider; when do I have to travel? Where will I live? How do I find a job in Canada? How do I get a visa? How much does it cost… and so on! We recommend you review our Work Canada FAQ below to learn more about working and living in Canada with IEP.

If we don’t answer your questions here just give us a call on 1300 797 702 or contact us here.


What happens when I first get to Canada?

When you first arrive in Canada you will have your initial accommodation booked at a hostel. You will attend an orientation where we will review all the vital information that will allow you to find work and accommodation.

If I go on the program, what do I get?

The Work Canada program is full support. This means that before you even leave the country you will have assistance in obtaining the working holiday visa, access to our expert travel materials to prepare you for your trip and have the assistance from our staff to answer any questions you may have. Once we have sent your arrival details to our Canadian partner, SWAP, you will have access to the online member’s website where you can find job listings, accommodation postings, information on Canada and much more. You will also be given access to our closed Facebook group where you can meet other travellers on the program! This is a great place to meet future flat mates, ask questions and see where others are working and travelling!

Upon arrival to Canada you will have your initial accommodation booked at a hostel in either Vancouver or Toronto – your choice. Please note that a surcharge applies to Toronto accommodation bookings. In both Toronto & Vancouver IEP has an inbound centre where you will attend an orientation in which our staff will; assist you in obtaining a tax file number & opening a bank account, review your CV format and help with finding work and accommodation. They can also help with travel and transportation, mobile phones, Canadian culture, tax and employment laws and much more!

The inbound centres are equipped with computers, internet, fax, printers and phones. You will have access to up to date job postings and accommodation listings. Throughout the year inbound centres host seasonal job fairs where employers come to our offices to interview you face to face. There is also a bi-weekly email that you will receive that has job listings, events and other important information.

We also host social events where you can meet other travellers on the program. Pub meets, ice hockey games, theatre trips, white water rafting and other events are run throughout the year.

Our staff are there to provide you with the support and guidance you need to have a successful working holiday. If you are having problems finding work, feeling homesick, need assistance sorting your mobile phone whatever it is, we are there to help!

When do I have to leave?

There is no set departure time for this program, so you leave when you want to. However you should be using the program within 12 months from with you apply with us. Once the visa has been issued you will have 12 months to enter Canada and activate it.

Do I have to buy insurance through IEP?

No, insurance is not a program requirement. You will need to purchase insurance to go on a working holiday to Canada. IEP have very comprehensive policies that covers a working holiday in Canada and can be tailored to fit any traveller. You will find information and a quote for option one here and the Product Disclosure Statement for option two here. If you would like to obtain a quote for insurance please email [email protected]

How do I find a job?

If you like you can start your job search from Australia. Once we have sent your arrival details to our Canadian partner, SWAP, you will be given access to the online member’s website where you can find job leads and listings. You can start to apply for work if you like or just take a look to see what is available at the moment. Remember that it will be easier to find work when you arrive in Canada as you will have a local address, phone number and be able to meet with employers face to face.

You will have access to plenty of job listings at our inbound centres as well as the assistance from our staff. They will be able to review your CV to make sure it meets the correct format and that there are no grammatical errors. They work with a variety of employers who love hiring our participants.

Career related work is available, but like in Australia it can take a bit longer to find. Our partners in Canada work with a variety of employment agencies that will be able to assist you in your searches. It is quite common for participants to take a casual job to cover expenses until they find something that is more related to their studies or work experience.

What sort of jobs can I do?

All kinds! It depends on what you want to do and how hard you want to look for employment. Many of our participants find work in the tourism and hospitality industries (for example, in restaurants, pubs and hotels), where Canadian employers are willing to offer temporary work. You can also get work experience in a variety of other fields such as science, law, education, commerce or administration.

There are a few restrictions which can only be removed by undergoing a medical examination as part of your Working Holiday visa application. Your work permit will be subject to the following condition: “Not authorised to work in 1) child care, 2) primary or secondary school teaching, 3) health services field occupations.

Please be reminded that you will need to meet any relevant Canadian federal or provincial occupation-specific registration or licensing requirements. If you are offered work in construction, in a medical field, as a mechanic or engineer, or in other skilled areas, you should enquire whether there are any provincial licensing or regulatory requirements to be met.

Where will I live?

You will choose where you want to live. Many participants will base themselves in either Toronto or Vancouver as the job prospects are quite good there. Accommodation is readily available and listings can be found on them member’s website as well as in the inbound centres.

There are participants on the Work Canada program from all over the world, so finding a flat mate is a rather easy thing on this program!


Who is eligible for the Work Canada program?

As long as you hold a Australian passport, are between the ages of 18-35yrs and have no criminal convictions (minor convictions may be admissible) you are eligible for the Work Canada program.

Can I apply if I am at university?

Yes you can apply for the Work Canada program if you are at University. For the Canadian Working Holiday Visa you do not need to have student status to be eligible.

We do not recommend that you use your working holiday visa for Canada over your summer holidays. The Canadian working holiday visa is only issued once in a lifetime, so we encourage you to make the most of the visa.


When should I apply for the visa?

It can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to apply for a Canadian Working Holiday visa. Once the visa is issued by Citizenship Immigration Canada you will have 12 months to enter Canada and activate the visa.

Do I need to get my criminal record check?

Yes, you will need to get a criminal record check to obtain a Canadian Working Holiday visa. IEP will send you instructions so you apply for the correct Australian Federal Police Check needed for the visa.

Can I still travel to Canada if I have a criminal conviction?

If you have a criminal conviction you may not be eligible for the visa. Minor offences may be admissible. If you do have any convictions the best thing to do is contact IEP so we can double check your eligibility.

Can I repeat the working holiday visa for Canada?

If you participated in the Canadian working holiday scheme prior to 2015 you may be eligible for a second 24 months. The visa cannot be extended.


Can I travel anywhere in Canada?

Yes the Canadian Working Holiday visa allows you to travel anywhere within Canada!

Can I visit the US while in Canada?

Yes, the working holiday visa for Canada is multiple entry so you can come and go as you please. If you plan to visit the US while living in Canada you will need to ensure you are satisfying US immigration, this may mean you need a visa to visit the US – this something IEP can assist you with before you leave Australia.

Can I travel with my friend/partner?

Yes you can travel with a friend or partner. When you apply for the program, just let us know your travel plans and we will make it happen.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes you will need travel insurance while you are in Canada for your entire intended stay.

Will I have the opportunity to meet other people on the program before I leave?

Absolutely! We have a closed Facebook group where you can meet your fellow travellers all before you leave Australia. This is a great way to ask questions, meet future flat mates as well as see what others are doing in Canada.

Can I drive in Canada on my licence?

You can drive in Canada on your Australia licence for up to 3 months. It is recommended that you get a international drivers licence before you leave. Once in Canada it is best to check with the Province you are residing in to learn more about the local licensing laws.


Do I have to book my flight through STA Travel?

No, it is not a program requirement that you book a flight with STA Travel. We recommend that you speak with STA Travel. STA Travel’s core purpose is to make travel as affordable and as attainable for young people as possible. And it’s not just about offering cheap flights. STA Travel offers real value with the expert knowledge, flexibility and features our travellers want.

Contact STA Travel’s Working Holiday branch at 1300 850 485 or email [email protected]

Do I need a return or onward ticket?

You need to either be travelling on a return/onward passage ticket, or have additional proof of funds to show you can purchase such a ticket. If you are travelling on a one way then we would encourage you to have at least another CAD$1000-$1500 on top of the CAD$2500 proof of funds you need for the visa.


How do I apply for Work Canada?

To apply all you need to do is visit here and fill out the required contact details and make the application payment of $695. Once that is done we will be in touch to start on the Canadian Working Holiday Visa as well as provide you with our expert travel materials.

When should I apply?

At a minimum you should allow for 8-12 weeks. You can apply early and let us know when you want to depart. We will plan everything accordingly so you can leave when you want. It is also a great way to break up fees i.e. program fee, visa fee, insurance, flights.

How do I find out more information?

The best place to find out more is here on the website! We also host information sessions throughout the country and this is a great way to learn more. If you cannot make it to an info session you can give us a call at 1300 797 702, contact us here or find us on Facebook

Thought of a question we haven’t answered above? If you would like some clarification on anything at all, fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch within 1-2 working days, by phone and email, to answer any questions you might have.

Enquire About Work Canada