Here at STA Travel, along with help from our buddies at working holiday specialists BUNAC, we’ve been sending lots of eager young people to Canada for years; and between us, what we don’t know about Canada isn’t worth knowing. So we’ve invited Sophie from BUNAC to put together this handy all-you-need-to-know guide to working holidays in Canada.
Have you had enough of the humdrum of life here in the UK? Do you want to be more than just a tourist and fully immerse yourself in a completely new country? Would you like to experience a land that is home to Ryan Gosling, Pamela Anderson and maple syrup? If you answered ‘yes’ to the following questions, then this blog will help turn your Canadian dreams into a reality.
If you’re considering a working holiday in Canada, or have already decided to take the plunge and go for it, this blog will help you with all those unanswered questions.
Essential Questions About Working Holidays in Canada Answered
Step 1: Book an appointment at an STA Travel store
Moving to a foreign country for an extended period of time is a big step, so it’s always best to seek advice from some experts.
Book an appointment at your nearest STA Travel store and speak to a Travel Expert who you can help arrange every aspect of your trip. Travel Experts are on hand to give you advice on everything from visas, to jobs to flights. There is no such thing as a stupid question, so come armed with as many as you can think of!
Step 2: Difficult decision time: Self Placement vs. Full Placement
If you are planning on moving to Canada we’re sure one of your main concerns will be ‘will I get a job?’ At BUNAC we offer the solution to guarantee you the best year of your life (whilst still getting paid!)
What is Full Placement?
Take the stress out of your Canadian job hunt and let us sort out your dream Canadian job on our Full Placement programme. Choose between beautiful locations such as British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario and let us find the right employer for you. To make things even easier, many of our Canadian employers will fly to the UK to attend BUNAC’s Work Canada Ultimate Job Fair with the sole purpose of interviewing you face-to-face. This is a great opportunity for you to get hired on the spot and walk away fist-punching the air, because you have a pre-arranged job in Canada before you’ve even left the UK.
What is Self Placement?
If you want the flexibility of choosing your own job anywhere in Canada then the Self Placement programme is for you. You will gain access to our resource centre’s based in Toronto and Vancouver, who are on hand to offer you assistance with everything from finding your perfect job to setting up a Canadian bank account. They will even set up one-to-one CV consultations with you to make sure your CV is tailored to the Canadian job market, as well as help you look for short-term and long-term accommodation.
Step 3: Get your IEC Work Permit
If you’re planning on working in Canada you’re going to need an IEC Work Permit.
What is an IEC Work Permit?
An IEC (International Experience Canada) work permit is a working holiday visa which allows British citizens aged 18-30, and Irish citizens aged 18-35, to live and work in Canada in Canada for up to 24 months. Each year 5,000 visas are allocated to each the UK and to Ireland. It is an extremely over-subscribed visa, so we encourage you to join the IEC visa pool as early as possible.
Once you join the IEC visa pool, (essentially a group of eligible people who want the visa), rounds of invitations to apply to the visa are sent out at random. Once you receive an invitation to apply, you can begin your formal visa application. BUNAC’s Work Canada programme gives you exclusive access to step-by-step visa guidelines about everything IEC – from how to join the pool, to the documents you need to complete your application correctly.
What are the eligibility requirements for the IEC Work Permit?
You need to be:
• Aged 18-30
• British passport holder
• Have a clean criminal record
How much does an IEC Work Permit cost?
As of 2017, the IEC visa costs $250 CAD, which is approximately £150.
How do I get an IEC Work Permit?
You apply for your IEC Work Permit directly through the Canadian government, but with BUNAC’s expert support built up over the past 25 years, you’ll have the best chance of getting your visa approved.
Once the visa is granted how long do I have to use it?
Once you have received your letter of introduction (or Point of Entry letter) stating that your Canadian Work Permit has been granted you can travel to Canada as soon as you like to start your adventure. Bear in mind you only have 12 months to enter Canada from the issue date on your PoE to activate your visa.
How many IEC Work Permits can I have in a lifetime?
You can only have one IEC Work Permit in a lifetime, unless you are a British and an Irish citizen, in which case you could have two (as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.)
Step 4: Start Saving
Do I need to have a certain amount of money in my account to be allowed into the country?
Upon arriving into Canada you will need to have proof of funds of at least $2,500 CAD. You may be asked to provide evidence of this in the form of a recent bank statement.
Step 5: Enjoy Canada!
If you have followed steps 1-4 an amazing year in Canada awaits you. After the year is up you will have created memories that will last a lifetime, have gained more confidence then you thought possible and be itching for your very next adventure.