The Adventures of 2 Aussies


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How to apply to live in Canada for a working holiday

How to Apply

When first applying you will need to head to the CIC website. You can go directly there by clicking on this link:

Before you apply you will need to determine what type of VISA you want to apply for. There are three options:

  1. Working Holiday
  2. Young Professionals
  3. International Co-op Internship

* Please note that each experience is different and application processes can differ between. This post is how to apply for “Working Holiday”

To determine what each experience means click on this link:


Phase 1: Take the Questionnaire

CIC have created a questionnaire called “Come to Canada” This can be accessed through the “Become a Candidate” section located in the first link given above. You will not be able to apply for a VISA until you have completed this step as when creating your “IEC Profile” you will need a personal reference code that looks like this: JM1234567890


Phase 2: Create and complete your IEC profile

MyCIC is where you will need to access everything to do with your VISA. If your “Come to Canada” questionnaire comes back with a green light then it will prompt you to MyCIC to create an account. From there you can complete and submit your IEC profile. You will need your Passport and personal reference code. Examples of the questions you will need to answer:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Contact information
  • Residency

Once profile has been submitted now you need to wait for phase 3.


Phase 3: The Pools

You are now in the pools. But wait… you have a little bit longer to go. The pools are only just the beginning.

Once you are in the pools, you can sit in there for up to a year from the day you applied. For countries like Australia, there are unlimited quotas. But for others there is a cut off point. Rounds of invitations are sent out and every week or so once this is done CIC will update the number of spots available.

Check out the link:

Here is where you play the waiting game. From our experience, Grant and I applied and were accepted into the pools at the same time. However Grant received an invitation to apply within a week and was given his POE (Port of Entry) letter 2 weeks later. My experience was a little different as I waited for nearly 2 months to be invited to apply.

While you are waiting for your invitation it is very important that you get all the right documents ready as your invitation has to be completed within 20 days.

Document Checklist:

  • Police Check
  • Medical Exams (Required if you plan to work with Children)
  • Proof of Finances (Need equivalent of $2500 to prove you have funds to cover expenses in Canada)
  • Scan of your Passport
  • Photo of your self


Phase 4: The Invitation

If you have reached this phase congratulations! The waiting game when it comes to receiving an invite can either go one or two ways… Fast or Slow.

Now that you have received your invitation to apply you need to either accept or decline your invite. You have 10 days to do this and make your decision. Once you have accepted you will have 20 days to complete the application and that’s why as stated above you will need to have your documents ready. There is a fee when applying for your Working VISA which is CAD$100. If you are unsuccessful in your application CIC will refund you.

Now we sit back and play the waiting game alllllllllllllll over again….


Phase 5: The Verdict

Okay, so this it. This is what is going to determine the next two years of your life. If you have received your approval status from CIC CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

It is the best feeling after all the waiting and stressing out you have done to finally be here with your application approved.

Once you have been approved, CIC will send you a POE (Port of Entry) letter, which is basically just advising that you have been approved for a Working Holiday Visa. I know… just this one piece of paper determines it all! You will find this in your CIC account and I would also save it to your computer as well. This letter will be valid for a year to enter in the country and activate your VISA. Please note that this POE letter is not your VISA. Upon your arrival you will be issued a Working Visa by a customs officer at the point of your arrival. After all that its time to start preparing for your arrival!

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