2016 IEC Visa Process

IEC Visa

Updates for the 2016 IEC Visa Process

The CIC has certainly been switching things up! If you’ve not yet heard, they have overhauled the entire visa application process. Never fear – we’ve done our research and this is what we know:


There is a new phase that is being introduced for all 2016 IEC applications. This is called the “pools” phase. A pool refers to a country and category – for example; “Australian: Working Holiday” is one pool, and “Australian: Young Professional” is another.

Depending on your eligibility, which is determined by the “Come to Canada” questionnaire, you may be able to enter one or more pools. Once you’ve entered, you will be in this pool for 1 year. You gotta’ sit tight at this stage and wait to be selected. If you’re selected, you’ll receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply). If you accept, you’ll have 20 days to pay your fees and submit your application.


Random Selection

In contrast to what’s happened in the past, you may be relieved to hear that the process is no longer controlled by how quickly you can type and click a few buttons. (Insert relieved emoji)

Candidates who meet the IEC visa criteria and submit a profile will be accepted into one or more pools of potential candidates.

Eligible candidates will be invited from the pools to apply for a work permit at regular intervals throughout the year and in numbers that are in line with periods of high demand. Rounds of invitations will take place until there are no more spots available.

According to the CIC “As long as you submit your profile before the date of the last round of invitations for your country, you may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a work permit.” The CIC will give 5 days notice before the final round of invitations are announced, thus closing the pools.

BUT as always with the Working Holiday Visa, there’s no guarantees.

!! Opening dates !! (Super early we know, buuuut we’re not complaining!)

Prospective candidates can submit profiles to pools any time after the dates below.

You will be in the pool(s) for one year from the day you enter, or until CIC removes all of the profiles. This is expected to occur once quotas for specific countries and categories have been met.

Updated: September 2016 – Number of working holiday visas available.

  • Australia: Nov 30 *open
  • Austria: Dec 4
  • Belgium: Nov 30 *open
  • Chile: Dec 2 *open
  • Costa Rica: Dec 2 *open
  • Croatia: Nov 30 *open
  • Czech Republic: Dec 4
  • Denmark: Nov 30 *open
  • Estonia: Nov 30 *open
  • France: Dec 1 *open
  • Germany: Dec 5
  • Greece: Dec 4
  • Hong Kong: Dec 6
  • Ireland: Dec 3 *open
  • Italy: Dec 4
  • Japan: Dec 7
  • Korea: Dec 7
  • Latvia: Nov 30 *open
  • Lithuania: Nov 30 *open
  • Netherlands: Nov 30 *open
  • New Zealand: Nov 30 *open
  • Norway: Nov 30 *open
  • Poland: Nov 30 *open
  • Slovakia: Nov 30 *open
  • Slovenia: Nov 30 *open
  • Spain: Dec 4
  • Sweden: Nov 30 *open
  • Switzerland: Nov 30 *open
  • Taiwan: Dec 6
  • UK: Nov 30 *open

For more updates – like us on Facebook! 🙂

Step 1: Creating your IEC Profile & Submitting your Application into the pools Step 2: What to do once you've received your ITA (Invitation to Apply) The Number of Invitations per Country The End of the IEC 2016 Program & the Beginning of the 2017 Program


  • Stephen Horton says:

    Dear Sir / Madam

    My wife and I would like to come and work in Canada and we are looking fro information as to how best we can go about this.

    Any information you could provide us with would be most appreciated.


  • James Webb says:

    Hi, I am Australian and currently on a working holiday visa with Canada. I have had to return home for family reason and wish to return back to Canada next year.

    My visa is valid until February 2017, Am i able able for a renewal?
    any information to help me would be greatly appreciated!


    • JFrench says:

      Hi James, thanks for your message!
      Yes I believe Aussies are able to apply for 2 or 3 working holiday visas. It used to be unlimited, but this year it changed!
      Cheers, Jane 🙂

      • James Webb says:

        Awesome thanks!

        Do you know how soon i can apply? or is there a certain date before the expiration?

      • JFrench says:

        You can apply right now if you wish, however just be aware that once you’re invited to apply and receive your POE, you’ll have 1 year to use it. So if your current visa expires in Feb 2017, you could definitely start applying now! 🙂

      • James Webb says:

        Awesome, thanks for your assistance! application is done is in haha

      • JFrench says:

        Great news! Hope you get the invite 🙂

  • Felixia says:

    Hi! My country(Malaysia) isn’t listed, but there is a organisation that works with SWAP Canada. Do I have to go through that organisation or can I still apply myself?

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Felixia,

      You don’t have to go through that organisation, you can apply by yourself if you wish! 🙂
      If you have questions for SWAP – you can contact them by emailing vancouver@swap.ca
      Best of luck!

  • Milena says:


    I’m from Brazil and it’s not a country with a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada, but in my researches I read that in this cases I could get this visa through a “Recognized organization”, do you know how this works?

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Milena, thanks for your message!
      Yes, you can contact any one of these organisations to help you to secure a visa for Canada. http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/ros.asp
      The organisations offer different opportunities, I would recommend looking at SWAP Working Holidays, Go International, StepWest and INTERNeX!
      Good luck! 🙂

  • Mark says:

    I Was wondering when they start officially giving ITA for the uk WHP?

    Kind Regards

  • Mex says:


    I’m an Australian and I went through the eligibility process of the working holiday visa. I’ve been declined and I’m not sure why. Do I need to have a job offer?? I just want to work at a bar for a few months! I didn’t think process was painful!

    • JFrench says:

      Hey Mex,

      Thanks for getting in touch! No, you don’t need a job offer to get a working holiday visa. Have you tried it a second time? It could just be an error, normally for Australians there shouldn’t be a problem unless you have participated twice before in this category?

      Hope this helps!
      Jane 🙂

  • Scott says:

    I have applied for the working holiday Visa from Australia with my wife applying as well.
    Is there an eta on wait times etc? Planning on coming in September. Do you see this being an issue?

    Also, is there the potential for only one of us to get invited and not the other?

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Scott,

      As this is the first year for the new WH Visa process, times waiting times are a little unknown. At the moment they are saying 8 weeks for Working Holiday, Young Professional and Co-op visas.

      It is possible that one person may not receive the visa, however being from Australia does reduce this risk! 🙂 I don’t think it’s something that you should dwell on too much. Best of luck with the process 🙂 Jane

  • Laura J Howarth says:

    Hi There,

    If you have 20 days to gather your info and documents, how are you meant to get a police check from the country’s you have lived in previously? I Would need to get one from Australia, Canada ( lived there for 4 years) and now I’m in Ireland wanting to apply again. To get a police check from Canada takes 22 weeks!!. But the thing is it needs to valid within 6 months of issuing the police check. Can you still apply and have 20 day but not give all the documents until they arrive? And at this stage will it be too late?
    Thanks for you help

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Laura,

      Have you received your ITA? To answer your question it’s a bit of a guessing game. Some people apply for the police checks a little bit before the ITA is issued, however there is the possibility that it will go out of date. Another option would be to submit a letter of explanation showing that you’ve applied for the police certificate but that you won’t have it in time. See our blog here: http://workingholidayincanada.com/invitation-to-apply/

      Are you sure that you require a police check for Canada? We’ve never heard of this!

      Hope this helps! Jane

  • Mary says:

    Hello, thank you for your useful article.
    I’m from Italy, so I have to wait untill 6th December 2016 to apply for working holiday visa? And after that I have to wait the invitation from CIC?
    Thank you so much,

  • Raimundo Morel says:


    I would like to apply to the work and holiday visa, but I’d like to go with my girlfriend.. If we both apply at the same time, could we get the ITA at the same time? Is there any way that we both could get the ITA at similar times?
    We both are from Chile 🙂
    Thanks for your help

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Raimundo! Thanks for getting in touch.
      It’s possible that you will both get your ITA’s at the same time, but very hard to know and honestly it is quite unlikely. The IEC choose at random, so you or your girlfriend would have a small chance of being chosen at the same time. However, you have 1 year to activate your visa once you get your ITA, so there is some time for you or your girlfriend to wait until you both have the ITA!
      Hope this helps, Jane 🙂

  • Malcolm says:

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the article! Just a quick question, how many IEC work permit’s can you apply for?
    I’m an Australian and have already started my first work permit on July 15 2015. I’ve already worked and spent 6 months in Canada, but have come home for a period and now looking to go back. My current visa expires July 2017, would I be able to apply for another visa? If so, how?


    • JFrench says:

      Hi Malcolm!

      Thanks for getting in touch. As an Australian, you can apply 3 times for the IEC working holiday visa! You can apply for the second visa, firstly, by using the eligibility tool (this is just common practise but you should be eligible). You’ll get a number from this helping you to move forward. You should then create an IEC profile and you will be added to the pool. Once you receive an ITA (invitation to apply), you’ll have a number of days to respond with all the information they are looking for, and to pay your fee of $250 🙂

      Hope this helps!

  • Sarah Walsh says:


    I am from ireland and planning on going to canada in may 2017 with two friends to do a working visa. Is the pool for 2017 open now or do I have to wait tilll next year to apply?

    Thanks 🙂

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Sarah,

      Thanks for getting in touch! I have just checked for you (using this tool: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/selections.asp?country=ie&cat=wh), and as of August 9th, there is an excellent chance that you and your friends (if they are also Irish), will receive an invitation to apply. So it’s worth it for you all to apply as soon as possible, and then once you actually have the visa invitation, you have 1 year to use it. This will give you time to plan flights etc for next May.

      Best of luck!

  • Parsa says:

    Hi ,
    I’m from England 33 years old.any chance on my age apply for Canada work and holidy visa. Because I find out on cic 18/30 years old eligible to apply for that type of visa (w&h)
    Do I have any chance on age 33 ?
    Thanks ☺

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Parsa,
      Unfortunately it’s not possible to apply for a Working Holiday Visa if you are over 31 and a UK citizen. There are other ways to gain entry to Canada, but they are a little more difficult. If you can secure a job from an employer in Canada, this is another way. Generally they will need to sponsor you to get a work permit for Canada. Perhaps it’s a good idea for you to get in touch with some visa agencies – we would recommend you contact SWAP.ca, and they should be able to give you some other definitive options.
      All the best, Jane 🙂

  • Jonas Dunkan says:

    Hi there helpful Canadians,

    As a 34 year old Dane (35 by July 30th 2017) I plan on going for a working holiday as soon as possible.
    When can I apply for an invitation?
    And what are my chances to get an invitation before (8 weeks) before my birthday next year?

    Also, I am unsure what you mean by this:
    Denmark: Nov 30 *open
    Will the pool for 2017 open Nov 30?

    Hope you can help me 🙂 Thanks Jonas

    • JFrench says:

      Hey Jonas!
      Thanks for getting in touch 🙂
      That’s awesome, you can actually apply today. They pools have just opened, so this means that you can create a new profile, and submit it into the pools. Then you gotta sit tight & wait for an invitation. It’s hard to say what are the chances of getting an invitation – however, I would say right now that everyone that applies has a fair chance of getting an invitation!

      The other question, sorry that is confusing. It’s in relation to the 2016 visa year. I will update this shortly to show the 2017 dates!

      Best regards,

  • Emanuele says:

    Hi, I’m from Italy and I would like to apply for the working holiday visa 2017. I would like to know when the pool will be open. Thank you. 🙂

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Emanuele!
      The pools have opened today 🙂 You can create your profile and submit it into the pools today! Good luck!

  • Melinda says:

    Hi Jane,

    I was accepted into Canada, but am now struggling to find a 2 year health insurance provider for Australian residents. I am currently in the UK doing a working holiday visa.

    Can you please suggest some providers?

    Many thanks,

  • Pan says:

    Hello I am from chile and I am already in the working holiday pool with my Chilean passport , I have dual citizenship so I have passport from Croatia too and I am wondering if I can apply for Croatia too in the same time. Thanks

    • JFrench says:

      Hey Pan,
      I would hold off on applying with your Croatian passport for the moment. It’s likely that you’ll receive an invitation with your Chilean passport, but if you don’t you should have some time to apply with your Croatian one 🙂

  • Michal says:

    Hello Jane,

    I got my invitation for Working holiday visa in December – allready uploaded all my documents and payed for it. I would like to go with my girlfriend but she didn´t get invitation yet. Just simple question – is it a problem if I registred for both our applications same email?

    Thank you,

    Michal 🙂

    • JFrench says:

      Hi Michal!

      Thanks for getting in touch & congrats on getting your visa.

      I presume your girlfriend has started a new application for the 2017 visa year? (meaning if you both applied last year, and your girlfriend didn’t get it, then she should apply again and open a new account).

      Regarding your email question, this shouldn’t be affecting her application.

      Best of luck!
      Jane 🙂

  • Sarah says:

    Hi Jane

    I am an Australian with dual UK citizenship but turning 31 on 10th of April. I’m already in the pool for Aus working holiday but due to a huge increase of candidates my chances have dropped from excellent to very low. I was wondering if I can apply as a UK citizen in that pool as well given I only have a month until I’m too old? Would I be disqualified from being in two working holiday pools please?

    Thanks, Sarah

    • JFrench says:

      Hey Sarah!
      That’s hard to know, because right now both are quite low. But from prior years, Australia has always been the country where it’s easiest to get a visa – because there are unlimited visas. It’s not a good idea to have two applications at the same time, but you could withdraw your Australian and try a UK application instead. Although please note that it’s not a given that you will receive a visa.
      Best of luck!
      Jane 🙂

  • Jack says:

    Hi Jane,

    Thanks for the great article! I’m an Australian that’s been in the IEC- WH pool since mid Feb, do you think it’s it likely I’ll get my visa before my flight on the 28th April? Am I guaranteed to get one because I’m Australian? I’m a little worried I won’t get a working visa by the time I turn 31 in October.

    Kind regards,


    • JFrench says:

      Hey Jack!
      Thanks for the kind words 🙂
      That’s a bit of a tight schedule you’re working with. Have you been selected from the pools or are you still at this stage? If you are still in the pools, the chances of everything being processed before your flight is slim. However – it’s possible to apply for your visa from within Canada, it just means you’re not able to work without it. You could always plan to vacation a little bit when you get there!? Best of luck with it!

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