Working Holiday Visa:
The Canadian Working Holiday Visa programme is managed by a section of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) called International Experience Canada (IEC). Each year they agree a quota of visas with each country that holds a working holiday agreement with Canada. The visa itself permits you to work, live and travel in Canada for 12 months (more for certain countries).
If you want to get your hands on one of these you will have to be between the ages of 18 and 35. You should preferably have no criminal record and present a police record to attest this fact. A quick online interview will also determine whether you are a weirdo or not. Owning a valid passport for the period of your stay will also stand to you and you should have enough money to support yourself on arrival in Canada while you are looking for a job. Begging on the corner of Bloor and Spadina for 12 months is not permitted on this visa. Of course, as mentioned above, your country must also have a working holiday agreement with Canada. See a list of these countries here.
If you are studying in Canada you are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week. To work in Canada as a student you must be enrolled in a registered institution and you must have a social insurance number (SIN) number. To keep up to do with all changes to work and study visa applicants see here.
Applying for your Working Holiday Visa:
You have two options to choose from when applying for your visa.
1.) Apply direct with IEC
If you go with this option, make sure that you read all of the information, instructions and FAQs thoroughly on the IEC website relevant to your country. If you follow the step by step instructions, you should have no problems.
You can then find your own flights and travel insurance. For any further information you need on accommodation, banking, phones etc. you have this website and plenty of alternative resources at your fingertips. IEC publish a great guide for participants coming to Canada on their website.
Finally, for the all important jobs in Canada, browse the jobs sections on our site and register for our jobs fair calendar where you will get the latest information on employers who are hiring and where they are holding their recruitment days across Canada. You will also get access to useful resume templates so you can update that CV/Resume of yours and arrive fully prepared to find that dream job.
2.) Apply with an agent
There is a number of working holiday visa agents in almost every country so if you do your research online you will definitely find one. If you go with this option, these companies will offer additional support and services, such as, jobs and accommodation advice and possibly an orientation on arrival at your destination. Some companies even include your first nights accommodation in a hostel which is a great way to meet other working holiday makers.
These companies will generally include flights and travel insurance as part of their service and costs will vary from country to country. This is generally a good option if you feel nervous or apprehensive about arriving into a new country on your own.