North America

A dummies guide to working in Canada

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 Lizzie 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 US? 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 these 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: Talk to an expert

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.

Contact us 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 Ultimate Package programme. Choose between beautiful locations such as British Columbia and Ontario and let us find the right employer for you. To make things even easier, many of our Canadian employers will come to the US for the sole purpose of interviewing you face to face.

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 centres 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.

Also, our centres host regular social events so you will meet many likeminded travellers.

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 Work Permit is a visa which allows British citizens to live and work in Canada for the year. The amount of visas allocated to the UK is very limited and sold out in 9 hours in 2013, they are released once a year and when they’re gone – they’re gone.

If you want to give yourself the best possible chance in getting one of these visas sign up to BUNAC’s Work Canada programme. You will have access to BUNAC’s visa advice team who can guide you though the process of your application ready and waiting for when the visa window opens.

What are the eligibility requirements for the IEC Work Permit?
You need to be:

• Aged 18-30
• United States passport holder
• Have a clean criminal record

How much does an IEC Work Permit cost?
CAN $150 + CAN $100 Open Work Permit Fee.

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 be ahead of the game and maximise your of getting a visa.

Once the visa is granted how long do I have to use it?
Once you have received your letter of introduction 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 to activate it.

How many IEC Work Permits can I have in a lifetime?
You can have two IEC Work Permits in a lifetime 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.

Scoring a working holiday visa for Canada can be a tricky process, but it’s worth it for the amazing experience that will be waiting for you. Maximise your chances by contacting one of our Travel Experts and asking them about the BUNAC placement programmes.