work and holiday visa canada

Work and Holiday Visa for Canada

The most famous visa to come to Canada is undoubtedly the Work and Holiday Visa. Desired by many and obtained by few, this visa allows you to work, study, and travel around Canada for a year.

Discover with us everything about the most popular visa: its advantages, how to get it, how to submit the documentation on time to get your application approved, and, ultimately, everything you need to know to make this the year you pack your bags and go to Canada.

And if you want to come fully prepared to Canada, check out our Welcome Package W&H Visa from Dingoos, a pack specially designed for you with a bunch of exclusive advantages and opportunities that will make your arrival and stay in Canada out of this world.

Now, ready? Go!

What is the Work and Holiday Visa?

The Work and Holiday Visa is the visa for Canada that allows you to work, study, and travel around the country for a year.

It’s part of a program called International Experience Canada by the Canadian government and is for young people aged 18 to 35. The spots are limited, not all nationalities can apply, and you can only apply for it once in a lifetime. Tempting, isn’t it?

Want to know more about the Work & Holiday Visa in Canada? Then keep reading or fill out our contact form to receive personalized advice.

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    Application Dates for the Work & Holiday Visa

    The registration period for the Work and Holiday Visa opens once a year; the spots for this year 2024 opened on January 17th. If you want to apply, you’ll have to be on the Canada immigration page.

    Here you can see almost in real-time the spots available by nationality and the applicants who have already applied for a spot, i.e., those in the pool.

    There are two rounds of invitations: the first was the week of January 17th, and the second will be soon; they haven’t announced it yet.

    Which countries can apply for the W&H Visa?

    Let the game begin! As we already mentioned, not all nationalities can apply, and spots are limited.

    The only Spanish-speaking countries that the Canadian government allows to apply for the Work and Holiday Visa are: Spain, Andorra, Chile, and Costa Rica.

    If you’re lucky enough to have a passport from any of these countries, we recommend that you start gathering all the documents as soon as possible and prepare your application to register as soon as possible. And no, we’re not being dramatic. There’s a certain myth surrounding the Work and Holiday Visa that leads many to apply for this visa assigned by lottery.

    If, on the other hand, you don’t have one of those passports or didn’t get your spot, no worries! You can enter Canada with a student visa; you just need to contact Dingoos, and we’ll help you come to study and work in Canada quickly and without draws.

    What can I do with the Work and Holiday Visa?

    The fact that everyone wants the Work and Holiday Visa is no coincidence.

    • If your goal is to study and work: It’s the only visa that allows you to study a course of up to 6 months in duration and work full-time in the meantime.
    • If you want to improve your English and work: It’s the only visa that allows you to work while studying a language course.
    • If you want to work hard to save and then travel: It’s the only visa that allows you to work full-time anywhere in Canada.
    • If you want to enter and exit Canada: The Work and Holiday Visa is valid for twelve months, during which time you can enter and leave the country as many times as you want.

    Requirements to apply for the Work and Holiday Visa

    As you’ll see below, meeting the requirements to apply for the Work and Holiday Visa isn’t that complicated either. Here, timing is everything!

    • Be between 18 and 35 years old at the time of application.
    • Have a clean criminal record. If you have lived in another country for more than 6 months, you will need to fill out an online form stating that you have no criminal record.
    • Not have family responsibilities.
    • Provide your biometric data. It’s the most effective way of identification for citizens and involves taking your fingerprints, photographs of them, and photographs of your face. You can do this at one of the official offices.
    • Demonstrate that you have saved a minimum of $2500 CAD to cover your first weeks in Canada.
    • Purchase medical insurance to cover your entire stay in Canada. We recommend that you purchase travel medical insurance, which also covers possible incidents such as lost luggage.
    • Update your resume to Canadian standards. Your CV must be in English or French, not contain a photo, and include your age and nationality, among other details.
    • A color passport photo in digital format, passport size, to accompany your application.
    • Complete the Family Information. It’s a form where you’ll have to provide information about your family situation.
    • Pay the visa fees ($161 CAD).
    • Be fully vaccinated.

    How to apply for the Work and Holiday Visa?


    Everything ready? The game must go on!

    In this mission, speed is crucial.

    First of all, refresh the immigration page and find out if the registration period has opened.

    1. Fill out the Come to Canada form to make sure you can apply for the Work and Holiday Visa and get your personal reference code.
    2. Create an account on the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada page, from now on IRCC.
    3. Click on “Apply to come to Canada” and enter your personal reference code to start the application.
    4. Complete your profile, choose the Work and Holiday Visa option, and submit your application.
    5. Mission accomplished: You’re in the Pool! Basically, you’ve entered the database of all the people who want to go to Canada, to which, when the time comes, the Canadian government will send invitations to fill out the official Work and Holiday Visa application.

    And finally, we’ve reached the last screen.

    In this final mission, luck comes into play. The Canadian government conducts a lottery every year to assign the invitations, usually in two rounds. Randomly, the algorithm sends invitations to some of the users registered in the Pool database.

    These invitations are called ITAs and allow you to upload all the necessary documentation to complete the Work and Holiday Visa application.

    Once all the invitations are sent, and all the invited users have successfully completed the registration process, the visas are exhausted. This usually happens between August and September (depending on the year).

    Take a look at the following video to learn in detail about the application process for the Work and Holiday Visa in Canada.

    proceso wh canada
    Bienvenida para Work and Holiday

    Need help applying for your W&H visa?

    Take advantage of our W&H Welcome Package service

    If you want to travel to Canada with the Work and Holiday visa, we offer you a package that includes all the services you'll need to start and live your experience in the country. If you want, we can even help you with your visa application!

    Tips for Obtaining the W&H Visa

    “And apart from luck, is there anything I can do?” You may wonder. And here are your answers:

    • Have all the documentation prepared. If you receive one of the ITAs (invitations), you will have 10 days to complete the application.
    • Upload all required documentation, including medical and police certificates, screenshots of your bank account… In case you don’t have any of the required documents at the time of application, you can upload proof of your appointment to obtain them.
    • Be prepared to apply for an Open Work Permit. When your application for the Work and Holiday Visa is approved, you will have 20 days to apply for the work permit (essential for the work part of the visa) and pay the corresponding fees ($100 CAD).
    • Have an operational credit or debit card with which you can pay the $156 CAD visa fees.
    • Be prepared to obtain your biometric data. If necessary, you will receive a notification through your IRCC account to send your biometric data. You will have 30 days to go to one of the official centers and obtain your results, so we recommend checking which center is closest to you so you can go quickly.
    • Have patience. Sometimes the work permit application can take up to 56 days. It’s also possible that you may be asked to attach additional documentation. But don’t worry, everything works out!
    • Victory dance. If all goes well, you will receive the Port Entry Letter from IRCC, the letter that gives you permission to enter Canada and which you will have to show once you land in Canada.

    Remember, the Work and Holiday Visa for Canada can only be applied for once in a lifetime. If you apply for it and don’t use it, you won’t be able to apply for it again next year. So when you start the application marathon, we recommend that you are very clear that this is the year you are going to Canada (also, according to the law of attraction, if you apply with this mindset, it’s much more likely that you’ll get your visa).

    What if I want to stay longer?

    If you’ve obtained your Work and Holiday Visa and have been in Canada for a while, it’s no surprise that you start wondering how to extend your stay in the country. That’s what it’s like to be in one of the countries with the highest quality of life in the world, right?

    With the Work and Holiday Visa, you have the opportunity to explore, do, and undo as you please. And that freedom… it’s addictive.

    We know it well. And the Canadian government knows it too, which is why they have prepared a program that will give you the chance to extend your Work and Holiday Visa for one more year. This is the Young Professional Visa, and to apply for it, you only need to have a job offer that is good for your professional development and commit to working with the same employer throughout the visa extension.

    Above all, don't hold back.

    The Work and Holiday Visa is a great option to come to study and work in Canada, but it’s not the only one! If you don’t meet the requirements or luck hasn’t smiled on you, you can always write to us, and we will provide you with the necessary information to start your adventure in Canada.

    At Dingoos, we are experts in Canada, and we can help you apply for a student visa that will allow you to study a vocational training course and work full-time during the practical block and vacations, so the advantages end up being very similar to those of the Work and Holiday Visa, and it also gives you the opportunity to put on your CV that you have been trained in a country with a globally recognized educational system.

    Moreover, we will not only advise you to choose the option that best suits your plan. We will also help you process the visa, find your flights… and we will welcome you in Canada as one more member of the team. And this is a game you’re going to love playing. Write to us!

    Frequently Asked Questions about the Work and Holiday Visa

    How many spots are available for Spain, Chile, and Costa Rica?

    The number of available spots annually for each country are:

    • Spain: 910 spots
    • Andorra: 25
    • Chile: 725
    • Costa Rica: 80

    Can I study with the W&H?

    Yes, you can study for up to 6 months, including language courses.

    What are biometric tests?

    It involves taking your fingerprints and a photograph of them. They can only be performed at offices approved by the Canadian government’s Immigration Department.

    What do I need for biometrics?

    To obtain your biometric data, you must bring a digital passport photo with you on the day of your appointment, sized 35mm x 45mm, maximum resolution 600 pixels, JPEG format. The file cannot weigh more than 240 KB, nor less than 6 KB.

    Once there, they will take your fingerprints and create your biometric profile.

    What if I receive an ITA?

    Life smiles at you! It means you have been chosen to apply for one of the Work and Holiday Visas. From the day of notification, you will have 10 days to accept the invitation and then another 20 days to submit all the documents requested to process your visa.

    Do I need medical insurance for the W&H?

    Yes, it’s a mandatory requirement to successfully process your Work and Holiday Visa. Moreover, you will be asked for it upon entering Canada. At Dingoos, we always recommend Travelfine. They have very good coverage and many different policies so you can choose the one that suits your plan the most.

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