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Working in Canada

  • The offices of International Experience Canada oversee work visa permits to Canada. Work visa programs change according to country of origin. Canada operates exchange programs with several countries, such as Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the U.K. IEC work permits typically approve visiting workers from foreign countries to experience work in Canada while on holiday. The most common type of Canada work visa utilizes a youth mobility arrangement program with other countries.

    Travelers to Canada must hold a current passport from the country of origin, and the passport may not expire during the intended stay in Canada. Work visa applicants must hold sufficient funds to survive if work cannot be found as well as funds for a return trip. Canadian immigration officials will verify the funds of all work visa applicants attempting passage to Canada. The primary reason for a working holiday visa must be vacation and not work.

    Most Canadian working holiday visa permits allow applicants aged 18 to 35 to access the country; however, some countries of origin limit applicant ages to between 18 and 30 years of age. Canada operates specialty programs with limited numbers for workers over 35. Further documentation or authorization may be necessary to gain admittance to Canada.

    While many jobs in Canada require workers to hold a working visa or special permit, Canada makes special allowances for certain professions. Athletes, coaches, performing artists, foreign representatives, news reporters, film and media crews, emergency service providers, public speakers, students working on campus, judges, referees, and other officials, clergy, and several other professions do not require a work permit to temporarily hold employment in Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada provides a detailed list of professions exempt from work permits.

    International Experience Canada represents the governing body overseeing issuance of temporary work visas and special permits to youths. Work permits issued by International Experience Canada last for up to one year. Applicants seeking permanent residence must apply for naturalization through Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

    If applicants want to continue to live in Canada upon completing the duration of a work visa, workers must apply for permanent residence. In order to claim permanent residence in Canada, the applicant must possess fluent communication abilities in either English or French, understand Canadian law, and have lived within Canadian borders for a minimum of three years. Children accompanying parents applying for Canadian citizenship do not need to meet the minimum standards of residence. Canadian naturalization also requires applicants to possess a clean criminal record in accordance with the Canadian Citizenship Act. Upon completing the naturalization process, newly appointed Canadian citizens assume and reserve all rights and responsibilities of full citizens of Canada.

    To learn more about a working holiday in Canada, visit the International Experience Canada website.

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