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Your Guide to Applying for your Canadian Working Holiday Program Visa from NZ

We have put this guide together exclusively for our International Working Holiday Canada Program participants. If you are not one of participants please contact your local Canadian Embassy for the process you need to follow. These instructions will not apply.

  • Please note that the 2016 application process has been changed by CIC as of November 21st 2015. 
  • No more Kompass and no more first come first serve. 
  • Candidates will be randomly selected by CIC and invited to apply.

  • The process is as follows:

    1. Applicants will complete the ‘Come to Canada’ questionnaire to check their eligibility for the IEC program.
    2. Eligible candidates will then create a profile (with identity details, citizenship, current residence, etc) which is put in a pool for the category they wish to participate in (Working Holiday category). 
    3. This IEC online profile can be created at no cost
    4. CIC will then regularly invite candidates to participate in the program throughout the following year (12 months).
    5. Receiving an invitation does not guarantee that the applicant will obtain a working holiday visa.
    6. Once an invitation has been received, applicants will then need to apply for a work permit, and have 10 days to accept the invitation and if they do, 20 days to apply. 
    7. Candidates from NZ can put their application for the working holiday category in the pool now, as it opened on November 30th.
    8. We suggest you do this asap because once you get your letter of invitation you will have 12 months to enter Canada and the visa will start from the day of entry.

    Start the Visa Application Process Now. 

    Download our 10 page guide below


    Preparing your Canadian Working Holiday Visa Application

    To apply for the Working Holiday Program (WHP) each applicant is required to submit the following:

    1. Police Check application form - this takes 20 working days(4 weeks) to be processed so download it now and send it off today. It will be mailed back to you. Remember once invited you'll only have 20 days to submit your application so you'll need the results back by then to do start your application before the 20 day cut off.
    2. You will need a Medical Exam by an approved Doctor if you have visited these countries for 6+ months. You must see a doctor that has been approved by CIC (called a panel physician).
    3. Proof of Means of Financial Support - You must prove you can support yourself while you are in Canada. For IEC you must have the equivalent of CAN$2,500 to help cover your expenses in Canada
    4. Copy of a round-trip ticket or demonstrate that you will have the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of your authorised stay in Canada. You will need to add the cost of your ticket to your $2500CAN proof. The instructions in the document checklist will list some of the ways you can prove this. You can also simply upload a screen shot or photo of the balance in your bank account. You only have to provide one form of proof.
      Please note: Your passport must be valid for the entire period of your intended stay in Canada. If your passport has a validity of less than 24 months when you submit your application for the WHP, you must state on the photocopy of your passport that you intend to leave Canada before the expiry of your passport, and sign the photocopy to confirm this.

      You will then need to pay your fees online and submit your application. 

      • The IEC participation fee - this $150 CAD participation fee is for all IEC participants. You must pay this fee online through your MyCIC account using: VISA®, Mastercard®, or American Express of Canada-AMEX®. 
      • Working Holiday participants must also pay an open work permit holder fee of $100 CAD online through MyCIC.


      Processing Times

      • You should allow at least 8-12 weeks for the complete process from submitting your initial application to having your visa issued; however it can take longer depending on if you have criminal, medical or background issues or if the processing time increases at busy times. Always allow longer if possible.
      • CIC requires a New Zealand criminal record check to be included with every visa application. This means all participants will have to submit this with their visa application. The criminal record can take a month to get (officially 20 working days) and so adds 4- 6 weeks onto the application process. 
      • Also if you have lived in any other country since the age of 18 for more than 6 months then you may require a criminal record check from that country also. Times for obtaining this vary.
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