How Australians Can Work in Canada - A Complete 2024 Guide

Australia and Canada have long been close allies and friends. We have shared values and culture. In fact, our ties go back several hundred years through the Commonwealth. This relationship fosters immigration, study, and work opportunities between our countries. So, can Australians work in Canada? The great news is, yes! In fact, for Australians between 18 and 35, moving to Canada from Australia is very accessible. If you need more convincing, check out our blog comparing living and working in Canada vs. Australia. Next, read on to see how Australians can work in Canada…

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For Australians aged 18 to 35, work permits for Canada are distributed through a Canadian Government program called International Experience Canada (IEC). Australians are fortunate to receive an unlimited number of places in IEC’s annual program. Canada limits every other country to a finite number of participants each year. Luckily for our beloved Australians, Canada has the red carpet rolled out!

On top of that, most other countries are limited to staying in Canada for a maximum of one year. But Australians receive IEC work permits that allow them to work in Canada for up to two years!

There are three categories of IEC work permits that Australian citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 can apply for:

  • Working Holiday – an open work permit to work in any job. Valid for 24 months.
  • Young Professional – if you have a job offer that falls under Canada’s NOC Skill Type 0, Level A or B. Valid for 24 months.
  • International Co-op – for students at Australian post-secondary institutions doing an internship in Canada. Valid for 24 months, unless it’s your second participation in IEC, then it’s only valid for 12 months.

Australians can participate in IEC a maximum of two times. One time must be either the Working Holiday or Young Professional category. The other must be the International Co-op category. You cannot, for instance, do a working holiday, then get a young professional permit.

“If you move to Canada from Australia on a working holiday permit, you may work in Canada for any employer for any length of time, up to the maximum 24-month duration of the visa.”


In order for Australians to qualify for the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program and work in Canada, there are a few criteria to meet. The requirements are slightly different for each category of work permit.

In general, the requirements that Australians must meet to be eligible for a Canada Working Holiday permit are:

  • hold an Australian passport that will be valid for the duration of your stay in Canada
  • between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of application
  • proof of a minimum of $2,500 CAD of accessible funds
  • have purchased health insurance for the entire duration of your stay
  • a round-trip ticket or proof of funds to purchase a return flight back to Australia


If you are applying for the Young Professional permit you must also have a job offer or contract in your field of expertise that contributes to your professional development under NOC 0, A or B.

If you are applying for the International Co-op permit you must also have a signed internship offer or contract for your internship placement that meets your academic institution’s requirements.

In both cases, employers in Canada must submit their offer of employment through the IRCC’s Employer Portal.

Valeria moved to Canada on Stepwest's Working Holiday Program, and has since settled in Vancouver


The work culture in Australia and Canada is fairly similar, with a few minor differences. Work-life balance plays an important role, especially on the West Coast of Canada. However, there are a few aspects where Canada’s work culture is closer to that of our American neighbours.


On average, the working hours are eight hours per day or 40 hours per week. This of course depends on your job. Lunch breaks are typically 30 minutes up to one hour max.

Payday is most commonly bi-monthly. There is a statutory holiday (public holiday) pay increase equal to 1.5 times your standard wage. However, unlike in Australia, weekend pay increases do not exist in Canada.


This is where we are closely tied to the American work culture. In most cases, starting holidays are 10 days or two weeks. This will increase with years of service. To draw top talent, companies will offer three, even four weeks of starting vacation. In some cases, companies will close over the Christmas holidays. Ultimately, starting holidays will depend on your job and industry.


Like Australia’s Medicare, healthcare in Canada is publicly funded. Health care is provided by the provinces and coverage varies slightly between provinces. Some provinces charge a small monthly fee. On top of this, companies will provide additional coverage after the completion of a probationary period. This coverage is typically a percentage of the cost of medical expenses like prescriptions, ambulance, and check-ups.

Canada does not have an equivalent of the Australian ‘Super’. Instead, individuals are required to save for retirement on their own. Some companies will offer retirement savings matching. In this instance, your employer will contribute to your retirement savings fund when you do (up to a certain limit each year).

Oscar moved to Canada to experience champagne powder in the Rockies. Stepwest helped him secure a job through our Ski Resort Working Holiday Program


The process to legally work in Canada starts when you are still in Australia. The simplified version of applying for the Working Holiday Visa is to make an online profile with IEC, then submit your work permit application through your account. Once your work permit application has been approved, you receive a letter to provide to the border officer when you arrive in Canada. In exchange, they will give you a work permit.

We have put together a complete step-by-step guide on how to apply for the Canada Working Holiday Visa. We recommend you carefully read through it before considering starting your application. This will give you a complete understanding of what is required before you get started.

Want to work a ski season in Canada? We recommend applying now. Check out our blog on How to Work a Ski Season in Canada for more details.

Remember, you will have 12 months to travel to Canada after your visa is approved; so if you are planning to travel to Canada for the spring-summer season of 2024, you should apply now as well. That way you will have plenty of time to get organized!

Documents Required for an Australian to apply for a Working Holiday

All the documents are pretty straightforward and our Working Holiday Guide will help you a lot if you want to understand the process. You will need to provide:

  • Valid passport
  • Family information document
  • Updated resume
  • ID picture following the IRCC standard
  • Police Certificates – you must prepare this document in advance

Getting the right Police Certificates

You should apply for this document in advance, as it might take a bit of time for you to receive it. It is very important that you apply for the correct one as Australia has different types of police certificates that can be issued.

Also please note that if you have lived in Queensland or Victoria, Canada will request a complete traffic history report issued by the Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads or Vicroads.

If you have lived in any other country for six months or more, you will also need to provide a police certificate from that specific country.

Get Biometrics Done

Biometrics in Australia for your working holiday visa can be completed in any of the VAC centers. You can book your appointment in Perth, Sydney or Melbourne. Please note that none of the centers accept walk-ins so you must book your appointment in advance.

Processing Times – Working Holiday Visa for Australians

After you complete your biometrics, you will have to wait for up to eight weeks to get your POE or approval letter. Check the updated processing times for IEC.

Not a Spare Second – While You Wait for Approval, We Find You a Job in Canada

If you join our Working Holiday Programs, we will secure you a job in Canada and staff housing by the time you get your approval letter.

You’re so close you can almost taste the maple syrup! Now all you need to do is:

  1. Get your flight to Canada and organize your arrival date for staff housing, with the help of our team
  2. You’ve arrived! Now you will need to receive your work permit – we will guide you on all of this during your pre-departure orientation
  3. Spend a few days in the city to organize your SIN, bank account, and all the other bits and pieces needed to live in Canada (we will help you with all of that)
  4. Travel to the resort and move into staff housing
  5. Start your working holiday adventure!
Many Aussies choose to live and work in Whistler during their time in Canada


Know you know Australians can work in Canada, your next question might be: how do you find a job? You will need to plan out your strategy for finding work. We’ve broken down the three most common approaches to finding work in Canada.


This is the most difficult approach. Even if you received your Letter of Introduction, this is not your physical work permit. You don’t receive that until you are in Canada. If you are a skilled worker or have specific expertise this option might work for you if you plan to apply for the Young Professional work permit.


This approach will make it easier to land a job but is more costly. You will need to budget for several weeks of unemployment while you wait for a callback and go through the interview process. During that time, you will need to pay for your accommodation, food, and transportation. Without a job, you may find it more difficult to land a flat as property management companies will give preference to applicants with full-time employment.


This option requires an expense upfront, but it’s an investment that will save you heaps of time and stress. Arriving in Canada with a job secured or interviews already lined up takes a lot of uncertainty out of moving to Canada.

“Stepwest will help you start working faster so that you earn money faster. Securing your job on arrival means you can get set up in a flat or sharehouse faster, reducing your adjustment time.”

You will also be able to meet people faster and plan outings together to explore your new city. 24 months seems like a long time to live in Canada, but trust us, it will fly by. The last thing you want is to spend the first part of your experience looking for work while draining your savings. Not an ideal start to your experience in Canada.

Your adventure in Canada is just around the corner...

Application Windows For Stepwest Season Resort Jobs

When it comes to Canadian resort jobs, getting ahead of the program is definitely beneficial. Popular resorts such as Whistler, Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise have 2 main hiring periods for each season, Summer and Winter 2024. So that means here at Stepwest, the earlier you apply the better chance you have of securing your dream job in your dream resort! The latest we typically accept applications for these programs are as follows:

Summer 2024: Until February 2024.
Winter 2024: Until May 2024.

It pays off to be organized, the sooner you are ready for interviews, the more resort job positions you could be a candidate for. If you are a last-minute planner, then start to consider planning for the next upcoming Season. Too late for Winter? check our Summer Resort Working Holiday program. You could start out with a summer job and opt to stay for the next winter season!


If you have enough funds to cover the return cost of a flight to Australia, you will not need to have a booked return flight to enter Canada. This means you will need to prove you have CAD $2,500, plus the value of a returning flight ticket back to Australia – let’s say an extra CAD $1,500 to be safe.

Important notes:

  • You must have a valid eTA to fly to Canada from Australia. Normally this eTA will be automatically approved when you receive your POE or approval letter, but please make sure to verify this so that you do not have any last-minute surprises at the airport before boarding your flight.
  • If you are transitioning to a second country, which most likely will happen when travelling from Australia to Canada, make sure that you review the layover requirements.

Want to Learn More?

Now that you know that Australians can work in Canada, it’s time you hopscotched over!

Interested in hearing more about we can help you move to Canada from Australia on our Working Holiday Programs? Fill in the form and one of our team will be in touch to answer all your questions.

Australia Work In Canada FAQ's

Is it easy for an Australian to move to Canada?

With the help of Stepwest Yes, there is a reciprocal agreement between the two countries making this process possible. Eligible applicants, typically aged 18 to 30, can apply through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, meeting requirements such as health checks and demonstrating sufficient funds. Upon approval, they can live and work in Canada for up to 12 or 24 months, depending on the agreement.

How much money should i save for a working holiday to Canada?

For a working holiday to Canada from Australia, saving around CAD 3000 to CAD 3,500 (4000 AUD) is advisable to cover initial expenses and provide a buffer until you start working. However, exact costs can vary based on factors like duration of stay and lifestyle choices. Researching the cost of living in your chosen Canadian destination is crucial for budgeting effectively.

How long can Australians stay in Canada?

Up To 2 Years – If you choose to relocate to Canada from Australia with a working holiday visa, you have the freedom to work for any employer and for any duration within the permitted 24-month validity period.”

Do i need a job offer for a working holiday in Canada?

No, you typically do not need a job offer for a working holiday in Canada. The Working Holiday Visa under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program allows individuals to live and work in Canada for a specified period without requiring a job offer beforehand. However, with the help of Stepwest we can guarenteed you a resort job before you arrive in Canada to take all the stress away from finding a job once you arrive.

Can Australian citizens work in Canada?

Yes, Australian citizens can work in Canada using the International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday Visa.

What bank balance is required for a Canada work visa?

There isn’t a specific bank balance requirement for a Canada work visa, as it depends on the type of visa you are applying for and your individual circumstances. However, you may need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada. This is typically around 4000 AUD

What is the age limit for a working holiday in Canada from Aus?

Applcant must be between the ages of 18-30 at the time of application.

Where do most Australians do a working holiday in Canada?

Many Australians opt to do a working holiday in Canada in areas with close proximity to outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, and sightseeing. Additionally, resort towns like Whistler and Banff attract many Australian working holidaymakers due to their seasonal employment opportunities in hospitality and tourism. With the help of Stepwest you can find a resort job ready for this winter.

Photo Credits Layla Rundle