From one Brit to another, moving to Canada from the UK will be the best decision you ever make. The Canada Working Holiday Visa is an open work permit allowing UK citizens to live and work in Canada for up to two years; and with so much to explore, the only risk is that you won’t want to leave. In our latest guide, discover everything you need to know about applying for a Canadian working holiday visa.
Before Brexit, it was fairly easy to work abroad in countries across Europe. Now, not so much. There are currently no working holiday agreements between the UK and EU countries, so you will need to meet the specific entry requirements for each country. Read: a massive headache. Luckily for you, British citizens can move to Canada for up to two years on the Canada Working Holiday Visa.
Canada and the UK have an agreement that allows UK citizens the opportunity to live and work in Canada for up to two years. This program is called International Experience Canada (IEC), and, unlike other working holiday visas, there are no work restrictions. For instance, in Australia, you will have to complete six months of gruelling farmwork in order to stay. In Canada, you can work for any employer for any length of time, anywhere in Canada.
We are a Recognized Organization by the Government of Canada through its IEC Program, so we know exactly how the process works.
UK citizens between the ages of 18 to 30 years old can apply for the Canada Working Holiday Visa.
If you get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) before your 31st birthday, you can still live and work in Canada. Better yet, once your visa is approved you will have a year to enter Canada, so you can start your working holiday as late as 32. Check out the IEC visa requirements for the UK.
If you are over 30 years old and want to apply for the Canada Working Holiday Visa from the UK, keep an eye on our RO opening for IEC 2023. While we have a limited quota, we might be able to help you during the next IEC season.
The Canadian Government issues invitations to apply through IEC ‘pools’, whereby eligible candidates are randomly selected to apply for a work permit during regular draws. These are called rounds of invitations. Once the UK quota is filled for the season, the pool will close and candidates will have to wait to apply the following year. As a general rule of thumb, the sooner you apply, the higher the chances of getting an invitation as more spots will be available.
For the UK, demand tends to outnumber supply, making the selection process extremely competitive… until 2022. As you can see on the IRCC website, there are currently more spots available than UK citizens in the pool.
So, if you are looking to move to Canada from the UK in 2022 or 2023, now is your chance to apply! Find out why you should apply now to work the 2022/23 ski season in Canada…
UK citizens can get a two-year work permit for Canada, as long as they have travel insurance to cover their entire stay. Take a look at this blog where we explain why it is so important to bring insurance valid for the maximum duration of your working holiday permit.
Trying to find an insurance that covers you for 24 months? Check our recommended insurance provider for our participants in the UK.
Check out our working holiday guide for a full breakdown of the documents required. No matter what country you are from, the documents will be the same: a valid UK passport for the whole duration of your working holiday in Canada, an updated resume, a family information document, and so on.
The only document that differs from one country to another is the police certificate requirement. For UK citizens, you must present:
Details and instructions on how to apply are available from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) Criminal Records Office (ACRO) website.
Once you have requested your police certificate from the UK, you will receive a confirmation of your application by email. Your police certificate will be then sent to the postal address provided.
Make sure you review your police certificate and understand the ACRO step-down model. Where certain offences have been stepped down, this will be identified on the certificate with the publication of ‘No Live Trace’. If this happens, Canada will request further information, so be ready to provide it.
You do not need to present a medical exam unless you are planning to work with minors, the elderly or in the health industry. For example, if you want to be a ski instructor in Canada teaching children, you will need a medical exam. If you do not get a medical exam, your work permit will have a clause that prohibits you from working with children.
After you submit your visa application, you will get a biometrics request letter. You will need to complete your biometrics at a Visa Application Center within 30 days.
In the UK, there is only one visa application center based in London:
Congratulations! You are now ready to travel to Canada. Remember, you will have up to 12 months to activate your working holiday visa, so there’s no need to leave immediately if you still have things to plan.
Before you leave, make sure you have the following documents prepared:
We have prepared a complete guide on how to get ready to activate your working holiday visa here, but when you join our Canada Working Holiday Programs, our travel coordinators will do a one-on-one session with you to explain what to expect. From documents to the immigration process upon arrival to Canada; what to check when you receive your work permit to avoid mistakes and more.
“Would 100% recommend it. They went above and beyond my expectations and couldn't do enough for me! Making sure I was up to date with everything and explained everything in very simple terms. They made getting over to Canada a breeze, especially with the whole pandemic situation. ”— Trudy, UK, 2021
After your working holiday in Canada, you will bring back a resume with different experiences, new skills that you will have learned overseas, competencies related to problem-solving, personal and professional growth, and, to sound justly cheezy, a head full of amazing memories, experiences and people that you will have met along the way in Canada!
Want to apply for a working holiday visa for Canada from the UK? Get in touch to learn more about our Canada Working Holiday Programs and how we can help you start the adventure of a lifetime!
“My adventure with Stepwest was just perfect! If you want a good experience in Canada you should go with them. They were very helpful in getting me to Whistler. I am very happy and I really thank them!”
“Potentially the nicest people on the planet! I was never left to worry during any step of my progress... You feel like they really genuinely care about you going on your adventures :)”
“If it wasn't for Stepwest I wouldn't be in Canada right now, they helped me with everything from getting my visa application started to getting a job here in Canada...”
“Fantastic experience with Stepwest ... they were extremely friendly, quick to respond and offered very helpful advice throughout the whole process. Thank you!!”
“My experience with Stepwest was amazing... I would recommend Stepwest to anyone that wants to have a great experience in Canada.”
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