Portuguese Citizens Can Now Work in Canada on a Working Holiday

Starting in 2019, Portuguese citizens can work in Canada as a part of a new agreement with International Experience Canada. This agreement between Canada and Portugal allows eligible Portuguese citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 to work in Canada via three work visa categories.

Three Ways Portuguese Citizens Can Work in Canada

  1. Working Holiday: an open work permit that allows eligible participants to work anywhere in Canada for up to two years.
  2. International Co-op: an employer-specific work permit that gives eligible students the chance to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
  3. Young Professional: an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience within the participant’s field of study or career.

Working Holiday in Canada for Portuguese Citizens

The most widely known category in the above list is the working holiday. The working holiday visa is available to Portuguese citizens between the ages of 18 and 35. It is an open work permit, meaning Portuguese passport holders can work in Canada for up to two years in any type of job.

If you are familiar with the working holiday visa for Australia, this is essentially the same type of work visa. However, unlike the Australia working holiday visa, Portuguese citizens can work in Canada for twice as long as Australia and without any employer restrictions. It’s the perfect amount of time to explore this diverse and magnificent country! Sounds like the opportunity of a lifetime right? We sure think so!

As a Portuguese passport holder with a working holiday open work permit in Canada, you are now allowed to work anywhere in Canada. This is a great opportunity to gain international work experience, advance your career, meet new people, improve your English, and immerse yourself in Canadian culture! This also means that we are excited to now be able to help participants from Portugal kick start their experience in Canada on our Canada Working Holiday Programs!

If you are from Portugal, you might have a lot of questions about how to apply for a working holiday in Canada. When can you start your working holiday application? How does it work? How long does it take? We have put together a complete guide on everything Portuguese need to know about the Canada Working Holiday Visa.

On a Working Holiday in Canada, you can live, work & travel anywhere in Canada for up to two years without work restrictions!

How many Canada working holiday permits are available for Portugal?

The number of permits available for Portuguese to work in Canada is determined in the agreement between Canada and Portugal. This agreement is renewed each year. During IEC 2022, there are 1,750 permits in the working holiday permit category for Portuguese. This does not guarantee there will be the same number of available permits next year. However, it should be somewhere close.

How can I start my application to work in Canada as a Portuguese citizen?

The application process is done online through the Government of Canada’s Immigration web portal. Before you can actually apply, there are a series of steps to becoming an applicant. We have broken down each step in our IEC Work Permit Application Guide. We explain every step from creating your profile online in your MyCIC account to waiting for your invitation to apply for your work permit. Once you receive your invitation, we also explain how to prepare your official work permit application.

Stepwest’s programs make the IEC application process easy!

Our Working Holiday Programs provide Portuguese with complete support throughout the IEC work permit application. Our team guides you through every step of the process. Instead of trying to figure out how the pools work, which documents are required, and how to ensure you get the full two-years approved, let our team walk you through it step-by-step. Have peace of mind knowing you’ve got a team to ask questions and ensure your application is done correctly.

How can Stepwest help me to work in Canada?

Our Working Holiday programs are perfect if you are wanting to travel to Canada, get work experience, and be 100% sure that every detail is covered. We make sure your documents are correct before entering Canada so you get your work permit approved for the full two years. We also ensure your accommodation is booked, and that you have a job offer secured. This means you can feel settled in Canada and start making money right away! Don’t waste time searching for a job and accommodation when you arrive. With our programs, it’s all taken care of. We make the process of coming to Canada to work easy and stress-free!

  • Resume revision and preparation for your interviews with Canadian employers.
  • Assistance with your work permit application: Document review, biometrics support, and every step after you receive your invitation.
  • Job interviews arranged for you.
  • Staff housing guaranteed before departure (Resort Program only) or Vancouver accommodation options on arrival (City Job Program).
  • Pre-departure orientation to prepare for your arrival to Canada and receiving your IEC work permit.
  • Welcome to Canada orientation once you arrive in Canada to assist with opening your free bank account, SIN number, phone plan, and more.
  • Support from our Canada team throughout your work experience.
  • Plus many other benefits to help you settle into your Canadian work adventure!

We offer two working holiday programs depending on the type of experience you are seeking in Canada:


Secure your job and accommodation before coming to Canada!

Are you passionate about nature and outdoor sports? Our Working Holiday Resort Job Program gives you the opportunity to spend a year working and living in one of Canada’s most famous resorts. This program runs in the summer or winter. Explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise, Banff, the Okanagan wine valley, laidback Vancouver Island, and much more!

If you like mountain biking, kayaking, hiking, zip-lining, and rock climbing, then the summer season in British Columbia or Alberta is perfect for you! It begins in May/June every year. If you prefer the winter season and love skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice skating, the winter season begins in October/November. Explore the Rocky Mountains while living in Jasper, Banff, and Lake Louise. Or live in Whistler for the ultimate Canadian experience with your working holiday permit. Over the course of your two-year work permit, you can literally experience it all!

Planning to come to Canada to work and travel for a whole year or more? Whether you start in the summer or winter, we can secure your job working at a Canadian resort. Your job and accommodation are arranged before you arrive in Canada.

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!


Your instant connection to the local culture of Vancouver!

With our Vancouver Program, we provide you with job opportunities on arrival so you can build a network of friends and professional connections faster than if you arrived in Canada on your own. Use these connections to find a position in your career field and make the most of your entire two year open work permit!

With your new job, you can start making money right away. This makes it easier to get settled into your new home in Vancouver, get involved in the local culture, and connect with newcomers just like you.

It’s very common for internationals to get started working in Canada with customer service, retail or hospitality types of jobs. This provides you with the time to get used to the city and learn the standards for your industry in Canada – all while making money.

If you are more of a city person but also enjoy having outdoor adventures on the weekend, then this program is for you! Gain experience working in hospitality, retail or many other fields while immersing yourself in Canadian culture. The Working Holiday Vancouver program guarantees your job placement.

In addition, you can take advantage of our full arrival orientation, first night’s hostel accommodation, interview preparation sessions, resume revision, and much more! We streamline the process of landing a job in Canada. This means you can start enjoying working holiday life faster.

Ready to start working in Canada?

Stepwest makes the process of moving to Canada easier. Contact us in the form below and our experienced advisors will arrange a FREE CONSULTATION to help guide you through the process for Portuguese to work in Canada. Canada has so much to offer. Don’t miss out!