Tips & Tricks: Canada Visa

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for work&life Travel. However, or maybe because of this, the preparation is not that easy. Especially the visa can possibly mean your quick end. We explain why.

Visa and entry in Canada

The government of Canada grants a work& Travel- Work stay of up to one year with a special visa, the Working Holiday Visa. It allows travel across the country and paid casual jobs. New Zealand and Australia also issue such visas. However, Canada has a special feature: even if your application is correct and there are no objections from the authorities, you are by no means assured of a visa. It is contingent.

So how to get a visa? The answer is simple, but also not very pleasant for those who like to plan: With luck! The Canadian Embassy sends an invitation to randomly selected applicants.

Application for a Working Holiday Visa for Canada

Requirements for the Working Holiday Visa

Passport and citizenship

To apply for the Working Holiday Visa you should have German citizenship and be between 18 and 35 years old. The other requirements are a hodgepodge of the usual conditions. For example, a valid passport is required. This should be effective in any case for the entire duration of the stay, not only for the phase of preparation. Also, make sure that you never enter the number of your passport with an "O" instead of a "0" by mistake. This is how your visa can be invalidated relatively quickly.

Proof of financial means

Furthermore, you should have sufficient funds in your bank account (e.g. A proof that you have the necessary financial means for such a trip is not only desired for the visa application, but will also be checked again at the entry. However, when you enter the country, you have concrete ideas about the right amount, which is currently 2.CA$ 500 (approx. 1.800 €). A bank statement is sufficient as proof. Then one wants to see, by the way, also the proof of a foreign health insurance as well as the return flight ticket. If you do not have one yet, you have to prove additional financial means.

Costs and credit card

A last important point is the credit card. If you don't have one, you should get it in any case. And not only for the payment on the spot, but especially for the visa. The visa fee can only be paid by credit card. And it does not apply regardless of whether or not you are granted the visa in the end. Currently, the amount is 100 CA$ (approx. 66 €). In addition there is an IEC Participation Fee, which has to be paid by all applicants. It is currently CA$ 126 (approx. 84 €). This fee can be refunded if you withdraw your application or are not accepted. There is an exception if you have given false information.

When to apply for the Working Holiday Visa?

The application should take place as early as possible. A spontaneous work& Travel stay in Canada is not possible. Usually the Canadian authorities announce the quotas for the following year in November or December. In order to have the best possible chances, you should apply in this time period. From November onwards, keep yourself informed and have all your application documents ready.

The application for a working holiday visa

You can apply for the Working Holiday Visa online on the website of the Canadian Embassy. First, an online tool checks if you meet the above criteria. It takes about 10 minutes. If yes, you will receive a Personal Reference Code. You should write it down in any case, because you will need it later on! But don't panic: If you accidentally skip this step, you can answer the questions at a later time elsewhere.

Each applicant then creates a so-called IEC profile in his MyCIC account. You will be automatically forwarded to this program. You can leave the profile as often as you like and continue to fill it out at a later date. However, you should pay attention: If the profile is not complete after 60 days, it will expire and you will have to start all over again. All applicant data is eventually collected into a pool from which those eligible to apply are randomly selected. That can last for several weeks. Accordingly, you should make such an application early. However, caution is advised here: Just because your profile landed in the pool doesn't mean you've applied for the visa. The Canadian authorities are simply drawing lots here for those who may officially make the actual application process. If you are one of the chosen ones, you have 10 days to decide if you want the visa. After that, you have to apply for a work permit within another 20 days. You will also need to upload other documents such as a resume (in English) or a police clearance certificate. All this is also done through the MyCIC account.

Obtaining a Working Holiday Visa? And then?

If you are granted the visa, you have one year to travel to Canada. The visa is valid for 12 months from your date of entry. During this time you can enter and leave Canada as often as you like.

You can apply for the Working Holiday Visa only once in a lifetime. But within the IEC program there are other working visas for which you can apply a second time as a German citizen. For the Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship program, for example, the chances are good. There are usually more seats here than applicants. However, you must already have a Canadian employer here.

Not getting an invitation for the Working Holiday Visa? Now?

Don't despair! That doesn't mean your dream of Canada is over. The Canadian authorities start several rounds of invitations. Throughout the year, it regularly selects applicants at random. This goes on until the annual quota of spots for the working holiday visa is filled. So if you are not one of the lucky ones the first time, your profile will stay in the pool and you can hope for the times on it. The exact time of the "rounds of invitations" as well as the number of invitations will be announced by the Canadian government on their site 5 days before each of the dates.