Working Holiday Visas for Canadians

This article contains a list of working holiday visas for Canadians, and though it is directed toward Canadians specifically, the information here is general enough to be useful to almost anyone.

The countries that non-Canadians are allowed to obtain a working holiday visa from may differ from the ones listed in the chart at the bottom of this page, however the chart should provide an idea of what may be available.

If you are Canadian, you’re in the right place! Please continue.

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© Copyright Christopher Policarpio and licensed for reuse under CC BY 2.0

***I try and keep this post updated, but please note with the changing rules, and changing exchange rate some information/prices may not be up to date.***

What is a Working Holiday Visa?

If you are a young Canadian who is contemplating long term travel abroad, your best option is to find a working holiday visa offered by the country you would like to live in. Working holiday visas are specially designed to allow young adults the opportunity to live and work as expats in a foreign country, usually for 1 or 2 years.

A working holiday visa is a bilateral agreement between two countries, in this case between Canada and your future host country, that states that a certain number of people from each country are allowed temporary residency in the other. There will be different agreements between each country, each with slightly different rules.

Where Can You Find Information About Working Holiday Visas?

We are Canadians ourselves, and are currently living in Scotland under one of these visas. We covered how to apply for the United Kingdom’s Youth Mobility Scheme in a previous post, and can speak from experience that the initial hurdle of wading through government forms is an intimidating one for first time travellers. We suggest you check that post out even if you are thinking of applying for somewhere else, because it should give you an idea of the steps that will be involved.

Before you can even start to apply though, you will have to choose a country to apply to. With close to 30 different countries to choose from, Canadians are lucky to have the whole world at their feet. Unfortunately, the information about each visa is scattered between each country’s website; if you want to live in Australia, you have to deal with the Australian government. If you want to live in Japan, you apply to them. This makes shopping around a time consuming task, so we have done some of the work for you.

The Government of Canada does have a list of travel and work abroad destinations for Canadians, but unfortunately it doesn’t contain many of the details of each arrangement that we feel are most helpful, such as cost, length of stay, and age limit. Our hope here is to provide you with all of that information in one location, so you can do some comparison shopping in the comfort of one place.

Useful Terms to Know

These are the terms included in the headings of the chart below. Understanding them will help you decide on the best option for your situation.

Country

This is the country you will be applying to. You will likely be dealing with the country’s embassy in Canada when you apply.

Program Duration

The length of time that you are allowed to live and work in each country. Varies between 1 and 2 years. After your time is up, you are required to return to Canada. You are not obliged to stay for the full duration of the term. You will not be able to apply to the same country’s program again after you have already participated in it; however, you will still be eligible to apply for a working holiday visa in a different country.

Ages

The program is only open to citizens of certain ages, with a minimum age of 18 and a maximum age ranging between 30 and 35, depending on the country you are applying to. Hypothetically you could live in 17 countries if you started when you were 18 and stayed a year in each.

Cost to Apply

A processing fee will be levied when you submit your application for the visa. This will not be returned to you once your application has been sent, nor will it be returned if you are not accepted for the visa. If you make a mistake on your application, you will have to start the process over and will have to pay the fee again.

All costs provided in the table below are in Canadian dollars.

Support Funds

This is the amount of money you must have in your bank account when you arrive in your host country. This amount is in addition to the application fee, which you will have already spent by the time you arrive. You may be required to provide proof that you have these funds when you apply, probably by providing a signed statement from the bank.

Support funds are your proof that you will be able to support yourself in the first few months of your stay. During your first month or two there you may be unemployed, and this will help you pay for rent and food while you look for a job.

All costs provided in the table below are in Canadian dollars.

Where to Apply

This is the website of the government agency that you will be applying to. They should have full details on the application process, requirements, and terms of your stay.

We suggest you read through their material thoroughly, as each country will have a different application process, which may vary slightly from what we described here.

Which Countries Provide Working Holiday Visas for Canadians?

  • You can click any heading in the table to sort by that heading. You could use this feature to find, for example, the countries that require the least support funds.
  • Use the search box to search for a specific country you are interested in.
  • Leading zeros were added to small numbers to fix a sorting bug.
CountryProgram DurationAgesCost to Apply (CAD)Support Funds (CAD)Where to Apply
Australia1-2 years *18 to 30$445$4630Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship
Belgium1 year18 to 30$315$3675Consulate General of Belgium in Montreal
Costa Rica1 year18 to 35$147$2500The Embassy of Costa Rica in Canada
Czech Republic 1 year18 to 35$135$4000Embassy of Czech Republic in Ottawa
Denmark1 year18 to 35$260$2954Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark in Canada
Estonia1 year 18 to 35$110$2500Estonian Embassy in Ottawa
France1 year18 to 35$0$3000French Embassy in Ottawa
Germany1 year18 to 35$0Enough to support yourself **Embassy and Consulates of the Federal Republic of Germany in Canada
Greece1 year18 to 35$155$2470Greece in Canada
Hong Kong1 year18 to 30$015$2000Immigration Department of The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Ireland2 years18 to 35$425$2500SWAP Working Holidays Ireland
Italy1 year 18 to 35$145$3285Embassy of Italy in Ottawa
Japan1 year18 to 30$0$2500Embassy of Japan in Canada
Korea1 year18 to 30$080$3000Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Korea
Latvia1-2 years18 to 35$200$1800Embassy of the Republic of Latvia in Ottawa
Lithuania1 year18 to 35$082$0940Lithuania Embassy in Ottawa
Netherlands1 year18 to 31$060$2000 ***Dutch Passport & Visa Services, North America & The Caribbean
New Zealand1 year18 to 35$140$3485Immigration New Zealand
Norway1 year18 to 35$240$4750Norway Embassy & Consulate in Ottawa
Poland1 year18 to 35$081$0037/day ****Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Ottawa
Slovakia1 year18 to 35$0$2400The Embassy of the Slovak Republic in Ottawa
Spain1 year18 to 35$150$2100Embassy of Spain in Ottawa
Sweden1 year18 to 30$155$2380Embassy of Sweden in Ottawa
Taiwan1 year18 to 35$104$2500Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Canada
Ukraine1 year18 to 35Contact Ukrainian Embassy$2500Embassy of Ukraine to Canada
United Kingdom2 years18 to 30$450$3800Home Office UK Border Agency

Notes

* Australia’s program duration is normally 1 year; you may be granted an additional one if in your first year you do 3 months of “specified work in regional Australia.”

** Germany requires you to sign a declaration stating you have enough funds to support yourself, but does not say how much that is.

*** In The Netherlands, proof of funds is not required but it is recommended that you have $2000 plus return ticket or enough to buy a return ticket.

**** The first 90 days in Poland are free. After that, the daily fee will be applied. Be sure to contact the embassy on this, as it it frequently changing.

 

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