Are you looking for ways to live in Canada as an American resident?
If so, then the Working Holiday Visa is one of the best options if you’re open to working in Canada.
This special work permit allows younger Americans (and citizens of other countries) temporarily live and work in Canada.
So, how exactly can you acquire a Canadian Working Holiday Visa?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about obtaining this special visa as an American citizen.
Let’s dive in.
What Is the Canada Working Holiday Visa for US Residents?
As one of Canada’s immigration programs, the Working Holiday Visa is a special work visa that allows people to temporarily work and live in Canada.
This temporary work permit allows people aged 18 to 35 from 30 different countries to reside in Canada while being employed by Canadian businesses.
One thing to keep in mind is that the United States technically isn’t recognized as a participating country from the list of 30 countries. However American citizens can still apply through the work program if they have the support of a “Recognized Organization”.
For more information on the application process and the specific requirements for Americans, contact an immigration lawyer at Falcon Law.
An Overview of the Canada Working Holiday Visa
Canada’s Working Holiday Visa is a special work permit Canada offers American citizens as well as citizens of 30 other countries.
This special visa was introduced through International Experience Canada (IEC) whose mission is to help young adults gain valuable work experience in Canada.
IEC grants this special visa to people ages 18-35 from all over the world so they can experience what it’s like to live and work in Canada. The visa allows foreign nationals to live and work in Canada for 12 or 24 months (depending on your country of residence).
The two main ways you can get the Canada Working Holiday Visa are:
1. Your home country and Canada have an agreement that allows you to acquire an IEC work permit application.
2. You can apply with the support of a Recognized Organization (RO).
If you’re a US citizen and want to work and live in Canada, you’ll have to apply with the support of a RO.
What Qualifies as a Recognized Organization (RO)?
A Recognized Organization is a specific qualifying youth service organization that offers support to young adults in planning their trip to Canada.
This can be a for-profit, non-profit, or educational organization which charges a fee for their service.
Their services can include:
- Helping foreign nationals find a job
- Providing information about Canada (laws, culture, languages, taxes, etc.)
- Helping with travel and transportation
Who Can Apply for a Working Holiday Visa?
In order to apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa, you must be from one of the 30 eligible countries and be between the ages of 18 and 35.
Unfortunately, the United States doesn’t qualify as an eligible country, but Americans can still apply with the support of an RO.
Canada Working Holiday Visa Eligibility Requirements
There are a number of eligibility requirements for anyone looking to apply for the Working Holiday Visa in Canada:
- Be from one of 30 IEC countries or have the support of a Recognized Organization (RO)
- Valid passport for entire stay in Canada
- Age 18-35
- Must have at least $2,500 CAD when entering Canada
- Must have health insurance while in Canada
- Must be legally admissible to Canada
- Must have proof of onward travel or enough funds to purchase one when leaving Canada
- Can’t be accompanied by dependents
- Must pay all required fees for licenses, documentation
How U.S. Citizens Can Apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa
If you’re an American citizen looking to travel to Canada for a working holiday, you’ll have to follow the steps below in order to properly apply for a special work permit.
Before you apply for your Working Holiday Visa, you’ll have to obtain a Letter of Support from your Recognized Organization.
1. Complete the required questionnaire
2. Create your online IEC profile (you’ll need your passport)
3. Upload your Letter of Support from your RO to your profile.
4. Submit your profile.
5. If your profile is accepted, you can complete the work permit application.
6. Complete and submit your Working Holiday Visa application.
7. If your application is approved, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will inform you of your successful application. You’ll receive a Port of Entry letter of introduction in your IEC profile. You’ll need to print it off and take it with you when you land in Canada at customs.
Required Documents for Americans Applying for the Working Holiday Visa
The following documents are required for any U.S. citizens applying for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa:
- Valid passport (that will also be valid during your entire stay in Canada)
- Medical certificate
- Digital photograph
- Receipts for fee payments
- Confirmation from your Recognized Organization (RO)
- Police certificate (from any country where you’ve lived for more than 6 months)
- Biometrics (required after your visa application is approved)
Need Help Applying For Your Working Holiday Visa?
If you’re an American citizen, applying for the Canada Working Holiday Visa can be a complicated process.
Since the U.S. is not considered an eligible country according to the IEC, you’ll need to take additional steps in order to apply and be approved for a visa.
At Falcon Law, we’ll help you with every step of the process so your application goes smoothly.
As Canadian immigration lawyers, we have plenty of experience helping Americans immigrate to Canada successfully.
If you need help gaining your Canadian immigration, or for any questions about living or working in Canada, reach out to us at Falcon Law today.