The WHV in Canada, everything you need to know

Do you want to travel to Canada but are not aware of the work permits available? Do you know that there are international agreements that allow you to travel and/or work in a foreign country for a certain period of time?

In this article, we will introduce you to the WHP in Canada and everything you need to know about this famous work permit.

What is the WHV in Canada (Working Holiday Permit)?

The Working Holiday Permit (WHP) is a work permit available through theInternational Experience Canada (IEC). This program is designed to offer young working people the opportunity to travel and/or work in Canada.

It is an open work permit: it allows you to work and travel throughout Canada, it is not tied to an employer .It is therefore very flexible and you can work in almost any field of activity. Please note that in some sectors, such as education and health care, it is necessary to pass a medical examination.

One of the advantages of the WHP is that there is no obligation of working time, it is up to you to choose how you want to enjoy it. As long as you stay within the period of time specified on your work permit, you can work as long as you want. For example, you can choose to work for the entire duration of your WHP or work for a few weeks before traveling.

The WHP seems like the ideal work permit, but there are a few important things to know before embarking on the Canada WHP adventure:

  • The WHP is not renewable*.The only exception for France concerns people who obtained a WHP before 2015 and who have only benefited from the EIC program once.
  • It is obtained by drawing lotsto avoid discrimination against participants. You have your chances during the invitation rounds scheduled every week;
  • It is difficult to access! Indeed, there are more and more requests and the quotas per year do not necessarily correspond to the number of applicants;
  • You cannot combine a WHP with a Young Professionals (YP) permit*.. Although they are part of the same program, it is not possible to combine these two work permits.
  • You will not have access to the health insurance plan of the province in which you are located. 

*There are exceptions depending on the agreements with the countries. It is possible to renew your WHV or to combine the WHV and the JP for the following countries: Spain, Greece, Estonia, Costa Rica, Germany, Chile, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico (agreements suspended), Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Czech Republic, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine (agreements suspended).


Who can apply for a WHP for Canada in 2023?

All persons who are part of the 33 countries that have an agreement with Canada's IEC program are eligible for the WHP.

Check if your country of nationality has agreements with the EIC program.

For example, France and Belgium are among the partner countries of the EIC program and each has an agreement with well-defined admission criteria.

The eligibility requirements and the duration of your permit will depend on your country of nationality. For example, the French WHP is for a period of two years while the Belgian WHP is only for one year.

WHP Canada: eligibility requirements French

In order to register in the French PVT pool, and have the chance to be drawn, you must :

  • Being a French citizen. If you live in France, but are not a French citizen, you are not eligible for a WHP under the France-Canada agreement. If your country of nationality has an agreement with the EIC Canada programme you may be eligible through your country's agreement.
  • Have a French passport valid for the entire duration of your stay in Canada (at least two years). If your passport expires before the two years, remember to renew it before starting the WHP application process. Otherwise, the work permit you will be provided with will be for the duration of your passport's validity. If you apply for a passport renewal during your WHP application, remember to notify immigration of this change via your IRCC account.
  • Be between 18 and 35 years old (inclusive). You have until the day before your 36th birthday to be eligible for the EIC France-Canada program.
  • Have at least $2,500 CDN to cover your expenses in Canada. This is proof of funds that may be requested upon arrival in Canada. This can be an official letter from your bank or a bank statement dated less than six days before your departure.
  • Take out health insurance for the duration of your stay. Proof of coverage may be requested upon arrival in Canada. If your insurance is less than two years old, then the duration of your WHP can be equivalent to the duration of your insurance.
  • Not being inadmissible to Canada.
  • Have a return ticket before you leave OR show that you will have enough money to buy a return ticket at the end of your stay in Canada. If you do not have a return ticket, include an additional sum of money on your proof of funds to prove that you are able to pay for a return ticket.
  • Not to be accompanied by dependents. If you are a couple,there is an exception for family reunification, which we will discuss below.
  • Pay applicable fees. These are the application fees as well as the fees for your biometric data. They are payable only after the draw and if you wish to submit your application. If your application is rejected, you can get a refund.

In addition, the EIC agreement with France also includes the YoungProfessionals(JP) work permit. This has different eligibility criteria to the WHV.


The WHP Canada: eligibility requirements for Belgians

The conditions of access to the WHP for Belgians are more or less the same: compulsory insurance, passport valid for the duration of the permit (one year for Belgians), proof of funds of $2,500, etc.

Here are the important differences to take into account for the Belgian WHP:

  • Possess a passport valid for at least 12 months;
  • Prove that you are a resident of Belgium at the time of application. If you are abroad, you will need to return to Belgium to live before registering in the pools;
  • Be between the ages of between 18 and 30 years (inclusive).

Do I have any chance of being selected for the WHV Canada?

Each year, Canada's immigration authorities announce quotas for the coming year's draws. These quotas are subject to change in the course of the year according to the needs recommended by immigration.

Usually, the WHP pools open at the beginning of the year and close around November. This means that the pools are only closed for a few weeks each year, so you have the opportunity to be selected almost year round.

➡️ For the 2023 season, the session began on January 9, 2023.

The draws are random and usually weekly.

It isimportant to find out the opening and closing dates of the sessions! Indeed, it is possible thatat the end of the session, the registration pools are emptied. In this case, your application will be automatically withdrawn. You will then have to re-register for the next session if you wish to be drawn.

ℹ️ For the first time, the pools were not emptied at the end of 2022 and all applications were retained for the 2023 session. 

Follow us on LinkedIn to learn about the latest steps taken for the WHP in Canada.

I am selected for the WHV and my partner is not, what can I do?

You were lucky enough to be drawn, but your spouse was not?

First of all, it is important to know that the WHP is for one person only. The Young Professional Permit (YPP) is more suited to people who want to go abroad as a couple or as a family. If your choice is exclusively for the WHP, there are several options available to you.

Everyone gets their PVT

The first option is towait for your partner to be drawn in turn. This is quite possible possible but rather uncertain, because, as you know, the selection is done by drawing lots;

Tourist visa for travelers

The second option is reserved for for who do not intend to work in Canada. Your spouse may consider accompanying you on a tourist visa to Canada. In this case, he or she will have to justify that he or she has the financial means to stay in Canada for the duration of the visa without employment. The tourist visa can be issued for a period of six months maximum.

If your partner does not need to work, he/she may also consider a study permit for the duration of your WHP.

The Open Work Permit (OWP)

The third option is certainly the one that will suit many of you. Your spouse can obtain an open work permit, under certain conditions.

The Open Work Permit (OWP) is reserved for spouses accompanying temporary foreign workers. When you cross the border, the immigration officer cannot be sure that you will get a job. If you are able to find a job quickly and meet the following conditions, your partner can apply for an Open Work Permit and join you:

  • You are married or in a common-law relationship and you can prove this status (marriage certificate, invoices, certificates...);
  • You have proof of this employment (employment contract, letter of employment);
  • Your employment has already started and you can justifyat least three pay slips.

If you meet these conditions, your spouse can quickly apply for an open work permit. In Canada, pay is generally paid every two weeks, so a month and a half after the beginning of your WHP, his or her application can be launched.

ℹ️ Since the end of 2022, Canada has announced a relaxation of the conditions of access to the Open Work Permit (OWP) for the spouses of temporary foreign workers. It is therefore no longer necessary to have a qualified job, It is no longer necessary to have a skilled job, i.e. a category 0, 1, 2 or 3 job, to apply for a PTO.


WHP Canada: how to find a job in Canada from France

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