Working Holiday permit holders and Canadian employers both often wonder the same thing: how do Working Holiday permits compare to other types of work permits?

What do Canadian employers have to gain when hiring a Working Holiday permit holder? And are Working Holiday permit holders strong candidates compared to other foreign workers?

In short, a lot… and yes!

1.Fast and straightforward hiring process

Sure, Working Holiday candidates submit their profiles to a pool and applicants are drawn randomly, so an invitation to apply is never guaranteed.

But once the work permit is granted, Working Holiday permits are very flexible. These permits are open work permits, which means that holders aren’t tied to a specific employer—and they can start working right away.

On the other hand, the application process for “closed” (i.e. employer-specific) work permits is more time- and money-consuming. Employers play a role in the application process and must pay the required fees, plus it often takes months before the permit is granted.

Many Canadian industries are facing a severe labour shortage—IT, tourism, food service, healthcare and more. So while a Working Holiday permit holder can technically change employers anytime, a temporary worker can still fill the gap for a few months. And don’t forget that some Working Holiday permit holders are interested in long-term opportunities, not all of them are job-hopping across the country!

2. Foreign talent without the cost of hiring foreign talent

Hiring foreign talent often comes at a cost for Canadian employers—literally. For instance, employers hiring a Young Professional permit holder must pay a $230 employer compliance fee, and the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) required for certain work permits costs $1,000.

The Working Holiday permit has a $346 application fee, but it’s paid by applicants, not employers.

3. Working Holiday permit holders are flexible

Hiring for the season? Need someone for a special two-day event? Some Working Holiday permit holders would love to work for you!

Indeed, Working Holiday permit holders can work for several employers throughout their stay in Canada, and they are more likely to accept short-term contracts to get work experience in Canada or make money before yet another road trip.

As stated above, hiring a Working Holiday permit holder is a quick and straightforward process, which is very convenient when you need extra staff for unexpectedly busy times or last-minute projects.

4. Working Holiday permit holders offer unique skills and perspectives

Hiring a foreign worker is a great way to expose your team to new perspectives as well as new soft and hard skills.

And Working Holiday permit holders should keep in mind that Canadian employers value all kinds of work experience, including internship and volunteer positions. Even unpaid experience teaches new skills and knowledge relevant to a future job.

Depending on the position or sector of activity, your foreign experience acquired back home could be an asset. For instance, European experience is highly valued in digital and new technologies. Quick reminder, Canada has signed more than thirty Working Holiday permit agreements with countries all over the world.

5. Working Holiday permit holders are motivated

Working Holiday permit holders can stay in Canada for up to 12 or 24 months, depending on their country of citizenship. This means that they want to make the most of the adventure and experience, and they are usually highly motivated.

Not all Working Holiday permit holders are backpackers who simply want to make enough money to travel across the country. Some come to Canada to discover new industries and learn new skills. Others want to gain professional experience in their field and move up in the Canadian job market.

Moreover, even though the Working Holiday permit comes with an expiry date, it can also be the first step toward a new life in Canada and permanent residency status, and therefore a long-term work contract.

Working Holiday permit holders come from all walks of life with different backgrounds and objectives, but they are all coming to Canada open-minded, highly motivated and eager to learn.

6. Long-term work contracts are an option

If the Working Holiday permit holder you’ve hired is a perfect fit and if they love working with you, several options could help you both in the long term. For instance, they could apply for a closed work permit—in this case, your employee will only be able to work for you for a set period of time.

Many Working Holiday permit holders are also working towards permanent residence status while in Canada, and if granted, they will be able to stay and work in Canada for as long as they want.

So, what are you waiting for to hire a Working Holiday permit holder?


En PVT au Canada de novembre 2021 à 2023, je répondrai à vos questions avec plaisir. Pour le premier trimestre 2024, direction l'Amérique latine !

I moved from France to Canada on a WHV from November 2021 to 2023, followed then by spending the first quarter of 2024 in Latin America! Happy to answer all your questions.

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