2Pros and cons of the Canadian Working Holiday permit

Pros and cons of the Canadian Working Holiday permit


  • This is the only work permit that allows you to travel around Canada for more than 6 months. Other types of work permits generally don’t give you enough time to explore the country at the end of your contract—the WHP offers both the opportunity to travel and the chance to work.
  • The WHP is an open work permit, which means it isn’t tied to a specific employer. Not only you can work for several employers, but you don’t even need to find a job before your trip to Canada.
  • With this flexible work permit, you can switch jobs anytime, work in any province or territory in Canada, and even work several jobs at the same time.
  • Whereas other types of work permits may be tricky to obtain if you’re self-employed or if you’re a freelancer, your status isn’t an issue in the WHP.
  • Eligibility requirements are fairly basic and the application process is straightforward. Your education, work experience, travel experience and language skills are irrelevant—an 18-year-old applicant who has just finished high school has as much chance to get a WHP as a 28-year-old applicant with a Master and a decade of work experience behind him!


  • You can only get a WHP for Canada once (exceptions) and the permit isn’t renewable.
  • Some employers may be reluctant to hire employees on a WHP because of their lack of permanent status in Canada. This is especially true for 12-month WHP. You could always imply that you may eventually apply for permanent residence and plan to stay in Canada for as long as necessary to show your commitment.
  • Canada sets an annual quota of WHP and in some countries, demand exceeds supply. Since 2016, a computerized system draws applicants at random so you could be waiting for a few days or a few months to receive an Invitation to Apply—and you may not receive an invitation at all. See chapter 4 for more information.
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