Guide to a Working Holiday in Canada (free illustrated PDF guide)

Chapter 34: Going back to Canada… or travelling elsewhere!

Published: 02-03-2020



Going back to Canada… or travelling elsewhere!

It doesn’t have to be the end of the road—you probably have options to go back to Canada or explore other countries.

Other International Experience Canada (IEC) permits

Depending on your citizenship, you may be eligible for the other two IEC permits: Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship. Like for the WHP, there are set quotas for each category and a step-by-step application process that starts with submitting your profile to a pool of candidates. Fees are $150 plus an $85 biometric fee as of 2018.

International Co-op Internship

With this employer-specific work permit, you can accept an internship in Canada for a maximum of 12 months (18 months for Swiss citizens). The work experience, paid or unpaid, must be directly linked to your field of study.

To be eligible, you must be a student registered at a post-secondary institution, have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada and need to do this work placement or internship to complete your studies.

You must work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada.

Young Professionals

With this employer-specific work permit you can gain work experience in Canada for 18 months or 24 months (depending on your country of citizenship). To be eligible you must have a paid job offer in Canada that contributes to your professional development (i.e. in your field of work or study).

The job offer must be cclassified as a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code Skill Type Level 0, A or B to be considered as contributing to your “professional development.” A NOC C job might be accepted if you can submit a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree with your work permit application.

Other work permits for Canada

If you don’t meet the requirements for an IEC work permit, you can check out the other types of work permits.

Note that if you do find a job in Canada, your employer will have to prove that there is a need for a temporary worker and that no Canadians are available for the job. As part of the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA), the position must be advertised for several weeks online on Job Bank and using two more national methods. Interviews must be conducted with all applicants meeting the requirements. The LMIA can only be approved at the end of the process if no suitable permanent resident or Canadian citizen applicant can be hired.

Permanent resident status in Canada

If you want to settle in Canada, you may want to look into the permanent residence process. To see if you might be eligible under one of the many immigration categories (e.g. Federal skilled workers, Provincial nominees, Canadian experience class, etc.) you can use the free Come to Canada tool.

The permanent residence process is long (i.e. usually at least a year, often longer) and much more expensive than a work permit application.

The Express Entry program is probably the faster way to get permanent residence status.

Note that Quebec has its own rules for choosing immigrants. If you want to live in this province, you must apply to the Government of Quebec for a Quebec Selection Certificate (“Certificat de sélection du Québec” or “CSQ”) then go through the federal immigration process.

Other WHP experiences elsewhere

You can’t have two WHP experiences in the same country (except for a few, rare cases). However, you can absolutely apply for a WHP for another destination and there’s a long list of countries that offer the opportunity.

Let’s face it, the WHP experience is addictive. You won’t be the only one spending one year here and another one thousands of kilometres away—you can almost discover the whole world with several WHPs!


We’re hoping this Guide gave you a complete overview of the WHP experience in Canada and helped you plan your adventure. Keep in mind that each trip is unique and that you write your own story—no matter what, it will be unforgettable and valuable.

The community is here if you need advice, help or support. Your questions and comments are always welcome. Don’t hesitate to share your experience and pictures when you get there, we’re all waiting for them!

Social media (in French)

Government websites

In Vancouver

In Toronto

In Quebec


Tourism in Canada and the United States

Original content: Julie Meunier and Isabelle Sentana
Design and layout: Lucie Casez
Translation: Juliette Giannesini
Proofreading for the English version: Azaëlle Elliott-Bouchard
First French edition: July 2012
5th French edition: October 2018
First English edition: January 2019

A big “thank you” to the staff, especially to Hélène Dezoteux, Cédric Tinteroff, Vanessa Moussali, Muriel Julien, Elodie Rousselle, Laura Mokeddem, Marie Bérard, plus Kenza, Anne Deverre, Sonia Idi, Anne-Catherine Grégoire and Laetitia Lamarcq for feedback and suggestions, as well as for proofing the French edition.

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All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or used for commercial purposes by any means without prior authorization. 
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