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

Chapter 9: The first steps to prepare for the adventure

Published: 02-03-2020



The first steps to prepare for the adventure

Going for an adventure with an open mind and without a set plan makes for a thrilling experience. However, there’s a difference between being flexible and skipping the most basic steps.

Before you rush to the nearest airport to ask for a seat on the next flight to Canada, start with the following.

  • Make sure you have a valid passport. This is the most important document you need to travel and apply for a WHP. If you do have a passport, check the expiry date. If your passport is due to expire during your stay in Canada, renew it now. It’s best to apply for a passport or to renew your documents at least two months before the start of the IEC season.
  • Save money for your trip. The government of Canada requires you to have at least $2,500 to cover your initial living expenses in Canada. It may sound like a lot of money but it’s actually a tight budget considering you’ll have to pay for accommodation, food, transportation, etc. and that you probably won’t find a job right away. If you plan to stay in an expensive destination like Vancouver or Toronto, try to save at least $3,500 or $4,500.
  • Wait for your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction to buy your plane ticket and insurance policy. It’s tempting to book your seat if you find a good deal on airfare but the government of Canada is cracking down on foreign travellers who go to Canada before their work permit is approved and issued. Border officers tend to assume that you could start working illegally and they can see that your WHP application is in progress when your passport is swiped. Buying your plane ticket and insurance policy should be your last step after your WHP is approved.

Frustrated? Don’t be. There’s plenty to do to keep you busy while you wait! Read blogs and travel websites to learn more about your destination city or to decide where to start in Canada. You can also research potential employers, work on your resume in English or in French, check the housing market, compare banks and cellphone providers… It won’t be time wasted, you’ll be landing better prepared for your trip.

Chapter 9 of 34


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