And then what?
Official application processing times for IEC permits is eight weeks, during which immigration officers will:
- review your application to make sure it’s complete
- decide if you are allowed to come to or stay in Canada
- decide if you are eligible to apply for the work permit
There are differences in processing times among regions and applicants.
Log into your account once in a while to see if you received a new message. You could be asked for more details or additional documents could be requested.
Two Correspondence Letters
You’re going to receive two Correspondence Letters:
- The first one confirms your biometrics were received
- The second one is the Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction to confirm your work permit was granted
You may receive the first Correspondence Letter right after submitting your biometrics… or not—it can take some time, don’t worry. Both Correspondence Letters can also be received hours apart.
Additional documents request after application submission
Some applicants may be required to provide additional documents. In that case, you’ll receive a message with new instructions regarding submission method and deadline. A request for additional documents may delay your application process.
Remember that it’s your responsibility to check your account for messages while your application is being processed. You’re supposed to get an email to let you know you have a new message in your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada account but hey, technology sometimes fails people. Requests for info from the Government of Canada come with a deadline and you don’t want to miss it!
Typically, additional documents requested are:
- A missing police certificate
- A proof of medical exam (e.g. if you only uploaded the proof of appointment so far)
- A proof of biometric fee payment
- Form IMM5257 — Schedule 1 (usually requested when you have unexplained gaps in your work and education history, you will have to list all the countries you travelled to in the past five years or since the age of 18)
If you check your application details on your account, you should see the documents already provided and a new button to add the additional documents requested.
Once you’ve uploaded the documents, make sure to submit your application again with the electronic signature! If it says “not submitted yet,” it means the documents were uploaded but not yet received because your electronic signature is missing. Click “Next” and “Submit” to complete the process. During the 2019 season, a few applicants were denied their work permit because they only uploaded the documents without submitting them—watch out!
The Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction (aka “Introduction Letter” or “Introductory Letter”)
At the end of the application process, you’ll receive a new message in your account. Either you’ll be issued a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction (congrats!) or you’ll be informed your IEC work permit application was denied.
Working Holiday work permit holders can go to Canada as soon as they receive the Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. It’s usually valid for 12 months—check the “Permit validity” box on your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction, you must come to Canada prior to that date. Once you land in Canada, your Working Holiday work permit is valid for either 12 or 24 months (Australian, French, Irish and British citizens only).
Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship work permits holders can land a few days or a few weeks before the start date of their work contract. Border services officers usually issue the work permit upon landing. If you arrive “too early,” you may have to “flagpole” (i.e. leave Canada at a border crossing with the USA and re-enter immediately to validate your work permit). Your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction will show your permit validity date.
With your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction in hand, you can start planning your trip and your stay in Canada.
Documents to show to border services when you arrive in Canada
If you want to get your 12-month or 24-month Working Holiday work permit, you must show the following documents:
- Your passport, valid for the entire length of your stay in Canada
- Your Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction
- Proof of funds, with a statement of your bank account issued no more than one week before showing the equivalent of CAD2,500. If you are an unpaid International Co-op Internship participant, you may need to show proof of additional financial resources to cover expenses for your entire stay since you’re not allowed to work for another employer.
- Proof of health insurance coverage (from 29.70 €/month) for the entire length of your stay in Canada. If you only bought coverage for six months, the border services officer may issue a non-renewable six-month WHV.
- Copies of the documents you provided in your work permit application.
Have fun in Canada!
And since you’re about to start your adventure, you may want to read:
- Your To-Do List Before Going to Canada
- The landing process and your first steps in Canada
- Finding a job and working in Canada
- Finding Accommodation in Canada
- How expensive is life in Canada?
- Everything You Need to Know to Rent a Vehicle in Canada
- Free Guide to Working Holiday in Canada