First of all, note that Canadian authorities require all IEC work permit holders (WHV holder, Young Professional, International Co-op worker) to arrive in Canada with at least CA$2,500 (or the equivalent in another currency). These funds are critical to the success of your project. WHP holders may not be able to find work immediately after their arrival. Yet, there are initial expenses to cover regardless of whether you settle down somewhere (first and last month’s rent, buy a public transit pass, etc.) or start travelling around (plane, bus or train tickets, second-hand car, rental, gas, etc.).
- Unpaid interns must prove they have sufficient funds to support themselves for the entire duration of the internship. Since you’re not allowed to work for another employer, you must show you or a relative can cover all your expenses while in Canada.
- Those entering Canada on a one-way ticket must show they have sufficient funds to buy a return ticket (in addition to the CA$2,500 required as proof of funds
Some travellers arrive in Canada with exactly CA$2,500 in their bank account while others managed to save a few hundreds or a few thousands more just to be on the safe side. As a rule of thumb, you should calculate how much money you need for your plans—and be realistic! For instance, Young Professionals with a job offer in Canada know when they will start getting paid and how much they will get, so may choose to arrive in Canada with the exact required amount.
Do keep in mind that it’s easy to spend a lot of money during your first few weeks in Canada! You have to budget for:
- A taxi ride/bus ticket from the airport;
- A few nights in a hostel/hotel (unless you book and pay online before the trip);
- A public transit pass if you land in a big city;
- First and last month’s rent if you find an apartment or a room quickly.