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How to apply for Working Holiday Canada in 2023

Updated: Feb 7, 2023

Oh right! If you are looking for information on this page it is because you have already received an invitation to apply (yay!) or you are curious to know what the next step is in case you receive one.

In this post, I am going to show you what the next steps are once you have received an invitation to apply to the Working Holiday program including all the screenshots you will find in your application, the documents you have to gather and, the deadlines, so you can be prepared.

I hope you find it very useful, I have prepared it based on my experience applying to two working holidays, and it has worked perfectly for me.

If you are still unclear about a working holiday, I invite you to visit this post, where I explain the generalities and the most common questions about this program.

Table of content

1. Receiving an invitation to apply

In my own experience, this is the most exciting day! Usually, when there are any updates to your profile that you have previously created on you will receive an email that goes something like this:

You will log into your profile with your username and password and you will see that you have a message.

IRCC always sends you a message that includes a letter explaining what is going on.

Below that message, you will see this lovely message. Here you can clap, cry, dance or whatever you feel.

In the View the applications you submitted section. You will find something that says International experience Canada and current status Invitation received as shown below:

That means you are lucky to have received an invitation to apply for this program.

In general, you have 10 days to accept or decline the invitation (I hope you accept it) and then 20 days to submit your application.

I would recommend you not to accept it immediately until you check how long it will take you to find the necessary documentation. If the next 20 days is enough, go ahead and accept it, but check first.

2. Accept the invitation

As I mentioned before, I recommend you check step 4 first before accepting the invitation so you have an idea of how long it will take to retrieve the necessary documents.

That's going to depend on your country and how long it takes to handle the paperwork. (So, let's check step 4 first and then you can come back).

Once you are ready and willing to accept, you go into your profile, and if you scroll down, you will find an area that says Continue an application you haven't submitted and you will find a line that explains how many days you have left to accept the invitation. In this example, there are 2 days left to submit.

Accepting the invitation is super easy. Just click on the action to the right as shown in the image below that says Start application, highlighted in yellow.

You will now see that the action has changed to Continue application and the days left to submit have changed to 20. Those are the days you have available to submit your application.

3. Complete your profile

Once you have accepted the invitation to apply, you will be taken to a new screen where the system will ask you to complete additional information.

The screen should look like this:

As you can see you will have to digitally fill in at least 4 forms.

Below I will explain them one by one.

3.1 Personal details of the applicant

In this section you will be able to check the information you entered when you created your profile, there are some data that you will not be able to change.

You will find 6 sections inside, and you will have to navigate and check the information inside all of them. The sections are:

  • Names

  • Personal Description

  • Marital status

  • Language details

  • ID documents

  • Immigration history and citizenships

The first section within that form is about your Names, check if the information is correct, and click next.

The second section is about your date of birth, country and gender, make sure the information is correct and click next.

The third section is about your marital status, fill in the information according to your situation and click next

The fourth section is about language details

The fifth section is about identity documents (ID) . As the profile is created with your passport that information is probably already considered. You can add national identity documents if they apply to you.

And the last section contains several questions. Read them carefully and answer them according to your personal situation.

After completing the form, you can click Validate to have the system check for any missing answers and then you can click Save and Exit.

You will return to the previous page and you will see that the status of that form has changed from in progress to complete.

Before submitting it you can double check the information, and you can also complete some of this information and then come back to continue working on it so it is not mandatory to complete it all at once.

3.2 Contact Information

In this section, you will find 4 sections and you have to follow the same exercise, check the information, complete what is missing and continue. The sections are:

  • Language of correspondence

  • E-mail address

  • Phone

  • Address

In the language of correspondence, there will be two options: English or French because these are the official languages used in Canada.

Choose the language you are more comfortable with and click Next.

Next you will have to enter your email address, make sure you type it correctly because any information will be sent to that email address.

The next section corresponds to your phone number

And then, you have to include the address where you currently live.

Again, when you complete the form, you can check it with the Validate button and then save and exit.

You will return to the main page, and you will see the status updated to complete.

3.3 Work history

In the work history section you will find 2 sections:

  • Work history

  • Education history

Next, we will move on to the form associated with work history. In this form, you will need to include information about your employment during the last 10 years, including any government positions you have held.

If you have been a student during that period you will also need to include this. Make sure you don't have any gaps and complete the entire history including if you were unemployed.

I would recommend writing it down on a piece of paper being clear on the job title, start date, end date (if applicable), employer, city and country.

And also the system does not organize it by date, so if you enter the information randomly you will end up with a random list and not organized chronologically.

Especially if you have had several jobs. In my case, I have exactly 10 years of work experience so I organized it on paper first to have everything ready to complete this form and make sure I don't have any gaps between them.

You will see a screen like this and you will have to add one by one your experience:

Under Occupation you'll find several options, you will not have to enter your specific position. You can do this when you have to submit your resume as part of the documentation listed in step 4.

Be sure to select the appropriate occupation here, because then a new drop-down list will appear to narrow down your job title. This is the first drop-down list:

Depending on the area you select a new drop down list will appear, i.e. if you had a job related to the occupations of arts, culture, recreation and, sports you will see the following:

Once you have completed all your work history, you will see all the details at the end, check that this information is correct and click next. This is just an example of my application.

Next, you will have an item for education history where you will have to answer Yes or No depending on your situation.

If you do have post-secondary education, you will answer Yes to the previous question and more fields will appear, such as the following:

Once you complete all the required information, you will return to the previous page and you will see the work and education details status as complete.

3.4 Application details

This is the last form you have to fill in this part of your application. Here you will find 4 sections:

  • Applications details

  • Intended work in Canada

  • Background questions

  • Contact consent request

In the application details, you will need to answer if you have ever participated in International Experience Canada. Answer this according to your situation.

You will then enter the Intended work in Canada section. Most of the questions here will be pre-populated based on the creation of your profile when you entered the pool of participants.

As I understand it, if you intend to work in one of the occupations listed, you will need to submit a medical exam in the next step.

You will then move on to the background questions, which you will obviously have to answer based on your personal situation. Make sure you read carefully, understand the questions and answer accordingly.

After this, you can validate with the button in the center of the screen and then click save and exit.

At this point, you will have completed the profile, and in the next step, you will see a document checklist based on your answers in these previous sections.

The document checklist should look like this. Remember that this post is based on my experience, so it is possible that, based on your answers, you may have additional documents to retrieve.

If you scroll down this page, you will also see a space for optional documents and fees you will have to pay.

Again, this is an example I got on my application, so your page might be slightly different.

4. Collect the documents

Okay! You've gotten to this point, so I imagine you've either completed your profile and know the documents you need to retrieve or you've read step 2 of this post and are being cautious before accepting the invitation.

So let's talk a bit about the documents you have to upload. In any case, in each document you have in your checklist, you will see a column that says Instructions with a ? sign with more information.

4.1 Family information

In the example I showed you above, one required document is the family information form (IMM5645).

This is a document that you have to fill in with your family information (spouse, common-law partner if applicable, your children, parents and siblings) regardless of whether they are travelling with you or not. You have to download it from the link in your application.

Some of the issues I have read about this form is that sometimes it is not possible to open it when you click on the link to the family information form that appears on the page.

What you have to do is save it to your computer and then open it with adobe reader.

You will see that it asks for a signature, but it is not necessary to sign. You can complete it digitally and then upload it.

At the end of the process, when you upload all the documents, you will be asked to add your name as a declaration that all the information is true and that signature covers your entire application.

4.2 CV/resume

You must upload a Curriculum Vitae with your work history, education and qualifications here.

See below for instructions for this item:

I have seen questions about what is the required format, actually, there is no required format to upload here. Just make sure it is in English or French and contains all of your history. You can use the same information you have added in your profile to add to your resume.

If you have no idea about this, email me at, and I will send you the format I used to obtain my 2 working holidays so that you can complete it with your information.

4.3 Passports/Travel documents

In this section, you must upload a legible copy of your valid passport that you will use to travel.

That copy must show your information, such as date of birth, country of origin, and any pages with stamps, visas or markings, if applicable.

4.4 National Identity Document

If you have a national identity card in your country, as was the case for me, you must include it here.

In the case of Chilean applicants, this corresponds to our carnet de identidad. Scan both sides, and that's it.

Please see here for instructions, especially for citizens of the United States, Denmark who live in Greenland, or citizens of France who live in St. Pierre and Miquelon.

4.5 Digital Photo

In this case, you have to upload a photo, see below the characteristics of this photo.

As I took my first working holiday at a time before the beginning of the pandemic, I went to a store where the photo was taken and asked for a digital copy.

The store was already aware of the Canadian requirements. For my second working holiday, I used the same.

I have read that it can be done with your cell phone; just make sure to follow the requirements below:

4.6 Police Certificates

This document will depend on your country. In this link, you can find exactly what the police certificate means for your country, taken from the official website

In my experience, this document can take the longest to retrieve.

Some considerations you will have to take into account are:

  • You must submit the police certificate for each country where you have spent 6 months or more.

  • You have to submit the documents in PDF including the certificate in the original language and the English translation.

  • Check in the link I mentioned above what a police certificate means. In the case of Chile, you have to present Hoja de vida del conductor and certificado de antecedentes para fines especiales. It does not matter if you do not have a driver's license. Both documents can be obtained from the registro civil website with your unique password.

4.7 Client information

In case you need to upload any additional documents, there is a space for it; according to the instructions it is for a letter of explanation if required. Personally, I did not use this space.

5. Upload documents

Once you have collected the required information or if you already have some of the documents, you can upload the documentation.

To do this, click on the right option of the document you want to upload (e.g. resume) in your document list, and you will see the following:

Then click on Choose file, you will search for the document on your computer, once you have selected the appropriate file, click on Upload file.

Do the same process with each of your documents. Once you have uploaded all your documents, you will see the details in green with the file name and options, appearing as updated information.

Yey! so you have completed all the required information, everything is uploaded, and you are ready to go and pay the fees.

6. Pay the fees

As I mentioned before, as I complete this post with the 2022 process, you must pay 2 fees. The IEC participation fee of 156 CAD, and the open work permit holder fee of 100 CAD.

Additionally, if you are applying for a permit to enter Canada for the first time, you should also see the biometrics fee here. In my case, I already had them the first time, which is why they do not appear in the example.

So, once you have uploaded all the information, you will scroll down and see the fees; if you are ready click Next.

Once you click Next you will see a page called Your declaration and Electronic Signature. On this page you will see the list of documents and details saying you have not yet submitted with IRCC.

Then you will see the summary of fees, a notice about personal information and a declaration. Be sure to read the information to be clear.

Next, if you agree with the information provided, select the appropriate option and then complete your signature with your given name and last name.

After that, the system will ask for one of your security questions, answer accordingly and your signature will appear according to the information you provided and the Transmit and Pay option is the next step you have to follow.

You will again see the Summary of fees, and you will need to click Transmit and Pay.

You will then be taken to a page like when you purchase something online. You will fill in your credit card information, and if everything is OK, you will see a Transaction Approved like this.

7. Wait for a response

Once you have paid, you will be taken to a page confirming that you have successfully submitted your application, and 4 steps will appear. You can read the details below:

From this submission, all you have to do is wait for confirmation of your approval, rejection or for IRCC to contact you by leaving a message on your profile in case there are any additional documents you need.

If this is the first time you are applying for a Working Holiday, and you have never given your biometric data. You will receive a message asking for them.

Be sure to investigate where the biometric data is given. Usually, it is at an institution called Visa application center (VAC) where you have to schedule and go with your passport. They will take your official photo and scan your fingerprints. Here you can find more details filtering by your country.


 I hope this post has been helpful in your process. If you have any questions that you think I can help you with. Feel free to contact me on Instagram at @julietafromhappysoy, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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