Holding a Canadian Working Holiday Visa is a great way to enter the Canadian labour market and make points to immigrate to Canada. The Working Holiday Program seems to be more and more popular nowadays as it provides youth with the opportunity to travel around Canada while making money.
The Canadian Working Holiday Visa is an open work permit that allows you to work for any employer at any location – and if you make the right decisions, and are informed from the beginning, this path can lead to Permanent Residence.
The work visa is granted for a different length of time, usually one year for most nationalities, although some applicants are granted a work permit for 2 years. With the changes in the Canadian Experience Class program having the work visa for one year will allow the applicants to apply permanent residence within the validity of their permits even if they do not have the support of their employers in the future as long as their positions qualify.
The working holiday visas cannot be extended however; there are a few strategies to keep you working legally in Canada while switching to different kinds of work permits.
If your employer supports your stay in Canada this opens up your options and other programs may be available for you, i.e. Federal Skilled Worker, Provincial Nominee Program, etc.
I myself know for a fact the effectiveness of this program. A working holiday visa was my first Canadian work visa in 2008 and during that time I was able to apply to immigrate to Canada permanently as a Federal Skilled Worker.
By: Maria Campos Prior, LL.M., RCIC
Vancouver Regulated Immigration Consultant