Spend up to 12 months living, working and traveling in Canada. Gain the international experience of working abroad without actually having to go overseas!
Americans who want to work or undertake an internship in Canada must apply for a work permit through a Recognized Organization in Canada. This is because there is no formal agreement between the USA and Canada. Our partner, SWAP Working Holidays, is the Canadian government Recognized Organization. The program is administered in America by IENA.
There are two work permit options, the Working Holiday Permit and the Young Professionals Permit. The Working Holiday permit is an Open Work permit allowing you to take any job in any Province. The Young Professionals permit is a suitable option for applicants with pre-arranged jobs or internships related to their professional development and is an employer-specific work permit (you can only work for one employer).
You choose the date you wish to enter Canada within your eligibility period and book your own travel accordingly. If you wish to take advantage of the free arrival orientation, you should make your way to the SWAP offices in either Toronto or Vancouver. However, you can be as independent as you choose and still have the knowledge that SWAP will be there throughout your stay to help you if needed.Apply Now for Work in Canada
You can participate in the program twice if you meet eligibility requirements (limited number of work permits available for second-time applicants)
The Open Work Permit allows you to be legally employed in Canada for up to 12 months, anywhere, for any employer. However, to work in agriculture, childcare, health services or teaching, you are required to undergo medical clearance BEFORE entering Canada (this can be an expensive and lengthy process).
The type of job you can secure will depend on your qualifications and previous work experience. Most participants find casual employment in shops, bars, restaurants, ski resorts and hotels, but it is possible to find career related or professional work. The majority of participants seek employment once they have arrived in Canada and it takes on average 7 days to secure a job. If you intend to find a career-type position, you should start your job hunt before you go and be prepared to spend more time researching possible vacancies.
Traditionally there are 3 main areas which provide work opportunities: Ontario (Toronto), Alberta (Canadian Rockies for resort work) and British Columbia (Vancouver). If you are unsure about which area will suit you best, you should do as much research as you can. Have a look at a map and get an idea of distances and check out guide books such as Lonely Planet.
Your job or internship must meet National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code Skill Type Level 0, A or B. You should discuss your job title and NOC job code with your employer. Search for your job title and appropriate job code.
Some jobs provide accommodation, but if yours doesn’t you’ll need somewhere temporary to stay until you sort out something more permanent. Youth Hostels, student dorms or tourist homes are your best bet when you first arrive in a town to start your job or look for work. During the summer vacation, halls of residence are often available to rent on an individual basis and normally provide a good standard of budget accommodation. Many Canadian students also go away for the summer months and are looking to sublet their apartments. Alternatively, look in the classified section of the local newspaper for apartments to rent or share. Accommodation agencies can be useful, but some charge a fee for their services.Apply Now for Work in Canada
Whether you work as you travel or work and then travel, you will probably want to see as much of Canada as possible. The wide-ranging diversity in culture and geography makes it a great destination for doing just about anything.
Why not explore one of Canada’s nine mountain ranges? The Canadian Rockies in Banff or Pigeon Spire located in Bugaboo Provincial Park in the Columbia Mountains or check out the Appalachian Mountains which were formed roughly 480 million years ago.
Canada has over two million lakes – more than a thousand miles of white-sand beaches beckon visitors to Lake Winnipeg in Manitoba, the 10th largest lake in the world. For boating and fishing visit the Lake Champlain region of the Adirondack Coast.
For an outdoor adventure, check out one of Canada’s many national parks.
Cosmopolitan cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal boast excellent galleries, museums, theaters, and vibrant nightlife!
Please set up an IENA account and complete the online IENA Outbound Program application being sure to also upload supporting documents to your IENA account.
Supporting Documents Checklist
When all documents have been uploaded to your account and your application is complete we will assess your application and then invoice you for payment of our program fee. After payment is processed you will be instructed to move to stage two of the application process.
Apply for a Canadian Work permit via Citizenship & Immigration Canada (CIC).
IENA will provide complete step-by-step instructions and guidance for all stages of the application process.
Please apply at least 8-10 weeks prior to your intended date of travel to Canada. You are strongly advised not to book flights or make any travel plans before your work permit application is approved by the Canadian government.
Places on the 2023 program will be allocated on a first come first served basis to applicants with completed IENA applications.
The Working Holiday program fee is $975 and covers administration in America and Canada, use of hosting centers in Toronto and Vancouver for job and accommodation listings and program support.
The Young Professionals program fee is $975 and covers administration in America and Canada, use of hosting centers in Toronto and Vancouver and program support.
Application Deadline: Please apply at least 8-10 weeks prior to your planned date of travel to Canada. It is strongly advised not to purchase flights or make travel arrangements before receiving your entry document to Canada.
The IENA Work in Canada program fee are non-refundable.Apply for Work and Travel in Canada