Preparing For Canada

I recently got my working holiday visa accepted for Canada. It was a long, stressful process but now, I can happily say I’m heading to Canada! Its a visa very similar to Australia, its just double the length. Its so exciting to think that the next two years I will be working and travelling around one of most diverse and delightful countries – from what I’ve heard that is – from the vast, natural beauty of the national parks to the sheer size of the glistening, snow covered mountain ranges. Being able to ski all day and then work all night is something that hugely appeals to me. We decided to fly to Vancouver and make British Columbia our first destination!

Sun Peaks Resort, BC
Sun Peaks, BC

The Visa Process

The first part of the process is entering the pool. This was the most simple part. Completing your IeC account profile. This involved filling out:

1. Personal Details

2. Application Details

3. Work History

4. Education History

This can be done in one sitting. After this you can choose to enter the pool. You then get randomly selected and “Invited to Apply”. For me, this took around two weeks but for some friends of mine this has taken more than a month. Once you have been invited you have to upload/scam some documents.

1. Your Passport

2. Your CV

3. Police Certificates – They are very strict with who they grant access too.

4. A Passport style photo of yourself

5. A document issued by the Canadian about your family.

The only issue I found here was getting my police certificates. I had been living in Australia for over 6 months at this point so a UK & an Australian one were required.

After this is done you just have to pay the fees ($250 Aud) and play the waiting game. It can take 2-8 weeks.

Booking Flights

After my Visa was accepted I wanted to book tickets straight away, however mine came a lot sooner than my girlfriends so I had to wait. As she didn’t apply until a little while after me – had to get a valid passport first – we decided to spend some time on the UK which is why we are here now together. Anyway, we just booked our tickets to Vancouver. Whilst looking for flights I realised there were so many options for flying depending on how much you wanted to spend and wether it was a return or one way. I was searching for one way tickets. There were actually some really cheap flights (£220-350 GBP) and then were some more expensive ones of course. The direct flights seemed to be too expensive to consider really. Originally I had found a flight with WestJet, a 12 hour journey with a 1.5 hour stop in Calgary. It all seemed great until I was about to finalise the payment and I saw you had no checked baggage – no one on the plane did. So, be careful when booking the flights as there are sometimes hidden details that could cause some big issues. After a little while I had booked flights, March 7th, to Vancouver.

Accommodation, Insurance & Savings

Another requirement for entering Canada is too have enough money to last the initial costs of living ($2500 CAD) and enough to book a ticket home if it all goes tits up ($500 CAD). On top of this you need proof that you have paid for Health Insurance for your whole duration of your stay in Canada and accomodation for the first few nights upon your arrival. We used Airbnb and found a really cheap private room at the back of someone’s garden just 10 Minutes from the City centre! It cost us just (£70) for the whole week, which isn’t bad at all really.

In a few weeks I will be doing a post about packing & what I’ll be taking with me!

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