Each year, thousands of young people from 18 to 35 years old (whatever youth means to you ;)) have the opportunity to leave their current residency to settle in another country for a certain period of time. It is a lottery.
As for us, we have been targeting Canada for over 6 years now. Through many discussions, personal projects on the way which were more important at that time, our decision was finally made: we will go for Montréal, in the french speaking region of Canada.
However, your participation can only be validated if your profile is sorted out. That was the case for my husband Jo in December of 2017, after only a month of waiting. From that moment on, we had 365 days to arrive in Canada.
# What is a Working Holiday Visa ?
The WHV is a residence permit allowing people to travel and visit a country but also to work for a specific period of time in order to fund their travelling expenses. The length of the permit will vary according to your citizenship and the country you want to visit. As for our case, Canada and France allow their citizens to leave for 24 full months on top.
# Why choosing the WHV Canada rather than the regular immigration process?
Flexibility is key. As French citizens, you can apply to the WHV for Canada until the age of 35. In our early 30’s, we had other personal projects going on, so we set our priorities. Then again, it was a real blessing to wait only a month after applying because some people can wait from 1 to 5 years before their profile gets sorted out !
# How do you apply to the WHV ?
Do not hesitate to visit directly the Canadian immigration’s website where everything is well detailed ! Important: applying for the WHV is individual and annual. Some couple got disappointed when they figure this out because they wanted to go together. One of the solutions if only one profile among two is sorted out, you can do what we are currently doing: the other comes as a tourist for 6 months maximum and is not allowed to work. Then, every applicant must apply each year on the immigration system.
To apply to the “lottery”, here are the requirements:
If your profile is sorted out, you will receive an email of confirmation. Then, you will have around 10 days to :
validate your application paying $250 fees for your visa
fill an online resume for the last 10 years including your vacation periods (this is quite long to do so make sure to prepare this in advance.)
give your biometrics to the system by paying $85
Once your visa application is validated and payed, the Immigration system sends you a “Introduction Letter”, giving you 365 days to arrive in Canada :) That whole full year is crucial to set your final objectives. Do not neglect it ! If you are a believer, don’t forget that God Gives. What. You. Need.
Book your flight, save enough money (at least $2500 per person as required by the immigration system) and pack your suitcases ! xD