Comparing Working Holiday Programs

Many young people from certain countries around the world are able to come to Canada to work on open work permits for specified periods under the Working Holiday Program (“WHP“).  The WHP is a part of the International Experience Canada (“IEC“) program.   The IEC also includes other programs such as the Young Professionals Program which require that applicants have pre-arranged employment.

What many people don’t realize is that the WHP rules for specific countries vary dramatically.  As well, they are changing constantly.  So if you see you’re country on the list below, and you notice that the rules for your country are much more stringent than other countries, you may want to lobby your government to negotiate more flexible terms with Canada.

Country Age Eligibility Maximum Validity (Months) Frequency of Participation Quota
Australia 18-30 24 No limit 8,900
Belgium 18-30 12 Once 750
Chile 18-35 12 Once 725
Costa Rica 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 70
Croatia 18-35 12 Twice 275
Czech Republic 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 1,000
Denmark 18-35 12 Once 300
Estonia 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 80
France 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 14,000
Germany 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 4,200
Greece 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
Hong Kong 18-30 12 Once 200
Ireland 18-35 24 Once 6,350
Italy 18-35 6 Once 1,000
Japan 18-30 12 Once 6,500
Korea 18-30 12 Once 2,000 per tranche
Latvia 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 164
Lithuania 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
Netherlands 18-30 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 380
New Zealand 18-35 12 Once 2,500
Norway 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 100
Poland 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 650
Slovakia 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 315
Slovenia 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 85
Spain 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 750
Sweden 18-30 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 460
Taiwan 18-35 12 Once 940
United Kingdom 18-30 12 Twice 5.875
Ukraine 18-35 12 Twice in IEC, Once in WHP 25

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