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Planning a working holiday to Canada can be stressful and confusing – especially if you’ve never lived overseas. That’s where we come in! We’ve been sending Kiwis on working holidays to Canada for over 20 years! We are the experts and are happy to answer any of your questions!

There are so many things to consider when you are going on a working holiday to Canada: When do I have to travel? How do I get a visa? How much does it cost… and so on! We recommend you review our Work Canada Culinary FAQ below to learn more about working and living in Canada with IEP.

If we don’t answer your questions here just give us a call on 0800 700 705 or contact us here.


What happens when I first get to Canada?

When you first arrive in Canada you will have your initial accommodation booked at a hostel. You will attend an orientation where we will review all the vital information that will allow you to find work and accommodation.

If I go on the program, what do I get?

The Work Canada Culinary program is full support. This means that before you even leave the country you will have assistance in obtaining the working holiday visa, your dream job at a top knotch restaurant, access to our expert travel materials to prepare you for your trip and have the assistance from our staff to answer any questions you may have. You will also be given access to our closed Facebook group where you can meet other travellers on the program! This is a great place to meet future flat mates, ask questions and see where others are working and travelling!

Most importantly we sort you a kitchen job at one of our many employment partners. At a minimum you will get guaranteed staff housing, market value or higher compensation for your job and confidence that your new employer is going to treat you right as we comprehensively vet each of the companies we place people at!

Upon arrival to Canada you will have your initial accommodation booked at a hostel in either Vancouver or Toronto – your choice. Please note that a surcharge applies to Toronto accommodation bookings. In both Toronto & Vancouver IEP has an inbound centre where you will attend an orientation in which our staff will; assist you in obtaining a tax file number & opening a bank account. They can also help with travel and transportation, mobile phones, Canadian culture, tax and employment laws and much more!

The inbound centres are equipped with computers, internet, fax, printers and phones. Throughout the two years you are there inbound centres host seasonal job fairs where employers come to our offices to interview you face to face. There is also a bi-weekly email that you will receive that has job listings, events and other important information.

We also host social events where you can meet other travellers on the program. Pub meets, ice hockey games, theatre trips, white water rafting and other events are run throughout the year.

Our staff are there to provide you with the support and guidance you need to have a successful working holiday. If you are having problems finding work, feeling homesick, need assistance sorting your mobile phone whatever it is, we are there to help!

When do I have to leave?

There is no set departure time for this program, so you leave when you want to. However you should be using the program within 12 months from with you apply with us. Once the visa has been issued you will have 12 months to enter Canada and activate it.

Do I have to buy insurance through IEP?

Yes – the IEP travel insurance policy is a compulsory component of the program. Travel insurance coverage is also mandatory for all participants under the Canadian government visa regulations and I agree to purchase a travel insurance policy from IEP for the full duration of the visa. If you would like to obtain a quote for insurance please email


Who is eligible for the Work Canada Culinary program?

As long as you hold a NZ passport, are between the ages of 18-35yrs and have no criminal convictions (minor convictions may be admissible) you are eligible for the IEC Working Holiday Visa.

To be eligible for the Work Canada Culinary program you must meet the criteria above and also have 2+ years kitchenwork experience or 1-2 years experience with formal culinary arts qualifications.

Not sure if you meet the kitchen experience requirements – register interest and we can have a chat!

Can I apply if I am at university?

Yes you can apply for the Work Canada program if you are at University. For the Canadian Working Holiday Visa you do not need to have student status to be eligible.

We do not recommend that you use your working holiday visa for Canada over your summer holidays. The Canadian working holiday visa is only issued once in a lifetime, so we encourage you to make the most of the visa.


When should I apply for the visa?

It can take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to apply for a Canadian Working Holiday visa. Once the visa is issued by Citizenship Immigration Canada you will have 12 months to enter Canada and activate the visa.

Do I need to get my criminal record check?

Yes, you will need to get a criminal record check to obtain a Canadian Working Holiday visa. IEP will send you the form you will need to fill out to obtain your criminal record check.

Can I still travel to Canada if I have a criminal conviction?

If you have a criminal conviction you may not be eligible for the visa. Minor offences may be admissible. If you do have any convictions the best thing to do is contact IEP so we can double check your eligibility.

Can I repeat the working holiday visa for Canada?

Unfortunately you cannot repeat a working holiday visa for Canada. They are issued only once in a lifetime and are only good for 23 months. The visa cannot be extended.


Can I travel anywhere in Canada?

Yes the Canadian Working Holiday visa allows you to travel anywhere within Canada!

Can I visit the US while in Canada?

Yes, the working holiday visa for Canada is multiple entry so you can come and go as you please. If you plan to visit the US while living in Canada you will need to ensure you are satisfying US immigration, this may mean you need a visa to visit the US – this something IEP can assist you with before you leave NZ.

Can I travel with my friend/partner?

Yes you can travel with a friend or partner. When you apply for the program, just let us know your travel plans and we will make it happen.

Do I need travel insurance?

Yes you will need travel insurance while you are in Canada for your entire intended stay.

Will I have the opportunity to meet other people on the program before I leave?

Absolutely! We have a closed Facebook group where you can meet your fellow travellers all before you leave NZ. This is a great way to ask questions, meet future flat mates as well as see what others are doing in Canada.

Can I drive in Canada on my licence?

You can drive in Canada on your NZ licence for up to 3 months. It is recommended that you get a international drivers licence before you leave. Once in Canada it is best to check with the Province you are residing in to learn more about the local licensing laws.


Do I have to book my flight through STA Travel?

No, it is not a program requirement that you book a flight with STA Travel. We recommend that you speak with our in-house STA Travel agent as she has great flight deals and has a strong knowledge of what kind of ticket you will need to enter Canada. You can contact STA Travel at 0800 55 66 90 or email

Do I need a return or onward ticket?

You need to either be travelling on a return/onward passage ticket, or have additional proof of funds to show you can purchase such a ticket. If you are travelling on a one way then we would encourage you to have at least another CAD$1000-$1500 on top of the CAD$2500 proof of funds you need for the visa.


How do I apply for Work Canada Culinary?

To apply all you need to do is visit here and fill out the required contact details and make the application payment of $695. Once that is done we will be in touch to start on the Canadian Working Holiday Visa as well as provide you with our expert travel materials.

When should I apply?

At a minimum you should allow for 8-12 weeks. You can apply early and let us know when you want to depart. We will plan everything accordingly so you can leave when you want. It is also a great way to break up fees i.e. program fee, visa fee, insurance, flights.

How do I find out more information?

The best place to find out more is here on the website! We also host information sessions throughout the country and this is a great way to learn more. If you cannot make it to an info session you can give us a call at 0800 700 705, contact us here or find us on Facebook