BUNAC, the gap year organisation, is offering advice and support to help applicants secure the sought-after visas, plan a successful trip and enjoy a taste of working life in Canada. 

The IEC work permits, which allow young people to spend up to two years travelling and working in Canada, are strictly limited in number compared with other popular gap year destinations such as Australia and New Zealand.

In recent years they have been hoovered up in record time, leaving large numbers of disappointed applicants. Travel company BUNAC is offering webinars, live Q&As, step-by-step guidelines and advice on when to apply, to ensure applications are accurate, timely and likely to be accepted first time round. 

BUNAC, which has over 25 years’ experience of organising Canadian working holidays, not only guides candidates through the IEC process, but also offers a range of benefits and options through its Work Canada programme, including guaranteed employment in top ski resorts, extensive job and accommodation-hunting support for the duration of the trip, plus social events and group flights to meet like-minded travellers.

Emma Beynon, Marketing Manager at BUNAC, stresses that young people can apply for a permit now, but don’t have to travel immediately:

“Once applicants have had their work permit approved, they have up to a year to travel to Canada. This is really useful for anyone who is doing A-levels or in their final year at university and hoping to head out to Canada next summer. Our advice is to snap up a permit while they can, with our help, and then take their time with trip planning and job-hunting."


What is an IEC* work permit and how does the application process work?

*International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permits allow eligible 18 to 30-year-old British and 18 to 35-year-old Irish citizens to spend up to 24 months travelling and working in Canada.

The Canadian High Commission's application process requires IEC candidates to create an online profile, then join a “pool” of applicants and await an Invitation to Apply.

The first round of Invitations to apply usually takes place in October or November, and subsequent rounds will be scheduled until the annual quota of work permits (5,000 for the UK and 7,700 for Ireland) is used up.

Although every candidate in the “pool” is said to have an equal chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply, it is clearly beneficial to register as early as possible in the season.


How can BUNAC help?

By pre-registering for BUNAC’s Work Canada programme with a £75 deposit, applicants not only benefit from expert support and advice on eligibility and supporting documents, they also gain access to BUNAC’s online webinars, live Q&As, plus email and text messages alerting them to any announcements and upcoming deadlines.


What are the additional benefits of signing up for Work Canada with BUNAC?

Work Canada participants benefit from BUNAC’s long-standing relationships with a wide array of top Canadian resorts and key seasonal employers.

They also work with well-established in-country partners, SWAP, who are a recognised IEC organisation. There are countless opportunities for seasonal work in the tourist industry, especially in the Canadian Rockies, which provide endless outdoor activities during the summer months and winter sports in some of the world’s top ski resorts.

Previous jobs held by BUNACers have included snowboarding instructor, spa receptionist and photographer in the mountains during the ski season

Participants also benefit from access to BUNAC’s resource centres in Toronto and Vancouver, where a wealth of practical support is available, from opening a bank account to finding accommodation, job opportunities, travel advice and more.

Two BUNAC Work Canada options are available; both include comprehensive visa support, information webinars, handbook and Lonely Planet guide, access to a private Work Canada Facebook group, plus tailored travel insurance. 

On the Ultimate work and travel package, young travellers receive full assistance in securing that highly-prized 4 to 6-month job contract on the slopes in B.C., Ontario or Alberta, prior to departure.

Interviews with Canadian employers take place in the UK, either via Skype or in person at BUNAC’s annual Work Canada Ultimate Job Fair. Also included are 2 nights’ arrival accommodation and support with finding a place to live, comprehensive arrival orientation, regular social activities, ongoing access to job-hunting support and databases.

Many participants enjoy subsidised accommodation, and free or discounted ski passes, too. The programme costs £499.

The Essentials package is an ideal alternative for more independent travellers; participants receive extensive advice and support to help them secure their own job on arrival in Canada.

Previous positions have ranged from juice bar workers to craft brewery staff and from dog walkers to aquarium employees! Also included are 2 nights’ arrival accommodation, orientation, social activities and ongoing access to BUNAC’s resource centres in Toronto and Vancouver.  This programme costs £359.

For further details or to register for Work Canada now with a £75 deposit contact BUNAC today.


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