Canada RO Nomination + Working Holiday
Why Go & What's Included
Have you fallen in love with Canada (or a Canadian) and want to extend your stay? Are you having a hard time getting Invited to Apply under your country quota?
As a Recognized Organization (RO) with the Government of Canada, SWAP is able to offer RO Nomination programs for IEC-eligible candidates each year. Our RO Nomination quota is highly limited and exclusive to SWAP, but can help first-time applicants and those looking for repeat participation obtain an IEC Working Holiday visa.
An RO Nomination in the Working Holiday category enables applicants to:
- Receive a guaranteed Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the pools;
- Participate up to two more times in IEC programs, over and above what is allowed under your country’s YMA;
- Apply under IEC categories that may not normally be available to certain nationalities (for example, a Working Holiday visa for Swiss nationals);
- Apply up until the age of 35, even if your country's YMA is only for those 18-30 when applying individually.
For more information about this program, check out our FAQ below!
- IEC Working Holiday visa nomination and guaranteed Invitation to Apply
- Advice and assistance with the visa application process, including a detailed instruction guide
- Exclusive Canada Arrival Guide that includes helpful information about your visa, pre-departure tips, and what to expect while living and working in Canada
- Access to our private Canada-wide job database
- Exclusive employment connections and job searching advice from knowledgeable staff
- Monthly newsletters with job offers and seasonal updates
- Customized resume and cover letter review and help in crafting the perfect application
- Monthly social events (hockey games, hikes, canoe trips, pub nights, and more!)
- Free summer walking tours in Vancouver and Toronto (monthly from June – September)
- Annual seminars on taxes and immigration
- Access to the vibrant SWAP Canada community on Discord
All applicants will be responsible for paying the IEC participant fee (CAD$172), open work permit holder fee (CAD$100), biometrics fees (if applicable) and medical exam fees (if applicable). These fees are paid directly to the Canadian government or medical clinic.
You need to be 18-35 years-old, even when your nationality typically only allows applications up to age 30. You must apply after your 18th birthday and receive your ITA prior to your 36th birthday.
You must hold a passport from an IEC-eligible country listed here.
Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay in Canada.
- Criminal Check
You must have no criminal record.
- Required Savings
You need to have savings of at least $2500 CAD (or equivalent) to enter Canada and activate your work permit, as well as a ticket for your departure from Canada or sufficient funds to purchase a ticket.
- Health Insurance
Upon arrival, you must have health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in Canada.
Want us to arrange your hostel accommodation for your arrival? We work with hostels in Toronto, Vancouver, Kelowna, Calgary, Banff, and Montréal. Contact SWAP staff for pricing details and to book!
How to Apply
- The waitlist is now open! Click the button below to join. There is no cost to join our waitlist.
- We will begin inviting applicants from our waitlist in mid-January to register for the RO program and pay the fee. We will assess applicants in the order they joined the waitlist.
- When we receive your registration fee, you will be sent our visa instruction guide to begin the application process.
What are the conditions of an RO visa? Is it the same as a regular working holiday visa?
Yes! If you apply under our RO Nomination + Working Holiday program, you are applying for a regular Working Holiday visa, you're just obtaining it a different way than when you apply on your own. You will receive an open work permit for Canada that allows you to work in any province or territory for any employer in nearly any position.
The application process is also mostly the same, with a few differences, all of which are laid out in our instruction guide. The length of time you will receive on your visa is still tied to your nationality, as listed on the IEC website.
My country isn’t listed on the IEC website. Can I still participate?
Unfortunately, no. With the exception of United States citizens, we can only help those with a passport from one of the countries listed here.
Do I need to pay or provide documentation to join the waitlist?
No. Joining the waitlist is completely free, and you are not obligated to participate in the program simply by joining the waitlist. No documents are required at this stage, but you will need to provide some information about your circumstances. You can join the wiatlist starting December 1 by clicking the button above under How to Apply!
Can I apply for the visa from within Canada or do I need to apply from my home country?
You can apply for an IEC visa from anywhere in the world, including Canada. If you choose to remain in Canada during processing, you must always have valid status while you're here.
If you’re currently on an IEC visa that is expiring soon, submitting an application for a new IEC visa does not afford you maintained/implied status, and IEC visas are non-extendable. If you wish to remain in Canada after your visa expires and remain eligible for this program, you must apply for a visitor visa.
If I apply from within Canada and my current work permit expires before this visa is approved, can I continue working under maintained status?
International Experience Canada (IEC) applications are not eligible for maintained status. This means you must apply for another type of status to remain in Canada during processing, such as a visitor visa. If you remain in Canada without valid status, you risk not being able to activate your new visa.
My visa is expiring soon. How long will it take me to obtain an RO visa?
First of all, selection for the program is not guaranteed as visa spaces are highly limited. Timing also depends on where you end up on our waitlist, when IEC opens the pools, and how quickly we process applications.
If you are selected for the program, IEC processing of fully submitted visa applications can take up to 56 business days. While it can certainly be processed quicker than that, it’s never a guarantee. We recommend everyone anticipate the longest possible processing time, to be safe!
IRCC just added new visa spaces to my country’s quota. Can I access one of these spaces through the SWAP RO program?
The quota for each country listed on the IEC website is completely separate from SWAP’s quota for RO Nominations. If you see additional spaces added under your country, this does not mean that SWAP has more spaces to offer your nationality.
Once my visa is approved, do I have to come to Canada right away, or at a certain time?
As with the regular IEC Working Holiday visa, you will have 12 months from the date of your visa approval to arrive in Canada and activate your work permit. You are not required to enter the country at any particular time of year. If you are currently in Canada with valid status, you can wait until you approach the expiry date of that status before activating this new visa.
It says the visa is valid for 12 or 24 months. Do I get to choose?
Visa length is determined by your nationality, as with any other IEC participation. To find out how long your nationality is eligible for, please visit the IEC website.
If I obtain a visa through your program, am I able to sponsor my common-law partner or spouse as part of my application?
As mentioned on the IEC website here, your dependents (partner, children, family members, etc) cannot come to Canada with you under the IEC program. They will need to apply separately for their own status in Canada.
Unfortunately, SWAP cannot advise on immigration programs outside IEC, so you will need to consult a licensed immigration professional for more information on your specific situation.