Canada RO Nomination + Working Holiday

Age 18-35
Visa Length 12 or 24 Months
Cost $1,400.00

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!

Support

  • 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

  • Virtual pre-departure orientation and arrival orientations (virtual or in-person)
  • Access to our hosting centres in Toronto and Vancouver complete with laptops, Wi-Fi, printers/scanners, and free coffee and tea
  • Ongoing advice and support from our staff (by phone, email, or in person!)
  • Canadian mailing address, mail holding, and free Canada-wide letter forwarding
  • Travel tips and recommendations
  • Customized resources for driving, healthcare, housing, shopping, and more!
  • Assistance with work permit, employer, or landlord issues
  • After-hours emergency support line — because life happens!
  • Free SIM card upon arrival (optional)

Jobs

  • 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

  • Interview tips and tricks and one-on-one practice interviews
  • Assistance in navigating taxes, forms, paperwork and employment concerns

Social

  • 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

  • Hosting centres where you can network and meet likeminded travellers, potential roommates and friends
  • Active membership for your entire working holiday

Other Costs

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. 

Requirements

  • Age
    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.  
  • Nationality
    You must hold a passport from an IEC-eligible country listed here.
  • Passport
    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.

Arrival Accommodation

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

Due to a high volume of applicants, the 2024 waitlist is now closed. Thank you for your interest in this year's program!

For those already on the waitlist, we selected our most recent round of candidates on Thursday, February 8, 2024. Check your inboxes!

Our next two rounds of selections will take place on:

  1. Thursday, February 22
  2. Thursday, March 7

Moving forward, we will not be responding to further requests for information about your waitlist position. You must wait to hear from us.

Looking for another option? Our RO Nomination + Young Professional waitlist is still open. Click here for more information.

FAQ

Will the waitlist reopen in 2024?

We don't anticipate reopening the Working Holiday waitlist this year, however, this can always change in the future.

If you'd like to apply with us in 2025, please visit this page in October or November for updates.

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

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.

I've already participated in an RO program before. Can I participate again?

Yes! You can obtain a total of two (2) RO nominations in your lifetime, as long as you are of eligible age and nationality. These can be used for either the Working Holiday or Young Professional program (or a combination). You can find more details here.

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