How to become an au pair in Canada

Below you will find some detailed information on formalities for Canada. Find out what you need to consider prior to leaving your country.

Please note that there is no official au pair programme or au pair visa for Canada. However, young persons from the following countries may apply for a Working Holiday Maker visa instead:

Australia,  Austria*, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy**, Japan, South Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico***, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Ukraine*** and Great Britain.

* Austria: Young people from Austria can also apply for a visa with the Student Work Abroad Programme if they meet all the requirements.

** Italian au pairs may only legally work in Canada during the first six months of their stay.

***Mexico and Ukraine: The Youth Mobility Arrangement between Canada and these two countries is not accepting applicants at the moment. We will keep you updated.

Important: The Working Holiday visa application process does not guarantee that you will get the visa, even if you are fully eligible and make all steps correctly.

Step 1: Check the validity of your passport

Make sure that you have a valid passport or identity card before planning your trip. The validity period of your passport should cover the entire duration of stay in Canada.

Step 2: Determine your eligibility

Please note that the annual number of granted visas is limited. Therefore we recommend you to apply as soon as possible. Find out if there are still rounds of invitations left for your nationality.

Please use the the online tool "Come to Canada" to check if you meet the criteria in order to participate in the IEC Travel and Work programme. One of the questions will state:

"Do you have a signed offer letter, contract of employment or internship agreement from an employer in Canada?"

Be sure that you answer NO to this question. Only then you will be placed in a pool for Working Holiday Maker visas.

When you get to the end of the questionnaire, you will receive your "personal reference code". Please print this page, as you will need it to create a profile in the next step.

Step 3: Submit your profile

Create your MyCIC Account. Please note that it is very important for you to write down your MyCIC username, password, recovery and security questions (you will need to provide these details every time you log into your MyCIC Account). Once your account is completed, please proceed to the "What would you like to do today" section and click on "Apply for Visa, Study, and/or Work Permit" to complete it. Please ensure that all 4 sections are marked green as "Complete".

As soon as you have followed these steps, your profile wil be placed in a pool together with other applicants from your home country. You will have to wait for the invitation to apply. Invitations to apply (ITA) will be issued by the CIC regularly in rounds to pool candidates.

Important: Submitting your IEC Profile doesn’t mean you will be invited or you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

Step 4: Accept invitation and apply for a work permit online

If you are invited to apply, you will be notified correspondingly in your MyCIC Account. From now on you will have 10 days to decide if you intend to accept the invitation. Once you have accepted it, you will have 20 days to apply online for your work permit. Ensure that you have all documents requested by the CIC ready ahead of time. Please note that all IEC participants need to pay a $150 CAD fee and Working Holiday participants need to pay an additional $100 CAD on top. To accept the invitation, you need to: proceed to the section called “Applications” in MyCIC. Find the application called “Work permit” and click “Start application.”

Step 5: Wait for processing and receive your Port of Entry Letter

Your application will be processed within 8 weeks. Once your application has been accepted, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. Please note that you will need to bring this letter along with you to Canada and present it to a Canadian Border Service Officer at a port of entry. After submitting your work permit application with all your final documents, your application will be processed on a “first-in first-out” basis.

Step 6: Undergo a medical examination and have your work permit modified

Your work permit (which will be issued once your application has been accepted) will state that you are not authorised to work in the 3 following fields of occupation: 1) childcare, 2) primary or secondary school teaching, 3) health care. Should you wish to be employed in any of the above-mentioned fields, you will need to undergo a medical examination and have your work permit modified. You therefore need to contact a Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Centre for medical examination forms and further instructions. Once they have received your examination results, the CIC will modify your work permit and remove occupational restrictions.

Step 7: Apply for a Social Insurance Number (SIN)

In order to legally work in Canada and receive a tax refund at the end of the year, you will need a Social Insurance Number. Please check the detailed information on the Social Insurance Number in Canada.

For more information on the new procedure or any of the steps listed above, please refer to the official CIC website.

We are continually researching and updating our host country information, but cannot guarantee that all material provided is complete and correct. If you notice gaps or inaccuracies, we would like to hear from you.

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