While doing research when I was applying for my own Visa to Canada I repeatedly found the same questions being asked on Facebook and various other online forums. To make the entire process easier for you I decided to compile a list of frequently asked questions on a single page in case one day you ask yourself the same questions!
BEFORE GETTING YOUR POE
When does the visa application open?
It can vary depending on the country but it is usually at the beginning of the year, between January and May.
Will the visa open without notice? How will I know in advance when I can apply?
They usually give 2 days notice, but if you want to have it under control, keep following my blog and keep monitoring the government page so you don’t miss it! (add the link here).
What time will the visa application open?
They will say the time 24 hours in advance on the same page.
Do I need the proof of CAD$2500 when I apply for the visa?
No, you only need proof of funds when you arrive to Canada.
Do I need proof of insurance when I apply?
No, you only need proof of insurance when you arrive to Canada.
(For Spanish residents) Do I need police records certificate to apply for the visa?
No, at least they didn’t ask for it last year. People from the UK are required but not the people from Spain. Nevertheless, once you get your visa and begin applying for jobs, many companies in Canada request a background police check before hiring, so be prepared.
(For Spanish residents) Can I open a MyCic account or Kompass account before the visa opens?
No, you should not create an account before it opens. When the convocation for people from Spain opens you will be able to create a Kompass account, not before that.
(For Spanish residents) Do I need to provide an «itinerary»?
Residents of the UK were asked to provide an itinerary this year. It was just a rough list of what you are going to do in Canada and where are you going to stay.
As for Spain they DID NOT ASK FOR THE ITINERARY this year, so do not worry about it.
Do I need a medical?
You do not need a medical unless you are planning on working in specific fields such as schools, nurseries, etc. on the IEC page you can find a list of all the places you can go get it done and it is available around the world. For more information about it click here.
If you decide you want to work in these specific fields later, once you are in Canada, you can get your work permit modified once you perform the medical exam in Canada and you go to the border to activate it (flagpoling).
Which insurance should I buy and what should it cover?
You can learn more about Working Holiday insurance here (Spanish).
I made a mistake when I was entering my data on the CAL application. What should I do?
Here is what it said on the page this year (2015):
«Do not withdraw your application if: You have made an error and there is a minor discrepancy in your application and your documents (for example: reversing your first and last names, or a digit or number off for your date of birth or passport number). Instead please contact IEC through “My Messages” in Kompass.»
So DO NOT WITHDRAW your application because it could mean you could lose your spot in the quota. Instead just send them a message through Kompass and try to be patient.
Last year it worked perfectly fine and they got everything corrected.
What if I am in the waiting list?
If you are in the waiting list you should wait until IEC contacts you. It could take days, or maybe even weeks. Just be patient and keep looking for updates!
ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR POE OR YOU ARE IN THE PROCESS OF WAITING
I have received my POE. How long can I wait to enter Canada to activate the visa?
It should say on your POE but it is 1 year starting from the date of issue of the POE.
I cannot open the PDF document (or the PDF doesn’t look right)?
Try downloading the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader and save the document to your Desktop and try again. That should make it work. Try to use a computer and not a mobile device as well.
Do I need a flight ticket back home if I have my visa to cross the border?
No, you don’t need a flight back, you can purchase it later (You just need proof of funds).
I am currently in Canada with my Working Holiday Visa activated, am I allowed to leave the country to go see my family or will I lose the visa if I do?
You can leave the country and your visa will still be active.
Once I have my POE, can I enter Canada as a tourist first so I can do some traveling before?
You could, but it is up to the border agent to allow you to do it.
Which are the most recommended pages where I can find jobs in Canada?
Kijiji, Indeed, Craigslist… Depending on what you are looking for some pages will be better for you. Check out my post for more details.
If my flight to Canada has a stop in the US, should I get my ESTA done?
Yes, because technically you are going to cross a border in the U.S as well. You should get an ESTA if you are flying to the US even if it is just a stop and you are not staying there, just to be safe.
If I am in Canada already, where do I go to activate my POE?
You should go to the closest border to get it done. So for example if you are living in Toronto, the closest border would be the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls. If you´re in Vancouver…..
Can I activate my POE at the airport?
You can only activate it at the airport if you are flying in to Canada. If you are already in Canada you should go to the nearest border, not the airport.
Once I have my work permit activated, how do I get my SIN number?
You can get your SIN number at the same time you are at the airport activating your work permit or for more information you can visit the official government page.
IMPORTANT!: SAVE YOUR POE ON YOUR COMPUTER ONCE YOU RECEIVE IT!!
it has happened that people try to access their accounts after several months and they couldn’t access it again for some reason, you can contact them so they can send it back again to you but we highly recommend you to save it so you don’t have this problem.
This image outlines the entire process in an easy to read way and can give you a good idea of how much time it will take for you to get your visa. In this (add link) post you can find the step by step in Spanish.
Let me know in the comments if you have more questions about the process.