If you worked in any of these countries, you could be due a Tax Refund

Your Canada Working Holiday Guide

#TaxTipsCanada #TravelTipsCanada #Guides

Here is the ultimate guide to your working holiday in Canada! Read on below or download it here in PDF form straight to your mobile or PC.


Topics we'll cover


1. Getting a visa

2. Landing a job

3. Where to stay

4. Getting around

5. Nightlife in Canada

6. Taxes in Canada



Getting a visa

The first hurdle to going on a working holiday in Canada is to get a visa permitting you to fund your travel with work. If you want to go on a working holiday in Canada, you’ll need to apply for the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative.  This visa will let you work and travel in Canada for 12 or 24 months.


To qualify you must


  • Be aged 18-30 yrs (up to 35 for Irish citizens)


  • Have a clean criminal record


  • Have proof of C$2,500


The average Canadian tax refund is $998



How to apply

  • Apply direct with IEC


  • Use an agent such as:



  • Swap


  • Global Lifestyles Canada


The benefits of an agent can include job placement, airport transfers, hostel accommodation and help with flight searches.



Landing a job

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, like to work on a team or enjoy new experiences, Canada has plenty of great seasonal jobs to offer.


Ski resorts

What could be better than landing a job at one of the many ski resorts Canada has to offer? Often, you’ll get subsidised accommodation and free ski passes so what’s not to like?!


BIG WHITE BRITISH COLUMBIA is less than one hour from Kelowna, and jobs include working in the ski rental shops, ticketing booths, sales, ski-instructing, operations, guest services, and more. You can search for job listings in their departments here.


WHISTLER BLACKCOMB, BRITISH COLUMBIA is one of the most popular ski resorts in Canada and home to the Winter Olympics. Whistler is hugely popular with working holidaymakers. The resort is large and they are always in need of restaurant staff, sales reps, shop assistants, and travel consultants. Check out their job postings here.


Sunshine Village Alberta is just 20 minutes from Banff town at the centre of the Rockies and  has a good  variety of both indoor and  outdoor jobs. If you love being outside then why not try your hand at being a slope groomer? Alternatively, you may want stay warm and join the customer care team. Either way, you’ll get time off to enjoy the slopes! Check out their opportunities here.


Download your jobs fair calendar for 2016 here!



Hospitality and tourism

You’ll find jobs in restaurants, bars, and cafes around Canada, although you should be prepared for a drop in wages compared to Europe. You’ll make this up in tips and service charges however, with the average tip expected to between 15%-20% on all food and beverages.



Try these job boards






• Get to Canada before the busy summer season

• Drop into local businesses and hand out your CV

• Ask around your hostel; word-of-mouth is a great way to find a job!




Farm work

Fancy working on a farm? There are a number of agencies that will place you in a job on a farm where you’ll get first-hand experience of farming and gain new skills while meeting people from all over the world.




• Free meals


• Free accommodation


• Monthly salary


• On-hand farm experience




• Join an Agricultural Exchange Program


• You may need some previous farming experience




Where to stay

If you go to Canada to work, your employer may provide accommodation. If not, you'll need to find a place to live!




If you don’t have longterm accommodation as part of your employment, you should book a hostel before you arrive. Hostels in Canada can vary in the facilities they offer.


Many include

• Free Wi-Fi


• Laundry facilities


• Free breakfast


• Shared kitchen




Read the reviews and book a week minimum for your arrival, as it can take some time to find longer term accommodation.



Where to look

• Montreal – hihostels.ca


• Ottawa – hihostels.ca


• Edmonton – hihostels.ca


• Calgary – hihostels.ca


• Vancouver – samesun.com/backpackers-hostels/Vancouver





Longterm accommodation

If you want to settle down somewhere for a few months, then your best option is to find longterm rental accommodation. Sharing with a few mates will be even better and help save you some cash!



Where to look

TORONTO: toronto.craigslist.ca

VANCOUVER:  rentseeker.ca

MONTREAL: moremontreal.com

OTTAWA: ottawaliving.ca

 ALBERTA:  edmonton.rentfaster.ca



 • Arrange temporary accommodation before you leave for Canada.


• A lease begins at the start of the month and is legally binding.


• Don’t sign a lease for longer than you want to live there.


• Have enough money for one month’s rent upfront and one month’s rent as deposit.


• Accommodation is often un-furnished so this can be an additional expense.


• Bring a reference letter from a previous landlord, as you may be asked for one.


• Check out boards in hostels and outside buildings.


• Be wary of anyone asking for money before you see the apartment.





Getting around

It’s no small feat to travel across the 2nd largest country in the world! If you want to see a lot of Canada, then you might need some time. Airfares can be expensive and the country is so huge it could even take you longer to get from one side to the other than it did to get there in the first place.

By air

If you are short on time, then flying is a great way to travel around Canada! Domestic flights aren't cheap, however there are a number of ways to save, expecially if you're flexible on your dates.

 The main airlines

• Air Canada


Air Transat

Porter Airlines




  • Set up an alert and check for specials


  • Book a midweek flight



  • Book well in advance



  • Consider getting a North American Air Pass




The average Canadian tax refund is $998



By rail

You’ll avoid airport security and get breathtaking views of the country if you travel by train. ViaRail operates most intercity and transcontinental trains.




  • Book in low season (Oct-May)


  • Book economy class




Rates (Current as of 2016)




By bus

It's relatively cheap to travel around canada on a bus and you have a great choice of various backpacker tours or you can simply use them to get from A to B.






Canadian backpacker tours

Swim in a lake, see bears and wolves in their natural habitat, and meet fellow travellers who are young at heart on a backpacker bus tour.



Popular tours


Moose Travel Network Backpacker Tours


Salty Bear Adventure Travel Tours


West Trek Tours




Greyhound Canada

Greyhound Canada operates in 8 of Canada’s provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, and Yukon.




  • Get a 25% student discount with ISIC


  • Compare the price of two-way vs return tickets


  •  Buy one of the following passes


  • Monthly Saver Pass


  • Weekly Commuter Pass


  • 10 Trip Pass




By car

You could save a lot of money if you drive, especially if you invest in a campervan which will save you the cost of accommodation.



Where to look









• Bring your driver’s license


• You may need an International Driving Permit (IDP)


• Read up on the rules of the road in each province


• Always get valid car insurance


• Fuel up-it’s a big country!



The average Canadian tax refund is $998







Whether you want to dance the night away or be dazzled at a broadway show, you won't be disappointed in Canada!




If you’re looking to party in Toronto, then put on your dancing shoes and head to the entertainment district in Downtown Toronto. Around 30,000 clubbers hit the area on a Saturday night around King Street West between University Ave and Spadina Ave. The Hoxton usually a mix of DJs and live bands on the weekend and if electro  is your thing, then Uniun Nightclub is always a safe bet.




You don’t have to go far to find a show, with everything from Broadway musicals and comedy to more classic theatre productions. The Toronto Theatre District is the third largest English speaking theatre district in the world and you’ll find landmark venues such as the Royal Alexandra Theatre, the Tarragon theatre and the Factory Theatre here.

A number of festivals take place throughout the year, including the Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake celebrating the works of Irish playwright Bernard Shaw and the Toronto Fringe Festival at numerous venues.




For food in the evening, try Kaho San Road’s seriously spicy Thai dishes or get a taste of more traditional Canadian cuisine at Canoe. The Victory Café will fill you up with their gastro pub food and you can enjoy the cosy pub atmosphere. Or for something a little fancier, try Scaramouche Restaurant Pasta Bar and Grill in Southill.




Start your night out in Gastown in Downtown Vancouver at an authentic Irish pub like The Irish Heather or  if you’re looking for a cocktail and more chic surroundings, then slink over in your stilettos to the George Ultralounge in Yaletown.

The main strip for bars downtown is Granville St, which is where a lot of Vancouver’s younger population head for a night out. Another decent stri p is Mainland  Street – Yaletown Brewery in particular serves fantastic brews.




If you’re looking for something different on a night out, then pay a visit to the Omnimax Theatre with all-enveloping IMAX screens projected inside a dome. At a whopping 5 storeys high, you won’t fail to be impressed by the shows, many of which are educational and science-related.




Vancouver’s Chinatown is the third largest in North America and this is where you’ll find the best dim sum and spare ribs in Canada. At night in the summer, Vancouver comes alive with night markets in Richmond, Surrey, and North Vancouver, and you’ll be overwhelmed by delicious aromas and the large selection of new foods to try, especially Asian, which dominates the food scene in Vancouver. If you haven’t tried fresh sushi, now is your chance!




A stunning blend  of the old  and  new, Montreal reveals its greatest secrets at night in its candlelit drinking dens and hidden gems down  dusty laneways. The city also has one of the most exciting food  scenes in Canada; brimming with irresistible patisseries, old  Jewish delis, and  Parisian-style food  markets. You’re in luck if you visit in the summer as Montreal hosts lots of great festivals including the Fringe Festival, Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, and Jazz Fest.



Gay Village

If you’re seeking a night of dancing and drag queens, go to the Gay Village. Montreal has a thriving gay community and hosted the world’s first Outgames. For a little flavour of history then walk over to Old Montreal and visit Le Piano Rouge.




If you’re eating in Montreal you shouldn’t leave without trying Quebec’s favourite dish, ‘Poutine’. Made with french fries in cheese curds and topped with a gravy-like sauce, it may not sound tempting at first, but this dish has won the hearts of Canadians all over. Many large chains sell a version of it, but if you’re in Montreal then you should check out some of the nicer joints for your Poutine, such as The Green Spot, La Banquise, or the Garde Manger.



Taxes for non-residents

If you go to Canada to work, you’ll pay 15%- 29% income tax on your wages, but the good news is you can apply for a refund at the end of the tax year. If you find it confusing, you can use an agent like Taxback.com to get it all back!


Do I need to file a tax return?

Yes. If you’re working in Canada on a temporary basis, then you’re legally obliged to file a tax return. You should submit it by 30 April. Don't forget, by filing a tax return you will be able to claim your tax refund. You can use our income tax calculator to find out how much tax you are owed!



Your residency status

Under Canada's tax system, your tax obligations are determined by your residency status. If you’re on a working holiday in Canada, you’ll be classified as a ''non-resident for tax purposes''.



When can I apply for a refund?

The Canadian tax year runs from 1st January to the 31st December and you have up to 10 years to claim a tax refund.



How to apply

Just try Taxback.com’s free no-obligation online refund calculator here to see how much tax you could get back.



What documents do I need?

To file your tax return, you’ll need a T4 or your final cumulative payslip. You’ll also need your social insurance number which you can get from your employer or visa sponsor. If you’re having trouble finding it, Taxback.com can help you with this.



How long does it take?

If you’re due a refund, it should take about 8-12 weeks to get it to you. If you’re still in Canada, you can also call into any one of our offices or email us from anywhere at info@taxback.com.


Get your Canada Working Holiday Guide here!

About The Author

Ciara Kennedy - Digital Content Writer @ Taxback.com

Ciara is our Digital Content Writer at Taxback.com. Since graduating in Journalism and Visual media, Ciara has worked in online marketing in Ireland and Australia and loves writing in all its forms.

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