Having the option to work while doing a season greatly increases your ability to enjoy it. Not just by giving you the means to earn extra money, but also by allowing you to meet people, expand your social horizons and learn new skills. We don’t recommend doing a season in Whistler without working or volunteering, even if you can afford to!
Most places don't require you to have a work permit to volunteer - Whistler Blackcomb are an exception, even volunteers need valid work permits... the trade off is that WB give you a free season pass!
Visa information can change at anytime so make sure you check your countries up-to-date information.
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NOTE FOR UK RESIDENTS: All of the 2012 work permits have been given out now... so if you have not been offered one for 2012 yet, you are not going to get one. Don't panic...
You can still come to Canada for the start of the 2012 winter season on a tourist visa (3-months). You can't work whilst in Canada on this visa, however you can apply for a 2013 work permit & start working in January! Just make sure you have budgeted for a few months without work, and you have a return flight that allows date changes.
Getting you working hoiday visa
If you don’t want to work whilst you’re in Canada you don’t need to apply for a visa. You just let customs know your plans at the airport or border and they will issue you with a tourist visa. You need to provide evidence of onward travel and available funds to support yourself for this long holiday.
You are not allowed to continue working for your job back home whilst you are on holiday in Canada unless you have a Canadian work permit... if customs and immigration find out that you are, you will be sent packing!
Rules now state that you can apply for a working visa when you are abroad (you used to have to be in your home country) but you cannot apply for a new visa whilst holding an existing visa for desired country...
Once you have arrived all you need to do to get working is pick up your SIN number. See our SIN number guide for more info!
UK & EU - Visas from Bunac and International Experiance Canada
One year working holiday visas are available to almost all countries in the EU for citizens between the ages of 18 and 30 (35 in some countries). The Canadian government recently changed the rules on 1-year working visas - people from the UK are now eligible for 2 of these visas! They have also broken BUNAC's monopoly on Canadian work permits - you can now apply direct to the Canadian government, which is much cheaper.
Student visas (for the UK at least) no longer exist!
You can call the Canadian High Commission in London between 8:30am & 5pm (GMT) on 0044-20-7258-6600 if you have questions not answered on their website.
AUSTRALIA - Visas from WHP Canada
Two year working holiday visas are available to Australian citizens between 18 and 30 (at the time of applying). You can apply for an unlimited string of 2-year visas provided the WHP office stamp your application before your 31st birthday! Important:If you are transiting through the US on your way to a season (3 months or more) in Canada, Australian citizens need to apply for an additional transit visa that takes about 2-weeks to process. This applies whether you are working or not! For more information go to the US embassy of Australia website. For more information go to http://www.whpcanada.org.au/
NEW-ZEALAND - Visas from IEP and International Experince Canada
One year working holiday visas are available to New-Zealand citizens between the age of 18 and 35.