Canada Work Visa Length Based off of Travel Insurance?

Hey All,

I’ve just gotten a job with Whistler through TWHC for the upcoming seasons. I’ve read all the Canada Mega threads from the last couple of years (been a big help so cheers @TJswish and co.), and based off of what people have said on here, it seems that Vancouver Airport give you the full 2-year work visa regardless of the length of your travel insurance. However, TWHC is putting doubt in my mind & saying this hasn’t been the case since some new rule change in 2016. I don’t really want to bite the bullet on the $$$ 24-Month insurance as I just want to get a 6-month one, and then extend if I love it over there.

So I’m just wondering if anyone has had any fresh experience with going through Vancouver Airport and the visa process, or if anyone is very confident that I can get a 2-year work visa with travel insurance that just covers the snowboard upcoming season?

Any advice or thoughts greatly appreciated!




They say it to everyone. Don’t be a dick going through customs and be super nice to the person processing your visa and you should be fine.

My best advise is to get the flight that arrives early morning. Most people aren’t going to go into the nitty gritty at 7am when they just want coffee vs that asshole who is on his last 2 hours or so and is happy to stretch his time so he doesn’t need to take as many new queries.

Most Aussies get the full time.


Yeah I figured that was going to be the go. Unfortunately I’m flying into Vancouver in the afternoon, but as you said, I’ll just be nice and hope for the best.

Thanks for the help TJ


No wukkers. Let me know if you need anything else. PM if I don’t respond for a while as the forums aren’t too active anymore.


An update if anyone stumbles across this post.

When you arrive at Vancouver, you get processed through customs which is done via the self-serve -esque machines. While filling this out you will select you are entering into Canada on a work visa, and it will also ask you how many days you plan to stay in Canada, I put in 730 days (2 years). After you go through customs you go to immigration, the immigration officers called me up asked for my passport, work visa invitation letter (LOI) and the ‘receipt’ you get from customs and told me to go sit back down. After roughly 10 minutes I got called back and they gave me the full two year work visa.

Long story short - I didn’t even get asked a question or have to show my travel insurance or literally anything other than the passport, customs document and work visa invitation letter.

A guy who went through immigration before me only got a year on his work visa, I assume this was because he only entered 365 days when going through customs.

Important disclaimer - your experience may vary! But judging by my experience and others on this forum they give away two years regardless of travel insurance length at Vancouver Airport.


Nice one. Told you they don’t give 2 shits haha


New Update:

Just in case anyone is reading this looking to find an answer on this question also, please note that getting two full years insurance is part of the conditions of the working visa. It says so on the CIC website. Like the posters above, you may get lucky and the officer may not ask to see all your paperwork however if you don’t get lucky and you get asked for all your paperwork you will only get a visa valid for the length of insurance you have.

Also your insurance cannot just be any crappy insurance either, it needs to cover repatriation of your body back to your home country in the event of death or medical emergency. Again this is all stated on the CIC website.

Its is up to you if you want to risk it as the IEC visa CANNOT be extended and it would be such a shame to waste your only opportunity (unless you have dual citizenship and can apply again). I know the insurance is a small fortune, I am going to have to fork it out pretty soon :( but a lot of people have missed out on getting two years because they only purchases 1 yr or 6 months insurance policies.

I got grilled last time i did a working holiday in Canada (dual citizen) and I had all my documentation correct and ready to show luckily, so I am expecting more of the same. Guess I have one of those faces haha.

Join the O Canada page on Facebook for all/any working holiday questions. Its such a great resource and will answer any question you have wink