Our WHV Project
As we announced at the launch of the blog, in Who are You and Me?, this blog was created in view of one goal:
“Canada, after P-A’s graduation from Engineering School, scheduled for October 2018”
But here we are, our crazy dreams of escapades; nights in the forest; unexpected meetings with Canadian wildlife, but also with lots of travelers… All these dreams, which we have been having for almost three years, will finally come true.
Moving to Canada with a WHV
& travel the country from east to west in camper
We’re going to tell you all about it!
WHV Project in Canada:
The WHV is a work holiday visa issued on random draw to go to Canada for 2 years to travel or work.
The conditions to be eligible:
- Being French (I will not go into details for other nationalities, we participate as French).
- Between 18 and 35 years old.
- Being able to justify a certain amount of money on your account to live while looking for a job.
- Having insurance that covers your two-year trip.
How to get a WHV:
If you meet all of these criteria, you can register to be part of a “pool”. Then it is a random draw! There is a certain numbers of visas to be distributed each year and a number of participants usually two times higher. So you need to be really lucky to be drawn. The Canadian authorities don’t know anything about you. It is only after you are drawn that you can send a work visa application. Your file is then studied to determine if you can have the work visa. There are few people who are denied for a work visa, otherwise it is for health or justice-related reasons.
Once the WHV has been received:
You don’t really get your visa before you set foot in the country. Once your application is accepted, the authorities send an introductory letter. When you arrive to Canada, you need to give that letter to the customs officer who will put a work visa with its validity date in your passport. Always under conditions to have a proof of sufficient finance, a valid passport (longer than the two-year visa) and travel insurance for the duration of the visa.
Our approach to getting the WHV for Canada:
[Edit of February 7, 2019] Pierre-Adrien was randomly drawn on February 14, 2018 and received his introductory letter on February 19, 2018. He has 12 months to validate it, so we will leave before February 19, 2019! I (Madeleine) have not been drawn, and the quota for 2018 is over. The session for 2019 started in December and there are only a few chances left for me to be drawn this year!
[Edit of August 11, 2019] – I was drawn in May 2019. The process was a little different for me this year as Canada now requests biometric data for all visa applications. It was therefore necessary to take an appointment in a center in the US, because Canada does not yet have the infrastructure to collect the data itself. After this quick detour to the United States on June 24th, I received my work permit on July 3rd. It is not validated yet, I will activate my work permit in October or November when we stop traveling to work.
Once we are done traveling, we will settle down to look for work.
Once Pierre-Adrien finds a job, I could apply to be attached to his work visa as a spouse.
Travel the country from east to west in a camper:
The final goal of our WHV project being to immigrate to Canada, we wanted to visit the country to make sure that we settle in the right place. To do so, we will travel the country from east to west in a camper that we will buy when we arrive in Quebec.
We will take around 7 months to cross the country from May to November 2019. From February to April, it will be too cold to live in the camper. In the meantime, we will stay with friends, and we will do couchsurfing while discovering the cities of Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa and Toronto. We will also take our time to buy the right camper. It will be our first car purchase and our first home purchase for both of us. So we are not going to rush into the first good price. 🙂 Then we will buy equipment and prepare ourselves to live “on the road”.
Once the winter is back, we will settle where the wind will have taken us. For the time being, we are targeting the city of Kelowna, a few hours away from Vancouver towards the Rockies. We will look for a job in our fields. And then we hope to be able to apply for a long-term work visa in our companies by the end of the WHV. The final project, once we are sure that we can stay in Canada, will be to manage a guest-house! 🙂