If you’ve successfully applied for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa and are about to head over to Canada, congratulations! It’s an exciting (and nerve-wracking time!). I can’t believe that the day I’m writing this makes it a whole year since I moved out of my flat in Brixton and headed to the airport bound for Canada. As you’re doing your final packing checks you may be wondering “What documents do I need to bring with me to Canada?”
Well, there are a few documents you need to bring with you to Canada. There’s a few obvious ones (like your passport) and a few that are easier to forget. Go through this list and make sure you’ve packed these documents as failure to do so could result in you being refused entry – and no one wants that!
Psst: If you’re reading this but have yet to apply for a working holiday visa then take a look at this guide to getting a Canadian working holiday visa!
What documents do I need to bring with me to Canada?
Printed POE (Point of Entry) Letter of Introduction
Your POE is the document you get given at the end of the application process which states you are eligible to enter Canada.
However, it does not mean you are guaranteed entry. Border staff still have every right to turn you away, especially if you fail to present the below documents when asked.
Your POE will have a clearly marked expiration date. This is the date by which you MUST enter Canada. If you fail to enter Canada by this point then you have missed your chance to do the Canadian Working Holiday Visa (possibly forever).
As with any trip abroad you’ll need your passport! Don’t forget to pack this with you. Before you fly double check your passport is valid until the end of the length of the Working Holiday Visa.
So, if you’re from the UK and are hoping to get a two year visa, your passport must not expire before then. You should have checked this when applying. If you forgot and need to get a new passport before you fly, check the “What if I need a new passport” question below so that you’re not refused entry.
Proof of funds ($2500)
You should print off a bank statement, or take a screen shot of your bank account showing you have at least $2,500 in your account. This should be dated and be from within a fortnight of your arrival in Canada.
Proof of health insurance
You must have health insurance before arriving in Canada. Not only are you breaking the terms of your visa, but you could be refused entry. You’re away for two years it’s good to know you’re covered should anything happen!
No have health insurance at all means you will most likely be refused entry. If your health insurance isn’t valid for two years you may find the length of your visa is reduced to match the length of your insurance.
I used Alpha Travel Insurance for my two year Canadian working holiday Visa.
A ticket for your departure from Canada or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket
The terms of your Canadian working holiday visa state that you must be able to afford flights back home. You either need an open return flight, or must be able to show that you have sufficient funds to buy a return home. This is on top of the $2,500 you need to prove you can sustain yourself.
Copies of the documents you provided in your work permit application
This is your police reports and medical results (if applicable).
Will the border staff check everything?
When we arrived in Canada the border staff only looked at our passports and POE. From what I’ve heard this is true a lot of the time. BUT sometimes you will be asked to produce everything on this list and you must be able to or you risk being sent back home.
There are many stories of people being given shorter visas because of their travel insurance – this is a big one so make sure you’ve bought the full two years!
What if I have a new passport since receiving my POE?
If you have a new passport you will need to apply for a new eTA. An eTA is like an electronic visa that every visitor to Canada must get. When you’re given your POE this is automatically included and attached, electronically, to your passport but if you’ve got a new passport you need to get a new one. You can do so here.
You should take a photocopy of your old passport and bring that with you to Canada. When you land you must tell the Border Services Officer you have a new passport. They will check all the above documents and should print you out a work permit.
Your work permit is still valid even with your old passport number. Jut make sure you print that photocopy of your old one as it makes it so much easier!