WORK CANADA SUMMER JOBS FAQ
VISA & ELIGIBILITY FOR CANADA
Am I eligible?
Jobs are for the North American summer season, which starts in late March – June and lasts for around 5-6 months.
To be eligible you need to be able to leave New Zealand anywhere from March to June and employers usually only hire applicants who can commit to 5 months of work.
You also need to be eligible for the New Zealand International Experience Canada (IEC) Visa. To be eligible you must satisfy in full the criteria listed below:
- Hold a New Zealand passport valid for at least two years at time of application (contact IEP for advice if your passport will expire within 2 years)
- Be aged between 18 to 35 years inclusive. (Your application must be submitted to Citizenship Immigration Canada before your 36th birthday)
- Have no criminal convictions, including serious traffic offences. Minor offences may be admissible. If you have any convictions please contact the IEP office prior to application.
- Be travelling on a return or onward passage ticket, or show sufficient funds for onward passage
- Not have activated a Letter of Introduction for a previous NZWHP from the Canadian High Commission
- Provide documentary evidence on arrival in Canada of access to approximately CA$2,500 (i.e. traveller’s cheques, cash, current bank statements or term deposit certificates) to cover your initial support costs
- Have an insurance policy for the duration of your stay
When should I apply for a visa?
When you apply for the program we provide you with all the information you need to start the visa process and also assist you with submitting your visa application. So as soon as you apply it is the right time to get the ball rolling! There is no disadvantage in sorting it out early as you have 12 months from the date of visa approval to activate your visa for a full 23 months in Canada.
Please note that before you can apply for your visa you will need to obtain a Ministry of Justice police check. The official Ministry of Justice processing time is 20 working days. We advise that you at least apply for your criminal record as soon as you apply to our program, even if you are not ready to submit your visa application.
Once you have submitted your visa application normal processing time is 8 weeks until approval. If you have any criminal, medical or background issues the processing time can be considerably longer – contact us with details of your situation for advice.
Can I interview with your employers if I don't have a visa yet?
As long as you are eligible for a working holiday visa to Canada and are either in the process of getting your visa or plan to apply right after your interview then that is fine. The employers do like to know you already have the visa sorted though, and because of the time involved in applying for the visa we recommend you apply well before the interview.
Can I interview with my friend/partner?
In the past we have had many couples and friends travel together on the Summer Jobs program, however we cannot absolutely guarantee that you will be placed at the same resort as all interviews are individual and the employers will hire you based on your own merits.
We will make sure that you are all scheduled in to interview with the same employer – just let us know you are travelling with someone else. Our advice from there is to be extra flexible with the types of jobs you are willing to accept!
WORK CANADA SUMMER JOBS
When should I apply?
As soon as you are able! We assign interviews based on when people sign up to our program, which means first applicants get first choice over who they interview with. So the earlier you apply the more likely that you’ll get your preferred employer interviews and times.
Which employers are interviewing for 2017?
We are still confirming our full list of employers for 2017 (watch this space!), but our employers for 2016 were:
- Jasper Skytram (Jasper, AB)
- Panorama Mountain Resort (BC)
- Brewster Travel (Banff, AB)
When will I find out details of 2017 employers, positions and benefits?
Once we have received all of these details from the employers we collate them into the Work Canada Summer Jobs Handbook. We send this out to all participants closer to the interview booking stage to help you decide who you’d like to interview with.
The following are examples of the types of jobs they have hired for in the past:
- Food & Beverage Attendant
- Line Cook
- Lift Attendant
- Ticket Agent
- Dock Hand
- Facility Cleaner
- Front Desk Agent
- Glacier Skywalk Guide
- Adventure Centre Desk Agent
- General Store Clerk
- Inventory Attendant
- Picnic Cafe Barista
- Pools Maintenance
- Pools Slide Attendant
- Operations Shift Leader
- Retail Clerk
- Tram Guide/Operator
How do I find out more information?
Are a CV and references required?
Yes you will be required to provide an up to date CV, contact details of at least 2 references and 2 written reference letters. The CV will need to be organised before the interview so that the employers can review your application. IEP will help out with templates and a CV review before your interview.
What happens if I'm not offered a job?
In the event that you do not receive an offer from your first job interview, we will arrange a second one with your second choice resort. In the circumstance that you do not receive any offers you will be offered a full program fee refund. Fortunately this situation is very rare! Please note that if you are offered a job but choose not to take it then you will not receive a refund.
What should I expect from the interview?
Canadian employment interviews are similar to interviews you may have had in NZ. You should be prepared to answer questions about yourself, your skills, experience and also your strengths and weaknesses. Even though the interviews are conducted via Skype they are formal and you should act professionally throughout. While summer resorts may be more casual workplaces than your average office you will still need to make an effort to dress nicely and show your best manners!
How do I apply?
Once you are ready to apply just jump onto the online application here. We will give you a call within 2 working days of receiving your application to have a quick 10 minute interview with you. We will get an idea of your plans and answer all your initial questions. From there we will send you your first information email and the planning begins!
Do I have to purchase insurance through IEP?
Yes, this is an important part of our program. It is part of our agreement with the employers to make sure you are on a comprehensive insurance policy that covers working holidays. It is also compulsory that you have insurance for the entire duration of your stay when you enter Canada.
Will I have the opportunity to meet other people on the program before we arrive at the resort?
We recognise that it is much easier to arrive in a new country with a familiar face or two so we do organise ways for you to meet other participants.
Our exclusive Work Canada Summer Jobs Facebook page is a great way to meet others who are heading over to Canada.
Group flights are also on offer through the friendly Katrina at our in-house STA Travel branch (dependent on numbers). She negotiates the rates for peak flight dates in advance so the fares are great deals even if you are booking closer to departure. On the group flights you’ll be travelling with a bunch of other participants who are starting work at a similar time to you.
LIFE IN CANADA
What happens when I first get to Canada?
As part of the program you get two free nights at a central Vancouver hostel conveniently located close to your SWAP support office. Your first stop the next morning will be to SWAP for your orientation! In your orientation you’ll learn all that you need to know to have a successful working holiday and get help applying for your Canadian SIN (tax) number and bank account. After orientation the next step is up to you!You’ll probably find yourself sightseeing in Vancouver, then making your way to your employer or sitting in the SWAP office asking lots of questions and using their internet to update Facebook and make all your friends jealous?
How long will my contract be and how many hours will I work?
This is negotiated between you and the employer however the usual minimum term is 5 months, or the duration of the summer season. The majority of our positions are full time (30-40 hours) seasonal roles. Your hours will be made clear to you when you are offered a job so it won’t be a surprise. We recommend having some back up savings for emergencies and to put aside some wages from the super busy weeks to tide you over if you have some slow weeks.
Are there any special uniform/grooming requirements on the job?
Once you accept your job you’ll be informed of any special uniform requirements by your employer. In general it is a good idea to make sure you can bring black shoes, pants and a white shirt for indoor positions as a base for the uniform.
Each employer is a little bit different but they all expect tidy and wholesome grooming. You may need to cut off dreads or dye your hair a natural colour if you have a more alternative style. Piercings may or may not be suitable for their policies depending on how visible they are. At the interview they will let you know if there are any special requirements that you need to know.
How will I get to work?
This depends on your resort and accommodation situation. Common ways of getting to work are catching public transport, walking or catching a shuttle from staff accommodation. You should not need to buy a car while you are over there as many of the resort staff will be temporarily living in the area like you and there is infrastructure in place for staff without personal transport.
Where will I live?
Many of the resorts we work with offer accommodation for staff. This type of accommodation is usually close to the workplace with shared apartments or houses. The price for this is generally cheaper than renting privately and it will be deducted from your wages automatically. The price of the accommodation depends on the location and other factors like whether or not you share your bedroom.
Another popular option is to band together with other staff, or IEP members to rent a house for the season. Your employer will give you information about where to start in finding local properties. There is also no reason why you can’t find a room in an already established flat with other staff or even locals!
Will I get any benefits around the resort?
All of our employers offer benefits to their employees above and beyond your wage. The benefits differ from employer to employer but all offer a free or discounted resort bike park/attraction pass. It is also common to get discounts on lessons, gear and rentals and food around the resort. Some even offer free snacks or hot drinks while you are on your shift! Social events and staff parties are part of the resort experience as well.
What happens after the summer season ends?
With IEP you get support for the full 23 months of your visa so there is no reason to finish your OE just yet! Our Canadian partner organisation SWAP have offices in Vancouver and Toronto. If you are thinking of heading to a different part of Canada to work out the winter then consider hitting the SWAP office on your way. They have job resources and listings that will help you to find work. They are only a phone call or email away if you can’t make it to an office.
There may be opportunities for winter work at your resort if you prove yourself to be a fantastic worker and express your interest in staying on.