Canada is allowing some Working Holiday Visa holders to extend their visas

Shelby Thevenot, Alexandra Miekus
Published: September 3, 2021

Working Holiday Visa holders whose travel was interrupted by the pandemic are getting one last chance to come to Canada.

Normally the Working Holiday Visa is a one-and-done deal. However, due to the pandemic, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is making an exception.

Contact a Campbell Cohen lawyer for help with IEC

Working Holiday Visa holders whose letter of introduction (LOI) is about to expire and who are not able to travel may be able to extend their letter. The new policy does not apply to other International Experience Canada (IEC) participants, according to the government website.

Also, Working Holiday Visas are only eligible if the initial LOI was issued between January 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020. It does not matter if you already received an extension, but your current LOI has to have an expiry date before December 21, 2021. You are still eligible to apply if your LOI has already expired.

The temporary policy is open as of July 30. In order to take advantage of the extension, Working Holiday Visa holders have to request the extension using IRCC's web form before December 31, 2021.


Medical examinations only need to be redone if you live in a designated country. Those who require a repeat medical examination will be contacted by an immigration officer who will ask if you agree to a new medical examination. In the event that you confirm that you will undergo a new medical examination, your file may be reopened for the purpose of submitting a new medical exam request. Once receipt of your medical is confirmed, you may be granted an extension of your LOI.

Alternatively, no new medical examination is required and a LOI extension may be granted if you:

  • have had an IME for a job offer in a designated occupation that is still valid ;
  • have not lived in a designated country for 6 or more consecutive months in the year prior to requesting an extension of the LOI; or
  • do not wish, by choice, to renew your medical examination.

Decisions on LOI extensions

All LOI extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the immigration officer. If approved, the LOI extension will be for a period of 12 months from the date of application processing or the date of expiration of the current LOI.

Temporary resident visa (TRV) - required participants

If you are a TRV participant and you receive a LOI extension, your request will be forwarded to the International Network (IN) for processing and reissuing stubs as needed.

It is important to note that currently, all Working Holiday Visa participants must have proof of a valid job offer to enter Canada.

No new LOI will be issued, but a standardized letter response will be sent to you. You may be required to have a new TRV with an extended validity date. IRCC reminds participants to travel with this letter as it may be requested upon entry into Canada.

Contact a Campbell Cohen lawyer for help with IEC

© 2020 CIC News All Rights Reserved

Share this article
Share your voice
Did you find this article helpful?
Thank you for your feedback.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Did you find this article helpful?
Please provide a response
Thank you for your helpful feedback
Please contact us if you would like to share additional feedback, have a question, or would like Canadian immigration assistance.
  • Do you need Canadian immigration assistance? Contact the Contact Cohen Immigration Law firm by completing our form
  • Send us your feedback or your non-legal assistance questions by emailing us at
Related articles
Returning to Canada: Immigration checklist and best practices
A blank passport and model airplane placed on top of a permit. Read on your guide to returning to Canada after the holidays.
Can I extend or renew my Post-Graduation Work Permit? 
Happy business man listening to a discussion in an office boardroom. Business professional sitting in a meeting with his colleagues.
Travelling to Canada for the first time as a newcomer? Here is how you can arrive prepared
Plane landing
IRCC says it’s working to realign application intake
IRCC says it will evaluate the number of applications it will accept to better align with available spaces.
Top Stories
Expediting the hiring of foreign workers as an employer in Quebec
Can I travel before I receive my Canadian PR Card?
Five things to do in your first week as an international student in Canada
Join our free newsletter. Get Canada's top immigration stories delivered to your inbox.
More in Study
Five things to do in your first week as an international student in Canada
A diverse group of cheerful female college students sitting in front of a university building, talking, smiling
Nigerian students critical to ongoing success of Canada’s international education sector
Nigerian flag
Canada extending international student off-campus work hours policy until April 2024
Group of multiethnic classmates in casual clothes smiling and analyzing data on netbook while gathering near table and working on project in university library
IRCC to increase cost-of-living requirement for study permit applicants
A group of students in a library look pose for a picture. Canada has recently made new changes to its international student program.
Link copied to clipboard