How to get a Canadian Work Visa

Want to Work as a Ski or Snowboard Instructor in Canada?

Working as an instructor for a season in Canada can be the experience of a lifetime, but getting a visa to work can be a tricky experience. This blog aims to help get you to the right information easily and make your application as straightforward as possible.

Step 1 – Book onto your Ski or Snowboard Instructor Course
We strongly encourage you not to wait until your visa has been cleared to sign up to your ski or snowboard instructor course. The early season courses with job opportunities after are some of the most popular in the industry, and places are limited. The visa process can take some time, so you don't want to have your visa cleared and then find that you missed the boat for the course of your dreams!)

Step 2 – Eligibility
In order to be able to apply for a job as a ski or snowboard instructor once you have finished your Basecamp course you will need to have applied and been successful with your visa request much earlier in the year. So if you are thinking of working during the 2013/14 winter, you will need to begin the process at the start of 2013. The best visa to go for it the working holiday visa, called the International Experience Canada or IEC Visa. These are specifically designed for citizens of the UK, aged 18-30 and allow you to both work and travel throughout Canada and so are perfect for any budding instructor. The link below gives a little more information on the eligibility criteria.

Eligibility Criteria for International Experience Canada

Step 3 – Application – Make sure you apply early!
The application window is already open, and they are going fast!

14th February – 1000 visas – expired within 3 hours!
25th February – 2000 visas – expired within 6 hours!
7th March – 2350 visas available

There are a limited number of visas available each year and they are issued on a first come first served basis. As of this year the entire application process is done online and consists of the two parts; a programme eligibility assessment and a work permit assessment.

IEC Visa main page

Step 4 – Letter of Recommendation
Once you have been completed your application and have been approved for your visa you will be sent a Letter of Recommendation. This is not your actual visa, but you will need to present it at the border when you enter Canada in order to be issued your work permit, so don not forget it! The link below explains a little more on your arrival in Canada.

Letter of Introduction

Step 5 – Paying Fees
There is a fee for applying for your IEC which you will need to pay part way through the process, of £100. It could be refunded if you are not successful or if you chose to withdraw your application. However you will not be able to claim it back once the letter of recommendation has been issued.


More Information
There is a useful Step-by-Step guide to completing your application through the next link. However because the application window is not open yet, this page has not been updated. Make sure you come back to check it out regularly over the next few weeks.

Step-by-step guide

Step 6 – Head out to Canada for the first year of the rest of your life!
Whether you’re thinking of joining our CASI/CSIA Level 1 course next November or returning to work for a season after already completing your qualifications hopefully this will help you get everything together to head out to the epic Canadian Rockies next year.

Work as a ski instructor!

If you haven’t got your instructor qualifications yet check out our website to see the courses we have available for next year and start getting ready for an awesome winter season, and be sure to check out our:

Ski and Snowboard Instructor Courses in Banff

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Basecamp team on +44 (0) 208 789 9055 or by email at [email protected] and we’ll be more than happy to help out.