I am from Ireland. My application for a Canadian working holiday visa has been accepted (through the IEC programme, I have my Port of Entry letter).

I plan to go to Canada later this year to start this (e.g. May 2015). It is a 2 year visa.

Can I visit Canada now to see a friend without affecting my working holiday visa? (e.g. for 2 weeks in March 2015, not working.)

I want to avoid any risk of invalidating my working holiday visa.

  • According to canadainternational.gc.ca/ireland-irlande/visas/… you do not need a visa for visiting Canada. You should tell the officer that you are here for a visit and not work. I don't know if your work visa have a start date or not but this should not be an issue, specially when you have a return ticket. If your visa is a multiple entry one then I don't see any issues at all
    – Huangism
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 20:29
  • In the end I started the working holiday in March, but the answers here were really helpful.
    – Liam
    Commented Mar 23, 2015 at 12:37

2 Answers 2


My wife is an immigration consultant with her own license in Canada. Here is what she said to me when I asked her to read your question

of course he can just come in and visit temporarily. that's nothing to do with his working holiday visa. he will only get a work permit upon entry when he shows his visa approval letter to the immigration officer. Every time when people enter canada, officer will ask for the purpose of this visit. Depending on the purpose, officer will decide if the person should be let in directly or directed to the immigraton office to get papers

So you have got nothing to worry about, state your purpose clearly and there is no need to show your acceptance letter.


If you have your return ticket, and tell the immigration officer that you're visiting as a tourist now and come back on the visa later, there should be no problem.

In fact, if the working holiday visa is on a separate piece of paper that is not attached to your passport, you can leave the visa at home (or better: take it with you, but don't put it into the passport, so you have it available just in case), to reduce confusion about your immigration status.

  • That is exactly what I hoped :) Do you think I should confirm this from an official source? I have been waiting weeks for a response from the IEC, they are very busy!
    – Liam
    Commented Jan 26, 2015 at 17:19

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