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Italy-Canada Youth Exchange Program (Working Holiday Visa)


Italy-Canada Youth Exchange Program (Working Holiday Visa)

Following the signing in 2006 of the Memorandum of Understanding between Italy and Canada on the Youth Exchange Program, the youth exchange Working-Holiday Program will again allow 1,000 youths between 18 and 35 years of age from either Country to spend up to 12 months in the other Country and seek temporary paid employment.

This is a significant opportunity for Canadian youths to develop a deeper understanding of the Italian language, culture and lifestyle. Furthermore, the Working Holiday Program allows them to find work opportunities in Italy for a maximum period of six months.  The Visa is not renewable and participation is allowed one time only.

Who can participate?

Canadian citizens residing in Canada between the ages of 18-35.

Where and how to apply:

The Embassy of Italy in Ottawa and the Consulates General of Italy in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver will accept Working Holiday Program applications from Canadian citizens residing in their respective geographical jurisdictions:

Embassy of Italy in Ottawa (for the Counties of Carleton, Dundas, Glengary, Grenville, Russell and Stormont, Prescott and the Outaouais Region);

Italian Consulate General in Toronto (for the Provinces of Ontario, Manitoba and North WestTerritories);

Italian Consulate General in Montreal (for the Provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland);

Italian Consulate General in Vancouver (for the Provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and the Yukon Territory).

Similarly, Italian Citizens who wish to apply to this program for Canada must contact the Canadian Embassy in Rome or follow this link

Canadian citizens who wish to participate in this bilateral program must obtain the necessary visa before leaving Canada.  They CANNOT apply for their visa after arriving in Italy.

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • be between 18 and 35 years of age on the date of application;
  • be a Canadian citizen, reside in Canada and possess a valid Canadian passport;
  • have sufficient financial resources, a minimum of 200 Euro for each of the twelve months, for a total amount of Euro 2,400 equivalent to C$ 3,500 (approximately). The availability of these funds must be shown by providing:

-          bank statements for the last 3 months;

-          a credit card in the applicant's name with sufficient credit to cover costs.

  • a health Insurance policy with a minimum coverage of Euro 30.000 for emergency medical consultation, including hospitalization and repatriation, for the entire length of the stay (12 months);
  • a detailed flight schedule (round trip booking or ticket) and proof of accommodation in Italy (at least for the first part of the stay).

Canadian citizens who wish to participate in the Working Holiday Program must fill out the relevant application (to be downloaded from the websites of the Italian Embassy and Consulates) and present it in person to the Embassy, if you reside in the Ottawa area or the Outaouais Region, or to one of the Italian Consulates General, if you reside elsewhere in Canada. The Consulate General in Toronto requires an appointment to be booked online at

The application form must be signed in original and accompanied by a curriculum vitae (resume).

In the application form, the applicant must:

  • declare his/her intention to purchase, once in the host      country, a private work insurance policy covering civil responsibilities      and/or extra work insurance, if requested by the employer;
  • declare that the reason for the stay      is an extended holiday, with the opportunity of being employed temporarily      in order to increase personal financial resources (required taxes must be      paid), and that he/she is not accompanied by dependents.

A passport valid for at least 3 months beyond the return date must be included with the application form.

  • The processing time for the visa is approximately 10 days from      the date of application;
  • unfortunately, specific information regarding individual      applications cannot be disclosed while they are being processed;

The procedure for the authorization of the “Permesso di Soggiorno” (residency permit) must be initiated within 8 days of arriving in Italy in order to validate the 12 months visa. Therefore, the holder of the Working Holiday Visa is kindly requested to visit the “Questura” (Police Headquarters) with his Canadian passport, and a photocopy thereof, along with 4 passport-size photos and one “imposta di bollo” (tax stamp) of Euro 16, and submit application for a “Permesso di Soggiorno” by filling out the appropriate application form.

The addresses and contact information of the various “Questure” are available at:

Subsequently the employer will apply for the work authorization to the “Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione – SUI” (local immigration office), and this will allow the holder of the Working Holiday Visa to work for a maximum period of 90 days with one employer and an additional 90 days with a different employer, for a total of 180 days.