I would have expected, that Canada is way stricter in immigration issues, comparable maybe to the US.
And yes, that's right.
Now we want to work & travel in Canada. Hm. Might be even more complicated.
Actually its a freakin' nightmare...
First of all, just having a valid passport and being from a country that does not require a visa (see Government of Canada for details) may not be enough at immigration. You need to convince the immigration officer, that you satisfy the following requirements:
- be in good health
- have ties in (job, home, family) in your home country, that will take you back home
(Hm. We both don't have a job at the moment. Yes, there is a flat, but you could rent it, couldn't you? And my family consists of my parents. I am really curious how this works out.)
- that you will leave Canada at the end of your stay
(Like I already said in Visa - mania: Colombia, it is necessary to have a flight ticket out of the country, even if you are not planning to use it. Or at least something like a hotel booking in another country. As we will have booked a language school in Colombia, we most probably will buy a flexible flight ticket and show both, the ticket and the confirmation of the school.)
- have enough money for your stay (Erm, I guess that means we need a copy of account statement...)
On top, you might need a medical exam,
- if you plan to stay for more than 6 months and lived in a country on the "black list" (like Argentina and most of South America, Portugal, Thailand, India, Morocco, Russia... its a loooong list...) for more than 6 months the one year before entering Canada
- or if you want to work/study in healthcare
So, If you satisfy those requirements, you will get a tourist visa for 180 days. Phew.
Now we found a farm (see Work and travel ) where we would like to work a few weeks for board and lodge. Sweet Jesus.
If you want to work in Canada, even in your holidays, you need a work permit. And you wouldn't get one as a mortal human beeing as long as you don't find a Canadian who is willing to marry you. Period.
BUT there are 2 exceptions to the rule.
- If you are between 18 and 35 and have 2.500C$ you can apply for the International Experience Canada. Each year around 2000 work permits are raffled by the canadian government that allow you to work in Canada for up to 1 year.
- You might volunteer on a farm, but only if the farm is non-commercial. So what the hack does that mean? On the Government of Canada site I found a Clarification of Volunteering in Relation to Farm Work. Please buckle up before you read it. The document states, that the immigration officer needs to assess the farm to find out, if its commercial or not. There is even a questionaire as a guidance. In short a farm is commercial, if it wants to make profit (like e.g. B+Bs, large animal farms). It is non-commercial, if the products are just used provide the basic needs of the owner family.
Obviously we are too old for exception no 1. For no 2 you are again dependent on the courtesy of the immigration officer, that might not even know the "clarification sheet", even if WWOOFing (World wide opportunities for organic farms) becomes more and more popular. In any case you would need a lot of information about the farm you want to work for...