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Agreement between the Government of Canada and the Kingdom of Belgium concerning the Working Holiday Program [2007] CATSer 1 (1 January 2007)



THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA AND THE KINGDOM OF BELGIUM, hereinafter referred to as "the Parties",

ANXIOUS to promote close co-operation between their countries,

WISHING to promote opportunities for their young nationals to appreciate the other country's culture and society through work as well as other means, and thus to foster mutual understanding between the two countries, and

CONVINCED of the value of facilitating these youth exchanges,

HAVE AGREED to the following provisions:


1. The two Parties agree to create a Working Holiday program designed to allow their young nationals, as individuals, to stay in the other State on vacation with the possibility of holding casual paid employment in order to supplement the financial resources available to them.

2. To be eligible to take advantage of this Agreement young persons who meet the conditions set out in paragraph 1 shall send an application to the other state's diplomatic or consular mission responsible for immigration matters, that is, the Canadian mission in Paris or the Consulate-General of Belgium in Montréal.

Applicants shall meet the following conditions:

a) satisfy the eligibility and other criteria set out in Canadian and Belgian immigration legislation and policies, regarding any criteria not set out in subparagraphs b) to i);

b) have reached the full age of 18 years, and not be more than 30 years of age, on the date the application is submitted;

c) not previously have taken advantage of this program;

d) hold a valid Canadian or Belgian passport and a return ticket or sufficient resources to purchase a return ticket;

e) have available sufficient financial resources to meet their needs at the beginning of their stay;

f) have taken out all-risk insurance for the period they are authorized to stay and, if they cannot be covered by the host country's social insurance system, have proof of occupational accident coverage and health care insurance, including hospitalization and return home coverage, for the duration of their stay;

g) establish to the satisfaction of the Canadian or the Belgian visa officer that their primary objective is to travel to Canada or to Belgium and that work is only a secondary objective and not the main reason for the visit;

h) be prepared to pay the required fees; and

i) be domiciled in Canada or Belgium at the time of the application.

3. Applicants may take advantage of the provisions of this Agreement once. The duration of their stay shall not exceed the authorized period, that is, 12 months.


1. Subject to public policy considerations, the two Parties shall issue to the nationals of the other country a document authorizing entry into their territory, valid for a period not to exceed the authorized period of stay and indicating the reason for the stay. For Canada, this document shall be a letter of introduction. For the Kingdom of Belgium, an authorization for temporary residency shall be stamped in the passport of the Canadian applicants by the appropriate Belgian mission.

2. The residence permit issued by Belgium shall allow the holder, as soon as all the formalities of registering with the appropriate communal authorities have been completed, to stay in Belgium temporarily for a period not to exceed 12 months. As well, the permit shall allow multiple entries into Belgium during the said 12-month period.


1. The work permits issued by the Government of Canada following the issuance of a letter of introduction shall be valid in the territory of Canada; the visas referring to the present Agreement issued by the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium shall be valid in the Kingdom of Belgium.

2. Each Party shall authorize the other country's nationals through a valid document referred to in Article 2 to stay for the authorized period starting on the date of entry and, in the stated territory, to hold employment that is likely to supplement the financial resources available to them.

3. The nationals of each State staying in the territory of the other country under the Working Holiday program shall not extend their stay beyond the authorized period and shall not change the status of their activity during their stay.


1. Canadian nationals who take advantage of this agreement shall be exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit.

2. Nationals of the Kingdom of Belgium to whom a letter of introduction has been issued by the appropriate Canadian immigration office shall be issued, immediately on their arrival in Canada and without reference to the labour market, a work permit valid for the period they are authorized to stay.


The nationals of each of the two countries who stay in the other State under the working holiday program shall comply with the legislation in force in the host country, particularly concerning the practice of regulated professions.


The Parties shall encourage the appropriate organizations in their respective countries to lend their support to the implementation of this agreement, and particularly to give the appropriate advice to the nationals of the other country admitted to participate in the working holiday program.


1. Concerning social security, the applicable system shall be that of the host country.

2. Persons who take advantage of this Agreement shall be treated in the same manner as nationals concerning working conditions and pay.

3. If the participants carry on an activity, the legislation and regulations in force in the host country governing working conditions pay, and occupational safety and health shall apply to them.

4. Participants and their employers shall comply with the requirements in effect in the host country concerning social security.


1. The minimum amount of resources required under Article 1, paragraph 2.e), shall be set by mutual agreement between the Parties.

2. The number of participants under the present agreement shall be counted from the date this agreement comes into effect until the end of the current year, and then annually from January 1 to December 31.


1. This agreement shall be valid for an indefinite period.

2. Each of the Parties shall notify the other Party, through diplomatic channels, that the internal formalities required for this agreement to come into effect have been completed. This agreement shall come into effect on the first day of the third month after the date the last notification is received.

3. Each Party may temporarily suspend the application of this agreement by so notifying the other Party through diplomatic channels, giving three months' notice.

4. Each Party may terminate this agreement by so notifying the other Party through diplomatic channels, giving three months' notice. Termination or temporary suspension of this agreement shall not call into question the right to stay of persons already accepted into the working holiday program.

5. This agreement may be amended by agreement between the Parties. These amendments shall be made in accordance with the internal legal procedures of each of the Parties.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned, duly authorized for this purpose by their respective governments, have signed this agreement.

SIGNED at Brussels, in two original copies, this 29 day of April 2005, in the English, French and Dutch languages, each version being equally authoritative.

Alain Hausser


Karel De Gucht


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