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International Experience Canada Program

By cvf, 08/18/2023


Foreign youth aged 18 to 35 (and 18 to 30 in some countries) can live and work in Canada for up to two years through International Experience Canada (IEC). 

This government program consists of three different kinds of work/travel experiences:

1. Working Holiday

This category is relevant for candidates meeting the following profile:

  • They do not have a job offer
  • They want to work in Canada for more than one employer
  • They want to work in more than one location
  • They would like to earn money to travel

These applicants are provided with an open work permit, which allows them to work for almost any Canada employer (with some exceptions). 

A medical exam may be necessary for some jobs. 


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2. Young Professionals

This category applies for:

  • Those with a job offer in Canada counting towards their professional development
  • Those who would work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada

Under this category, work needs to be:

  • Paid 
  • Not self-employed 

Applicants are provided with an employer-specific work permit, and they must meet all labor laws in the province or territory of operation – including minimum wage requirements. 

The job offered to them must count towards their professional development, for which it needs to be classified under Training, Education, Experience, and Responsibilities (TEER) category 0, 1, 2, or 3 of the NOC. 

A TEER 4 job may qualify if it falls in the field of the candidate’s study. When they apply, they would need to submit their post-secondary:

  • diploma
  • certificate or 
  • degree 

3. International Co-op (Internship) 

This category applies to those who are looking to gain overseas work experience in their relevant field of study. In specific, candidates need to meet the following criteria:

  • They are a student registered at a post-secondary institution
  • They have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada
  • They need to do this work placement or internship to complete their studies
  • They will work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada

The type of work permit an International Co-op (Internship) provides one with is an employer-specific work permit. The internship one is offered in Canada must directly be linked to one’s field of studies. 

Wages and labor standards must follow the labor laws in the province/territory an international traveler would be working in. 

The same labor code would determine whether an internship would be paid or not.


Countries That Are Part of International Experience Canada

Citizens of partner countries may be able to apply for one or more of the three categories detailed above:

Country Age Limit Working Holiday Young Professionals International Co-op (Internship)
Andorra  18 to 30 Yes No No
Australia 18 to 35 Yes Yes Yes 
Austria 18 to 30 Yes Yes Yes 
Belgium 18 to 30 Yes No No 
Chile 18 to 35  Yes Yes Yes
Costa Rica 18 to 35  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Croatia 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes
Czech Republic  18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Denmark 18 to 35 Yes  No No
Estonia 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
France 18 to 35  Yes  Yes  Yes
Germany 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes
Greece 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Hong Kong SAR 18 to 30 Yes No No
Ireland 18 to 35 Yes Yes Yes
Italy 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Japan 18 to 30 Yes  No  No 
Korea, Republic 18 to 30 Yes  No No 
Latvia Republic  18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Lithuania 18 to 35  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Luxembourg 18 to 30  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Mexico 18 to 29  Yes Yes  Yes 
Netherlands 18 to 30 Yes  Yes  No 
New Zealand 18 to 35  Yes  No  No 
Norway 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Poland 18 to 35  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Portugal 18 to 35  Yes  Yes  Yes 
San Marino 18 to 35  Yes  No  No 
Slovakia 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Slovenia 18 to 35  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Spain 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Sweden 18 to 30  Yes  Yes  Yes 
Switzerland 18 to 35  No  Yes Yes
Taiwan 18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
Ukraine  18 to 35 Yes  Yes  Yes 
United Kingdom 18 to 30 Yes  No  No

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) publishes a list of recognized youth service organizations that provide services under IEC, for a fee to both Canadians going abroad and foreign nationals coming to Canada. 

They may include help finding a job, somewhere to live, or for making travel arrangements. 

Citizens of IEC countries or territories do not have to use an RO, but they can increase support. For those not coming from IEC countries/territories, coming to Canada under IEC is only possible via an RO. 

The organizations are either Canadian (with overseas offices) or international (with Canada offices); there are currently seven of them 


Watch video:


Approved Organizations Under International Experience Canada (as mentioned on IRCC)

AIESEC Canada

AIESEC Canada is a non-profit organization that helps develop leadership in youth.

Types of work permits:

  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target ages: 18 to 30

 Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, Brazil, India


GO International

GO International is a Canadian organization that offers work and travel opportunities.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)

Target ages: 18 to 35

 Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, the United States


International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)

IAESTE offers opportunities in technical career-related jobs.

Types of work permits:

  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development
  • International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target ages: 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries and other IAESTE country partners


A-Way to Work/International Rural Exchange Canada Inc.

The non-profit International Rural Exchange Canada offers paid opportunities to youth in:

  • agriculture
  • hospitality
  • culinary arts
  • tourism
  • horticulture
  • landscaping
  • other sectors.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target ages: 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only


Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Memorial University offers internships for students and recent graduates.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target ages: 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only


Stepwest

Stepwest offers work experiences ranging from paid ski resort jobs to industry-specific student internships.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target ages: 18 to 35

 Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only

SWAP Working Holidays

SWAP Working Holidays helps with working holidays and young professional work and travel opportunities.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target ages: 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, the United States


The IEC Process

  • Processing fees – CAN$ 161
  • Current processing time – 11 weeks

1. Create a profile: The first step to application is to become a candidate in one or more IEC pools. This step should be completed as soon as possible, if your goal is to start working in Canada in the next 12 months. 

The pools for the 2023 season are now open, and eligible candidates may make a profile. 

2. Get invited to apply: If you have an invitation to apply you must have got a message pertaining to that in your account, which would list your category and next steps. 

You get 10 days to decide to accept an invitation or not. If you accept it, you get 20 days to apply online for a work permit. 

3. Apply for a work permit: Complete the online form, gather all required documents, pay the fees, and submit your complete application. Biometrics may also be needed. 


Staying in Canada After IEC

To stay in Canada past the temporary status afforded to you by IEC, you would be required to gain Canada permanent residence. 

This is possible through different economic immigration programs offered by the Government of Canada, such as the Express Entry and the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). 

The IEC puts you on good track for qualifying for the Express Entry, as you would be gaining points towards it by working in a skilled field for a period of 12 months. 


Are you ready to live and work in Canada? Fill out our free evaluation form to find out if you are eligible.

Become the right candidate with the job you always wanted with our online IELTS and EECP packages at skilledworker.com.


The post International Experience Canada Program appeared first on Canada Immigration and Visa Information. Canadian Immigration Services and Free Online Evaluation..

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