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International Experience Canada

If you are a youth and a citizen of one of the participating countries, you may be eligible for the International Experience Canada scheme. The route allows you to come and work in Canada for up to 2 years.

Contact our experienced Canadian immigration lawyers at +1 844 290 6312 for more information about International Experience Canada, your eligibility, how you can apply, and any other related questions. We’re here to help you in person, via phone, or online.


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    What is International Experience Canada?

    International Experience Canada (IEC) is a program that permits youth from specific countries to travel to Canada and work for a maximum period of 2 years.

    The three categories available in this program include:

    • Working Holiday
    • Young Professionals
    • International Co-op (Internship)

    Work permit for each category is different from the other. Also, the eligibility requirements for the International Experience Canada application differ and vary depending on your country of origin. IEC participants from some countries may be limited to one or two of the scheme’s categories.

    The eligible age bracket for IEC is 18-35 years, but some specific countries have a range of 18-30 years.

    What Are the Categories of International Experience Canada?

    There are three categories of IEC, as explained below:

    Working Holiday

    This category is appropriate for you if the following apply to you:

    • Desire to work for two or more employers in Canada
    • Intension to earn money for your travelling expenses
    • Intention to work in various locations
    • Lack of a job offer

    The working holiday category allows you to get an open work permit, enabling you to work for various employers in Canada. However, you may require a medical exam to offer healthcare services and primary or secondary education.

    Young Professionals

    The suitability conditions for this IEC category include the following:

    • Willingness to work from one location for the same Canadian employer throughout your stay in the country.
    • Possession of a job offer that enhances your professional development.

    Under the young professional category, you get an employer-specific permit.

    Other requirements of this type of IEC are as follows:

    • Work mustn’t be self-employed and must be paid.
    • Your employer must comply with the provincial or territorial labour laws of your work location.
    • Your job must be under National Occupation Classification (NOC) TEER category 0, 1, 2 or 3.
    • You must provide your post-secondary certificates to prove that a NOC C is in your field to qualify to be a valid job offer.

    International Co-op (Internship)

    You must meet the following conditions to suit the international co-op category:

    • Be a post-secondary institution-registered student.
    • Have a valid job offer for an internship or work placement with an employer in Canada. It must be directly linked to your specialisation.
    • The internship or work placement must be a requirement for your studies completion.
    • You’ll work for only one employer from the same location during your entire stay.

    You get an employer-specific work permit if you’re eligible for this IEC category.

    Moreover, your employer’s wages and labour standards must be compliant with your destination province or territory’s labour laws.


    Who Can Participate in International Experience Canada?

    You can participate in the IEC program if your territory or country has a bilateral Youth Mobility Program Agreement with Canada. You can check your eligibility from the IRCC website.

    If your country or territory isn’t under the agreement, you can still travel and work in Canada through recognised organisations.

    Check your country or territory’s eligibility requirements first, as some may only allow you to participate once, while others can allow you twice.

    Contact our specialist lawyers if you need any help with your IEC application or the basic entry requirements.

    How Do I Apply for a Canada Work Permit?

    You apply for a Canada work permit for IEC by submitting your profile to the IEC pool and waiting for an Invitation to Apply (ITA). After receiving the ITA, you have 10 days to accept or decline.

    Upon accepting the invitation, you have 20 days to submit your work permit application. You apply for a work permit by filling out an online form. Once you complete it, a document checklist is generated.

    If you decline the invitation, you remain in the pool for future consideration. Failure to respond leads to the expiry of the invitation.

    If IRCC doesn’t invite you to apply, you remain in the IEC pool until:

    • The end of the session, when they remove all profiles from the pool or
    • You become ineligible for IEC

    Submit your application:

    • Complete online application form
    • Gather and upload all the required documents
    • Pay application fee (IEC fee is CAN$172 – additional depending on category)
    • Submit your application
    • Give your Biometrics (if required)

    Our expert immigration lawyers can assist with your IEC visa application.

    What Documents Do I Require for the Application?

    Below are the documents you must provide to support your application:

    • A valid travel document like a passport: Valid when applying for IEC and until you leave Canada.
    • Proof of financial support: Bank statement with CAN$2,500 minimum
    • Family Information (IMM 5707) form
    • Proof of health insurance
    • Medical exam certificate
    • Police certificate
    • Digital photo
    • CV/resume
    • Proof of school registration (International Co-op)
    • Proof that your job’s relevance to your field of studies (International Co-op)
    • Proof of education for National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level C jobs (Young Professionals)

    What Are the Fees and Processing Times for International Experience Canada?

    The application fees for the program vary each year and also depend on your IEC category. You must pay the IEC fee which is CAN$172.

    For the Working Holiday open work permit, you’ll have to pay an extra CAN$100.

    For the Young Professionals category, your employer must pay a CAN$230 employer compliance fee.

    Also, you must pay CAN$85 if you’re required to give biometrics.

    The IEC processing time is about 56 days from the application submission date. You can avoid processing delays by sending a complete application.

    What Happens after Submitting My Application?

    You’ll receive an introduction letter to provide at the Port of Entry if the immigration officer approves your application.

    You must also provide your supporting documents like the visitor visa, study or work permits to the airline staff or border service officers. If you meet the entry requirements, the border services officer stamps your passport.

    If the office refuses your application, they send an explanation letter outlining the reasons.

    Call us for further assistance with your Canadian immigration matter.

    What Are Recognized Organisations (ROs)?

    If you are looking for additional support for your IEC application, you may wish to consider enlisting the help of a recognized organisation.

    These are Canada-based organizations that can assist with various aspects of IEC, such as the following:

    • Finding an eligible job in Canada
    • Set up a Canadian banking account
    • Coordinate travel or accommodation on your behalf
    • Coordinate necessary health insurance and vaccinations
    • Provide help and support in the event of any issues or emergencies

    Note that many ROs will differ in terms of their eligibility and the range of services that they offer. Many will also charge a fee to use their services.

    If you decide to use an RO, you will need to obtain and upload a confirmation letter from them confirming that you are using their services when applying for IEC.

    How Can IAS Help?

    International Experience Canada is an ideal route for foreign youth to travel and work in Canada. However, the application process may be tedious and may require much expertise to be successful.

    Thankfully, our experienced immigration lawyers are ready to walk you through the process and provide the professional advice you may need.

    Call us at +1 844 290 6312 for more information about our services and any enquiries about your situation.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    You can contact International Experience Canada by contacting the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada help desk. For Canadian youth who wish to travel and work abroad, you call IEC at 1-877-461-2346 (toll-free).

    You should apply for International Experience Canada between December and September. The country is accepting IEC applications for almost the whole year, as only in October and November the IEC pool is inactive.

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