Have you ever heard of the Program called International Experience Canada? If you want to spend some time working and traveling in Canada (up to 2 years), this is something you definitely need to know!

International Experience Canada provides a temporary work permit to young people aged 18-35 (see details for each country) from 33 countries of the world. In other words, it’s the Canadian equivalent of the famous US “Work & Travel” Program.

International Experience Canada Requirements

To apply, you should first know the eligibility requirements:

  • Age: between 18-35 years of age in most cases;
  • Origin: eligible country or use a recognized organization;
  • You must be admissible to Canada and have a valid passport;
  • Have sufficient funds (at least CAD 2,500) and a return ticket;
  • And have valid health insurance and come alone (without dependents).

International Experience Canada Categories

  • Young Professionals: for those willing to gain professional work experience in Canada;
  • Working Holiday: for those willing to pay part or all of the vacation in Canada with temporary work;
  • International Co-Op: for those willing to gain professional working experience in Canada,

After you have determined your eligibility and selected your proper category, complete Come to Canada questionnaire. After you complete it, you will be given a personal reference number. Write it down and/or save it somewhere.

The next stage is to go to IRCC website and create an online account to submit an IEC profile. Just like with Express Entry Program, you will be put in the pool and remain there for a year or until the quota for your country has been filled.

Unlike Express Entry, candidates are not awarded points for their profiles. Working Holiday candidates are randomly selected, while International Co-Op and Young Professionals candidates are selected regularly.

If you are selected and issued an Invitation to Apply, you are given 10 days to accept and start your online application for a temporary work permit. Once you have accepted the invitation, you have 20 days to pay your fees and complete your application for work permit.

If your work permit application is successful, you will receive a Port of Entry letter. You may use this letter to obtain your temporary work permit in a Canadian airport once you land.

The Working Holiday category doesn’t require any pre-arranged employment. Interestingly, if your occupation falls under NOC skill categories 0, A or B, you may be able to use this experience to apply for permanent residence under the Canadian Experience Class.

If you apply under Young Professionals category, you must provide a signed letter of offer or contract of employment in Canada related to your professional expertise (as evidenced by your degree or work experience).

International Co-Op category requires a signed letter of offer or contract for internship/work placement meeting the requirements of your academic curriculum.

What else you need to know about the International Experience Canada?

Not all countries offer all three categories. See the list of countries for details. Specific requirements apply to specific countries. If you have participated in the program before, you might not be eligible for another participation. If you a current participant of IEC, you may be eligible for a visa extension.

Each year each participating country receives a quota. Once the quota is filled, the process closes for another year. Visa applications are usually received in January, and the quotas are filled very quickly.

Jane Katkova & Associates are immigration consultants. For more information about International Experience Canada or to learn how we can help you to immigrate to Canada, contact us by filling out the form.