International Experience Canada Program
What is International Experience Canada Program?
International Experience Canada in an incredible opportunity for young people to explore Canada, gain Canadian work experience and to feel the country as an insider, not as a guest.
For those who is interested in IEC program, you need to know the following:
- you have to be of 18 and 35 (inclusive)
- your country of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada which will allow you to apply for an IEC work permit, or
- you may be able to use a Recognized Organization
Depending on the country of your nationality, you will be able to choose from up to three travel options:
Working Holiday Visa
The type of a work permit you will get for Working Holiday will be an open work permit. (This type of work permit allows a person to work for any Canadian employer in Canada, with an exception for an employer listed as ineligible on the list of employers who have failed to comply with conditions, or who, on a regular basis, offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages).
This type of a work permit is perfect for you if:
- You don’t have a job offer from a specific employer
- You want to work for more than one employer in Canada
- You want to work in more than one location
Young Professionals Visa
The type of work permit you will get in the Young Professionals category will be an employer-specific work permit (This work permit will indicate the name of the employer a person can work for; how long a person can work; and the location where a person can work (if applicable)).
A person who holds an employer-specific work permit can only work for the named employer for the length of time specified, and if applicable, at the location shown on the work permit.
This type of work permit is for you if:
- You have a job offer in Canada from a Canadian employer
- You will work for the same employer during your stay in Canada
International Co-op Internship Visa
The type of work permit you get in the International Co-op (Internship) category is an employer-specific work permit.
This category is a good match for your plans if:
- You’re a student registered at a post-secondary institution in your country of residence
- You have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada
- You need to do this work placement or internship to complete your studies
- You’ll work for the same employer during your stay in Canada
As an eligible citizen, you may participate in IEC twice, under any category.
The job you are offered in Canada must be classified as a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code Skill Type Level 0, A or B to be considered as contributing to your “professional development.”
To be eligible for the Young Professionals category, you must:
- be a citizen of any eligible country,
- have a valid passport for the duration of your stay in Canada—your work permit in Canada will not be longer than the validity of your passport,
- be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive),
- have the equivalent of CAN$2,500 to help cover your expenses in Canada,
- be able to take out health insurance for the duration of your stay—you may have to present evidence of this insurance when you enter Canada,
- be admissible to Canada,
- have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket or demonstrate that you will have the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of your authorized stay in Canada,
- have a signed letter of offer or contract of employment in Canada—the employment offer must be in your field of expertise (through schooling or work experience) and contribute to your professional development,
- not be accompanied by dependents, and
- pay the fees.
The following is a chronological step-by-step overview of how the IEC program works:
- Complete the Come to Canada questionnaire and, if eligible, get your personal reference code.
- Use this code to create your MyCIC account.
- Complete the remaining steps in the IEC profile builder.
- Submit your profile and choose the IEC pools you want to be in.
- If you receive an Invitation to Apply via MyCIC, you will have 10 days start your application or to decline the invitation. If you accept, click the “Start Application” button in your MyCIC account to start the work permit application process.
- After you press the button “Start Application” in MyCIC, you have 20 days from that day, regardless of whether you accept on day 1 or 10, to complete, pay and submit the work permit application.
- (Young Professional and International Coop categories: before your 20 days expire, your employer needs to pay the $230 Employer Compliance Fee through the Employer Portal. Ask your employer to send you the offer of employment number they will get after they have paid their fees. You need this number to apply for your work permit.)
- Upload all supporting documents, including police and medical exam certificates, if applicable (if you don’t have the supporting documents, you can upload proof that you have applied to undertake a medical exam and that a police certificate request has been sent).
- Pay your participation fee of CAD $150 with a credit card through the online payment system in MyCIC.
- (Working Holiday Category: pay your open work permit holder fee of CAD $100 at this time as well.)
- At this point, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRC, formerly Citizenship and Immigration Canada, or CIC) begin its temporary work permit application assessment. IRC may ask you to provide additional documents. This is the last chance to withdraw from IEC and obtain refunds.
- If the application is successful, a letter of introduction (LOI) will be sent to your MyCIC account. The official name of the document is Port of Entry (POE) Introduction Letter.
- This letter is to be presented upon arrival at a Port of Entry (such as an international airport) in Canada, whereupon a work permit may be obtained.
IRCC typically processes complete applications within eight weeks.