The International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit provides young people from around the world with the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. There are more than 30 countries participating in the International Experience Canada program, and you can apply if you are a citizen of one of these countries. This article will let you know all you need to understand this youth-targeted program.
The job offer has to be under NOC Skill Type/Level 0, A or B. A job offer classified as a NOC Skill Level C could be approved if you provide a post-secondary credential.
Your employer must meet all labor laws in effect in your place of work’s province/territory.
If you are eligible (see below list of countries), you will be issued an Employer-Specific Work Permit.
You will need to apply for a visitor Temporary Resident Visa if you are from Costa Rica or Ukraine at the same time as your IEC. All other countries will be issued an electronic Travel Authorization when their IEC Work Permit is approved.
You will need to undergo a medical exam if you are from Hong Kong, Latvia, Lithuania, the Republic of Korea, Taiwan, or Ukraine and lived there for more than 6 months in the year prior to applying. If you lived for more than 6 months in another country,
A dedicated IEC News Tracker contains all the information you need to know about each country’s remaining available invitations, the number of candidates still waiting for an invitation, the latest updates to each pool, etc.
If you want to travel and work temporarily in Canada as part of an IEC category, your first step is to become a candidate in one or more IEC pools. There is one pool for each country and each category (Australia has 3 pools, Belgium 1 pool, etc.). There is one pool that is for all others countries that are not participating in the program. You will have to go through a Recognized Institution to be able to be in that pool.
To be able to get into the pool of candidates, you need first to be eligible. You can either answer the eligibility questionnaire first (here) or create an account with GCKey and select “International Experience Canada” and answer the questions to see if you are eligible. We would recommend you to use the first option so as not to waste your time creating an account if you are not eligible.
If you are eligible, you can complete your IEC profile on your account. If you used the first option and are eligible, you should end up with a personal reference code that you should use when asked.
You will be asked the personal information on your passport. You should not use commas in your first and last names and not use any special characters other than (é, à, è, ù, â, ê, î, ô, û, ë, ï, ö, ü, æ, ç, œ).
When you complete and submit your profile, the system will tell if you are eligible in any IEC category and will put you on the corresponding pool(s) of applicants. In the IEC system, there are no rankings or scores.
The system will select random profiles arbitrarily, and the number of Invitation to Apply (ITA) sent each draw will depend on the spots available for each country/category pool and on the volume of candidates in each pool. However, ITAs are delivered based on this priority: (1) International Co-op Internship, then (2) Young Professionals, and finally (3) Working Holiday.
You usually should get an Invitation to Apply in a matter of weeks if you are from the first two categories. You can find the probability of getting an ITA here.
When you receive an Invitation to Apply, you will have 10 days to accept or decline it. The invitation will expire if you don’t respond within the 10-day period. You will have 20 days from the date you accept the invitation to apply for the IEC Work Permit. If you are a candidate in multiple pools and received an Invitation to Apply from the first pool, you cannot receive an invitation from the second pool until you decline the first one.
After accepting the Invitation to Apply, you will have a form to fill, that will generate a customized list of supporting documents to upload in the system. You will need to upload the following supporting documents:
All participants must pay a $153 fee (2020 season).
If you applied under the Working Holiday category, you will need to pay an additional $100 for the Open Work Permit.
If you applied under the Youth Professionals or the International Co-op Intern categories, the company you will be working for must submit your job offer to IRCC, and pay compliance fees (around $230).
As of time of writing, an IEC application is processed within 8 weeks
You can check the processing times here. You need to select “Visiting, studying, working temporarily”, then “International Experience Canada”.