International Experience Canada (IEC)
IEC program allows young individuals to come to Canada and work on a temporary basis (1-2 Years).
The mandate of International Experience Canada (IEC) is to enhance key bilateral relationships between Canada and other countries and emphasize the importance of improved reciprocity.
Citizens of countries with a bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement with Canada who are between the ages of 18 and 35 may be eligible for IEC work permits. Work permits issued under IEC are exempt from the requirement for a Labour Market impact Assessment.
Applicants can not extend their work permit under the IEC program. However, IEC participants may be able to extend the validity period of their work permits beyond what was initially granted by the border services officer at the time they entered Canada.
There are following 3 categories under this program:
International Co-op Internship
Participants in this program can receive an open work permit, valid for one to two years. Open work permits allow participants to work anywhere in Canada for almost any Canadian employer. Because of relatively relaxed requirements this program is extremely popular.
Working holiday visa is approved through a randomized draw system. Not all foreign nationals who submit expressions of interest will be selected for the program. Chances of success depend on the quota for each program and country.
Under this program, citizens of participating countries are eligible to apply for an employer-specific work permit to help them gain professional work experience in Canada. Job Offer and/or employment contract is required with a Canadian before applying. Job Offer must fall under NOC 0, A or B as per National Occupation Classification.
Applicants who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship are eligible to apply for an employer-specific work permit to help them gain experience in their field of study. Participants must arrange co-op placements with Canadian employers before applying under this program.
Candidates applying under IEC program must:
Note: Specific age and eligibility requirements may vary by country.
IEC Application Process
Step 1 (Create an IEC profile): Once a foreign national determines that their country participates in IEC and selects their preferred program, they may create an account on the IEC website. As long as they meet the eligibility requirements their account is automatically entered into the IEC pool of candidates.
Step 2 (Receive an Invitation to Apply): IEC regularly conducts random draws of IEC candidates. If a candidate is selected in a draw, they will be issued an Invitation to Apply. Quotas vary by program and by country, so candidates should verify their country’s quotas to gain a better understanding of their probability of receiving an Invitation to Apply.
Step 3 (Accept the Invitation to Apply): If a candidate receives an Invitation to Apply, they are given 10 days to accept the invitation. After accepting, they are given 20 days to submit an online application for a work permit. If an applicant chooses to decline an invitation they will be returned to the pool of candidates and will continue being considered in future draws.
Step 4 (Submit Work Permit Application): After accepting an Invitation to Apply, a foreign national has 20 days to submit a work permit application online using the IRCC web portal. Applicants should review documentation requirements in advance so they can be sure they will have sufficient time to prepare the application.
Step 5 (Receive Work Permit): If an application is successful, the applicant will receive confirmation of their work permit and issued information about the validity period of their authorization to work in Canada.
IEC Recognized Organizations
A recognized organization is a third-party Canadian organization that facilitates international travel and work opportunities for foreign nationals and whose programs and services are recognized by IEC. Recognized organizations may provide, as part of their services, support and advice to foreign nationals applying under all 3 IEC streams throughout the application process and may assist with their travel arrangements or arrange their work placements. Recognized organizations provide their services for a fee. Each recognized organization is given an allotted number of spaces under the IEC. Currently, there are 9 recognized organizations offering services to participants under specific IEC categories.
Countries currently have agreements with Canada under IEC program
|Country||Working Holiday||Young Professionals||International Co-op||Age Limit|
|Australia||24 months||24 months||24 months||18 to 35 years|
|Austria||12 months||12 months||6 months||18 to 35 years|
|Belgium||12 months||NA||NA||18 to 30 years|
|Chile||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Costa Rica||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Croatia||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Czech Republic||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Denmark||12 months||NA||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Estonia||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|France||24 months||24 months||24 months||18 to 35 years|
|Germany||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Greece||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Hong Kong||12 months||NA||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Ireland||24 months||24 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Italy||6 months||NA||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Japan||12 months||NA||NA||18 to 30 years|
|Latvia||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Lithuania||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Luxembourg||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 30 years|
|Mexico||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 29 years|
|Netherlands||12 months||12 months||NA||18 to 30 years|
|New Zealand||23 months||NA||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Norway||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Poland||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Portugal||24 months||24 months||24 months||18 to 35 years|
|San Marino||12 months||NA||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Slovakia||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Slovenia||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|South Korea||12 months||NA||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Spain||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 30 years|
|Sweden||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 30 years|
|Switzerland||18 months||18 months||NA||18 to 35 years|
|Taiwan||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|Ukraine||12 months||12 months||12 months||18 to 35 years|
|United Kingdom||24 months||NA||NA||18 to 30 years|