International Experience Canada (IEC) is a set of programs that allows young people to live and work temporarily in Canada. Foreign nationals who successfully complete one of the IEC programs will be eligible to apply for a Canadian work permit without undergoing a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). Additionally, IEC permits temporary stay in Canada for a maximum of one year with the approval of work permits.
The IEC consists of three separate programs. However, all three types of programs may not be available to all member countries. In addition, the eligibility criteria, application process, and chances of success for programs and countries are different among countries.
Below are the three programs IEC Canada and how each works:
This category is for people who:
The working holiday offers a type of work permit known as an open work permit. This type of work permit allows you to work at almost any job in Canada. However, some jobs require you to do a medical examination first.
Through Young Professionals, foreigners are able to gain experience at the professional level in Canada by working for Canadian employers.
Candidates must have an offer of employment from an employer in Canada to apply to this program. Candidates who succeed in this program will get an employer-specific work permit. Therefore, they must continue to work with the employer and may have to remain in the same location while in Canada.
Foreigners from participating countries can take advantage of this program if they are looking for:
To be considered contributing to professional development, a position has to conform with levels A, B, or 0 according to the National Occupation Classification (NOC). For this program, participating countries are required to fill varying quotas. In order to determine the possibility of success, candidates should check the quotas applicable to their country.
As part of their post-secondary education, international students may undertake a work placement or internship in Canada through the International Co-op Internship Program. To qualify for this program, candidates must have an offer of internship or job offer in Canada. The successful applicants are given a work permit that is employer-specific, which means they will have to work in Canada at the same organization for the entire duration of their stay.
Foreign nationals who resonate with the following can apply for the IEC Co-op Internship:
Please check the program requirements for your country to review the application process and the quotas.
Application Procedure for IEC
The process of applying to an IEC program requires foreign applicants to follow five steps:
Upon discovering which programs are available in your country and selecting your preferred program, you can set up your profile on the IEC web portal. Your account will be entered automatically in the IEC candidate pool as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.
Candidates for the IEC are regularly selected by random draws. If you are selected, you will be sent an application invitation, enabling you to proceed to step three.
Each country has varying quotas by program and country, so you can find out more by checking your country’s quotas.
If you receive an application invitation, you have 10 days to respond to the invitation. Also, a work permit application must be submitted online within 20 days of acceptance.
Refusing the invitation will return you to the pool of other candidates for consideration in subsequent draws.
You have 20 days upon getting an application Invitation to send in your application for a work permit online on the IRCC website.
Ensure to look through documentation requirements ahead to ensure you will have enough time to plan your application.
Following a successful application, you will get a message confirming your work permit and details of the duration of your ability to be employed in Canada.
The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website has a complete list of participating countries and other information on eligibility.
However, a country may still be eligible for IEC even if it’s not listed on the website. What will happen in this case is that the applicant will have to make use of a Recognized Organization to access the program.