International Experience Canada (IEC)

International Experience Canada (IEC) provides the opportunity to gain life-changing personal and professional experience by traveling and working abroad.

The program is a formally-recognized reciprocal program; it allows foreign workers to take up employment in Canada when Canadians have similar reciprocal opportunities abroad.

The main aim of the IEC program is to enhance key bilateral relationships between Canada and other countries. There are 33 countries and territories involved in the program.

Agreements and arrangements are open to Canadian and foreign youth aged 18 to 35. It qualifies foreign youth for a Labour Market Impact Assessment-exempt (LMIA) work permit or for an open work permit.

Foreign nationals can participate in the program under three categories:

  1. Working Holiday
  2. Young Professionals
  3. International Co-op(Internship)

Working Holiday

The working holiday category is if you do not have a job offer yet.  You may want to work for more than one employer in Canada or in more than one location. It is also a good way to earn some money so that you can travel.  Applicants in this program will receive an open work permit.

Young Professionals

If you have a job offer in Canada that contributes to your professional development, the young professionals’ category is for you. In this program you will work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada. It is an employer-specific work permit.

International Co-op (Internship)

The International Co-op category is for you if you are a student registered at a post-secondary institution and you need to do a work placement or internship to complete your studies.  In this case you would need to have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada, and will work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada. The type of work permit you get in the International Co-op (Internship) category is an employer-specific work permit.

The following eligibility requirements must be satisfied to apply under the International Experience Canada program:

  • You must be a citizen of one of the countries or a resident of one of the territories with which Canada holds a bilateral agreement or arrangement.
  • Be between the age of 18 and 35.
  • Hold a valid passport that remains valid throughout the period of the stay in Canada.
  • Have minimum of CAN$2,500 to cover all expenses, including transportation to depart from Canada
  • Purchase comprehensive healthcare insurance for the duration of their authorized period of stay in Canada
  • Must not be accompanied by dependants
  • Satisfy the processing officer or border services that the participant will depart Canada at the end of their authorized stay.

If you are eligible, you will be placed into one or more pools of International Experience Canada (IEC) candidates. The profile will stay in the pool until you receive an Invitation to Apply for a work permit, all of the profiles from the pools are removed at the end of the season, or you are no longer eligible for IEC. Invitations are issued to candidates in the IEC pool regularly throughout IEC season.

To find if you are eligible for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program and discuss the program further, please contact us for a consultation.

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