International Experience

International Experience Canada (IEC)

International Experience Canada is a program launched by the Canadian government in partnership with various countries in the world which allows youth to travel and work in Canada.

Depending on where you are coming from, you will have three different options to travel and work in Canada. You might be eligible for one of the three categories:

  • Working Holiday
  • Young Professionals
  • International Co-op Internship

Working Holiday: Under the working holiday category, you are eligible to apply for an open work permit to fund your vacation with temporary work in Canada. This category is for you if:

  • You don’t have a job offer yet
  • You want to work for more than one employer in Canada
  • You want to work in more than one location
  • You’d like to earn some money so that you can travel

Young Professionals: Young professionals from eligible countries can apply for an employer-specific work permit and come to Canada to gain Canadian professional work experience to better compete in a global economy. This category is for you if

  • You have a job offer in Canada that contributes to your professional development
  • You’ll work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada

International Co-op Internship: Candidates from eligible countries can get valuable overseas experience related to their field of study. If selected, they can apply for an employer-specific work permit. This category is for you if:

  • You’re a student registered at a post-secondary institution
  • 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 in the same location during your stay in Canada

If you want to travel and work temporarily in Canada as part of IEC, your first step is to become a candidate in one or more IEC pools. IEC conducts rounds of invitations to apply for qualified, eligible, and selected candidates regularly. If you’re invited to apply, you’ll get a message in your account. The message will list your category and your next steps.

You’ll have 10 days to decide if you’ll accept the invitation. From the day you accept the invitation, you’ll have 20 days to apply online for a work permit. If you do not respond by the deadline shown in the invitation, the invitation will expire. If it expires, you’ll have to submit a new IEC profile and be accepted to the pool again before you can be considered for future invitations. You can also decline the invitation if you do not wish to pursue it further at that time.

Once you apply for the work permit, the immigration officer will evaluate all your documents and begin processing them. They will let you know if you need a police clearance certificate or a medical exam is done before you arrive in Canada. The usual processing time is up to eight weeks currently.

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