International Experience Canada (IEC) provides youth with the opportunity to travel and work within Canada. In order to participate, your country or territory of residence must have an agreement with Canada that allows you to apply for an IEC permit. Age requirements also apply to this specific class of work permits. There are multiple steps involved in applying for the IEC. It is very important to create a profile and choose which subcategory/pool of IEC you would like to apply for – this may be country dependent. There are three pools/subcategories available to apply for the IEC:
International Co-op (Internship),
Young Professionals and
If you’re applying for a working holiday, you do not need to have a job offer to submit your profile. Young Professionals or International Co-op (Internship) require a signed letter of offer or contract of employment for a job, work placement, or internship. IEC is part of the International Mobility Program, which means employers who hire program participants do not need to complete a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).
There are many different types of work you can do while on an IEC permit. Open permits allow the permit holder to work for any eligible employer while employer-specific permits are tied to the employer mentioned in the application process. The work permit can be issued for 6, 12, or 24 months depending on the country you are applying from. You may only extend your stay or make changes to your permit in very specific situations. You cannot immigrate to Canada directly through this program. However, you may be able to utilize your Canadian work experience obtained while on the IEC to apply for permanent residence separately through the Canadian Experience Class.
You are allowed to study on an IEC permit so long as they are individual courses that are completed within a 6 month period. If the program is longer than that you’ll need to apply for a separate study permit.
The IEC program has multiple steps involved and eligibility depends on your country of residence.