Last Updated on October 22, 2010 by Steven Meurrens

There are currently thousands of young adults each year who come to Canada through an International Experience Canada exchange. Those coming under the Working Holiday program receive open work permits, while those coming under the International Co-Op and the Young Professionals programs receive employer-specific work permits.

Many students in the latter two programs have been applying to make changes to their work permits at the Port of Entry.

Unfortunately, regulation 198(2)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations provides that:

(2) A foreign national may not apply for a work permit when entering Canada if

(c) the foreign national is a participant in an international youth exchange program, unless they are a national or permanent resident of the United States or their application for a work permit was approved before their entry into Canada.

As such, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has sent out instructions to all Port of Entry staff that they are not to process changes to existing youth exchange work permit conditions effective November 1, 2010.

An exception exists for citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

All other IEC participants will have to apply to Case Processing Center – Vegreville to change conditions.