International Experience Canada

19th Oct 2015 Comments Off on International Experience Canada

Last updated on May 8th, 2019

International Experience Canada (“IEC“) provides young individuals the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. The program has grown considerably since it was introduced in 1951, and in 2016 IEC comprised 22% of International Mobility Program (“IMP“) work permits, making it the largest component of the IMP.

The IEC Programs

Participation in IEC is currently available to the citizens of 34 countries that have a bilateral youth mobility arrangement (a “YMA“) with Canada.  The three most common IEC programs are the Working Holiday Program (the “WHP”), the Young Professionals Program (the “YPP“) and the International Co-op Internship (the “IEC Co-Op“).  While eligibility requirements vary somewhat for each country, participation is typically open to young adults between the ages of 18 to 30 or 35.

Under the WHP, participating young adults obtain open work permits which allow them to work anywhere in Canada.  This is the largest IEC stream, and comprises 81% of IEC.

Under the YPP, participating young adults can obtain employer-specific work permits if they have a job offer that contributes to their professional development related to their field of study and work for the same employer for the duration of their stay.

Under the IEC Co-Op, participating young adults can obtain an employer specific work permit if they are enrolled in a post-secondary institution, have a job offer that is related to their field of study and work for the same employer for the duration of their stay.

A breakdown of the programs in these 34 countries can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website here, and specific program rules for each country can be found here.

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Question & Answer – Renewing IEC Work Permit (IR-08)

2nd Oct 2013 Comments Off on Question & Answer – Renewing IEC Work Permit (IR-08)

The following is an e-mail exchange between an immigration representative and Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) regarding International Experience Canada (the “IEC”).  The IEC, more commonly known as the Working Holiday Program (which is actually a program within the IEC), allows young people from several dozen countries to work in Canada on open work permits.  As with any program, questions emerged regarding specific requirements, including whether IEC work permits can be extended.

Please note that what I have reproduced below should not be viewed as legal advice.  I obtained a copy of this internal CIC question and answer through an Access to Information Act request the (“ATI”).  The reproduction of question and answer has not occurred with the affiliation of the Government of Canada, nor with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.  Please e-mail me if you want a copy of the original question and answer contained in the ATI.  

Question – May 13, 2013

Dear Sir or Madam:

I wish to seek your advice concerning the following situation.

I have a client, an _______, who came to Canada on a work permit issued to him on ___________ through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. His work permit is valid to  through the

My client wishes to obtain a renewal of his work permit prior to its expiry. As a result, I would like your advice as to whether he can submit a direct request to CIC Vegreville for an extension of his work permit or does he need an approved labour market opinion from Service Canada in order to submit an extension request of his work permit to CIC Vegreville so he can continue working in Canada.

I await your reply.

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Comparing Working Holiday Programs

18th Feb 2013 Comments Off on Comparing Working Holiday Programs

Many young people from certain countries around the world are able to come to Canada to work on open work permits for specified periods under the Working Holiday Program (“WHP“).  The WHP is a part of the International Experience Canada (“IEC“) program.   The IEC also includes other programs such as the Young Professionals Program which require that applicants have pre-arranged employment.

What many people don’t realize is that the WHP rules for specific countries vary dramatically.  As well, they are changing constantly.  So if you see you’re country on the list below, and you notice that the rules for your country are much more stringent than other countries, you may want to lobby your government to negotiate more flexible terms with Canada.

Country
Age Eligibility
Maximum Validity (Months)
Frequency of Participation
Quota

Australia
18-30
24
No limit
8,900

Belgium
18-30
12
Once
750

Chile
18-35
12
Once
725

Costa Rica
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
70

Croatia
18-35
12
Twice
275

Czech Republic
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
1,000

Denmark
18-35
12
Once
300

Estonia
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
80

France
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
14,000

Germany
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
4,200

Greece
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP

Hong Kong
18-30
12
Once
200

Ireland
18-35
24
Once
6,350

Italy
18-35
6
Once
1,000

Japan
18-30
12
Once
6,500

Korea
18-30
12
Once
2,000 per tranche

Latvia
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
164

Lithuania
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP

Netherlands
18-30
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
380

New Zealand
18-35
12
Once
2,500

Norway
18-35
12
Twice in IEC, Once in WHP
100

Poland
18-35
12
Twice in IEC,  » Read more about: Comparing Working Holiday Programs  »

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