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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