International Experience Canada programme reopens

Canada’s International Experience Canada (IEC) programme has reopened, giving thousands of young people from countries around the world the opportunity to live and work in Canada on a temporary basis.

As of 17th October, eligible candidates from countries that have a reciprocal agreement with Canada are able to create a profile and enter the pool for their country and category.

The IEC program has proven to be a particularly popular initiative among international youth over recent years. Many individuals who come to Canada on an International Experience Canada work permit end up remaining longer, sometimes permanently, once they get a taste for all that Canada has to offer. Other IEC participants take the opportunity explore various parts of Canada over the course of their time in Canada.

The IEC program is divided into three categories: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op. The most popular of these categories is typically the Working Holiday category, as it allows participants to obtain an open work permit.

This kind of work permit authorises its holder to work for any employer in Canada. Depending on a candidate’s country of citizenship and personal circumstances, he or she may be eligible for more than one of these categories.

Until 2015, the IEC application procedure operated on a first-come, first-served basis. In many cases, demand far outweighed the supply of visas available for certain countries.

However, changes were introduced in 2016, whereby eligible candidates first create an IEC profile and enter a pool of candidates for their country and category (or categories, if the candidate is eligible for more than one category). An application for a work permit can only be made if a candidate subsequently receives an Invitation to Apply (ITA). ITAs are issued at random during regular rounds of invitations per country and per category.

This new system is being retained for the 2017 International Experience Canada season. Eligible candidates can submit a profile now, but will need to wait for an ITA in order to complete their application.

Article published 19th October 2016