The IEC (International Experience Canada) program is accepted applications for its 2023 pool.
The opening of this pool comes following the announcement last year that the IEC would expand its intake for the program. It would allow close to 90,000 candidates from partner nations the opportunity not only to work but to work in Canada as well, in 2023.
This program is the pathway to Canada to offer work experience and great international exposure to the youth of 36 partner nations. It will allow approved candidates the opportunity to work in Canada with a work permit. As well, they will be able to travel liberally within Canada.
IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) expects that the expansion of this program will help fulfill diverse labour needs in various sectors, which suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in tourism.
How Does the IEC Program Work?
Citizens of partner countries with bilateral Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada, and who are within the eligible age range (18-29, 18-30, 18-35, (all-inclusive) – depending on the applicant’s nationality) may qualify for an IEC work permit. Listed below are three major streams under which candidates can apply:
- The Working Holiday stream can grant an OWP (Open Work Permit) for up to two years, which will enable holders to work for any Canadian employer and in the majority of industries
- The Young Professionals stream that issues an employer-specific work permit for people who have a job offer, and plan to work with a single Canadian employer
- The International Co-op Internship stream enables citizens of participating nations, which are enrolled in a post-secondary program in their country of citizenship, to intern for a particular organization in Canada
The program works on an “expression of interest/invitation to apply” model, in which interested applicants can submit a candidacy profile to the IEC pool. If selected, these candidates, who are now applicants, will receive an ITA (Invitation to Apply) for a work permit in Canada.
If the application is approved, the applicant will receive the work permit under a specific stream and be eligible for entering and working in the country for the period of their stay has been authorized.
Applicants who are looking to apply under the IEC are required to:
- Be a citizen or passport holder of one of the 36 partner nations, which have Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada
- Possess a (valid) passport for the duration of their stay in the country
- Be within the eligible age range (18-29, 18-30, 18-35, (all inclusive) – depending on the applicant’s nationality) at the time of their application
- Have the equivalent of CAD 2,500 upon arrival in Canada
- Be able to take out health insurance for the duration of their stay in the country
- Be admissible in Canada
- Have a round-trip ticket for the financial resources for buying a departure ticket at the end of their authorized stay in the country
- Not go along with dependents
- Pay the right fees
The development of the IEC program capacity comes at a time when Canada is looking to welcome more newcomers than ever, with more than 800,000 economic immigrants expected to come to Canada within the next 3 years. Youths who can gain the necessary amount of work experience in the country through the IEC may find themselves eligible for immigration to Canada in the near future.