The International Experience Canada (IEC) program, which allows international youth to gain work and travel experiences in Canada, is now open for application, as announced by the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Sean Fraser. Those who are already in the IEC pool will soon be receiving invitations to apply for their work permit.
This year, Canada has increased the number of spots available, offering nearly 90,000 international youth the opportunity to participate, in order to help Canadian employers fill labor shortages across the country. Canada has a history of supporting both Canadian and international youth to travel and work abroad through programs like IEC, which allows them to explore new cultures, languages, and societies, while developing life skills and improving their future job prospects.
Quick Facts about International Experience Canada Program (IEC):
- IEC is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries.
- On December 19, 2022, the IEC pools opened to allow international youth to create an online profile.
- While Canadian youth can apply for the program year-round, international candidates can only apply at certain times of the year, typically December until fall. Canada has youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories through the IEC program that allow youth from Canada’s partner countries to work and travel in Canada for up to 2 years. The age of participants ranges from 18 to 35, depending on their country.
The program has 3 participation categories:
- Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
- Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.