International Experience Canada (IEC) is a program designed by the Canadian government to give travelers between 18-35 years of age the opportunity to work in Canada.
This program is not for everyone. For you to be eligible for this program, you need to be a citizen of one of the select 33 countries that have signed this bilateral agreement with Canada. The fascinating thing about the program is that you do not need to secure employment in Canada before applying. The application for 2020 is now open.
RELATED ARTICLE: 8 Ways To Immigrate To Canada Permanently.
Like every other application, applying for the International Experience Canada involves various steps; all of which are important.
For you to apply, you must meet the requirements below:
- Confirm that your country is eligible. If you are not a citizen of any of the underlisted countries, you would have to explore other options:
|Hong Kong||South Korea|
RECOMMENDED: Canada Wants 1 Million Immigrants before 2022.
If your country is in the above, that means you are eligible. The next step is to prove that you are a citizen of that country by providing a valid international passport of that country.
- Applicants must not be less than 18 years of age and must not exceed the ages of 30 and 35 depending on their countries of citizenship.
- You must prove that you are residing in the eligible country when you apply
- Have at least CAD2,500 as your proof of fund (see how to get the POF). This is to take care of your living expenses during your stay in Canada
- You must have health insurance for the duration of your stay.
For the Canada Immigration Experience program, there are three categories of work permit as explained below:
- Working Holiday permit (WHP): This is an open work permit that gives you the chance to travel and work in Canada for as long as one or two years depending on your country of citizenship. This permit allows for the individual to not secure employment in Canada before applying for it. Also, you can work for any employer for as long as you want.
- Young Professionals (YP): This work permit is specific to an employer. It allows you to garner valuable work experience in Canada for up to one or two years also depending on your country of citizenship. This permit requires that the applicant secures a job before applying.
- International Co-op (Internship): This permit gives you the chance to complete an internship in Canada for a duration ranging from six months to two years depending on your country of citizenship. The internship must be closely related to your field of studies and you have secured employment before you travel to Canada.
Once you are eligible and have submitted your profile, your profile will be added to a pool where it will stay until:
- you get an Invitation to Apply for a work permit of your choosing
- all profiles are removed from the pool at the end of the season or
- you are no longer eligible for IEC and this might be because you have exceeded the age range.
An IEC profile can be submitted at any time during the IEC season. So far you submit your profile before the date of the last round of invitations for your country, you could receive an Invitation to Apply for a work permit.
Should your profile be in the Internship pool and Working Holiday pool, you will get an Invitation to Apply for an International Co-op category. You can only get an Invitation to Apply for a Working Holiday work permit if all spots in the International Co-op (Internship) category has been taken.
If you have been added to an IEC pool, it is advisable to start getting any supporting documents that may be required for your work permit application. This is because some such documents may take several months to get and you can get an Invitation to Apply at any time.
Review of your work permit application might take as long as 8 weeks; it is advisable you wait until your application is approved before you:
- buy a plane ticket for any travel to Canada
- buy health insurance for your stay in Canada
- make any promises to your potential employer in Canada
- make payments for any accommodation in Canada
- quit your job or studies in your home country
If your application is refused, you will get a letter stating that.
ALSO SEE: Most Employable Degrees in Canada in 2020.
You can also withdraw your application and request a refund provided your Point of Entry (POE) letter have not been issued to you.