- Your country or territory of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that allows you to apply for an IEC work permit or
- you may be able to use a recognized organization (RO)
You must also meet the eligibility requirements for your country or territory of citizenship and the pool you’re applying for.
Some countries only allow you to participate once. Others allow you to participate twice, but in different pools. Because each country is different, it’s important that you check to see if you’re eligible to apply.
IEC encompasses three separate programs. Member countries may not participate in all three types programs. As well, eligibility criteria, application procedure, and likelihood of success vary from program to program and from country to country. Full details about participating countries’ program requirements can be accessed on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. If a country is not listed it may still be possible to participate in IEC. However, in this case, the foreign national must access the program through the assistance of a Recognized Organization.
Working Holiday Visa
The Working Holiday visa is ideal for individuals who want the freedom to work for any employers while travelling in Canada. Applicants who are successful through the Working Holiday program receive an open work permit. Open work permits are not tied to specific employers, so individuals have the freedom to change employers and locations while living in Canada. The Working Holiday program is a good option for foreign nationals from participating countries who are seeking the following:
- Those without a job offer from a Canadian employer
- Those who want the freedom to work for more than one employer
- Those who would like the freedom to live in more than one location
- Those wishing to earn money while travelling
As the Working Holiday program has relatively relaxed requirements, this program is incredibly popular. Canada approves predetermined quotas of applicants for this program on a per-country basis. Applicants interested in this program should verify the quotas for their country in order to gain an accurate understanding of their probability of success.
The Young Professionals program allows foreign nationals to gain Canadian professional work experience by working with a Canadian employer. This program requires that applicants have a job offer from a Canadian employer in order to apply. Applicants who are successful through the Young Professionals program will be issued an employer-specific work permit. This means they must work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada. The Young Professionals program is a good option for foreign nationals from participating countries who are seeking the following:
- Those with a job offer from a Canadian employer which contributes to their professional development.
- Those who intend to work for the same employer in the same location while in Canada
- Those whose work will be: paid and not self-employed
Generally, a position must be National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, A, or B to be considered as contributing to professional development. Participating countries have varying quotas to be filled annually for this program. Interested applicants should verify quotas for their country to understand the probability of their success.
The International Co-op Internship program allows international students to complete an internship or work placement in Canada as a requirement for their post-secondary education. This program requires that applicants have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada which is required for their completion of studies. Applicants who are successful through this program receive an employer-specific work permit, meaning that they must work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada. The International Co-op Internship program is a good option for foreign nationals from participating countries who are seeking the following:
- Those who are international students registered at a post-secondary institution
- Those with a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada
- Those requiring a work placement or internship to complete their studies
- Those willing to work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada
Interested applicants should consult the requirements for their country to verify exact application procedures as well as quotas for the program.
Even if you’re issued an invitation to apply (ITA), you can’t participate more times than your country allows. Make sure you read and understand all the requirements before you submit an application.
Even if you hold a refugee travel document issued by a country that has a youth mobility agreement with Canada, you’re not eligible to participate.