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IEC Visa Holders Free To Come To Canada Despite COVID-19 Pandemic

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) have stated that IEC visa holders or participants with a job offer can now come to Canada despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Effective May 8, 2020, some IEC visa holders are exempt from Canada’s COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Only International Experience Canada (IEC) participants who have a valid job offer and a port of entry letter of introduction are now free to come to Canada, according to IRCC, although IRCC advises such persons to continue to check its website for more updates.

Canada has deemed anyone coming to the country for work during the coronavirus period to be an “essential” traveller.

IEC visa holders with a job offer should take note that they are legally required to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days upon arriving to Canada and require to provide authorities with a self-quarantine plan.

Only four Canadian airports are presently receiving international flights: Calgary (YYC), Vancouver (YVR), Montreal (YUL), and Toronto (YYZ).

The IEC enables youths, generally between the ages of 18-35, to get open work permits in Canada for between 1-2 years.

These youth are citizens of Canada’s peer countries such as Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, New Zealand, most European Union member states, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

When Is The Best Time To Apply For An IEC Canada?

An individual will need to obtain Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction in order to come to Canada and receive your work permit. Usually, this document is valid for twelve (12) months.

Bear in mind that it can take some months to get an invitation to apply, complete your application, and have this application evaluated.

Let’s take the example of Lisa, who wants to come to Canada in early 2021. Here are some of her options:

1. She can apply for a 2020 IEC Canada permit as most pools are open as of Monday, December 9, 2020. If she’s lucky enough to get an invite, she may have her Port of Entry letter before the end of the year. This letter would be valid for twelve (12) months, allowing her to come to Canada at any time within that twelve 12-month periods.

2. Apply for a 2021 IEC Canada permit, soon after the pools open, likely in November or December 2020. If she gets an invite in the months that follow, her application may be processed, and her Port of Entry letter sent. As the letter is still valid for twelve (12) months, she can then arrive in early 2021.

As there is no definite time frame for it, and when, you will get your Port of Entry letter, it’s not possible to offer complete guidance. The best advice is to plan early and remember that the Port of Entry letter is valid for twelve (12) months, so you will have ample time to use it, if and when you receive it.