International Experience Canada (IEC) or  Working Holiday visa allows young adults from participating countries to gain relevant work experience in Canada even while still studying as a college or university student.

The International Experience Canada program (IEC) was designed for young adults to travel and work in Canada. The aim of the program is to allow young adults from participatory countries around the world who meet the stipulated criteria, the opportunity to gain relevant experience and knowledge in and of Canada by traveling and working in Canada.

The IEC program is composed of three (3) different categories. These are:

There are however, differing requirements for each of these categories of immigration programs under the IEC.

The Working Holiday Program

The working Holiday program provides you the opportunity to work so as to support your travel plans across Canada or stay in Canada to experience what its got to offer. With the working holiday program, you obtain an open work permit, which allows you to work for any employer, you earn a temporary work through the open work permit. The Working Holiday visa permits young adults from more than 30 different IEC affiliate countries around the world to fund their living in Canada by working. Depending or the country or territory the work permit is valid for between 12 and 24 months (1 to 2 years).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Working_holiday_visa

Who is Eligible for a Working Holiday Visa?

  • Anyone seeking to work for more than one employer in Canada
  • Anyone seeking to work in more than one location
  • Anyone who does not yet have a job offer
  • Anyone seeking to make more money to fund their travels

What are the Working Holiday Requirements

  • Applicants must be citizens from an IEC affiliate country
  • Should be within the age bracket of the IEC program of your country
  • Have a financial capacity 0f $2500 to cover initial expenses
  • Possess a valid passport through out the duration of you intended stay in Canada
  • Intends to travel alone without any dependents
  • Must be admissible to Canada under immigration regulations
  • Possess a return ticket or have enough funds to purchase a return ticket back home
  • Have a Working Holiday visa insurance for the duration of your stay in Canada
  • Must pay the application fee.

What kind of jobs does the Working Holiday Program Provides

  • Winter Sports jobs; such as skiing
  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Agriculture

Young Professionals Program

The Young Professionals category under the IEC is designed for foreign nationals of post – secondary school education who wishes to further their careers  by gaining relevant working experience in Canada. Candidates who wishes to apply for the Young Professional program must first have an employment letter or job offer with a Canadian employer before applying. In this category the type of work permit is called an employer – specific work permit.

Eligibility for the Young Professional Program

  • If you have a job offer in Canada that contributes to your professional development.
  • You intend to work for same employer, in same location during your stay in Canada.
  • Also, employer must satisfy all labour laws in the province or territory of location, including meeting the minimum wage
  • Work offer salary or wage and not self – employment.

International Co – op Program

The International Co – op Program is an internship program created for foreign nationals (youths) who are currently enrolled in a post secondary education, that is, a college or university of higher learning in the home country. It is provided for candidates who wants to complete a work placement or internship in other to satisfy part of their academic curriculum. Work permits offered in this category are usually of 12 months duration, nevertheless, could be longer depending on the applicants country of citizenship.

To successfully apply for this, applicants must have a valid job offer or internship placement in Canada that satisfies the academic curriculum of the learning institution in their country.

To find out more about the different categories of visa available under the International Experience Canada program visit the link below:

https://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/eligibility.asp

What are the Eligibility for an IEC

  • To be eligible, an intending participant must be a citizen of a country or territory which have an agreement with Canada that allows you to apply for an IEC work permit.
  • Have access to a Recognized Organization (RO)

What is RO?

RO’s are youth service organizations, that offer work and travel support to youths, they may be educational, non – profit or for profit. Many however, do charge a fee for their services.

To travel and work under the IEC program in Canada, you will need the support and assistance of an RO. They can help you plan your trip and also assist you with such information concerning:

  • Canada laws
  • taxes
  • culture
  • languages
  • Help you find a job
  • Assist with transportation
  • And with any other other kind of support or advice.

Who can use an RO?

Any intending participant who is from an IEC affiliate country or territory, do not need an RO, but can engage their services should you desire more assistance and support to achieve a fulfilling program.

Any intending participant who is not from an IEC affiliate country can only come to Canada through the IEC program by engaging the services of a RO.

To solicit for the assistance of an RO you will have to go to get their information by visiting their website to learn of how they can be of assistance to you and their charges.

List of RO’s

AIESEC Canada

AIESEC Canada is a non-profit organization that helps develop leadership in youth.

Types of work permits:

  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 30

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, Brazil, India.

GO International

GO International is a Canadian organization that offers work and travel opportunities.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, the United States.

International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)

IAESTE offers opportunities in technical career-related jobs.

Types of work permits:

  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development
  • International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries and other IAESTE country partners.

International Rural Exchange (IRE)

IRE is a Canadian organization that offers paid placements to youths with education or experience in farming, gardening, landscaping and other jobs related to agriculture and horticulture.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target Market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only.

Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Memorial University offers internships for students and recent graduates.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only.

Stepwest

Stepwest offers work experiences ranging from paid ski resort jobs to industry-specific student internships.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only.

SWAP Working Holidays

SWAP Working Holidays helps with working holidays and young professional work and travel opportunities.

Types of work permits:

  • Working Holiday (open work permit)
  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, the United States.

University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia offers internship opportunities for students and recent graduates.

Types of work permits:

  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development
  • International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, Brazil, China, Iceland, India, Pakistan, Singapore, the United States

University of New Brunswick

Through Student Abroad Programs, the University of New Brunswick helps with academic placements, internships and research opportunities.

Types of work permits:

  • Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development
  • International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 30

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only.

How to Apply for an IEC

The International Experience Canada application process takes several steps to complete. These steps includes the following:

IEC ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

  1. Complete the come to Canada questionnaire and get your personal reference code.
  2. Create your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) account. Select “apply to Canada” and use your personal reference code to begin your application.

PROFILE SUBMISSION AND WORK PERMIT APPLICATION

  1. Submit your profile and choose the IEC pool you want to be in. For the Working Holiday pool you must submit a valid job offer, before you will receive an invitation to apply.
  2. If you receive an invitation to apply via your account, you will have ten (10) days to begin your application.
  3. Immediately you start your work permit application, you have twenty (20) days to finish and submit your application and pay the appropriate fees.
  4. During the 20 day application period, your employer needs to pay the CAD $230 employer compliance fee through the employer portal.
  5. Immediately the fee is paid, your employer should send you an offer of employment number, you will need this to complete your work permit application.
  6. Upload all supporting documents, including police and medical certificates, if required.
  7. Pay your participation fee of CAD $156 through a credit card through your IRCC account. Other fees you might need to pay will include: $85 biometric fee, and $100 Working Holiday open work permit holder fee.
  8. If required you will be sent a biometrics instruction letter in your IRCC account, upon receipt of the letter, you will have 30 days to visit a Visa Application Center to submit your biometrics.

IEC WORK PERMIT ASSESSMENT

  1. The work permit application assessment may take up to 56 days, and you may be asked to submit additional documents.
  2. At this stage, this will be your last chance to withdraw from the IEC program for any reason you dim fit and receive full refund of all fees paid including: the participatory fees, open work permit holder fee, employer compliance fee.
  3. If you wish to continue with the program, IRCC will send a Port of Entry letter to your account, bring this letter and your job offer with you to Canada.
  4. Before travelling you will need to be aware for quarantine measures for Convid-19. Download the ArrivCAN app to provide you with the mandatory travel information to Canada.

For more information on how to apply for the International Experience Canada Program visit the link below:

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/iec/application-process-glance.html

IEC Processing Time and Fees

The processing fee for an IEC application is CAD $156 and the processing time is 8 weeks.

How Does the IEC Pool Work?

After submitting your application:

  • Your profile will stay in the pool until you receive an invitation to apply for a work permit.
  • All of the profiles in the pool are removed at the end of the session
  • Or if you are no longer eligible to be in the IEC pool.

Invitation are only issued to candidates in the pool during the IEC session.

  • Information concerning when the round of invitations for each country and territory will start and end.
  • The number of candidates in the pool
  • And your chances of getting an invitation for the session.

At anytime during the session you can submit your IEC profile as long as invitations for your country is still on going, you may receive and invitation to apply for a work permit.