What is International Experience Canada

International Experience Canada

International Experience Canada (IEC) is a series of programs that allows young people from participating countries to live and work in Canada temporarily, is one example. IEC allows a temporary stay in Canada and approves work permits for up to one year. A Canadian work permit can be applied for by foreign nationals who have been successful in one of the IEC programs.

IEC work permits can be approved by random draw. The program will not be open to all applicants. The quotas for each country and program will determine the application’s success. IEC has three distinct programs. Although the IEC has a general requirement, applicants are advised to check the specific needs of each program. Each program is different and may result in another type of work authorization.

While IEC includes these three programs, Canada maintains a unique relationship with each country. Some countries might only offer one or two IEC programs, while others may offer all three.

International Experience Canada is built on bilateral reciprocal agreements between Canada and other countries. Canadian citizens can also travel to and work in IEC countries.

Eligibility to the IEC Program

International Experience Canada requires that a foreign national be at least 35 years of age to participate. Canada must also have an agreement allowing them to apply for a work visa. These countries have IEC agreements with Canada:

CountryWorking HolidayYoung ProfessionalsInternational Co-op Internship
Costa RicaYesYesYes
Czech RepublicYesYesYes
Hong KongYesNoNo
Korea, Rep.YesNoNo
New ZealandYesNoNo
San MarinoYesNoNo
United KingdomYesNoNo

IEC includes three distinct programs. All three types of programs are not open to member countries. Eligibility criteria, application procedures, and success rates vary between programs and countries. The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada website has all the details. It is possible to still participate in IEC even if a country has not been listed. In this instance, however, the foreign national must be able to access the program with the help of a Recognized Organization.

Working Holiday Visa

Individuals who wish to travel to Canada and work for any employer while on a Working Holiday visa are ideal. The Working Holiday program grants applicants an open work permit. Openwork permits do not have to be tied to any particular employer. This allows individuals to move around Canada and change their employers or locations. For foreign nationals of participating countries, the Working Holiday program can be a great option if you are looking for the following:

  • For those who a Canadian employer has not offered a job
  • Individuals who wish to be able to work for multiple employers
  • For those who want to be able to live in various locations
  • For those who want to travel and make money

This program is top-rated due to its relaxed requirements. Canada has predetermined quotas for applicants to this program. To understand their chances of success, applicants interested in the program should verify their country’s quotas.

Young Professionals

Through the Young Professionals program, foreign nationals can gain Canadian professional experience by working for a Canadian employer. To apply, applicants must have a job offer from Canada. The Young Professionals program grants applicants a work permit specific to their employer. They must work at the same place and for the same employer during their time in Canada. For foreign nationals of participating countries, the Young Professionals program can be a great option if you are interested in the following:

  • Individuals who a Canadian employer has offered a job contribute to their professional growth.
  • Individuals who plan to work in Canada for the same employer at the same place
  • These are those whose work is: paid and not for self-employment

To be considered for professional development, a position must meet the National Occupation Classification Skill Level 0, A, or B. Participants’ countries may have different quotas for the program. To understand their chances of success, interested applicants should verify the percentages in their country.

International Co-op

International Co-op Internship allows international students to work in Canada and complete an internship. The program requires applicants to have a job offer in Canada for a work placement. The employer-specific work permit is given to applicants who have been successful in this program. This means that they must work in Canada for the same employer during their stay. The International Co-op Internship Program is an excellent option for foreign nationals of participating countries.

  • International students who have been accepted at a post-secondary institution
  • Anyone with a job opportunity for a workplace or internship in Canada
  • Students who need a work placement to finish their studies
  • Individuals who are willing to work in Canada for the same employer at the same place during their stay

Interested applicants are advised to check the requirements of their country for exact application procedures and quotas.

IEC Application Procedure

International nationals who are interested in applying for an IEC program need to follow the following five steps:

Step 1: Create an IEC Profile.

Once a foreign national has determined that their country participates in IEC and selects their preferred program to be included in the IEC database, they can create an account at the IEC website. Their performance will automatically be entered into the IEC pool if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Step 2: Get an Invitation to Apply.

IEC conducts regular random draws of IEC candidates. A candidate selected in a tie will receive an Invitation to Apply. This allows them to proceed to step 3. Quotas can vary from one program to another. Hence, candidates need to verify the percentages in their country to get a better idea of their chances of being invited to apply.

Step 3: Accept the Invitation To Apply

Candidates who receive an Invitation to apply have ten days to accept it. After getting the invitation, they have 20 days to submit online applications for work permits. If an applicant declines an invitation, they will be returned to the pool of applicants. They will continue to be considered for future draws.

Step 4: Submit Work Permit Applications

After receiving an Invitation to Apply, a foreign citizen has 20 days to submit an online work permit application via the IRCC portal. To ensure that they have enough time to prepare their application, applicants should carefully review the documentation requirements.

Step 5: Get a Work Permit

 After submitting a successful application, you will be notified about their approval and information about their validity.

IEC Overview for

International Experience Canada conducts draws regularly. IEC generally updates its website every Friday with information about new draws. Each country has its quotas. To determine the probability of success in one of the IEC programs, consult the International Experience Canada website to see the exact program quotas for each country.