Foreign youth between the ages of 18 and 35 can apply to participate in the International Experience Canada (IEC), which provides successful applicants the opportunity to temporarily move to and work in Canada for a period of up to 2 years.  

The IEC program is hosted under Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, otherwise known as the IRCC. 30 different countries have partnered with the IRCC to provide the opportunity for youths to apply and participate in this program. The goal of the IEC program is to foster economic growth between Canada and the partner countries, as well as develop a stronger cultural bond.  

There are three categories under the International Experience Canada program that candidates can submit applications for, including the Working Holiday, the Young Professionals, and the International Co-op Internship. 

Successful applicants under the Working Holiday category would be permitted to temporarily move to Canada with an open work permit, allowing them to work with any employer, for various job positions, across Canada. The open work permit would be valid for a period between one to two years and would not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This category is best for applicants that want to travel across Canada while earning money working for various employers across the country. 

To further your professional development, potential applicants with an existing job offer in Canada would apply under the Young Professionals category. Applicants would require a signed job offer from a potential employer for a paid job position that they intend to work for during their temporary stay in Canada. If successful, applicants would receive an employer-specific work permit under this category. 

Under the International Co-op Internship category, students registered at a post-secondary educational institution in a partner country may apply for an internship opportunity in Canada. The employer-specific work permit under this category would allow successful applicants to temporarily move to Canada and intern for a Canadian company. Students would need to demonstrate the co-op internship is essential to complete their studies and must arrange an internship with a specific employer prior to applying. 

Before starting the application process, please note that you can only submit one application; however, you can apply for multiple categories under that application. Once your application for a work permit is submitted, you will need to receive an Invitation to Apply from the IRCC to continue further in the application process. Upon receipt of an Invitation to Apply, you will have 10 days to accept or reject the application. Once accepted, you will have a period of 20 days to submit your full application for an online work permit. 

Interested applicants in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program should contact Brace Law to book a consultation, as the process to apply and provide supporting documents can be lengthy and overwhelming. Supporting document in the application process can include providing medical examinations and background check information, as well as providing additional details regarding your educational background and previous work history.  

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