On January 9, 2023, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that international youth who are interested in gaining work and travel experience in Canada can now apply for the International Experience (IEC) program. Those who are in the IEC pool will gradually receive invitations to apply for their work permit.
Canada has been committed to supporting Canadian and international youth in their pursuit of travelling and working overseas. The IEC program enables youth from Canada and other countries to work and travel reciprocally in each other’s countries. Through this program, young people from all over the world can discover the cultures, languages, and societies here. They can also improve their life skills and career prospects for the future.
As announced on December 1, 2022, Canada will be offering the opportunity to almost 90,000 international youth to gain meaningful work and life experiences here. It is about a 20% increase in the number offered. The expansion will also help Canada fill labour shortages across the country and allow Canadian employers to find suitable workers.
Starting from January 9, 2023, applicants are able to submit their applications. Canadian youth can apply for the program at any time while international candidates can only apply from December until fall. Canada has established youth mobility agreements with 36 countries and foreign territories under the program. Young people from these partner countries can work and travel in Canada for a maximum of 2 years. Depending on the country, the age range of eligible applicants varies from 18 to 35.
There are 3 participation categories:
- Working Holiday:
Participants are granted an open work permit, which allows them to work in any field in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (Internship):
Participants are granted an employer-specific work permit, which allows them to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
- Young Professionals:
Participants are granted an employer-specific work permit, which allows them to gain targeted and professional work experience within their field of study.