This program is designed for young individuals between 18 - 35 to come to Canada and work on a temporary basis (1 or 2 years)
Citizens of specific countries with a bilateral youth mobility arrangement with Canada who are between 18 and 35 years old can get an Open Work Permit to work in Canada.
The IEC program is composed of three categories:
Participants in this program can receive an open work permit, valid for one to two years. Open work permits allow participants to work anywhere in Canada for almost any Canadian employer. Nationals of some countries may be allowed to stay in Canada for more or less than one year.
Under this program, citizens of participating countries can gain valuable international experience by working for a Canadian company. A signed job offer letter or contract of employment with a Canadian employer related to the applicant’s professional development is required before applying.The job offered must be classified as a National Occupation Code (NOC) Skill Type Level 0, A, or B.
This program allows citizens of participating countries who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship to spend a period of time interning for Canadian companies. Participants must arrange co-op placements with Canadian employers before applying. Applicants must be registered students for the duration of the internship.
Eligibility requirements for the IEC program
be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the 33 countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada;
have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada (the work permit issued will not be longer than the validity of the passport),
be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 at the time of application (the upper age limit depends on the applicant’s country of citizenship);
have the equivalent of $2,500 CAN upon landing to help cover initial expenses;
be able to take out health insurance for the duration of their stay (participants may have to present evidence of this insurance at the point of entry in Canada);
be admissible to Canada;
have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket or the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket for the end of their authorized stay in Canada,
not be accompanied by dependents; and
pay the appropriate fees.
Please note that specific age and eligibility requirements may vary by country.
Eligible candidates must submit an IEC profile to express interest in the IEC program under one (or more) of the three categories if they are eligible. All profiles are placed into the appropriate category pool(s) and candidates are randomly selected during scheduled "Rounds" of invitations. Each country has a specific schedule of when Invitation Rounds are being held.
Invitations to Apply (ITA) are issued in the following order of priority:
International Internship (Co-op)
When a candidate is selected, they are given an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at which point they have 10 days to accept the invitation. Once a candidate accepts an ITA, they have 20 days to apply for a work permit. It is important to submit a duly completed application with all accompanying evidence as required. Failure to do so will result in refusal, and you must start the whole process over again. When an application is refused, you will have to wait to the following year to be selected again.
If the application is successful, a letter of introduction (LOI) will be issued. This letter is to be presented upon arrival at a Port of Entry (such as an international airport) in Canada, whereupon a work permit will be issued.
Although no work permit extensions are authorized under the IEC program, there are certain scenarios that allow participants to increase the validity of an IEC work permit.