International Experience Canada (IEC)

What you need to know about International Experience Canada (IEC)

Canada has international agreements in place which allow citizens of certain countries, and of a certain age, to apply for a Canadian work permit without the need for a job offer or Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). These programs fall under International Experience Canada (IEC). 

International Experience Canada (IEC) is program that allows individuals with the opportunity to work and travel in Canada. International Experience Canada (IEC) is open to citizens from thirty-five different countries with three different types of categories available including the Working Holiday category, Young Professionals category and International Co-Op (Internship) category.

Work permits can be valid for up to 24 months, and in the case of the Working Holiday category, are valid anywhere in Canada.

About the three different categories

International Experience Canada (IEC)’s Working Holiday category does not require a job offer and allows applicants to work anywhere in Canada for any employer for a specific period of time. Some permits may be issued for six months or up to two years. For those applying under this program, they cannot be accompanied by a spouse or dependent children, although they may be able to join you in Canada later. This program targets younger applicants looking to gain international work experience, experience in their field, or who want to earn some extra cash while traveling through Canada.

International Experience Canada (IEC)’s Young Professionals category allows applicants are to apply for an employer-specific work permit to help them gain professional work experience in Canada. This category is designed for post-secondary graduates who have a signed offer of employment and contract of employment from a Canadian employer. The job must be in their field of expertise (through schooling or work experience) and contribute to their professional development. The work must be paid and cannot be self-employment.

International Experience Canada (IEC)’s International Co-op allows applicants to apply for an employer-specific work permit to help them gain experience in their field of study. This category is designed for applicants who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution and have a signed offer of employment and contract of employment from a Canadian employer. Applicants must be registered students for the duration of the internship. Applicants must want to complete the work placement/internship in Canada in order to fulfill part of their academic curriculum.

As part of the application process, applicants will be required to undergo a medical check (based on country of residence) and criminal background checks to ensure that they are not inadmissible to Canada for criminal or medical reasons. Applicants do not need to be residing in the country of their citizenship to apply, but they may be required to provide a permanent mailing address in that country as part of the application process. As part of the application, applicants will need to have $2,500 available to them, have private health insurance to cover the duration of their stay in Canada, can afford a round trip ticket and have a valid passport issued by their country of citizenship (which is eligible for International Experience Canada).

How to apply

International Experience Canada (IEC) is a multi-step process. The first step is to enter the IEC Pool through an Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) secure account. You will be required to pay a fee of $153.00 to enter the pool.

Once you are in the IEC Pool, you wait to be given an Invitation to Apply for a work permit. Once you receive the Invitation to Apply you will have ten days to start your work permit application. Once you start your work permit application, you will have twenty days from that day to submit the full application for your work permit. You will need to pay a further $100.00 when submitting this application.

Required documents

Once you receive your Invitation to Apply, you will require the following documents to submit your work permit application:

  • Valid Passport for the full duration of your work permit
  • Copy of your current CV or résumé
  • Digital photo of yourself
  • Police clearances for every country you have spent six months in a row or longer since the age of 18
  • Proof of medical examination if you have lived in a certain country for six months or longer in the year preceding your entry into Canada
  • Biometrics will need to be completed at your closest Canadian Visa Application Centre after you have submitted your application. You will be sent a letter confirming when you need to complete these. This will cost $85.00
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 24 months
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive)
  • As an Australian citizen, you may participate in the Working Holiday category only once. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may participate in IEC one more time through the International Co-op (Internship) category.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive)
  • As an Austrian citizen, you may participate once per IEC category (Working Holiday, Young Professional and International Co-op).
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Belgium when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in Belgium
  • As a Belgian citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Chilean citizen, you may participate in IEC twice, under any category
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive)
  • As a Costa Rican citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Croatian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice, under any category. There must be a three-month break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application

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  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • prove you’re a resident of the Czech Republic when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in the Czech Republic)
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Czech citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands) when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in Denmark (including Greenland and the Faroe Islands));
  • As a Danish citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As an Estonian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 24 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a French citizen, you may participate in the Working Holiday only once. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may participate in IEC one more time through the International Co-op (Internship) category.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a German citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Greek citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must prove you’re a resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR);
  • As a resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 24 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As an Irish citizen, you may participate in the Working Holiday category only once. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may participate in IEC one more time through the International Co-op (Internship) category.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Italy when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in Italy;
  • As an Italian citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Japan when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in Japan;
  • As a Japanese citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must prove you’re a resident of the Republic of Korea when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in the Republic of Korea;
  • As a Korean citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Latvia when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in Latvia;
  • As a Latvian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time. There must be a one year break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Lithuanian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time. There must be a three-month break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • As a Luxembourgish citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 29 (inclusive);
  • Must be registered as a student at a post-secondary institution in Mexico and travelling to Canada during academic holidays;
  • As a Mexican citizen, you may participate in IEC twice, under any category. There must be a three-year break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals;
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Nationals of all Dutch Caribbean islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Saba, Sint Eustatius and Sint Maarten) are Dutch citizens and therefore eligible;
  • As a Dutch citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Valid for up to 23 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a citizen of New Zealand, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Norway when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in Norway);
  • As a Norwegian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Polish citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time. There must be a six-month break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 24 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Portuguese citizen, you may participate in IEC once, under any category.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a citizen of San Marino, you may participate in IEC twice.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Slovakia when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in the Slovakia Republic);
  • As a Slovak citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time. There must be a three-month break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Slovenian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Spain when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in the Spain);
  • As a Spanish citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time. There must be a three-month break between the expiry date of your first Canadian work permit under IEC and the submission date of your second IEC work permit application.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Must prove you’re a resident of Sweden when you apply (this means you must give either a residential or mailing address in the Sweden);
  • As a Swedish citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. You must choose a different category each time.
  • Eligible for Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 18 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • Must have a signed letter of offer or contract of employment in Canada which must be in your field of expertise (through schooling or work experience) and contribute to your professional development
  • As a Swiss citizen, you may participate in IEC twice. The combined durations of your two IEC work permits to Canada must not exceed 18 months.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Taiwanese citizen, you may participate in IEC only once.
  • Eligible for Working Holidays, Young Professionals and International Co-Ops (Internship);
  • Valid for up to 12 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 35 (inclusive);
  • As a Ukrainian citizen, you may participate in IEC twice, under any category.

Eligible Countries

  • Eligible for Working Holidays;
  • Valid for up to 24 months;
  • Must be between 18 and 30 (inclusive);
  • Must be a British citizen from the United Kingdom or the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey
  • As a British citizen, you may participate in IEC once.

Read more about working in Canada:

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