January 26, 2022

International Experience Canada (IEC) Season Opening for 2022

Posted by Lijing Cao - Bellissimo Law Group PC

The International Experience Canada (IEC) pools are now open for the 2022 season. There remains high demand for the IEC program, but the number of spots available is limited compared to the candidates in the pool. Those who are interested in participating at this program should create and submit their profiles promptly to maximize the chances of receiving an invitation to apply (ITA). Those who already have an active profile and have not received an ITA would not need to create a new profile.

Pursuant to subsection 205(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR), the IEC program is a reciprocal program based on bilateral agreements and arrangements which Canada has entered into with different partner countries. Current participating countries of the IEC program include Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine, and United Kingdom.

Depending on the country of citizen, there are three possible work permit options: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op. The Working Holiday category provides an open work permit which allows participants to work for any employer or location in Canada. The Young Professionals category requires the candidate to have a job offer in Canada that is in his/her field of expertise and contributes to their professional development. The International Co-op (Internship) category is designed for post-secondary students who want to complete the work placement or internship in Canada, as part of their academic curriculum. Both the Working Holiday and International Co-op categories are employer-specific.

There is an age requirement for participants of the IEC program. Most countries set the age requirement to be between 18 and 35, but some set the requirement to be between 18 and 30. Applicants of the IEC program should prove that they have sufficient financial resources (minimum of CAD $2,500) to cover their expenses at the beginning of their stay in Canada. Of note, IEC work permit applications are submitted “outside of Canada”, and therefore do not meet the requirements for maintained status for an extension of stay under subsection 183(5) of the IRPR.

Thank you for reading. This article is prepared for information only and it is not intended to be legal advice. For further advice on the IEC work permits, please consult one of our team members.