Canadian Immigration News

How the International Experience Class (IEC) Has Changed During Covid-19

2.45 minute read
"The admissions for International Experience Class (IEC) has seen a slow pace during 2021 with less than 900 invitations issued in the week of May 14. This is likely due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the recent change in criteria for the Working Holiday Program. Applicants to this program now require a valid offer of employment to be eligible to enter Canada."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 22, 2021
students working on their electronics projects my visa source
Begin your immigration journey now
Click and fill out a free online assessment to see how we can help you. It takes less than 1 minute to fill out.
Free Assessment
Call and speak to our team, so that they can book a time with a licensed immigration professional who will answer all your questions.
Call Us Now
Recommended For You
Author info:

The admissions for the International Experience Class (IEC) has seen a slow pace during 2021 with less than 900 invitations issued in the week of May 14. This is likely due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the recent change in criteria for the Working Holiday Program. Applicants to this program now require a valid offer of employment to be eligible to enter Canada. 

The Working Holiday Program is the most popular among the programs offered by the IEC. The IEC also offers the Young Professionals Program and the International Co-op Internships Program. It is very easy to apply for these programs. You must meet the eligibility criteria for the program you are interested in and submit your application for the same. The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) conducts regular draws to invite applicants from different pools to apply for a temporary work permit that will allow them to work in Canada for a while. 

Why Were the Recent Changes Made to the Working Holiday Program?

Canada is making all the efforts to control the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Due to the travel and border restrictions imposed given the pandemic, there were many changes made to the various immigration programs offered by IRCC to better adapt the immigration system to the new challenges. 

The new requirement for the Working Holiday applicants to have a valid job offer was implemented this year only. This was done to control the stream of foreigners traveling to Canada by only allowing applicants who already have a job prospect from a Canadian employer.

Applicants of the IEC program will only be allowed to enter Canada if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Have a valid job offer from a Canadian employer, does not necessarily have to be in an essential sector
  • Applicants with activated work permits who were temporarily outside Canada do not require a valid job offer to re-enter the country

IEC Applicants who have a Port of Entry (POE) letter will still require a valid job offer letter to enter Canada. While normally, a job offer letter is not required when you have a POE letter, however, as a response to Covid-19, this new requirement will be implemented until further notice. The job offer letter usually contains information such as the occupation title, job description, working hours, offered remuneration, etc.

The IRCC has also increased the extension validity of the POE letters. If your POE letter is going to expire in 30 days, you can request an extension using the IRCC website. Previously, extensions were valid for up to 90 days, however, during the Covid-19 pandemic, these extensions will be valid for up to 12 months.

How to Activate Your Work Permit Through Your Port Of Entry Letter?

Having a POE letter means that you have been approved for a temporary work permit by the IEC. If you are already residing in Canada and have your POE letter, then you can activate your temporary work permit by applying on the IRCC website. You do not need to travel to the POE to activate your work permit as the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) has announced that they are no longer providing this service at the time.

Questions About Immigration? My Visa Source Has Answers.
My Visa Source stays updated on all immigration news and announcements across Canada and the United States, including sudden changes in government law. Our legal solutions help individuals, families, businesses and investors from North America and around the globe.
Get The Personalized Help That You Need and Deserve!
Securing personalized legal help is quick and simple. Begin with our one-minute online immigration assessment form or call us toll-free at 1-888-509-1987. Book a personal consultation to speak with an award-winning immigration lawyer either in person, over the telephone, or through a video conference. We're open 6am-9pm PST & EST, 7 days a week and are ready for in person, phone, and video consultations.
Canadian Flag
Latest Articles from Immigration Magazine