Canadian Immigration News

Working Holiday Work Permits Through the International Experience Canada

4 minute read
"The Canadian government offers a set of immigration programs under the International Experience Class (IEC) for young residents of participating countries who want to travel and experience work life in Canada. This program encourages young people to come to Canada to experience life in Canada."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Jun 3, 2021
drawing of a man holding a giant key to a lock
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 Canadian government offers a set of immigration programs under the International Experience Class (IEC) for young residents of participating countries who want to travel and experience work life in Canada. This program encourages young people to come to Canada to experience life in Canada. 

There are 3 categories of the IEC:

  • Working Holiday 
  • Young Professionals
  • International Co-op Internship

The IEC is based on bilateral youth mobility agreements with 36 different countries, therefore, Canadians are offered the same opportunities to work and travel in participating countries. The IEC is part of the International Mobility Program, meaning applicants will not be required to have a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) to be eligible for a temporary work permit, saving them a lot of time and effort in trying to obtain one. 

Currently, 34 countries are participating in the IEC program and offer at least one of the categories mentioned above. Each category has its requirements and eligibility criteria. 

Who Can Apply for the Working Holiday Program in Canada?

The Working Holiday program is for applicants who want to work for a short period of 1 to 2 years in Canada with an open work permit. An open work permit authorizes you to work anywhere in Canada with any employer. 

If you want to work in Canada in more than one location for more than one employer or travel and explore Canada while working, this is the visa program for you.

Who Can Apply for the Young Professionals Program in Canada?

The Young Professionals program is for applicants who want to gain Canadian work experience while staying in one place in Canada. Applicants under this program are issued an employer-specific work permit, see temporary work permit

Applicants must have a valid job offer at the time of application and must create a profile on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. 

Who Can Apply for the International Co-op Internship Program in Canada?

The International Co-op Internship program is for applicants who are currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution and want to travel to Canada for an internship required by their study program.

You must have a valid job offer from an employer that you intend to work with throughout your stay in Canada. The work permit issued under this program is an employer-specific work permit, see temporary work permit

How to Apply for a Work Permit Under the International Experience Class (IEC)?

The IRCC conducts draws at regular intervals to nominate applicants for an invitation to apply for a work permit until the visa cap for the program has been met. The program is open year-round, so you can apply any time after the program has been launched in your country. The Working Holiday program is the most popular as it is available in most of the participating countries.

You will be required to enter different pools based on your country of residence and the program you are interested in. For example, Denmark Young Professionals or Germany International Co-op Internship, etc. The IRCC gives a 5-day prior notice to every country before its final round of invitations that marks the end season for that particular pool.

To be eligible for a work permit under the IEC, you must be:

  • A citizen of 1 of the 34 participating countries that have a “bilateral youth mobility agreement” with Canada
  • Have a valid visitor visa for the duration of your stay in Canada or longer than the validity period of the work permit you are applying for
  • Be between the ages of 18-30 or 35, depending on the country of residence
  • Have at least $2500 to cover the initial expenses of your stay in Canada
  • Be able to obtain health insurance coverage for the full duration of your stay in Canada
  • Clear all admissibility requirements to enter Canada
  • Not be accompanied by any spouse or dependent children
  • Based on your country of residence, you may be required to be an active resident of the country to be eligible

What Is Next After Receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a Work Permit?

Once you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will have 20 days to submit a complete work permit application and pay the required fee. If you have applied for the Young Professionals or the International Co-op Internship, then your employer will be required to pay an additional $230 employer compliance fee within 20 days through the employer portal. 

Your employer must provide you with the offer of employment to include in your application. You must upload all required documents requested by the IRCC. Based on the program you applied for, you will be required to pay the participation and work permit fee. The IRCC may request additional documents to verify certain information.

Once your application is approved, you will receive a Letter of Introduction (LOI) to present at the Port of Entry (POE). You will receive your work permit at the POE. 

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