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Canada’s IEC program-Pathway to a career in Canada

Posted on March 25, 2020
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Canada’s IEC program

Canada offers many options to those looking for options to work in the country. One of them is the International Experience Canada or the IEC program. Under this program immigration candidates between the age of 18 and 35 are eligible for the work permit. They must be citizens of countries who have a bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement with Canada.

The IEC work permits are exempt from the Labor Market impact Assessment. There are three categories under the IEC work permit:

  • Working Holiday
  • Young Professionals
  • International Co-op

 Working Holiday:

Under this category, participants receive an open work permit which is valid for one or two years. They can work for any Canadian employer located anywhere in the country. This option is ideal for those who do not have a job offer to work in Canada and wish to work for more than one employer and wish to earn while they travel.

Young Professionals:

Participants in this category stand to gain valuable international experience by working for a Canadian employer. Participants can receive an employer specific work permit under this category. This category is ideal for those who have a job offer in Canada that will contribute to their professional development and have plans to work for the same employer during their stay in Canada.

Individuals should have a job offer letter or contract of employment with a Canadian employer that will contribute to their professional development before applying. The job must belong to the National Occupation Code (NOC) Skill Type Level 0, A, or B.

International Co-op Internship:

Under this program people belonging to the participating countries and studying at a post-secondary institution in their country of origin can do an internship in Canadian companies. Under this category applicants receive an employer-specific work permit. This category is ideal for those who plan to work for the same employer during their stay in Canada.  They should plan for co-op placements with Canadian employers before application.

Employer-specific Work Permits:

The other option is to apply for an employer-specific work permit in which the applicant’s employer, occupation, work location, and duration of work is specified. With this permit the IEC can allow participants under the Young Professionals and International Co-op internship categories to work in different locations but for the same employer.

Eligibility requirements:

The eligibility requirements can vary by country but here are the general requirements:

Applicants must:

  • Be a citizen of one of the 35 participating countries
  • Have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada
  • be between 18 and years 35
  • Have up to 2,500 CAD when entering Canada to help cover their initial expenses
  • Have health insurance during the duration of their stay in the country
  • Have a return ticket during the end of their authorized stay in Canada
  • Not have dependents coming with them
  • Pay the required fees

The IEC program provides an opportunity for young immigration candidates to enter Canada on a work permit which could be the stepping stone to a long term career or even permanent residence in Canada at a later stage.

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