IEC Young Professionals: How to Get Started in Canada

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program, famous for its Working Holiday Visa, is a unique initiative that offers young individuals like you the opportunity to work and travel in Canada. This initiative, designed by the Canadian government, is aimed at young professionals from all over the world, encouraging them to gain international work experience, broaden their horizons, and embrace the cultural diversity that Canada has to offer.

The IEC program is not just about working in a foreign country. It's about experiencing Canada's vibrant cities, stunning landscapes, and welcoming communities. It's about immersing yourself in a new culture, learning a new language, and making lifelong friendships. This program is more than a stepping stone; it's a launchpad to a more enriched, globally aware future.

As you navigate the IEC program, you'll find various categories tailored to different needs and aspirations. One such category is the Young Professionals Class, a program designed for individuals who wish to further their careers by gaining professional experience in Canada.

Participating in the IEC Young Professionals Class is not just about adding a new line to your CV. It's an opportunity to expand your global understanding, develop new skills, and create international connections that could shape your future.

The Young Professionals Class provides you with a chance to work for a Canadian employer in a field that complements your studies or professional experience. This can give you a competitive edge in your career back home, as employers around the globe highly value the international experience.

Moreover, experiencing life and work in Canada can help you develop personal and professional skills beyond your specific field of expertise. You'll learn to adapt to new environments, communicate effectively across cultures, and navigate the challenges and rewards of living abroad. These are invaluable life skills that can benefit you in countless ways.

What is the IEC Young Professionals Class?

The IEC Young Professionals Class is a work permit program that allows young professionals to gain valuable international work experience related to their field of study or career path. This program will help you further your career, enrich your global perspective, and foster cross-cultural understanding.

Through the Young Professionals Class, you can secure a job offer before you leave your home country, giving you peace of mind and a clear plan for your time in Canada. This job must be classified as a National Occupational Classification (NOC) TEER 0, 1, 2, or 3, which includes managerial, professional, and technical jobs.

The duration of your work permit under this program will depend on your country of citizenship and the specifics of the agreement between your home country and Canada. It can range from 12 to 24 months, providing plenty of time to immerse yourself in the Canadian way of life while advancing in your career.

Eligibility Requirements for the IEC Young Professionals Class

International Experience Canada

Before you embark on this journey, you must confirm your eligibility. The eligibility requirements for the IEC Young Professionals Class are designed to ensure that the program is accessible to those who can most benefit from the experience.

The Young Professionals program is for applicants who already have a Canadian job offer that contributes to their professional development. To be eligible for an IEC Young Professionals work permit, candidates must:

  • Be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the countries participating in IEC and have a profile in the Young Professionals pool.
  • Be between 18 and 35, although for some countries, the age limit is 18 to 30.
  • Demonstrate that an employer-employee relationship exists, and the employment offer must be within the applicant's field of expertise.
  • Have a job offer that is National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Level 0, 1, 2, or 3 to be considered as contributing to professional development.
  • Always work for the same employer in a single location throughout their stay in Canada.
  • Citizens of certain countries are also required to be residents in their country of citizenship at the time they apply for their IEC work permit.
  • Have the equivalent of 2,500 CAD upon landing to help cover initial expenses, have health insurance for your stay, and be admitted to Canada.

How to Apply for the IEC Young Professionals Class

IEC Canada

The application process for the IEC Young Professionals Class is straightforward and user-friendly. It's designed to guide you step-by-step, ensuring you have all the necessary information and documents to complete your application successfully.

Step 1: Create a Profile

The first step is to create your online IEC profile. This is where you'll provide information about your citizenship, current residence, and the category (Young Professionals Class) you wish to apply under. You'll need to answer a few questions to determine your eligibility for the program.

After answering the initial questions, you'll complete your online IEC profile. This includes providing detailed personal information, contact details, and employment history. It's crucial to be truthful and accurate in filling out this information, as it will be used to evaluate your application.

Once you've completed your profile, it's time to submit it. This marks the end of the first step in your application process. Remember, submitting your profile doesn't guarantee an invitation to apply. It merely puts you in the pool of candidates eligible for the Young Professionals Class.

Step 2: Get All the Documents You Need

Once your profile is submitted, prepare the necessary documents for your application. These may include the following:

  • Police certificates
  • Medical exams
  • CV/résumé
  • Passport
  • Digital photo
  • Family information
  • Electronic travel authorization or visitor visa application
  • Proof of residency
  • International Co-op (Internship)
  • Young Professionals
  • Applicants using recognized organizations
  • Documents you need before coming to Canada
  • Proof of financial support
  • Health insurance
Learn more about the documents you need to move to Canada.

Step 3: Enter the IEC Pools

By submitting your profile, you automatically enter the IEC pools. Your profile will remain in the pool(s) for the entire season unless you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a work permit, decline an ITA, or withdraw your profile.

Step 4: Get Invited to Apply

If your profile is selected from the pool, you will receive an ITA. This invitation means you can start the actual work permit application process. You will have ten days to accept the invitation and start your application or decline it if you decide not to proceed.

Step 5: Complete the Online Form

Once you accept your ITA, you'll have 20 days to complete the online work permit application form. You'll need to fill out all the required sections, providing information about your job offer, employer, and yourself.

Step 6: Pay Your Fees

The next step is to pay your participation and work permit fees. The participation fee is 153 CAD, and the open work permit holder fee is 100 CAD. Payment is made online through the IRCC's secure payment system. Learn more about IRCC processing fees.

Step 7: Submit Your Complete Application

After paying your fees, it's time to submit your complete application. Remember to double-check all your information before clicking the submit button. Any inaccuracies or missing information could result in the refusal of your application.

Step 8: Give Your Biometrics If You Need To

Depending on your nationality, you might need to give your biometrics (fingerprints and photo). If required, you'll receive a letter on how and where to give your biometrics. Remember, you'll need to pay the biometric fee of 85 CAD. Learn more about Canadian biometrics.

As a young professional, the world is your oyster, and the IEC Young Professionals Class is your ticket to an exciting, enriching, and career-advancing experience in Canada. By participating in this program, you're not just working in Canada - you're building international connections, enhancing your global perspective, and gaining a competitive edge in your career.

So, what are you waiting for? Start your journey today. Determine your eligibility, gather your documents, and begin the application process. Embrace this opportunity to immerse yourself in Canadian culture, gain international work experience, and make memories that will last a lifetime.


Can I Get an Extension on Submitting My Application?

No, unfortunately, you cannot get an extension on submitting your application. If you accept an ITA, you have 20 days to complete and submit your application. If you do not submit within this timeframe, your ITA will expire, and you will have to submit a new profile and re-enter the pool.

How Can I Extend My Time in Canada Once My Work Permit Expires?

To extend your time in Canada after your work permit expires, you have a few options. You can apply for a visitor visa, apply for a different work permit, or apply for permanent residence if you meet the criteria. Always remember to maintain legal status while in Canada.