The International Experience Canada (IEC) has officially reopened for the 2017 season and will give citizens from 32 countries that have a corresponding agreement with Canada the opportunity to come live and work in Canada. From Monday 17 October, all eligible candidates can create a profile and enter the pool for their country and category.
The IEC program is effectively divided into three categories namely; Working holiday, Young professionals, and International Co-op.
The candidate’s personal circumstances or their country of citizenship may determine whether they are able to apply for all the categories available to them through this program.
In the last few years, the IEC program proved to be very popular with international youth, a lot of people that come to Canada through the IEC program eventually stay longer, at times even permanently once they experience the life in Canada. Other individuals also take the opportunity to travel and visit other parts of Canada during the course of their IEC program.
IEC Program for 2017
All eligible candidates can create a profile, they then receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) afterwards, for an open work permit. The IEC system of application that was introduced in 2016 has been maintained and will be used for the 2017 program. This system enables the program to operate an Expression of Interest or Invitation to Apply model, the eligible candidates can create a profile with IEC, but they are required to obtain an ITA before they submit their application. It is however different from the ITA-based system that is used in other programs such as; Express Entry, where there is no ranking system involved.
Effectively every candidate in a particular pool is provided with an equal chance of being given an ITA in any round of draws or invitations given. Thus it is important that all aspiring candidates must enter their pool as early as possible, giving them a better chance of obtaining an ITA.
As of now the dates for the first round of draws for each country and category, and quotas have not yet been confirmed.
The Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is responsible for the management of the IEC program. They provide a minimum of five days’ notice before the final rounds of invitations for any given country and category before the closing of any pool at the end of a season.
The IRCC usually process and complete applications within eight weeks.
Participants in this IEC category can receive an open work permit, which is valid for 24 months (depending on participant’s country of citizenship). Open work permits enable participants to work anywhere in Canada and for nearly any Canadian employer.
In this category, participants will gain valuable international experience by working for a Canadian company. A signed job offer or contract of employment with a Canadian employer that is related to the applicant’s professional development is required before applying. The offered job should be classified as a National Occupational Code (NOC) Skill Type O Level 0, A, or B.
The International Co-op category gives the opportunity to citizens of participating countries who are registered at a post-secondary school in their country of citizenship to spend a period of time at a Canadian company as an intern. Participants should arrange Co-op replacements with Canadian employers before applying. Applicants are required to be registered students for the duration of the internship.