2023 International Experience Canada Program To Take 20% More Applications

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2023 International Experience Canada Program To Take 20% More Applications
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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser says Canada is upping the number of young adults who will be able to apply for the International Experience Canada Program (IEC) next year by 20 per cent.

That increased limit on the number of applicants will see as many as 90,000 young adults from other countries who are aged from 18 to 35 to come live and work in Canada for up to two years starting next year. This round of applications opens Jan. 9.

That’s a 15,000-applicant boost to the IEC limit. 


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“Our government is helping more international youth to work and travel in Canada, effectively helping employers, most of those in the tourism industry, find the workers they need,” said Fraser in Banff to launch the 2023 program.

“By giving youth the opportunity of international travel and work experience, we are strengthening our economy and helping our businesses succeed, particularly in places like Banff that need seasonal help.”

Under the IEC, Canadians aged 18 to 35 can live and work in one of 36 countries and young people from those countries can live and work in Canada.


36 Countries Participate in International Experience Canada

Australia Hong Kong Portugal
Austria Ireland San Marino
Belgium Italy Slovakia
Chile Japan Slovenia
Costa Rica South Korea Spain
Croatia Latvia Sweden
Czech Republic Lithuania Switzerland
Denmark Mexico Taiwan
Estonia Netherlands Ukraine
France New Zealand United Kingdom
Germany Norway Andorra
Greece Poland Canada

“International youth bring so much to our country. From building people-to-people ties to helping our businesses succeed, international youth add value to communities right across Canada,” said Marci Ien, Canada’s minister for women and gender equality and youth.

“Today’s announcement will benefit sectors like the tourism industry, to find the workers they need to fill labour gaps all while providing youth the opportunity to explore Canadian cultures, languages and societies.”

IEC Offers Three Categories Of Opportunities For Young People From Other Countries

There are three categories under the IEC program: working holiday; international co-op; and young professionals.

Under the working holiday category, candidates receive open work permits that allow them to work anywhere in the host country. They do not have to have a job offer and can work for more than one employer while in the country.

Under the international co-op, or internship, category, students receive employer-specific work permits to gain experience in their field of study.


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The work placement or internship must be a requirement for the course of study and so the work permits are employer-specific. These participants must work for the same employer in the same location for the entire duration of their stay.

The young professionals’ category allows participants to receive employer-specific work permits to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.

The job must be one that contributes to the participant’s professional development. The work permit given is employer specific.

Under the IEC, applicants have the option of coming to work and travel in Canada with the help of a Recognized Organization (RO) to help them plan their trip. 

Recognized Organizations Can Help Youth From Non-IEC Come Visit And Work In Canada

These organizations, which usually charge a fee for their services, can help applicants:

  • get information about Canadian culture, languages, laws, taxes, and job opportunities;
  • find transportation, and;
  • provide general support and advice.

Using an RO can help some of those who may want to apply from non-IEC countries come to Canada through the program. Every applicant to the IEC who is using an RO needs to provide a confirmation letter indicating that the organization is helping him or her and upload it to his or her profile.

Here is a list of these recognized organizations, their target markets, the work permit they help provide and the countries in which they operate.

AIESEC Canada

AIESEC Canada is a non-profit organization that helps develop leadership in youth.

Types of work permits:

Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 30

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, Brazil, India


Go International

GO International is a Canadian organization that offers work and travel opportunities.

Types of work permits:

Working Holiday (open work permit)

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, the United States


International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)

IAESTE offers opportunities in technical career-related jobs.

Types of work permits:

Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries and other IAESTE country partners


A-Way to Work/International Rural Exchange Canada Inc

Through A-Way to Work, the non-profit International Rural Exchange Canada offers paid opportunities to young people in:

  • agriculture
  • hospitality
  • culinary arts
  • tourism
  • horticulture
  • landscaping
  • other sectors

Types of work permits:

Working Holiday (open work permit)

Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target Market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only


Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Memorial University offers internships for students and recent graduates.

Types of work permits:

Working Holiday (open work permit)

International Co-op (Internship) (employer-specific work permit) for students

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only


Stepwest

Stepwest offers work experiences ranging from paid ski resort jobs to industry-specific student internships.

Types of work permits:

Working Holiday (open work permit)

Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories only


SWAP Working Holidays

SWAP Working Holidays helps with working holidays and young professional work and travel opportunities.

Types of work permits:

Working Holiday (open work permit)

Young Professionals (employer-specific work permit) for career development

Target market: Youth aged 18 to 35

Eligible to: IEC countries/territories, the U.S.

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Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of immigration.ca featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.