International Experience Canada: Applications Open For 2021 Season

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International Experience Canada: Applications Open For 2021 Season
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People aged 18 to 35 who wish to come and work in Canada can do so through the International Experience Canada program, which has opened its application process for the 2021 season.

Candidates from one of 34 participating countries can apply in one of three categories:

  1. Working Holiday
  2. International Co-Op (Internship)
  3. Young Professionals

The IEC program is arranged using pools, with each participating country having an allocation of places under each of the three categories.

Some countries allow applications from the same candidate in different pools, others do not.

Applications are open as of March 1, 2021. Candidates who receive and accept an invitation to apply have 20 days to submit a full work permit application.

International Experience Canada and COVID-19

Only candidates with a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction and a valid job offer can currently travel to Canada due to COVID-19 restrictions. Candidates must be able to start their job as soon as quarantine is complete.


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The type of work permit application depends on the category. More information on each category and the participating countries is given below.


1. Working Holiday

The Working Holiday category is for candidates looking to fund a vacation with temporary work in Canada.

Candidate Profile

  • You don’t have a job offer.
  • You want to work for more than one employer.
  • You want to work in more than one location.
  • You would like to earn some money so you can travel.

Working Holiday candidates receive an open work permit.


2. International Co-Op (Internship)

The International Co-Op categories is aimed at candidates looking for overseas work experience int heir field of study.

Candidate Profile

  • You are a student registered at a post-secondary institution.
  • You have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada.
  • You need to do this work placement or internship to complete your studies.
  • You will work for the same employer in the same location during your stay.

International Co-Op category candidates receive an employer-specific work permit. Internships must be directly linked to field of study.

Wages must follow the labour laws in the specific province or territory. The law determines if an internship needs to be paid.


3. Young Professionals

The Young Professionals category is for those looking to gain Canadian professional work experience.

Candidate Profile

  • You have a job offer in Canada that contributes to your professional development.
  • You will work for the same employer in the same location.

Under this category, work must be paid and not self-employed.

Young Professionals category candidates receive an employer-specific work permit.

Job Requirements

  • Employer must meet labour laws in province or territory, including minimum wage.
  • Job offer must be classified as National Occupational Classification (NOC) 0, A or B.
  • NOC C jobs might be accepted if you can submit a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree, with your work permit application. Your diploma, certificate or degree must be translated to English or French.

Countries Part of International Experience Canada Program

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
Greece Poland

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Canada’s immigration department publishes a list of recognized organizations that provide services under the International Experience Canada Program.

The approved organisations provide services for a fee to both Canadians going abroad and foreign nationals coming to Canada.

Services might include help finding a job, somewhere to live, or with travel arrangements.

The organizations are either Canadian with offices overseas, of international with offices in Canada.


Approved Organizations Under International Experience Canada

Employer-specific work permit only

  • International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
  • Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce (AIESEC)
  • Academic Internship Council (AIC)
  • Mennonite Central Committee of Canada / International Volunteer Exchange Program (MCC/IVEP)
  • Canadian Host Family Association (CHFA) with Communicating for Agriculture Education Programs (CAEP)
  • International Rural Exchange (IRE)
  • University of Alberta
  • University of New Brunswick

Open work permit only

  • SWAP Working Holidays
  • Go International

Both categories

  • INTERNeX International Exchange
  • Stepwest
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