IEC Canada Success Stories: Inspiring Tales of International Experience |
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IEC Canada Success Stories: Inspiring Tales of International Experience

International Experience Canada (IEC Canada), or working holiday visa, is open to youth from certain countries and territories. Youth apply through a recognized organization (RO) that serves their home country.


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International Experience Canada (IEC) is Canada’s youth mobility scheme. Essentially, IEC is a visa waiver program for certain countries, giving young people the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to two years!

IEC participants have up to two years to live, work and travel in their new home country. Read on to learn how they are settling in and finding meaningful employment.

From Across the Globe to Canada

For young people from participating countries, the IEC provides a fantastic opportunity to gain work experience in Canada. The program also helps them build important skills and networks to help with future careers.

Applicants must be between 18-30 years old to apply and have the necessary qualifications. They must also be enrolled or have completed full-time post-secondary studies in their home country for at least the last year. In addition, the Working Holiday and International Co-op categories have specific eligibility requirements.

After receiving an invite to apply (ITA), candidates will have 20 days to complete the work permit application online via their IRCC account. This will include uploading a lot of information including police certificates and a medical certificate if applicable.


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Those applying for the 2023 IEC season should be aware that some of the quotas are already full. For example, Austria has no more spots left for the Working Holiday and International Co-op programs.

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Overcoming Challenges Abroad with IEC Canada

The 2023 International Experience Canada (IEC) season began on January 9. IEC is a work-travel program that gives youth from around the world a chance to live and work in Canada.

There are three IEC streams: Working Holiday, International Co-op, and Young Professionals. Each stream has its own quotas and eligibility requirements.

To participate in IEC, you must submit a profile and be invited to apply for an IEC visa by IRCC (Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration agency). The profiles are vetted and then placed into pools.

Generally speaking, the higher your rank in the pool the better your chances are of being invited. However, it is not a guarantee.

It is important to prepare for your IEC application well in advance. For example, if you’re applying for the Working Holiday program and don’t have all your required documents in time (like a police certificate) you can add a Letter of Explanation to your application and be given additional time to complete it. However, it is best not to wait until the last minute because technical issues can occur and if you have to re-submit your application you’ll be at the bottom of the pool.

Building Careers and Expanding Horizons

If you’re dreaming of swapping the office for a mountain view, or simply want to experience life in Canada for an extended period of time then the International Experience Canada (IEC) program might be the ideal option for you. This program, also known as a working holiday visa, gives young people aged 18-30 the opportunity to work in Canada temporarily.

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IEC is offered through 3 different streams: Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship. Working Holiday participants are granted an open work permit that allows them to gain valuable overseas work experience in any type of job in Canada. Young Professionals and International Co-op participants are provided with employer-specific work permits that allow them to build career-relevant skills and expand their networks in Canada.

To participate in IEC, you must be a citizen of one of the participating countries. If you are not, you can use a Recognized Organization to apply on your behalf. The application process starts with submitting a profile through your IRCC account. If you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), you will have 10 days to complete your full work permit application through your IRCC account.

Exploring Canada’s Beauty

International Experience Canada (IEC) is Canada’s youth mobility scheme. Essentially, IEC is a visa waiver program for certain countries, giving young people the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to two years! This can be through the Working Holiday Program, Young Professionals, or International Co-op.

Those who want to participate in IEC need to register their interest and submit a profile via the IRCC website. After this, IRCC sends an Invitation to Apply (ITA) to those who meet the criteria. If accepted, you will receive a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction (POE) – this is NOT your actual IEC work permit, that will only be issued once you have completed a medical and arrived in Canada to activate your POE.

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The 2023 IEC season pools opened on 19th December and the first round of invites started on 9th January, with overall quotas up by 20% this year. Check out our complete guide to working in Canada for a full breakdown of the process, including info on how to join the IEC program, getting an ITA, and preparing your profile.

Life After IEC Canada

Many people find themselves so enamored with their Canadian experience that they want to stay longer than their Working Holiday. International Co-op Internship or Young Professionals work permit will allow. While staying beyond the end of your IEC program is certainly possible. There are a few important factors you should consider.

The 2023 IEC season pools opened on January 9, and interested candidates can now create a profile. It typically takes a couple of weeks for the first round of invitations to be sent out. If you need guidance throughout this process, our visa experts are happy to help.

Once you receive an ITA, you have 20 days to complete the work permit application through your IRCC account. This stage requires you to provide more in-depth details about your work/travel history and citizenship info. As well as communication details (email address, phone number etc).

Ensure that you have everything ready before clicking the ‘Start application’ button. If you don’t have everything in place, it will delay the process by a few days. Having this information at hand will save you a lot of stress down the road.

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