International Experience Canada (IEC) 2023 pool is now open!

International Experience Canada (IEC) 2023 pool is now open!

Surya Rathee Surya Rathee
[Published 10 Jan, 2023 | 05:14 AM]
About Author - 3 min read

Following the sudden increase in capacity – the International Experience Canada (IEC) program is now accepting applications for its 2023 pool.

The opening of the IEC pool in 2023 comes following the announcement made last year that IEC would be expanding its program intake – allowing some 90,000 candidates from eligible countries the permit to travel and work in Canada.

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The IEC program is Canada’s way of offering employment experience – as well as international exposure to youth from 36 eligible countries. This allows eligible candidates the opportunity to work and travel freely in Canada while on a work permit. With the expansion of the IEC program, Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) hope to fulfill labor needs in targeted sectors and In-demand occupation list in Canada - impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

How does the IEC program work?

Citizens of eligible countries, partnered with bilateral Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada – who are within the required age range (18-29, 18-30, or 18-35) may qualify for an IEC work permit. There are three streams under which potential candidates can apply:

  • Working Holiday Stream: This stream grants an Open Work Permit (OWP) for up to 2 years, which allows holders to work for any Canadian employer.
  • Young Professionals Stream: This stream issues an employer-specific work permit for individuals with a valid job offer.
  • International Co-op Internship Stream: This stream allows citizens of eligible countries, enrolled in a post-secondary program in their home country – to intern for a specific Canadian employer.

The IEC program works on an Expression of Interest (EOI) or Invitation to Apply (ITA) model, where candidates interested to apply must submit a candidate profile to the IEC pool. Candidates with the highest-ranked profiles in the IEC pool are selected and issued an invitation to apply for a Canadian work permit.

Who is eligible for the IEC program?

Candidates wanting to apply under the IEC program must:

  • Be a citizen of the 36 eligible countries, partnered with bilateral Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada.
  • Have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada.
  • Be within the required age range (18-29, 18-30, or 18-35) at the time of their application.
  • Have at least CAD$ 2,500 upon landing in Canada.
  • Be able to take out health insurance for the duration of their stay in Canada.
  • Have a round ticket (prior to departure) or financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of their permitted stay in Canada.
  • Not be accompanied by dependents.
  • Pay the mandated processing fees.
  • Be admissible to Canada.

Why is expansion?

With the expansion of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program – Canada hopes to welcome more immigrants than ever. This expansion comes at a time when Canada expects to welcome over 800,000 economic immigrants with its Immigration Level Plans for 2023-2025 - to the country within the next three years. Candidates with the required employment experience in Canada gained under the IEC work permit – may also be further eligible for Canada Immigration under various permanent residency programs in the future.

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