International Experience Class (IEC) program is associated with the bilateral agreements and arrangements made by Canada with other nations [IRPR 205(b)]. IEC program falls under the International Mobility Program where the employers do not need an LMIA to hire the workers coming under this program.

IRCC has a quota for the number of work permits to be issued under the IEC program.

There are basically 3 different categories under the IEC program through which an applicant can apply:

  1. Working Holiday: This is designed for people who wish to travel to Canada and simultaneously want to work in Canada to help pay for their trip. Applicants are eligible to apply for an open work permit for up to two years depending upon their nationality. Under this category, an applicant doesn’t need to have a job offer before applying.
  • Young Professionals: It is for the people who are looking to get Canadian professional work experience. In this, an applicant applies for the LMIA-exempt but employer-specific work permit. The job offer made by an employer must be under NOC O, A or B. If an applicant wishes to apply under NOC C, then the job offer must be related to his field of study. In this category as well, an applicant can get a work permit for up to two years depending upon his nationality.
  • International Co-op Internship: It is for the applicants who wish to gain international experience related to their field of study. A student who is registered at a post-secondary institution has a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada and needs this internship or work experience to finish his studies. Work permits issued under this category are employer-specific.

Who are eligible to apply under the IEC program?

To apply under this program, an applicant’s age must be between 18-35 years old. Besides that:

  • If you’re a citizen of a partner country, you may be eligible to apply to one or more of these 3 categories
  • If you’re not a citizen of a partner country, you may be still eligible to apply through a recognized organization.

In some countries the age, the validity of the work permit and certain conditions may vary. In addition to it, some countries only allow you to participate once in IEC programs. Others may allow participating twice but in different categories.

If you want to know if you’re eligible to come to Canada under this program, please email us at info@premierimmigration.ca.

References: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/work-canada/iec/about.html

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