ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 242 - October 21, 2010

This section contains policy, procedures and guidance used by IRCC staff. It is posted on the department’s website as a courtesy to stakeholders.

This document has expired. Please refer to the appropriate Program Delivery Instructions for current information.

Policy for Processing Extensions and/or Changes to Work Permit Conditions for International Experience Canada (IEC) and Participants in Other Youth Exchange Programs


The purpose of this bulletin is to provide information on Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s policy change following a review of R198(2)(c) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations.


To date, foreign youths who come to Canada through international exchanges, including the International Experience Canada (IEC) (formerly International Youth Programs (IYP)), have been advised to apply to make changes to conditions on their work permit (WP) through the Case Processing Centre in Vegreville (CPC-V).

However, there has been a recent and growing trend noted at Ports of Entry (POEs) in terms of IEC participants, other than those from the United States, arriving at POEs to make changes to their WP’s (e.g., change of employer) who possibly perceive this to be a quicker alternative than applying for the change through the CPC-V.

R198(2)(c) is to be administered such that applications for changes to existing WP conditions will not be processed at POEs. This is based on the grounds that under the Regulations, an application for a WP may not be applied for upon entry into Canada if the foreign national is a participant of a youth exchange program, unless they are citizens or permanent residents of the U.S., or their WP was approved before their entry into Canada. Since the processing of changes of conditions at a POE is not considered a WP approval before entry into Canada, exchange participants must apply through the CPC-V to make these changes.

New policy

Effective November 1, 2010, POEs will no longer process changes to WPs for IEC and other youth exchange programs. Participants holding an employer-specific WP must submit an application to CPC-V if they wish to change conditions imposed on their WP. Instructions on how to apply to the CPC-V for a change in conditions can be found at


For participants who are admitted into exchange programs geared at young professionals and workers, as well as those geared at students taking part in a co-operative education work placement, the employment they maintain in Canada is required by the exchange program to be relevant to their studies or training.

Requiring that participants in IEC and other youth exchange programs send their requests for new permits based on changes to their working conditions to the CPC-V helps to ensure that program integrity is maintained in both IEC and the Temporary Foreign Worker Program by centralizing this request process and therefore ensuring consistency in the review and decision making process.

CPC-V officers are familiar with exchange programs such as the IEC and have a history of reviewing applications to change work conditions on WPs issued to youth exchange participants. CPC-V officers will review the application for changes and ensure that the change is consistent with the requirements of the exchange program stream under which the foreign youth has entered to work in Canada. CPC-V officers are well positioned to make sure that exchange programs are not abused by participants who could use the opportunity to make a change to their WP in order to perform work in Canada which is not relevant to their studies or training and therefore no longer meet the conditions of the exchange program.

Other Temporary Resident streams

Policies relevant to R199 and R198(2)(c) for all temporary resident streams (e.g., visitors, students and workers) relating to the processing of extensions or changes of conditions at POEs will continue to be reviewed to ensure consistency.

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