ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 490 - January 11, 2013

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

International Experience Canada (IEC) Work Permit Using e-Apps and Centralization of Process for Specific Countries

This Operational Bulletin has expired. Please refer to OB 490-A for current information.


This Operational Bulletin (OB) provides operational instructions to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the changes in Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and CIC application procedures for foreign nationals applying for a work permit in the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative. IEC applicants conditionally accepted by DFAIT will be directed to submit their work permit applications using the Come to Canada Wizard and MyCIC (e-Apps).

This OB also informs officers that the processing of IEC applications from six (6) countries (Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and United Kingdom) will be moved from the International Region to the Centralized Processing Region.


In 2013, DFAIT is rolling out their new IEC-Kompass system to a number of countries. CIC is leveraging this roll-out and directing IEC applicants who have been conditionally accepted by DFAIT to submit their work permit application electronically.

On December 15, 2012, CIC introduced global e-Apps (see OB 486). E-Apps enables CIC to manage its workload more efficiently by allowing the Department to transfer temporary resident applications electronically to offices within the global network where capacity exists.

New 2013 DFAIT/CIC application submission process:

Starting January 2013, prospective IEC participants from 19 of the 32 countries where an agreement under IEC is in place will be required to separate the submission of their IEC eligibility assessment application from their work permit application.

For these countries, DFAIT will no longer be accepting the work permit application on CIC’s behalf, instead applicants will be using the online application process (e-Apps).

Applicants will still be required to initiate their participation by submitting the IEC eligibility assessment to DFAIT. Once clients are conditionally accepted by DFAIT, applicants will be directed, in the Conditional Acceptance Letter from DFAIT, to submit their work permit application to CIC using e-Apps. The Conditional Acceptance Letter will be valid for six (6) months only.

If no work permit application has been received prior to the expiry of the Conditional Acceptance Letter, the person will no longer hold a place in the country quota. If a work permit application is received after the expiry of the Conditional Acceptance Letter, CIC will refuse the application on the basis of no valid letter.

In 2013, until further notice, there will be three different processes for IEC applicants: New Process, Transition and Status Quo.

Group 1: New Process – IEC application online to DFAIT and work permit application to CIC using e-Apps

In the new process, the following countries will use DFAIT’s IEC-Kompass system for the IEC portion (Stage 1) of the application. Applicants who meet the IEC eligibility requirements will be directed to use the Come to Canada Wizard and MyCIC (e-App) to apply for their work permit (Stage 2).

All IEC applications must be submitted electronically or returned to the client to submit online unless Web accessibility issues, as per Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS) Guidelines, are identified.

  1. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Greece, The Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Croatia, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
  2. Japan will initially use paper applications for the IEC portion and switch to IEC-Kompass mid-year. In both cases, DFAIT will direct all applicants to use e-Apps to apply for their work permit.
  3. Australia will use their ‘in-house’ system for the IEC portion and then direct applicants to use e-Apps to apply for their work permit.
  4. New Zealand will submit paper IEC applications to DFAIT and then direct applicants to e-Apps to apply for their work permit.

Group 2: Transition – First half of year will be status quo and second half will follow the new process

The following countries will remain ‘status quo’ (paper application package including both IEC and work permit received by DFAIT — DFAIT forwards work permit after IEC acceptance) for the opening of the 2013 program.

Later in 2013, there will be a ‘closure period’ of sufficient length to allow for finalizing of all initial applications. Following this, the two-stage process will commence with the IEC portion being submitted through IEC-Kompass and DFAIT directing applicants to use the Come to Canada Wizard (and MyCIC) to apply for a work permit.

  1. Hong Kong, Italy, Taiwan

Group 3: Status Quo

The final group of countries will not change from past processing procedures. The following countries will submit their IEC application package that includes both the IEC portion and the work permit application to DFAIT.

  1. France with Belgium, Spain and Switzerland: the French Working Holiday Program (WHP) is already opened and filled, and other programs are filled throughout the year. Spain is not yet open.
  2. Republic of Korea: presently has an ‘in-house’ system that allows for the easy collection of both IEC participation and work permit applications.
  3. Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Ukraine and Czech Republic are countries requiring Temporary Resident Visas and for ease of application process, the program will remain as is to allow for quick collection of passport and counterfoil issuance.

CIC centralization of applications, promotion and assignment instructions:

  • Upon submission by the applicant, the Global Case Management System (GCMS) sets the Primary Office when the prospective application is created. The Query Response Centre (QRC) will promote all prospective e-Applications to real applications.
  • Processing of the applications will be the same process described in OB 486, Global Launch of Electronic Applications (e-Apps) for Temporary Residents. Visa offices are reminded to query for promoted (real) IEC applications only, in line with GCMS instructions and OB 486.
  • Processing for Australia, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand and United Kingdom will be done centrally. QRC will bulk transfer the IEC applications from these six countries upon promotion to the Centralized Processing Region using the eTransfer tab in the File Management view in GCMS. All other IEC countries will have their Primary Office set to the appropriate responsible office and will be processed by that office (as per Appendix A).
  • For applications where there are complex admissibility concerns, the Centralized Processing Region will refer the IEC application to the visa office responsible for the country of citizenship of the applicant.
  • Under the User Fees Act, IEC applications must be processed within eight (8) weeks. Since the DFAIT portion will take two (2) weeks, CIC then has a maximum of six (6) weeks to process IEC work permit applications. The six- week period begins on receipt of the work permit application and ends when the Final Decision is sent to the applicant. Requests for further information or documentation will ‘stop the clock’, but attempts should be made to ensure that applications are not unduly delayed.


  • Only six of the 32 IEC countries are designated countries for the purpose of requiring a medical exam prior to entry to Canada (see Appendix A).
  • Citizens of the IEC countries that are not designated require a medical exam if they wish to work in specific occupations in Canada.
  • Applicants who wish to work in one of these occupations will complete the IMM 5753 Request for Medical Exam (PDF, 105.44KB) form and attach it with their e-App.
  • Submission of this form will alert the processing office to send the IMM 1017 Medical Instructions to applicants from non-designated countries. The medical results must be received before a final decision can be made.
  • At present, GCMS does not download medical information into the Field Operations Support System (FOSS). Consequently, please enter ‘Medical Passed’ in the Case Notes section so that Border Service Officers can easily confirm medicals. If no medical examination is visible or completed, Border Service Officers will enter remarks restricting the occupations open to the work permit holder.)

Police Certificates:

  • Mandatory police certificate for IEC from requiring countries (see Appendix A) was not triggered automatically in the initial Come to Canada roll-out. This functionality will be added in the rollout scheduled for the end of January 2013.
  • For this reason, officers are instructed not to return applications missing the police certificate as incomplete until after April 1, 2013. This will accommodate any applicant who obtained their personal checklist prior to the implementation of the automatic trigger.
  • Prior to February 1, 2013: Officers and clerical staff will have to request the police certificate as an additional document in order for client to be able to submit it electronically.
    After February 1, 2013: The police certificate will automatically be included in the Unique Checklist based on the country of citizenship (see Appendix A).

IEC reminders and clarification:

Specific country guidelines for age eligibility, available categories, types of work permit and validity periods, can be found in FW 1, Appendix E International Experience Canada – C21.

IRELAND: Please note that Irish participants should be issued an open work permit valid for 24 months. If an Irish citizen previously participated once, for a 12-month period, they are allowed to have one more participation of 24 months. If they already participated twice in the IEC program, then they are no longer eligible for participation.

Labour Market Opinion Exemption Code is C21 for all IEC countries and programs.

Cost Recovery Exemption Code is E05.

The Special Program Code should be:

ICP International Co-op (IEC) Stage Coop (EIC) National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code as per Occupation
WHP Working Holiday Program (IEC) Vacances-Travail (EIC) NOC Code = 9999 (only)
YPP Young Professionals Program (IEC) Jeunes Professionnels (EIC) NOC Code as per Occupation

Please ensure that open work permits use the NOC Code 9999 in order to ensure the proper remarks are inserted.

Spouses and Dependents:

e-Application that includes family members as a group

The eTransfer tab does not allow for the transfer of family groups. Therefore, family group applications from the six centralized countries will NOT be transferred to Centralized Processing Region for processing.

These group applications will remain at the responsible visa office for processing within the IEC service standards.

Work permits for spouses of IEC participants

CIC has no specific policy prohibiting spouses and dependants of IEC participants from joining them in Canada. However, the spouse and dependant(s) must be admissible to Canada on their own merits.

Spouses of foreign nationals cannot obtain an open work permit under the ‘Public policy, competitiveness and economy R205(c)(ii)’ (Labour Market Opinion exemption C41, see FW 1, Section 5.38) unless they can meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • The principal foreign worker must be doing work which falls within NOC Skill Levels 0, A or B;
  • The principal foreign worker must hold a work permit that is valid for a period of at least six months; and
  • The principal foreign worker and spouse must physically reside, or plan to physically reside, in Canada while working.

NOTE: If an IEC participant in the Working Holiday Program category only holds the Letter of Introduction, CIC cannot determine if they are employed in a NOC 0, A or B occupation and, therefore, cannot issue an open work permit to the spouse.

Guidelines and reminders for port of entry processing:

  • When issuing an open work permit, if the applicant has not passed an immigration medical examination, an occupation restriction must be specified.
  • Once satisfied that foreign national still meets requirements and is admissible, the work permit should be issued as per the guidelines in FW 1, Appendix E International Experience Canada – C21.
  • IRELAND: If an Irish citizen holds a Letter of Introduction dated for the 2012 participation year, then they should only receive a work permit valid for 12 months as per the agreement at that time. If it is their first participation, they can apply for the 2013 or onwards participations and, if approved, receive the 24-month work permit.

Guidelines for application reporting:

CIC will prepare one daily report for all IEC countries and forward it to DFAIT’s national headquarters (NHQ). Even though individual visa offices will no longer have to provide weekly reports to the specific DFAIT missions regarding IEC applications, they are encouraged to continue to monitor their case loads through GCMS queries.

Appendix A

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