ARCHIVED – Operational Bulletin 490-A – October 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.

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

International Experience Canada Work Permit Application Processing


This Operational Bulletin (OB) updates operational instructions to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on the application procedures for foreign nationals applying for a work permit application (stage 2) of the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program, as referenced in the original OB 490.

For 2014, the IEC Program remains a two stage application with an IEC participation eligibility assessment (stage 1) and those conditionally accepted to participate (stage 1) being directed to submit their work permit applications using MyCIC (stage 2).


In 2013/14, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) rolled out Kompass, an online application system to all IEC countries. CIC leveraged this rollout to require that participants who have been conditionally accepted to participate in an IEC program submit their work permit application electronically using MyCIC.

2014 Work Permit application submission:

As of October 1, 2013, prospective IEC participants from all 32 IEC countries where a bilateral youth mobility agreement or arrangement is in place are required to submit separately their 2014 IEC participation eligibility assessment and their work permit application.

Applicants are still required to initiate their participation by submitting the IEC participation eligibility assessment (stage 1) through Kompass. Once clients are conditionally accepted for participation, they will be directed, in the Conditional Acceptance Letter, to submit their work permit application to CIC using MyCIC. The Conditional Acceptance Letter will be valid for three (3) 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 IEC country or recognized organization quota. If a work permit application is received after the expiry of the IEC Conditional Acceptance Letter, CIC will refuse the application on the basis of not meeting program requirements (they are no longer conditionally accepted).

Centralization of work permit applications, promotion and assignment instructions

File assignment

  • Upon submission by the applicant, the Global Case Management System (GCMS) sets the Primary Office when the prospective application is created. The Operations Support Centre (OSC) will promote all prospective e-Applications to real applications without changing the Primary Office.
  • Processing of the following eight countries will be done centrally: Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and United Kingdom.
    GCMS will assign IEC applicants from these eight countries, only, to Centralized Processing Region (CPR) based on citizenship regardless of country of residence.
    If missions need to contact the OSC directly regarding an IEC work permit application (stage 2), they can send a message to the OSC.
  • All other IEC countries will have their Primary Office assigned automatically by GCMS based on country of residence provided by the client on the Application for Work Permit Made Outside of Canada (IMM 1295 (PDF, 3.38 KB (PDF, 465.84KB)). This means that IEC applications may appear in any Visa Office inventory.
  • If clients mistakenly choose one of the IEC categories when completing the IMM 1295 (PDF, 465.84KB) form, it will be marked with an IEC special program code in GCMS. Should this happen, provided the mistake is clearly identifiable, the OSC will delete the IEC special program code and transfer the application to the appropriate visa office for processing.
  • For applications where there are complex admissibility concerns, the OSC will refer the IEC application to the visa office responsible for the country of citizenship of the applicant. The OSC uses E-transfer to refer the applications to the visa office, which automatically sets up the visa office as the primary office.


  • IEC applicants are a category of “overseas” applicants who are authorized to use the mailbox. All IEC work permit applicants can use this mailbox.

    Emails received in the mailbox are forwarded to the OSC for the eight (8) centralized countries and to International Region (IR) for the other 24 countries.

  • If a visa office receives communication from applicants who are citizens of the following centralized countries (i.e., Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, United Kingdom) regarding an IEC work permit application, the applicants should be redirected to use the Question mailbox.

    For any of the other 24 IEC countries the applicant can be directed to the Question mailbox if the receiving visa office is not processing the application.

  • A standard reply message should be developed for your office. For example:
    You have requested information regarding your International Experience Canada work permit application; this office does not process these applications and can be of no further assistance.
    Please contact and follow these steps:
    1. In the Subject Line state “IEC Technical Difficulty”
    2. In the Body of your email:
      • Provide your Full Name, your Date of Birth, your Country of Birth and your Personal Checklist Code and/ or your Application ID #
      • Describe your problem and provide screenshots (if possible).
  • As of November 30, 2013, Status Updates will be provided by MyCIC automatically. Only respond to case status requests if they are beyond the 6-week service standard or are outside of what is reported in MyCIC.
  • For questions regarding the IEC Participation Eligibility assessment or general IEC questions applicants should be referred to the International Experience Canada Website or instructed to use their Kompass account for communication.

Service standard

  • Based on Service Level Standards developed to satisfy the requirements of the User Fees Act, IEC applications must be processed within a total of eight (8) weeks. Since the Participation Eligibility portion will take two (2) weeks, there is 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.

Application and documentation

  • The IEC Conditional Acceptance Letter must accompany all IEC work permit applications regardless of category.
  • If the client is prompted to upload the IEC Conditional Acceptance Letter as a required document and then fails to upload the correct letter the application should be refused without requesting further documentation.
  • The Come to Canada Wizard creates the Personal Document checklists based on the requirements provided by the Program. Please ensure that all documents required on the checklist are submitted. Visa offices processing IEC work permit applications can check Annex A if a police certificate is required for that particular citizenship.
  • If a work permit applicant is refused for eligibility requirements (e.g., did not provide documents or frequency of participation), the applicant can apply again, submitting all the correct documents or proof of participation, as long as their Conditional Acceptance Letter remains valid (i.e., within three (3) month period). No refund of the IEC participation fee will be provided unless the participant withdraws or the IEC letter expires. Refunds are completed by the IEC participation eligibility team (stage 1).
  • If a work permit applicant is refused for admissibility requirements (e.g., criminality, medical exam failed) they can no longer use their Conditional Acceptance Letter even though it may still be valid. The IEC participation fee will be refunded in these cases unless applicant is deemed to have committed fraud. Refunds are completed by the IEC participation eligibility team (stage 1).
  • Each IEC letter will have a World Tracking Number (e.g., WTN AAAA-BB-14-CCC-12345) assigned. In order to confirm the IEC category that the applicant has been approved to participate in, officers can check the fourth element of the WTN for the 3 character acronym indicating the IEC category or recognized organization that the person was accepted for participation in. The acronyms used in the WTN are listed in the table (IEC reminders and clarification) below opposite to their Special Program code.
  • Only six of the 32 IEC countries are designated countries for the purpose of requiring a medical exam prior to entry to Canada (see Annex A). If IEC applicant indicate that they have resided in a designated country for 6 months in the last year, then they must complete an upfront medical and attach the Upfront Medical Report (IMM 1017B) form or the upfront information sheet printout and upload it into the “Proof of Medical” exam slot.
  • 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 an upfront medical and attach the Upfront Medical Report (IMM 1017B) form or the upfront information sheet printout and upload it into the “Proof of Medical” exam slot.
  • Submission of either of these forms will alert the processing office thatmedical results must be received before a final decision can be made.
  • GCMS downloads the medical information into the Field Operations Support System (FOSS) remarks. However, as a ‘best practice’, please enter ‘Medical Passed Valid to: DATE’ 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.

  • It is important that the validity on the Letter of Introduction for approved cases where a medical examination was completed be valid the same length as the medical exam (i.e., 12 months from last medical assessment on file).
Police Certificates
  • Mandatory police certificate for IEC are requested in the Personal Checklist for requiring countries (see Annex A).
  • Police certificates are required for all countries where the applicant has lived more than six months since attaining the age of 18 and should be requested as a standard process, if required in Annex A.

IEC coding and reminders

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

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

Cost Recovery Exemption Code is E05.

Due to the requirement to control the numbers in these programs and report on them to Parliament it is very important that the correct Special Program Code be used.

The Special Program Code should be:

CIC Code Special Program Title National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code World Tracking Number (WTN)


International Co-op (IEC) / Stage Coop (EIC)

NOC Code as per Occupation



Working Holiday Program (IEC) / Vacances-Travail (EIC)

NOC Code = 9999 (only)

Includes: GO International and SWAP


Young Professionals Program (IEC) / Jeunes Professionnels (EIC)

NOC Code as per Occupation



Other (see note below) (IEC) /
Autre (EIC)

NOC Code as per Occupation

IRE = International Rural Exchange
CHJ = Chantiers Jeunesse
MCC = Mennonite Central Committee
CHF = Canadian Host Family Association

Note: Other (IEC) should only be used for Recognized Organizations and special programs such as “Summer Jobs”.

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

Reminder for Letters of Introduction or Ports of Entry Introduction Letter (in GCMS)

Letters of Introduction should only be issued for a validity period of 12 months or for the medical validity period, whichever is shorter.
If a medical examination result exists – the Letter of Introduction should not be valid for longer than the medical result. A case note should be added to alert the ports of entry (POE) to issue the work permit for the correct length according to the applicant’s citizenship.

Guidelines and reminders for port of entry processing
  • When issuing an open work permit, if applicants have not passed an immigration medical examination, conditions restricting their occupation must be imposed.
  • Once satisfied that foreign national still meets requirements and is admissible, the work permit should be issued as per the guidelines in FW 1, Annex E International Experience Canada – C21 regardless of what is written in Case Notes (GCMS) / FOSS remarks

Other information

Spouses, Common-Law partners and/or Dependents:

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.

Family members will have to answer the Come to Canada Wizard questions for themselves and have their own MyCIC account. The Come to Canada Wizard question flow after the IEC Result does not allow the inclusion of family members.

Work permits for spouses of IEC participants

Spouses of foreign nationals cannot obtain an open work permit under the “Public policy, competitiveness and economy R205(c)(ii)” (Labour Market Opinion (LMO) 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;
  • 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 holds only the Letter of Introduction, CIC cannot determine if the participant is employed in a NOC 0, A or B occupation and, therefore, cannot issue an open work permit to the participant’s spouse. Once the IEC open work permit holder can prove that they are employed in a NOC 0, A or B position (i.e., letter from their employer and pay stubs), their spouse may then apply under the LMO exemption C41.

Guidelines for work permit application reporting

For 2014, the Operational Performance Management Branch will prepare a weekly report for all IEC countries and forward it to the IEC participation processing team. This will allow the efficient cross referencing of the Conditionally Accepted IEC participants with work permit applicants for statistical collection and refunds.

Annex A: Processing locations for IEC Participation, Work Permit applications and Police and Medical Requirements by IEC Country

Country Territory CIC processing location IEC processing location Working Holiday Young Professionals Int’l Coop Police Certificate Medical Exam
Australia Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Australian Federal Police (AFP) name check and an Australian state traffic history printout No
Austria Vienna, Austria Ottawa Central No Yes Yes Austrian police certificate No
Belgium Paris, France Ottawa Central Yes No No NO No
Chile Santiago, Chile Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Police Certificate, (one month validity). Original driving record ‘Hoja de vida del conductor’ (one month validity). No
Costa Rica Guatemala City, Guatemala Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Costa Rican police certificate No
Croatia Vienna, Austria Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Croatian police certificate No
Czech Republic Prague, Czech Republic Warsaw, Poland Yes Yes Yes Czech police certificate No
Denmark Stockholm, Sweden Ottawa Central Yes No No Danish police certificate No
Estonia Warsaw, Poland Warsaw, Poland Yes Yes Yes Estonian police certificate No
France Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes NO No
Germany Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes German Police Certificate No
Greece Rome, Italy Ottawa Central NO  
Hong Kong Hong Kong Ottawa Central Yes No No NO Yes
Ireland Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes No No GARDA Police Certificate No
Italy Rome, Italy Ottawa Central Yes No No Two recent Italian police certificates, the certificato generale del casellario giudiziale (secondo l’articolo 24 del testo unico) and the certificato dei carichi pendenti rilasciati dalla Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale di residenza. No
Japan Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes No No NO No
Korea, Rep. Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes No No Criminal History Information Record (Korean Police Certificate) Yes
Latvia Warsaw, Poland Warsaw, Poland Yes Yes Yes Latvian police certificate Yes
Lithuania Warsaw, Poland Warsaw, Poland Yes Yes Yes Lithuanian Police Certificate Yes
Mexico Mexico City, Mexico Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes NO No
Netherlands Vienna, Austria Ottawa Central Yes Yes No Certificate of Good Conduct (VOG) No
New Zealand Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes No No New Zealand police certificate A Ministry of Justice certificate is acceptable for IEC applicants only. No
Norway Stockholm, Sweden Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Norwegian police certificate No
Poland Warsaw, Poland Warsaw, Poland Yes Yes Yes Polish police certificate No
Slovakia Vienna, Austria Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Slovakia Police Certificate No
Slovenia Vienna, Austria Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Slovenian police certificate No
Spain Paris, France Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes NO No
Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Swedish police certificate No
Switzerland Paris, France Ottawa Central No Yes Yes NO No
Taiwan Hong Kong Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Taiwan police clearance certificate Yes
Ukraine Kyiv, Ukraine Ottawa Central Yes Yes Yes Ukrainian police certificate Yes
United Kingdom Centralized Processing Region Ottawa Central Yes No No UK Police Certificate No

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