International Experience Canada (IEC) Working Holiday participants whose letter of introduction is about to expire and who are not able to travel: COVID-19 program delivery
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) participants whose letter of introduction (LOI) is about to expire and who are not able to travel may be able to extend their LOI.
These instructions apply only to IEC participants in the Working Holiday Program (WHP).
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The Operational Support Centre (OSC) will assess eligibility. Foreign nationals may be eligible to request one final 12-month extension on their LOI if they meet the following eligibility requirements:
- their initial LOI was issued between January 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020 (regardless if a previous extension was granted);
- their present LOI has expired or will expire before December 31, 2021;
- they were approved for the WHP (special program code WHP);
- they still cannot secure employment to overcome travel restrictions to come to Canada; and
- the request for extension is received before December 31, 2021, using the IRCC’s Web form.
The OSC will determine when a new Immigration Medical Exam (IME) is required and initiate the process.
Medical exams only need to be redone if the applicant resides in a designated country. Before reopening a file, send a request letter to the client asking if they will redo their medical. If the client confirms that they will undergo a new medical exam, the file can be reopened to send the request for a new IME. After the new IME is received, an LOI extension can be issued, and the following letter should be sent to the client: “IEC Approval letter for final 12-month LOI extension with medical (from designated country).”
No new medical is required for applicants who:
- have undergone an IME for a job offer in a designated occupation and it is still valid;
- have not lived in a designated country for 6 consecutive months or more in the year before they submitted their LOI extension request; or
- by choice don’t want to renew their medical examination.
An LOI extension can be issued and the following letter should be sent to the client: “IEC Approval letter for final 12-month LOI extension (general).”
Decisions on all LOI extensions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the immigration officer. Should the officer approve the LOI extension request, they should be extending the LOI for 12 months from the date:
- they are processing the request for expired LOI; or
- of the current expiry date for valid LOI.
The OSC will transfer positive decisions for Temporary resident visa (TRV)-required participants to the International Network (IN) to reissue counterfoil as needed.
Temporary resident visa (TRV) - required participants
Requests received from TRV-required participants will be forwarded to IN for processing as per existing procedures between the Centralized Network (CN) and IN. Until further notice, all Working Holiday category participants must have proof of a valid job offer to enter Canada.
A new LOI will not be issued, but a response will be sent to the applicant using a template letter. A new TRV with the extended validity date may be required. It is important for the applicant to travel with this letter as it could be requested by the Canada Border Services Agency Liaison Officer or by the border services officer upon entry to Canada.
Officers will need to enter a note to file in the Global Case Management System (GCMS) to state that the final extension has been granted for
- applicants with a valid medical exam on file: As per the IEC POE Letter COVID policy, a final 12-month LOI extension has been granted. Their LOI is now valid until XXXX/XX/XX; or
- applicants without a valid medical exam on file: As per the IEC POE Letter COVID policy, a final 12-month extension has been granted. Their LOI is now valid until XXXX/XX/XX. A new IME is not required (unless the participant will be working in a medically designated occupation).
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