International Experience Canada: About the process


From $161

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Processing starts once you’ve submitted all required documents, including biometrics.

Your rights as a foreign worker

IEC participants are protected by Canadian labour laws.

Your employer

  • must pay you the minimum wage for your work
  • must ensure your workplace is safe
  • can’t take your passport or work permit away from you

If your employer isn’t respecting these rights, report them to us.

IEC participants can’t work for non-compliant employers who are currently banned.

International Experience Canada (IEC) gives youth the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to 2 years.

There are 3 different kinds of work and travel experiences available:

Working Holiday

This category is for you if

  • you don’t have a job offer
  • you want to work for more than one employer in Canada
  • you want to work in more than one location
  • you’d like to earn some money so that you can travel

The type of work permit you get for Working Holiday is an open work permit. This lets you work for almost any employer in Canada (some exceptions apply).

You’ll need to get a medical exam first for some jobs.

Young Professionals

This category is for you if

  • you have a job offer in Canada that counts toward your professional development
  • you’ll work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada

Under this category, work must be

  • paid
  • not self-employed

The type of work permit you get in the Young Professionals category is an employer-specific work permit.

Your employer must meet all labour laws in the province or territory where you plan to work, including minimum wage requirements.

National Occupational Classification 2021

On November 16, 2022, we switched to the 2021 version of the National Occupational Classification (NOC).

The job you’re offered must count toward your “professional development.” To count, the job must be classified under Training, Education, Experience and Responsibilities (TEER) category 0, 1, 2 or 3 of the NOC.

A TEER 4 job may qualify if it’s in your field of study. When you apply, you’ll need to submit your post-secondary

  • diploma
  • certificate or
  • degree

It must be translated into English or French.

International Co-op (Internship)

This category is for you if

  • you’re a student registered at a post-secondary institution
  • you have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada
  • you need to do this work placement or internship to complete your studies
  • you’ll work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada

The type of work permit you get in the International Co-op (Internship) category is an employer-specific work permit. The internship you’re offered in Canada must be directly linked to your field of studies.

Wages and labour standards must follow the labour laws in the province or territory you will be working in. The labour code of the province or territory will determine if an internship needs to be paid or not.

If you’re a citizen of a partner country, you may be able to apply to one or more of these 3 categories.

If you aren’t a citizen of a partner country, you may still be able to apply to IEC through a recognized organization.

IEC Walkthrough Guide

Watch this video for an overview of the International Experience Canada application process and common mistakes to avoid along the way.

Transcript: IEC Process at a Glance Application Video

Video Length: 5:25 minutes

Upbeat, instrumental background music plays throughout the video.

Text displays: “International Experience Canada Walkthrough Guide”

Text displays: “Before you apply, check your eligibility.”

A young person selects Australia from a drop-down menu and opens a second menu showing the 3 International Experience Canada categories: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op (Internship).

Applying for International Experience Canada?

Before you apply, visit our website to find out if your country is part of the program and, if so, which of the 3 categories are available to you.

Text displays: “Check out the application process at a glance”

A 1-page overview of the applications process is shown.

Check out our application process at a glance for an overview of all the steps to apply.

Text displays: “Create and submit your International Experience Canada (IEC) profile”

An applicant creates an account.

After completing the Come to Canada questionnaire, create and submit your profile and choose the pools that apply to you.

An applicant uploads documents to the program website.

While you wait for an invitation to apply, start preparing your supporting documents. This may take a while, so it’s better to start early.

An image shows a generic example of a police certificate.

Make sure you get the right police certificate. Check our website for specific instructions.

Text displays: “Accept your invitation to apply (ITA)”

An image shows a generic example of an invitation to apply letter. A calendar page displays the number 10 beside a thumbs up and a thumbs down.

If you get an invitation to apply, you will have 10 days to accept or decline. Remember, all of your deadlines will be in UTC time.

The text “UTC time” on the letter is highlighted and expanded. Pages fall off the calendar as it counts down. A cursor hesitates between thumbs up and thumbs down.

Not ready to accept the invitation? You can decline the invitation, go back into the pool and be eligible for another invitation.

But if time runs out on your invitation, your name will be removed from the pool.

Text displays: “Complete your work permit application”

Text displays: “Do not wait until the last day to submit your application”

An image of a 20-day countdown indicates that the invitation was accepted at 7:25 am UTC and the submission is due before 7:25 am UTC on the 20th day.

Text displays: “The difference between your local time and the UTC time could make you miss the deadline.”

You will have 20 days from the time you accept your invitation to submit a complete work permit application.

An applicant selects the “Young Professionals” category. An employer uses the employer portal to pay the $230 CAD fee.

If you are applying for the Young Professional or International Co-op category, your employer needs to pay the $230 CAD employer compliance fee and submit your job offer using the employer portal.

The applicant enters the employer number “A527973” in the right field in the application.

Once the fee is paid, your employer will send you a 7-digit employer number that begins with the letter “A”. Include this number in your application.

Images show an applicant working in child care, elder care, and health care.

Text displays: “A medical exam is required for jobs in:
Health services
Child care

Text displays: “A medical exam is required if:

You have travelled to certain countries within the last 6 months”

An image shows a spinning globe with arrows to indicate travel.

If you want to work in certain fields, such as health services, child care, primary or secondary education, or elder care, or if you have travelled to certain countries within the last 6 months, you will need a medical exam. Check the website to see if you need a medical exam.

Text displays: “Check the website to see if you need a medical exam”

An applicant gets a medical exam.

Text displays: “Upload all supporting documents”

An image shows a series of documents.

Upload all supporting documents. If you cannot get a document in time, you can upload a letter of explanation, or proof that you have requested the document.

Text displays: “Check your application carefully”

An applicant carefully checks their application to make sure it’s complete. The applicant clicks “Modify my Answers”.

Text displays: “Do not wait until the last minute!”

Check your application carefully. Make sure all questions have been answered and all documents have been uploaded. Review your answers by clicking “Modify my Answers”. Do not wait until the last minute to submit your application.

Text displays: “Pay your fees online”

An applicant pays fees on the IRCC site with a credit card.

Pay your fees with a credit card online through your IRCC account.

Text displays: “Provide your biometrics”

An applicant has their fingerprints taken by a machine.

Text displays: “30 days”

If you need to provide biometrics, you will get a biometric instruction letter within 24 hours of submitting your complete application. You have 30 days to give your biometrics at a visa application centre.

A slowly turning globe shows different visa application centre locations.

You may need to travel to another city or country to provide them. Check our website for the closest visa application centre in your area and book an appointment as soon as possible.

Text displays: “Monitor your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) account while you wait”

An applicant checks their email, including their junk mail folder. An applicant uploads a document, hits the “Next” button, scrolls down to the “Signature” section, and then hits the “Transmit” button. In the table of documents, the word “Provided” is highlighted.

Make sure you check your email and junk mail folders, as you might be asked for more documents. After uploading more documents, make sure you press “Next”, provide an electronic signature, and then press “Transmit”. It should say “Provided” next to the document you’ve uploaded.

An applicant uses the IRCC webform and chooses “International Experience Canada” from the drop-down menu.

If you need more time to get a document, make sure you ask for an extension using the IRCC webform and choose “International Experience Canada” from the drop-down menu.

An animated calendar shows 56 days passing.

Text displays: “Processing starts with submission of biometrics”

It takes 56 days to process your application from the date you submit it. Processing will only start after you have submitted biometrics and will stop if we ask for any additional documents.

Text displays: “Start getting ready to come to Canada”

An applicant looks at the “International Experience Canada: How to apply” webpage.

Text displays:
“Health insurance
$2,500 CAD in bank account
Valid passport”

An animation shows a health insurance certificate, a bank statement with $2,500 CAD, and a passport.

While you are waiting for a decision, check our website to see what other documents you may need, such as comprehensive health-care insurance, the equivalent of $2,500 CAD in your bank account, and a passport that is valid for your entire stay in Canada.

Text displays: “Get your port of entry letter”

An applicant views their port of entry letter online.

Text displays: “Bring this letter”

If you are approved, IRCC will send a port of entry letter to your IRCC account. Bring this letter with you to Canada.

Text displays: “Activate your work permit”

A generic example of a work permit is shown. Under “Conditions”, the date the applicant must leave Canada by is highlighted.

An applicant talks to a border officer at a Canadian port of entry and gets their permit corrected.

A Canadian border services officer will issue your work permit at the port of entry. Review it carefully before leaving. Make sure the length of the work permit matches what you are eligible for. If you have done a medical exam, make sure there are no medical restriction on your work permit under “Conditions”. If there is a mistake, the Canadian border services officer can fix it.

A checklist is shown, and the items are checked off one by one.

Make sure your IEC application and supporting documents are complete and accurate.

Three successful applicants are shown in the foreground with their activities pictured in the background: people in suits talking, people working at computers, and a Canadian landmark.

If you do, you will be well on your way to an exciting work and travel adventure in Canada.

Text displays: “

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada corporate signature is shown along with the copyright message “Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, 2020”.

The Canada wordmark is shown on a white background.

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