International Experience Canada: After you apply
On this page
- Giving your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
- Processing your application
- If your application is approved
- If your application is refused
- Withdrawing your application
Giving your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)
COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirements and collection procedures
Temporary measures have been put into place for biometrics requirements and collection procedures.
If you’ve already given biometrics, they may still be valid.
You can check if your biometrics are still valid and when they expire by using the Check Status Tool.
Processing your application
Due to the impacts of COVID-19, we
- are experiencing delays in processing applications
- can’t provide accurate processing times
- will process most complete applications for the 2021 season within 8 weeks
- Processing starts once you submit a complete application (including your biometrics).
- can’t ensure the processing time tool is accurate, as it includes backlogged applications from the 2020 season
If you’ve already applied, you can use the Check Status Tool to get updates on your application.
If you submit an application between October 22, 2021, and March 31, 2022, you aren’t eligible for any fee refunds under the Service Fees Act.
Learn more about
If we ask you to submit documents for an application in progress
When processing your application, we may ask you to
- attend an interview with an officer, or
- send more documents or information
We’ll contact you to request the supporting documents.
- You’ll have 30 days from the date we contact you to submit the information.
If you don’t need to give biometrics, we can begin reviewing your application once you submit your work permit application (including all required documents).
If you already submitted
- proof of an appointment for your medical examination or
- a receipt for your police certificate request
you’ll need to submit copies of your medical exam and police certificate when we ask for them.
Your application won’t be complete if we only receive your proof of appointment for medical examination or receipt for your police certificate request.
Most complete applications for the 2022 IEC season will be processed within this timeframe. Processing starts once you’ve submitted all required documents, including biometrics.
We’ll also check that
- you qualify for a work permit
- you’ve provided all the required documents, and
- the employer is allowed to hire you (for Young Professionals and International Co-op applicants)
Due to COVID-19, it can take 8 weeks or longer for your work permit application to be reviewed.
Wait until your application is approved before you
- buy a plane ticket for any travel to Canada
- buy health insurance for your stay in Canada
- make commitments to your prospective employer in Canada
- commit to any accommodation in Canada
- cancel your accommodation or leave your job or studies in your home country
If your application is approved
If your application is approved, you’ll receive a port of entry (POE) letter of introduction in your account. The letter does not guarantee entry into Canada or guarantee a work permit.
IEC participants outside of Canada
Before you travel to Canada
All travellers entering Canada must follow the latest testing and quarantine requirements to keep everyone safe. Find out if you can enter Canada
Use ArriveCAN to provide mandatory travel information required for entry into Canada.
Make sure you’re using the newest version of ArriveCAN. If you previously submitted your information using an older version of ArriveCan, you must download the latest version and resubmit your information.
To get your IEC work permit
You must show your POE letter of introduction and other supporting documents to a Canadian border services officer at the port of entry (airport, land border) on or before the expiry date of your letter.
The expiry date will be clearly marked on your letter.
A border services officer will review these documents and will make a final decision on whether you can enter Canada.
POE letter of introduction
A POE letter of introduction issued under the IEC Program is valid for 1 year. Once a letter is issued, it’s considered a participation and can’t be cancelled.
You can’t transfer your letter to any other person or name.
IEC participants already in Canada
You need to maintain legal status in Canada at all times.
If you are in Canada when you receive your POE letter of introduction, you must leave the country and re-enter at any port of entry to activate your work permit.
If you plan to leave and re-enter Canada through the United States, you must meet US immigration requirements.
Extending or changing your work permit
You can only extend your work permit under a limited number of circumstances. There are no exceptions.
An IEC work permit cannot be extended past the maximum duration specified in each country or territory’s youth mobility arrangement.
If your existing work permit has expired, you may apply to restore your status.
You must be eligible to extend your work permit in order to restore your status.
Service disruptions and restrictions due to COVID-19 may impact processing times, and the current posted processing times may not be accurate.
Changing your employer
Under the Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship) categories, you can only change your employer if you have a valid reason. Your new job must still meet the requirements of those categories.
An example of a valid reason to change employers is if the company that you were working for has closed.
If you’re eligible to apply for a new work permit to change employers, you don’t need to wait until your new employer-specific work permit arrives. Follow these steps to start working after you apply for a work permit.
Both you and your employer will have to pay fees.
Applying to stay as a visitor
If your work permit is about to expire and you can’t return home or you’re not eligible to extend your work permit, you need to apply to stay as a visitor before your work permit expires.
Once you apply to change your status to visitor, and your work permit expires, you’ll have what is called maintained status. It will let you stay in Canada until you get a decision on your application. Once your current work permit expires, you must stop working.
Returning to your home country
If you’re having trouble returning to your home country, contact your country’s embassy or consulate directly for help.
If your application is refused
You‘ll receive a letter of explanation in your account.
Withdrawing your application
You can withdraw your application and receive a refund if we haven’t issued you your POE letter of introduction. This will not count as a participation under IEC.
To withdraw your application:
- contact us using the web form and
- in the your enquiry box, include “IEC work permit application withdrawal – (your application ID number).” So, for example: IEC work permit application withdrawal – W123456789.
We’ll review your request within 3 to 5 business days. If it’s approved, we’ll refund your
- IEC participation fee, and
- open work permit fee (Working Holiday applicants only)
If your employer paid the employer compliance fee, they’ll also receive a refund.
You don’t have to do anything else to get your refund. Normally, you’ll receive it within 8 weeks of your application being withdrawn. Your refund will be issued to the credit card you used to pay the fees.
If you used a prepaid credit card, keep it for at least 18 months after you pay in case you need a refund.
If we can’t refund your payment to your credit card, we’ll issue a cheque.
You will not receive a refund if we learn that you misrepresented yourself (gave false information or left out important details).
If you’ve already received your POE letter of introduction
You’re no longer eligible to get a refund or withdraw your application.
The only exception is for Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship) participants whose employer withdraws the offer of employment before they travel to Canada. If your employer withdraws your offer of employment, we’ll refuse your application, and we’ll refund your IEC participation fee. This will not be counted as an IEC participation and you will be able to reapply at a later date. Your employer will also be refunded the employer compliance fee. You don’t have to do anything else to get your refund.
Information for your employer
If your employer wants to withdraw their job offer, they can do so through the Employer Portal. If the Withdraw application option isn’t available through the Employer Portal, employers may find specific instructions here.
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