International Experience Canada: How to apply

You need to give your biometrics

You now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) when you apply for a work permit if you are from Europe, the Middle East or Africa.

Find out who needs to give biometrics and how the new application process works.

You cannot apply for a work permit under International Experience Canada unless we’ve sent you an Invitation to Apply.

If you’ve accepted an Invitation to Apply for a work permit follow these steps:

Complete the online form

You can save the information in the online form and go back to it as often as you need to until you are ready to submit it.

Once you accept your invitation to apply, you will have 20 days to submit your work permit application. You’ll receive a message in your account with the time and date of your deadline.

Make sure you:

  • answer all questions truthfully and completely. If we find that you gave us false information or left out important details, we’ll refuse your application and you may also be ineligible for entry to Canada in the future
  • fill out all the mandatory fields in the form. You can’t submit your application until these fields are completed
  • don’t leave any gaps in time in the work history and education history sections
    • include all absences, periods of unemployment, travel dates, etc.
  • include all paid and unpaid work in the work history section
  • click “validate” at the end of each form so there are no errors or blank fields in your application

Note: If you’re applying for a Working Holiday work permit and you’re asked for information about your offer of employment,

  • type “A9999999” in the offer of employment number field
  • select “No” to the question “Has your employer paid the Employer Compliance fee?” and
  • type “Non-applicable – Working Holiday” into the employer address fields

If you're having a technical problem with your application, we have some advice for you.

When you have completed the application, the system will generate a personalized document checklist for you. It will show all the supporting documents you need to upload.

Get all the documents you need

Using your personalized Document Checklist, gather all your documents.

You must be able to make electronic copies of your supporting documents using a scanner or camera.

Once you have your documents ready, upload them on the Document Checklist page in your account.

Documents you may need

Proof of financial support

Bring proof of financial support with you, as Border Services Officers may ask you for proof of funds when you arrive in Canada.

Police certificates

In most cases, you’ll need to get police certificates.

You’ll need to provide certificates for countries where you have spent time for six or more consecutive months since the age of 18.

You may need to provide certificates from more than one country. There will only be one upload field so be sure to include them as scanned copies all together.

If you’re not able to get a police certificate before the deadline to submit your application, you may upload:

  • a copy of the receipt proving you have requested one, or
  • a screenshot of the confirmation page or email you received when ordered your police certificate online.

You must have the police certificate ready to submit when an officer later requests it. You must provide the certificate by the deadline shown in the request letter, or your application will be refused.

If you have a criminal record, you may not be allowed to enter Canada. People who pose a risk to Canada’s security are also not allowed to come to Canada. Learn more about inadmissibility.

Read the special notes and considerations for the countries below:

CV/résumé

You’ll need to provide a copy of your CV or résumé. A curriculum vitae or résumé is a brief description of your:

  • education,
  • qualifications, and
  • work experience (main duties for each job).

It should also include your current job title and the city and country where you currently live.

Medical exams

You should undergo a medical exam if:

You must see a doctor that has been approved by IRCC (called a panel physician).

We will not approve your work permit application if your health:

  • is a danger to Canada’s public health or safety, or
  • would place too much of a burden on health or social services in Canada

When the panel physician completes the medical exam, they’ll either give you an information printout sheet, or an IMM 1017B Upfront Medical Report form.

You must upload a copy of this document in your document checklist in your account. If you are not asked to provide a “Proof of medical exam,” you can upload the document in the “Optional documents” slot at the bottom of the checklist. If you do not complete this step, your application may be refused or your work permit will be issued with restrictions. That means that you will not be allowed to work in a job that requires a medical exam.

If you can’t complete a medical exam before the deadline to submit your work permit, you may submit proof that you have made an appointment to get one.

Your medical exam results are valid for 12 months. To make sure they don’t expire, you should wait until you are invited to apply before getting a medical exam.

Learn more about medical exam requirements.

Passport

You must provide a clear, readable copy of your passport. Your passport must be valid

  • when you apply to the International Experience Canada program, and
  • when you enter and depart from Canada.

Your work permit will not be issued for longer than the validity of your passport. Your passport must include a blank page other than the last page.

Digital photo

You must provide a digital photo of yourself.

Frame size
  • The final frame size of the photo must be at least 35mm x 45mm.
  • The photographs must show a full front view of the head and tops of shoulders, with the face in the middle of the photograph.
  • The size of the head, from chin to crown, must be between 31mm and 36mm.
  • Digital dimensions are often expressed in pixels or DPI (dots per inch). The physical dimensions in pixels must be at least 420 x 540.
Quality/resolution

If you scan a photo you already have, the minimum resolution must be 600 pixels per inch.

File format
  • The file may be submitted in JPEG or JPEG2000 format.
  • The final size of the image should ideally be 240 kB (kilobytes), but not less than 60 kB.
  • The image must be in colour (24 bits per pixel) in RGB colour space, which is the common output for most digital cameras.

Family information

Depending on your country of citizenship, you must complete one of the Family Information forms:

These forms request information about your

  • spouse or common-law partner,
  • parents,
  • children, step children and adopted children, and
  • your brothers and sisters, including step-siblings and half-siblings (IMM 5645 only).

Electronic Travel Authorization or Visitor visa application

Depending on your country of citizenship, you’ll need either an eTA or visitor visa. You don’t have to apply for these documents.

If you need an eTA, you’ll automatically receive one when your work permit application is approved. If you need a visitor visa, you’ll get a request letter asking you to send us your passport.

International Co-op (Internship) applicants

Proof of school registration

You must provide a letter from your educational institution that shows that you’re currently registered at that institution.

Proof your job is linked to your field of studies

Submit one of the following documents:

Internship agreement - this is a three-party agreement signed by you, your employer and your training centre. The agreement must have the following information:

  • the position title,
  • the description of the tasks performed by the student,
  • the exact start and end dates of the internship,
  • the complete address of the internship site, and
  • the employer's contact information.

Or

A letter from your education institution, on official letterhead, that confirms your job offer is linked to your field of studies.

Applicants using Recognized Organizations

Recognized Organization acceptance letter

If you choose to use the services of a Recognized Organization (RO) and you receive an Invitation to Apply, you may need to provide a copy of the confirmation letter from your RO when you submit your work permit application. This letter acts as proof that an RO is helping you plan your trip or find work in Canada.

Ask your RO if this applies to you.

VIE applicants

VIE letter

If you are participating in France's VIE program, you must provide an official certificate from Business France, the French organization responsible for managing the program. The certificate must identify the participant and the employer.

Pay your fees

The fees you pay depend on the IEC category you’re applying to.

You can use the pay your fees tool to find out how much it costs to apply to IEC and how to pay your fees.

a) All participants

You must pay the IEC participation fee. For the 2019 season, the participation fee is CAN$150.

If you need to give biometrics, you’ll need to pay the biometric fee when you pay your IEC processing fee.

b) Working Holiday participants

You must also pay an open work permit holder fee of CAN$100.

c) Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship) participants

You don’t have to pay any additional fees, but your employer must pay a CAN$230 employer compliance fee and submit your offer of employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Your employer must complete this step before you submit your work permit application.

Refunds

The IEC participation fee, open work permit holder fee and employer compliance fee are refundable if:

  • you withdraw your work permit application before we issue your letter of introduction
  • your employer withdraws their offer of employment before your work permit is issued, or
  • your work permit application is refused

How refunds are processed

You don’t have to do anything else to get your refund. Normally, you’ll receive it within eight weeks. Your refund will be issued to the credit card used to pay the fees.

Keep your prepaid credit card 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 will issue a cheque.

You will not receive a refund if we learn that you misrepresented yourself (gave false information or left out important details).

Submit your complete application

Make sure you’ve:

  • filled out all mandatory form fields,
  • paid your fees, and
  • included readable colour scans of all the supporting documents.

The system will not let you submit the application unless all required documents are included. Use the Document Checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. If you can’t get a police certificate or medical exam before the deadline to submit your work application, you can submit proof that you have:

  • requested a police certificate, or
  • made an appointment for a medical exam.

This will not affect the decision an officer will make when processing your application, but your application may take longer than the advertised processing service level agreements to process.

Once you submit your application, we’ll verify that:

  • all the information you gave us is true,
  • you are eligible to work in Canada and
  • you are admissible to Canada.

If you’re eligible, we’ll send you a message in your account and tell you what to do next.

You may need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics)

If you applied on or after July 31, 2018 and already gave 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.

If you need to give your biometrics, we’ll send you an instruction letter to explain how. After you pay all your fees and submit your application you’ll get the letter in your account message box within 24 hours. You’ll have up to 30 days to give your biometrics.

You must bring your instruction letter with you to one of the official collection service locations. You can go to the location closest to you. It doesn’t have to be in your country of residence.

Collection service locations include:

If you’re applying for a new IEC participation from inside Canada, you may still need to give biometrics. If you do you’ll have to go to one of the collection service locations as there are no biometric services in Canada yet. Make sure you meet the entry requirements of the country where you’ll give your biometrics.

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