International Experience Canada: How to apply

You need to give your biometrics

In most cases, you must give your biometrics to participate in IEC. Depending on where you live, you may need to travel to another city and/or country.

Before you apply, find out where to give your biometrics. If you gave biometrics in the past, you can check if your biometrics are still valid.

Find out where biometrics fits in the application process.

On this page

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:

Make sure you know the date of your deadline

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 date of your deadline. You must submit your application before midnight UTC time on the date listed in your message.

For example, if your deadline is February 20, you must submit your application no later than 11:59 PM UTC on February 19.

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.

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.

Medical exams

Before you submit your work permit application, you should get a medical exam if:

  • you’ve recently lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for 6 months or more, or
  • you plan to work in:
    • the health field
    • primary or secondary education,
    • child care or
    • elderly care

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

After the panel physician completes the medical exam:

  1. You’ll get an information printout sheet or an IMM 1017B Upfront Medical Report form
  2. Upload a copy of this document to your document checklist in the “Proof of medical exam” section. If you don’t see this section, upload the document in the “Optional documents” slot at the bottom of the checklist

If you don’t complete this step, we may refuse your application or your work permit will have medical restrictions on it, which means you won’t 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 application, you can submit proof that you’ve 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’re invited to apply before getting a medical exam.

Learn more about medical exam requirements.

Health insurance

You don’t need health insurance when you apply. However, you’ll need to get it before you arrive in Canada. It must cover the entire time you want to stay in Canada.

We strongly recommend you wait until after you get your port of entry (POE) letter of introduction to get your health insurance.

The insurance must cover:

  • medical care
  • hospitalization
    • That is, it must cover the cost of you staying in a hospital for medical care (if required)
  • repatriation
    • That is, it must cover the cost of getting you:
      • to a medical facility
      • back to your home country or
      • returning your remains to your home country

There are no specific requirements for the repatriation coverage. The important thing is that you have adequate medical coverage for your entire stay in Canada. If you don’t have health insurance upon arriving in Canada, you may be refused entry.

What if my health insurance is only valid for part of the time I want to stay in Canada?

If your health insurance won’t last the entire length of your stay in Canada, you’ll be given a work permit that expires on the same date as your insurance.

If this happens, you won’t be able to apply to change the conditions of your work permit at a later date.

Police certificates

In most cases, you’ll need to get police certificates for countries or territories where you’ve spent 6 or more months in a row since the age of 18.

When processing your application, an officer might ask you for more police certificates.

How long is my police certificate good for?

For the country or territory where you currently live, the certificate cannot be older than 6 months from the day you apply.

For any other country or territory where you’ve stayed for 6 or more months in a row, the certificate must have been issued after you left. You can use the certificate for your IEC application as long as you haven’t gone back to that country or territory.

Uploading your police certificates

There will only be 1 upload field for police certificates. If you need to give us more than 1 certificate, make sure to include all your certificates together in 1 single file.

If your police certificate doesn’t have an expiry date or document number

If your police certificate doesn’t have an expiry date, select a day that’s at least 1 year after the date it was issued. It doesn’t have to be exactly 1 year after.

If your police certificate doesn’t have a document number, type N/A in the field.

If you can’t get one in time

If you can’t get a police certificate before the deadline to submit your application, you can upload:

  • a copy of the receipt to prove you’ve applied for one or
  • a screenshot of the confirmation page or email you got when you ordered your police certificate online

An officer will send you a request letter in your account to ask for your police certificate later on. You must give us the certificate by the deadline shown in the request letter or your application will be refused.

Special instructions for police certificates

Some places of special instructions for IEC applicants. Read the special notes and considerations for the countries below:

Learn more about police certificates.

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.

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

You must complete the Family Information (IMM 5707) (PDF, 640.83 KB).

This form requests information about your

  • spouse or common-law partner
  • parents
  • children, step children and adopted children

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.

Volontariat International en Entreprise (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 participation 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 won't 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’re eligible to work in Canada and
  • you’re admissible to Canada

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

Give your biometrics

In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where the biometrics stage fits in the application process.

If you’ve already given your 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 a biometric instruction letter (BIL) to explain how to give your biometrics. After you pay all your fees and submit your application, you’ll get the BIL in your account message box within 24 hours. It tells you how and where to give your biometrics.

  • You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics.
  • You have to give your biometrics in person.
    • You must bring your BIL to 1 of the official collection service locations.
  • We recommend that you book an appointment as soon as you receive your BIL, so you don’t have any problems.

If you haven’t paid the biometrics fee, we’ll send you a letter asking you to do this first. You’ll get the BIL only if you’ve paid the biometrics fee.

Find out more about how to give your biometrics and where to give your biometrics.

If you’re outside Canada

You can go to the location closest to you. It doesn’t have to be in your country of residence.

Collection service locations include:

  • visa application centres (VACs) around the world
  • application support centres (ASCs) in the United States (US)
    • These are available only if you’re already legally in the US
  • temporary collection locations in Europe

Find a biometrics collection point close to you.

If you’re already in Canada

If you’re in Canada, and you’re applying for your first work permit, you need to give your biometrics. To do this, you may have to leave Canada to visit a biometrics collection point. You can’t give your biometrics at a port of entry.

  • Do not travel to the US if you’re going only to give biometrics.
    • The US border officials may not let you enter the country.
    • You can give biometrics at an ASC in the US only if you’re already legally in the US.
  • Go to a VAC in any country that you can legally enter, such as your home country.

If you need an extension

There may be factors outside your control that prevent you from giving your biometrics within 30 days. For example, the VAC may not have any appointments within your 30 day time frame. In this case, you can request an extension to give your biometrics.

You cannot request an extension because:

  • you have to work
  • you’re waiting for cheaper flights
  • you’re travelling or have vacation plans
  • the biometric collection point is too far
  • there are other factors in your control

How to request an extension

Send us a request using an IRCC web form. You must choose “International Experience Canada” from the drop-down menu. If you don’t, your request won’t be assessed.

Include proof with your request. For example, if the VAC doesn’t have any appointments within your 30 day time frame, you should attach a screenshot of the available appointments of the VAC.

We assess extension requests on a case-by-case basis. If your extension request is approved, you won’t get a confirmation email. Instead, you’ll get a new BIL in your account.

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