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What are my chances of receiving a work permit through the IEC this year?

Newcomers to Canada often seek to obtain work permits. When eligible, newcomers may want to consider the International Experience Canada (IEC) program as a route to obtain a work permit.

Unlike most other programs, the IEC pool gives candidates greater clarity on their likelihood of obtaining a work permit.

What is the IEC and what kind of work permit(s) does it offer?

The IEC is a temporary residence program for youth 18-30/35 from countries that have Bilateral Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada. These are agreements that allow youth from different countries to work and gain experience in Canada—while allowing Canadian youths to do the same in other countries. IEC applicants can have their work permits approved in as little as six weeks.

Check if your country has a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada here. The eligible age range may also change depending on which country you are from, and its agreement with Canada.

The IEC opens for an application season—usually in January, lasting throughout the year or until all work permits are issued. The program allows successful applicants to live and work in Canada for up to two years through three streams that issue work permits:

  • The Working Holiday stream;
  • The Young Professionals stream; and
  • The International Co-op (Internship) stream.

If you are a citizen of a partner country, you may be able to apply to more than one of these streams.