The 2024 IEC pool is now open
The IEC is a work permit program that allows youth that are citizens of countries that have bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangements with Canada, to temporarily reside and work in Canada. This year’s intake will allow close to 90,000 applicants from over 30 countries the opportunity to gain Canadian work experience. Starting today all those eligible and interested may submit an IEC profile to IRCC.
How does IEC function?
Citizens of partner nations that have bilateral Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada; and who are within the eligible age range (18-29, 18-30, or 18-35, (all-inclusive)—depending on the nationality of the applicant) may qualify for an IEC work permit.
Similar to programs within Canada’s Express Entry management system, the IEC functions on a candidate/applicant system. Interested individuals may submit a candidacy profile to IRCC (if they meet all basic eligibility requirements). At this point they are candidates. If the department selects a candidate’s profile, they are then invited to apply for consideration to receive a work permit. Once this application has been submitted, candidates are now applicants—and one step closer to receiving their work permit.
Under the program, applicants may receive a work permit under one of three streams:
- The Working Holiday stream, which grants an Open Work Permit (OWP) for up to two years, allowing holders to work for most employers in Canada, in most industries;
- The Young Professionals stream, which issues an employer-specific (or LMIA-based) work permit for individuals who have a job offer, and plan to work with a single employer in Canada; and
- The International Co-op Internship stream, which allows citizens of participating countries, who are enrolled in a post-secondary program (in their country of citizenship), to enter Canada and intern/work for a specific Canadian company. Applicants must already have arranged co-op placements before applying.
Candidates applying under the IEC must:
- Be a citizen / passport holder of one of the 35+ partner countries that have Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada;
- Have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada;
- Be within the eligible age range (18-29, 18-30, or 18-35, (all-inclusive), depending on the applicant's nationality) at the time of their application;
- Have the equivalent of $2,500 CAD upon landing in Canada;
- Be able to take out health insurance for the duration of their stay;
- Be admissible to Canada;
- Have (prior to departure) a round-trip ticket or the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of their authorised stay in Canada;
- Not be accompanied by dependents; and
- Pay the appropriate fees.
How does the IEC benefit Canada?
The IEC helps Canada address labour shortages that continue to bother many of the country’s industries (including wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, construction, and others). Immigration is a key source of workers, making the bilateral agreements Canada holds with partner IEC countries advantageous in providing young labour to key sectors—while also giving foreign and Canadian youth the opportunity to gain international work experience. These IEC workers further become eligible to immigrate permanently to Canada after gaining the requisite amount of work experience, potentially adding to Canada’s labour force long-term.
This year’s IEC intake has held steady with last year’s intake expansion, showcasing the important role that IEC workers have in the Canadian economy. 2024 is expected to see the inclusion of Finland into the list of partner countries, with both nations set to ratify their new youth mobility agreement sometime in the coming year.