International Experience Canada program is now open to welcome international youth to Canada

IMM Newsletters Picture 2 (1)

January 9, 2023Ottawa—International youth contribute valuable and diverse skills to Canada’s economy when they come from abroad to gain meaningful work and life experiences here. Similarly, Canadian youth benefit from working and travelling abroad and coming home with an international perspective.

Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced that the International Experience Canada (IEC) season is now open to international youth who have expressed interest in gaining work and travel experience in Canada. Those who are already in the IEC pool will begin receiving invitations to apply for their work permit.

This year, Canada will be extending this opportunity to nearly 90,000 international youth, as announced on December 1, 2022. This expansion will help Canadian employers find the workers they need to fill labour shortages across the country.

Canada has a long-standing history of supporting Canadian and international youth to travel and work abroad. IEC helps youth explore new cultures, languages and societies, all while developing life skills and improving their job prospects for the future.

Quick facts

  • IEC is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries.

  • On December 19, 2022, the IEC pools opened to allow international youth to create an online profile.

  • While Canadian youth can apply for the program year-round, international candidates can only apply at certain times of the year, typically December until fall. Canada has youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories through the IEC program that allow youth from Canada’s partner countries to work and travel in Canada for up to 2 years. The age of participants ranges from 18 to 35, depending on their country.

  • The program has 3 participation categories: 

    1. Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
    2. International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
    3. Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.



Disclaimer: The information from the newsletter is directly derived from IRCC. The material and information contained on this website is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as professional advice. Although best efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of all information. As information may change without notice, always refer to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada’s website for the most accurate and up-to-date information.