The International Experience Canada program is an excellent way for international students to stay in Canada and work after graduation. If you are a student who has completed at least two years of full-time study at a designated post-secondary institution, you can apply for the IEC program through your school’s point of entry office. Please note that this information applies only to non-degree studies at participating institutions.
To be eligible to apply, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident or hold a valid work permit.
- Be at least 18 years old.
How do I make an application?
The process for applying is simple. You can start your application by logging into your account on IRCC Canada’s website () or by downloading their application forms from there as well. Once you have completed your application form, it will be sent directly to our Canadian immigration office in Victoria, BC. It will be reviewed and determined if you are eligible under our partnership program with International Experience Canada (IEC). If so, they will send back their electronic acceptance letter, which we will attach as proof of eligibility before sending off any official paperwork required when applying for PR status with IRCC.
How to get started — International Experience Canada
Selection factors are used to determine if you are eligible for the program. They include your academic profile, language skills, work experience and employment goals.
For example, to apply for the International Co-op (Internship) program, you need at least one year of suitably relevant work experience in Canada or abroad within the past five years before applying. If this applies to you, please contact us directly via email or phone, so we can help answer any questions regarding selection factors as they relate specifically to your situation as an applicant.
The age limit for most work permits is 18-35. If you are under 18 and want to work in Canada, you can apply for a Young Professionals work permit if you have received an offer of full-time employment from an employer in Canada. You must be 18 years old to apply for this work permit. To get a Working Holiday work permit, applicants must be between the ages of 18-30; however, there are exceptions depending on the country that issued your passport and which country or province you intend to visit in Canada (see Work Permit Requirements by Country).
Step 1: Choose a destination
Learn about the countries and territories where you can travel as part of your seasonal work program. See which ones might be a good fit for you by researching information such as:
- available jobs
- cost of living
- travel ideas
Step 2: Find out if you're eligible to apply in the partner country or territory you choose
Once you choose a destination, ensure you’re eligible to apply for a work permit there. Each country or region may have different requirements, including:
- residency (where you lived when you used)
- financial requirements
- how long can you stay
- work restrictions
Step 3: Choose a work permit that's right for you
Working Holiday (IEC Work Permit)
To qualify, you must be between 18 and 30 and have at least one year of full-time work experience. You must also meet the language proficiency requirements (see below).
What are the language requirements for working holiday visa applications?
You must meet our English or French language proficiency requirement to qualify for a Working Holiday (IEC) Work Permit. This can be demonstrated by:
1) providing proof of completion of secondary school education in Canada.
2) having completed at least two years of full-time studies at an accredited Canadian post-secondary institution.
3) completing level 4 or above in any province’s official language test.
4) being able to demonstrate proficiency through other means.
Young Professionals (IEC Work Permit)
The Young Professionals (IEC) Work Permit allows young professionals to work in Canada for up to two years. This program is designed for people between 18 and 35 who are completing post-secondary education or professional training at a Canadian institution.
You can apply for this program if the following:
- You have completed at least one year of post-secondary education in Canada or elsewhere before using AND;
- Your employer has hired you as a full-time employee (permanent or temporary)
To apply for this program, you must have one of these valid work permits.
International Co-Op (Internship) (IEC Work Permit)
International Co-op (Internship) is a program designed to allow international students to gain practical work experience in Canada. Students who apply for this program must have a valid study permit and be enrolled at a post-secondary institution in Canada.
Students must be able to demonstrate that they have the following:
- A clear understanding of the job duties, responsibilities and requirements that will be expected of them during their stay in Canada; and
- The ability to effectively communicate in English or French
Step 4: Get all the documents you need
- a passport
- Proof of funds to:
- cover your expenses when you arrive
- cover your costs while you find work (if you don’t already have a job offer)
- pay for your return ticket
- proof of medical insurance for the duration of your stay
- a copy of your pre-arranged contract of employment (job offer) or internship (if you are applying for an employer-specific work permit)
You may also be asked for the following:
- a birth certificate
- a criminal record check or police certificate
- a medical exam
Step 5: Complete your application
The application process for each country and territory is different. Before you apply, read the application instructions on the country or territory website carefully.
In general, to complete your application, you must:
- fill out the application form(s)
- pay any necessary fees
- submit your application and required documents
Depending on your destination, you must submit your application and pay your fees online, by mail, or in person.
For some countries and territories, you must complete your application’s last steps in person. This is done either at the embassy or consulate or in the country or territory after you arrive.
This may include:
- providing more documents
- paying fees
- giving biometrics (usually fingerprints and photos)
The application process can be completed on the individual country or territory website.
Tip: Check your junk or spam folder to avoid missing important emails.
Step 6: Start making your travel plans!
You’ll usually be notified by mail or email if your application is approved.
You can then start planning your trip:
- find a place to live
- book a plane ticket
- get travel insurance
You can use our travel checklist for more ideas and resources on things you’ll need before you go, such as:
- information on living abroad
- safety and security concerns
- tax information for Canadians outside Canada
Get started now by choosing your destination.
The IEC program is a good way for international students to stay in Canada and work.
The IEC program is a good way for international students to stay in Canada and work. It also provides valuable work experience, greatly aiding students’ future careers. The IEC program allows you to gain practical Canadian language skills and learn about our culture and values, which will be vital if you want to live here permanently after graduation.
The IEC Work Permit is an excellent way for international students to gain work experience in Canada. It’s also a good way for young professionals and co-op students to stay in the country after graduation to get their foot in the door before applying for permanent residency or citizenship.
Contacts for media only:
Baz Dara Aziz
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada