IEC Visa Program at a Glance
Have you ever wanted to explore what Canada has to offer but weren’t sure where to start? Are you under the age of 35? Do you wish to travel and work in Canada? The International Experience Canada Program may be a perfect fit for you.
Where Do I Start?
One of the best paths to work and travel in Canada is to take part in the International Experience Canada program (IEC). This program allows for youth in other countries to visit Canada and to work for anywhere from one to two years. However, you can only take part in the IEC if you are between the ages of 18-35. Depending on where you are from, you will be eligible for one of three different pathways within the IEC program. The Working Holidy Visa, The Young Professionals Visa, and the International Co-op Visa.
How Do I Apply?
The first thing to do is to create an IEC profile. This will let Canadian authorities know that you want to participate in the IEC program. Once you’ve completed the official profile, you’ll be placed into a special “pool” of candidates that are determined based on your country of origin and by visa type (in this case, the visa types you are eligible for). Over the course of the year the Canadian authorities will hold “draws” that select candidates at random until all positions are filled.
If you are successfully chosen by a draw, only then will you be invited to fill out the official application for a work permit. If you receive an invitation to apply for a work permit, you’ll have 10 days to complete the application. However, once all the work permits are given away for the year, or a particular country, the pool will close for the season. For the best results, become a candidate as early as possible in the season. Note that there have been recent changes to the program selection.
What Kind of Visa Will I Get?
If you are successful in getting invited to apply for the IEC, you will either be issued an open work permit, which means you can work for any employer in Canada, or an employer-specific work permit, or a work permit that is tied to a specific employer.
What If I Don’t Have a Job Offer Before I Arrive?
That’s ok! If you don’t have an existing job offer, you can still take part in the IEC program. In fact, getting an iEC Visa for Canada can even be a way to fund your vacation. By taking on temporary work in Canada, you can give yourself the financial flexibility to explore our country, or use your time to gain professional experience in a Canadian setting.
What Are the Eligibility Requirements?
Gaining entry to Canada is relatively easy. As long as the you are in the correct age category (18-35 years old), can prove your citizenship in your country of origin, and do not have any serious medical or criminal issues that might cause you to be inadmissible, your will be eligible to receive an IEC Visa and enter Canada. You will also need a valid passport for the duration of your stay.
How Much Will It Cost?
First, you’ll need the equivalent of $2,500 when you arrive to help cover some of your preliminary expenses. You must also be able to purchase health and travel insurance for the length of your stay in Canada. This is very important. Having travel insurance is mandatory for all IEC work permits.
And make sure that the travel insurance you buy covers the entire duration of your stay in the country. You cannot buy a short term travel insurance and then extend it later. And if you do only purchase temporary travel insurance (such a three or six month term) then when you arrive in Canada, you run the risk of the border agent or immigration officer only giving you a three or six month visa, as opposed to receiving a full one or two-year visa.
To get an IEC Visa in Canada, it is also necessary to pay a participation fee of CAD$150, and an open work permit holder fee of CAD$100. You should also have either A) a round-trip ticket home to your country of origin, or B) the financial resources to buy a ticket at the end of your time in Canada.
For answers to all of your questions, make sure to get intouch with us today for an Discovery Call. The first 15 minutes of our conversation is absolutely free. At Tudor House Immigration, we’ve got the answers and advice you’ll need to help make your Canadian dreams come true!