COVID-19 – Canada borders partially closed to foreigners (IEC permits info)

Published: 18-04-2020



IEC permits applications

On April 15, 2020, Canada announced that application processing was currently on hold. If you have received an invitation to apply, accepted it and submitted your application, the Canadian government “will accept your application but it will not be processed for the time being”. Your “IEC application in progress will not be closed or refused due to a lack of documentation or inability to complete the application process in time, such as giving biometrics or completing an immigration medical examination” – Government of Canada.

On April 3, 2020, Canada announced that invitation rounds were currently on hold due to COVID-19.

Many visa application centres (VACs) around the world are closed until further notice and it may affect your ability to give your biometrics. Biometrics deadline has been extended to 90 days (vs. 30 days).

“Please note that the biometric instruction letter (BIL) cannot be amended and will continue to advise applicants that they have 30 days from the date of the letter to give their biometrics. Officers should still allow 90 days for the applicant to provide their biometrics, despite the 30-day timeline identified in the BIL.”

For more information, read Special measures to help temporary and permanent residents and applicants affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID‑19).

I am currently in Canada and my EIC permit expires soon, can I extend it?

You may be able to extend your IEC permit if you are eligible. More info…

I am currently in Canada and I need to activate my EIC permit (my POE letter is going to expire)!

Travel for the purpose of obtaining immigration services is non-essential. More info…

I have to land in Canada soon because my POE letter (EIC permit) is going to expire!

On March 16, 2020, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced starting on March 18, 2020, Canada is closing its borders to anyone who is not a citizen or a permanent resident.

This means that International Experience Canada (IEC) permits holders—Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship)—cannot enter Canada until further notice.

Anyone returning to Canada from anywhere in the world must self-isolate for 14 days to slow the spread of COVID-19. For more information, read the frequently updated Public health management of cases and contacts associated with novel coronavirus disease 2019 page.

March 26, 2020: Travel restriction exemptions

You’ve received a letter of introduction for International Experience Canada (IEC)? You may be authorized to travel to Canada. Read more…

Make sure you have enough money to support yourself over the next few weeks and keep in mind that you may not be able to work for a while.

March 30, 2020: Feedbacks of Working Holiday permit holders on Facebook

❌ “So I arrived in Canada today with my Letter of Introduction and they are not letting me in as I don’t have a current job offer… they’re putting me back on a plane…”

✅ “My girlfriend arrived in Canada on Saturday. She didn’t secure a job offer but she got her Working Holiday permit. Immigration officials asked her for proof that her insurance covered care for Covid19.”

If you didn’t secure a job offer, we advise you not to go to Canada!

Can I extend the validity date on my POE Letter?

Many International Experience Canada permit holders reported that they contacted IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) (use this form and select “International Experience Canada” from the drop-down menu) and were granted a three-month extension for their POE Letter. If you do want to contact IRCC, please, do so if your letter expires in the next 30 days! IRCC is likely facing increasing pressure—if you’re supposed to go to Canada in July, August, etc. just wait and see for now. As you all know, this is an unprecedented, fast-developing situation.

April, 17, 2020: This is the first time that a Canadian Government webpage clearly states that “these letters may be extended upon request, via our Web form“.

IMPORTANT – Be aware that you are certainly thousands of IEC permit holders in this situation: there are many young people of other nationalities who are in the same situation as yours (we have seen many on our group International Experience Canada (IEC) 2020: Working Holiday, YP, Internship). Do not necessarily expect to have an answer. Consider this form as a way for you to report you to the Canadian authorities, to tell them that you would like to go to Canada but that you are unable to do so given the situation. We hope that the they will have a solution for you in the coming weeks.


Any person entering Canada must self-isolate for 14 days!

If you fail to comply with this order, you can face a fine of up to $750,000 and/or imprisonment for 6 months. More info.

Every province and territory has implemented a set of measures to encourage social distancing—bars, restaurants, museums, libraries, schools and a long list of public places are closed, working from home is encouraged. Several provinces have declared states of emergency as of March 19, 2020.

All IEC permit holders must follow the rules applicable to their city, province/territory and at the federal level.

Important: Non urgent Social Insurance Number applications are no longer accepted. More info…

Useful links: Your to-do list before going to Canada and The landing process and your first steps in Canada

Useful links

Capture d’écran 2020-02-20 à 09.21.30

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