Useful links and glossary
The IEC terminology, explained
International Experience Canada (IEC): The program developed by the Government of Canada to provides youth with the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. Under this program, there are three main permit categories: Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship.
MyCIC: The former Citizenship and Immigration online services centre used for permits/visas and permanent residency applications. The name changed and pvtistes.net now usually refers to “your account” or “your Government of Canada immigration account.”
GCKey: A username and password you choose to securely access the Government of Canada’s online services. You will use this login information every time you need to access your account.
eServices: The generic name used for Government of Canada’s online services, for instance to complete documents or to pay fees online.
Pool: When you create your IEC profile, if you’re eligible, it will be submitted to a pool, i.e. a group of candidates also interested in applying for a WHP. There is one pool of eligible candidates per country and per category. The system randomly draws candidates from the pool and invite them to apply for a work permit. All candidates in the pool have an equal chance of being invited.
Round of invitations: The Government of Canada regularly draws eligible candidates from the IEC pools to invite them to apply for the WHP during these “rounds of invitations.” The number of candidates invited to apply during each round varies. Rounds take place until there are no more spots available or the IEC season closes.
Invitation to Apply: Eligible WHP candidates in the pool who are drawn during a round of invitations receive this message in their account. The Invitation to Apply (i.e. for a work permit) means you have to move to the next step, which is completing the application for a WHP online. You have 10 days to accept or decline the Invitation to Apply. If you accept it, you have 20 days to fill out the forms, upload supporting documents and pay the WHP fees.
The Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction (or Introduction/Introductory Letter): This letter is sent when your WHP application has been approved. Normally, you have 12 months to come to Canada and show this letter to officials at the port of entry when you arrive in Canada to get your work permit. Your 12-month or 24-month WHP starts from the date you enter Canada.
The Government of Canada’s section on IEC is the reference for the WHP—this is where you apply for the permit and get all the information you need throughout the process. These are the most relevant pages to bookmark and review:
- My immigration application: to log in, go to the bottom of the page and click on “Continue to GCKey.”
- Become a candidate: the five steps to create a profile and join an IEC pool.
- How the pools work: an explanation of the way WHP candidates (as well as Young Professionals and International Internship [Co-op]) are selected.
- The IEC FAQ: a series of questions and answers on the IEC program, from applying online to staying in Canada.
Other useful links:
- Step-By-Step Tutorial to International Experience Canada Work Permits — International Co-op, Young Professionals and Working Holiday Applications: the steps to follow if you receive and accept an Invitation to Apply.
- Your To-Do List Before Going to Canada
- The landing process and your first steps in Canada: what happens when you arrive in Canada with a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction and the documents to show to the border officer.
- Finding a job and working in Canada
- Finding Accommodation in Canada
- How expensive is life in Canada?
- Free Guide to Working Holiday in Canada