2019 Step-By-Step Guide to International Experience Canada Work Permits — International Co-op, Young Professionals and Working Holiday Applications

Article publié le 09-01-2018.

Does the prospect of working downtown Toronto in an office tower or in a remote Alberta ski resort sound fun to you? Are you interested in adding a Canadian work experience to your resume?
Good news—it may be easier than you imagine. You probably heard that getting a work visa is complicated, especially if you’re young and don’t have much valuable experience. Well, let us introduce you to International Experience Canada (IEC), a program designed to allow 18-to-35-years-old travellers the opportunity to work in Canada for a certain period of time. Citizens of a number of countries are eligible and the process is fairly straightforward.
If you’re completely new to the IEC program, discover it here. If you’re mostly interested in the Working Holiday category, you can also read our useful guide. And if you’re (almost) ready to become an IEC candidate, well, you’re at the right place!
The main purpose of this guide is to give you with a complete overview of the IEC work permits application process and to help you through it—we even included screenshots to explain every single step.
This guide tackles the three IEC categories—Working Holiday, Young Professionals and International Co-op Internship. The general process is quite similar and we give you heads-up when something applies to one category but not the other (e.g. supporting documents to provide, etc.).

The three IEC work permit categories

Depending on your country of citizenship, you could be eligible to apply in one, two or three of these categories:

  • Working Holiday Permit (WHP): This extremely popular flexible open work permit lets you to travel and work in Canada for 12 months (and up to 24 months depending on your country of citizenship). An open work permit isn’t job-specific, which means you can work for any employer anywhere in Canada. Unlike most work visas, you don’t even need to get a job offer before applying for a Working Holiday permit.
  • Young Professionals (YP): This work permit is a great opportunity to gain relevant professional experience in Canada. You must first find an employer in your field in Canada and get a formal offer of employment. Depending on your country of citizenship, you could be allowed to work in Canada for 6-24 months.
  • International Co-op Internship: This work permit gives students the opportunity to complete a paid or unpaid—a work permit is required in both cases—internship in Canada. Students could stay in Canada for 6-12 months, depending on their country of citizenship.

Interested? The first step is to check if you’re eligible to apply for an IEC permit. Go to IEC eligibility, then select your country of citizenship and a category.

Note that this guide is intended for all English-speaking applicants, so pay attention to the fine print that could apply to your country of citizenship. For official, up-to-date info, your reference should always be the Government of Canada—we don’t make the rules, we’re here to explain them to you!

Overview of the four steps of an IEC work permit application

Step 1: If you don’t already have an account with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), create it using a GCKey user ID (a Government of Canada login) and a password. The process is straightforward and only takes a minute. See sections 2 and 3 of this guide for more details.

Step 2: Once your account is set up, you can apply in one or more categories of your choice. When you apply, you enter a “pool” as a “candidate.” See sections 4-10 for more details.

Step 3: Candidates in the Young Professionals or International Coop-op Internship category should receive an invitation during the next (or one of the next) “round of invitations” as long as there are spots available. There are rounds of invitations sent out about once a week. For Working Holiday applicants, things are a little trickier. As there are often more candidates than spots available in this category, the Government of Canada has to “randomly select candidates from within the pool and invite them to apply for a work permit.” That means you could have to wait for several months before receiving an “Invitation to Apply”—if you receive one at all. See sections 11-13 for more details.

Step 4: After you receive an Invitation to Apply,” you have to accept it and formally apply for the IEC permit (i.e. submit the application, supporting documents and pay the fees). You have 10 days to accept or decline an Invitation to Apply. If you accept an Invitation to Apply, you will have 20 days to submit your application online—time is the essence! See chapters 14-28 to complete this process.

Step 5: As of 2018, submitting biometrics is now required for IEC applicants and it can only be done at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) or Application Support Centre (ASC, in the USA only). From the date you receive the request for biometrics, you have 30 days to complete them and upload your receipt. See section 27 for more details on this new requirement.

Now let’s get started!

Chapitre 1 : Introduction
Chapitre 2 : Starting the application process — two options
Chapitre 3 : Creating an immigration account
Chapitre 4 : Applying under International Experience Canada
Chapitre 5 : The eService interface
Chapitre 6 : Submitting your profile: Personal details
Chapitre 7 : Submitting your profile: Contact details
Chapitre 8 : Submitting your profile: Work and education details
Chapitre 9 : Submitting your profile: Application details
Chapitre 10 : Submitting your profile: Using your e-signature
Chapitre 11 : What if I made a mistake and need to amend my application before an invitation is issued?
Chapitre 12 : Supporting documents you’ll need for the next steps
Chapitre 13 : Getting an Invitation to Apply
Chapitre 14 : After the invitation, the “Personal details of applicant” section
Chapitre 15 : After the invitation, the “Contact information” section
Chapitre 16 : After the invitation, the “Work history” section
Chapitre 17 : After the invitation, the “Application details” section
Chapitre 18 : After filling out the form, uploading and sending documents
Chapitre 19 : Form IMM5707 — Family Information
Chapitre 20 : Police certificate (if applicable)
Chapitre 21 : CV/Curriculum vitae
Chapitre 22 : Digital photo specifications
Chapitre 23 : Copy of passport ID pages and pages with stamps or visas
Chapitre 24 : Proof of a medical exam (if applicable)
Chapitre 25 : Submitting the documents, signing the form and paying the fees
Chapitre 26 : And then what?

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