Submitting your profile to an IEC pool
On your account homepage, in “Start an application,” click “Apply to come to Canada.”
On the next page you’ll see “Personal checklist”:
- Enter your Personal Reference Code if you got one using the “Come to Canada” tool, then click “Continue.”
- If you don’t have a Personal Reference Code, you have to answer a series of questions to find out if you are eligible to apply for a visa and/or permit, apply for Express Entry, and begin an online application. Click “International Experience Canada (IEC)”. From now on, you’re recorded as an IEC candidate. If for whatever reason you lose your Internet connection or have to pause, you can retrieve your incomplete application on your account homepage.
Now it’s time to answer the first few questions. As mentioned before, there were two ways to start the application:
- Option 1 — Using the “Come to Canada” tool to get a Personal Reference Code
- Option 2 — Creating an Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada account directly
The first few questions will be different depending on the option you chose.
First questions for candidates with a Personal Reference Code (“Option 1”)
Candidates who used the “Come to Canada” online tool have to answer a series of questions.
Take a few seconds to read this page. Then click “Check your eligibility.”
What would you like to do in Canada? You MUST select “IEC—Work and Travel” if you want to apply for a Working Holiday, an International co-op or a Young Professional work permit. If you chose another option, you won’t be able to enter an IEC pool.
How long are you planning to stay in Canada? Depending on your situation, select “less than 6 months” or “more than 6 months.”
What is your country/territory of your passport/travel document? Simply select your country of citizenship. Nationals from the United Kingdom, Jersey or Guernsey must select “GBR.” If you have dual citizenship, select the citizenship you’re using to apply. Don’t forget you must hold a valid passport from this country.
What is your current country/territory of residence? This is where you currently live. If you happen to be abroad for a short period of time (e.g. visiting a place), just select the country where you normally live. However, if you’re abroad for a longer period of time (e.g. studying, working or on a Working Holiday Visa, select your temporary country of residence, even if different from your country of citizenship. Note that UK Nationals will be asked to specify whether they live in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Island or Channel Islands.
Do you have a family member who is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and is 18 or older? The term “family member” refers to first-degree relatives (father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter…).
What is your date of birth? Double check that you enter it correctly, you won’t be able to update it once submitted.
First questions for candidates without a Personal Reference Code (“Option 2”)
Select the code that matches the one on your passport: Select your country of citizenship from the drop-down menu. If you’re from the United Kingdom, Jersey or Guernsey, select “GBR.” If you have dual citizenship, select the citizenship you’re using to apply. Don’t forget you must hold a valid passport from this country. You will then have one more question to answer regarding your country of citizenship.
What is your current country/territory of residence? If you are presently in Canada, you should select Canada: This is where you currently live. If you happen to be abroad for a short period of time (e.g. visiting a place), just select the country where you normally live. However, if you’re abroad for a longer period of time (e.g. studying, working or on a Working Holiday Visa, select your temporary country of residence, even if different from your country of citizenship. Note that UK Nationals will be asked to specify whether they live in England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Island or Channel Islands.
Double check that you enter it correctly, you won’t be able to update it once submitted.
Questions common to “Option 1” and “Option 2” candidates
Most IEC candidate submit their own application without requiring the help of an organization to plan their trip or find work. If this is your case, click “No” then “Next.”
Recognized Organizations are non-profit, for profit, education and youth service organizations that offer work and travel support to youth. Most of them charge a fee for services such as gathering documents, finding an employer, etc. Foreign nationals from countries with no IEC agreement must use these organizations if they wish to go to Canada through International Experience Canada.
If you wish to apply for a Working Holiday Permit and are from Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Finland, Malaysia, Singapore, or the United States, four of these organizations can help you out.
If your country of citizenship already has a Working Holiday agreement with Canada, these organizations won’t expedite the process or increase the chances of you getting an Invitation to Apply. Don’t waste your money!
Country/territory of permanent residence
Select your country of residence from the drop-down menu.
- If you are currently living in your country of citizenship… well, that’s easy!
- If you are temporarily living outside of your country of citizenship (e.g. studying abroad, on a Working Holiday Visa somewhere else, etc.) you still have to select your country of citizenship, i.e. the country that delivered the passport you’re using.
- If you have permanent residence status in a foreign country, select it as your country of permanent residence.
Nationals from a number of countries (including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Italy, Korea, Latvia, Slovakia, South Korea and Spain) are required to “provide a permanent address” in their country of citizenship while they are applying for their work permit. Check the eligibility requirements that apply to your country of citizenship here.
Work placement or internship as part of your studies
Candidates applying for an International Co-op Internship work permit should select “Yes.”
Candidates applying for a Young Professionals and/or a Working Holiday work permit should answer “No.”
Offer of employment, of internship and registration at a college or university
Working Holiday candidates should answer “No” to the first question. You can answer “Yes” to the second question if you are currently a student in your country of citizenship.
If you are an applying for an International Co-op Internship work permit
You should answer “Yes” to both questions. Remember that to be eligible in this category, applicants must hold an offer of internship or work placement in Canada and must be registered as a student in a post-secondary institution and have an offer of paid or unpaid internship/employment from an employer in Canada.
– Applicants from the following 17 countries must be registered at a college or a university in their home country:
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
– Nationals of France, Germany, Greece and Norway are not required to be enrolled as students in their home country.
– Nationals of Austria must be registered or have graduated recently in specific fields.
Young Professionals work permit candidates must answer “Yes” to the first question and “No” to the second one (unless they are currently a student in their home country). To be eligible in this category, applicants must already have an offer of paid employment from an employer in Canada.
Find out which IEC categories you are eligible for
Once you’ve answered all these questions, the “Come to Canada” tool will show you the category or categories you are eligible for.
Depending on your citizenship and previous answers, you could be eligible for one or more of these categories
- The International Co-op category
- The Working Holiday category
- The Young Professionals category
For candidates who chose Option 1
Click “Continue” to get a “Personal Reference Code.” Make sure you write it down, you will need to connect your answers from the “Come to Canada” tool to your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada account.
Log into your Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada account, then choose “International Experience Canada (IEC)” in the “What would you like to do today?” section.
On the next page, enter your Personal Reference Code.
You’ll be redirected to a page listing the category or categories you’re eligible under. Click on “Continue.” If you need to make any changes, click on the “Modify my Answers” button, then on the edit button to the right of the answer to amend it.
If you get an error message saying the code entered is incorrect several times in a row, click on “International Experience Canada (IEC)” in the “I do not have a Personal Reference Code” section. You will be able to answer the same questions as before again.
For both option 1 and option 2 candidates
After selecting “Continue” you will be redirected to an eService Page.
From here on, the steps for option 1 and option 2 candidates are exactly the same.
Main articles about the WHV to Canada
Step-By-Step Guide to International Experience Canada Work Permits
Introduction to the Canada Working Holiday permit
Guide to Working Holiday in Canada (free download)
16 Good Reasons to Apply for a Working Holiday Visa
Globe WHV insurance policy highlights
The duration of your insurance coverage directly impacts your WHV
15 Tips for a Successful WHV Experience
The Working Holiday Visa Adventure as a Solo Traveller