The Young Professionals work permit is one of the three International Experience Canada (IEC) work permits. It is available to 18-30 or 18-35 year-old citizens from 24 countries who have a job offer in Canada. This job offer must be related to your studies or work field. Depending on your country of citizenship, you could work in Canada for up to 12, 18 or 24 months.
Already familiar with the work permit? If you’re ready to apply, read the Step-By-Step Guide to International Experience Canada Work Permits — International Co-op, Young Professionals and Working Holiday Applications.
If you’re just discovering the Young Professionals work permit, read on for a complete overview.
Pros and cons of the Young Professionals work permit
- Once you have a job offer in Canada, the application process is very straightforward.
- Your future employer does NOT need to apply for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This makes finding an employer much easier because the LMIA—which confirms there is a need for a temporary foreign worker and that no Canadians are available to do the job—costs about $1,000.
- The valuable work experience you gain in Canada can make a future application for permanent residence much easier. If you work full-time for two years in a skilled position, you could be eligible for the Express Entry category (to become a permanent resident anywhere in Canada except in Quebec) and the Programme de l’expérience québécoise (Québec experience program, to become a permanent resident in Quebec).
- You need to find a job offer in Canada before applying for the work permit.
- The job offer must “contribute to your professional development,” i.e. be directly related to your studies or work field. It must also be classified as a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code Skill Type Level 0, A or B, although an NOC C job might be accepted if you can submit a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree, with your work permit application.
- The work permit is not renewable. If you want to stay in Canada, you will have to apply for another type of work permit or for permanent residence.
- Your future employer must pay a CAN$230 employer compliance fee.
- The Young Professionals work permit is an employer-specific work permit. This means that you can only work for one employer and you can only change for “valid reasons,” including being laid off. More info on this below!
- Freelancers and other self-employed professionals are not eligible due to the nature of their employment status.