IEC & COVID-19: our questions to the Government of Canada #2

Published: 16-12-2020



The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) office in Paris has agreed to answer some of our questions regarding International Experience Canada in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis. We thank them for their availability.

The information provided are correct as of the date and time they were submitted for publication (December 16, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.).

When the pools for the 2020 IEC season closed, there were still spots available. Will those spots be added to the 2021 quota?

The number of spots available for the 2021 IEC season is not known at this time. Follow @IEC_EIC and IntlExperienceCanada to stay informed of the updates.

What are the options for candidates who are awaiting their Port of Entry Letter of Introduction?

International Experience Canada (IEC) candidates who have already submitted a work permit application and have not yet obtained a decision should have received a notification by email. This notification message was sent on November 27th to the email address they used to create their IRCC online account.

They should check this email address and its junk mail or spam folder.

The notification message gives 2 options for candidates in the 3 IEC categories: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, International Co-op (Internship).


If you choose this option, you will have the opportunity to reapply to IEC at a later date. However, you will need to restart the IEC application process, which includes meeting eligibility requirements, submitting a profile to an IEC pool and receiving an invitation to apply.

All information about the withdrawal and fee reimbursement is available in the notification email.


Use the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRRC) Web form available on this page to inform IRCC that you wish to withdraw your application. Please note that all IEC applications are processed in Canada.

You must select ‘International Experience Canada‘ from the ‘Type of Application Submitted‘ menu.

You have until December 27, 2020 to inform IRCC that you have chosen this option.


IEC can continue to process your current work permit application to a final decision. All information about the processing of the application is available in the notification email.


Applicants in the Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship) categories with a valid job offer must use the IRRC Web form available on this page and upload their job offer with their request.

You must select ‘International Experience Canada‘ from the ‘Type of Application Submitted‘ menu.

If you choose to continue with the processing of your application but do not have a valid job offer or if you are applying under the Working Holiday category, no action is required on your part. An officer will make a decision based on the information available on your file.


You will be issued a Port of Entry Letter of Introduction, which is normally valid for 1 year. It is important to note that the travel restriction measures may still apply. At this time, participants can travel to Canada only if they have:

  • a valid job offer which includes a written note from their employer in Canada that says:

– their business is continuing to operate (no matter the sector or field of activity)
– they will start work after the 14-day mandatory quarantine

  • a valid Port of Entry Letter of Introduction
  • proof of adequate health-care coverage

For the Working Holiday category, although no job offer was required to submit the work permit application, a valid job offer is required to be exempt from travel restrictions.
For all three categories, there is no specific requirement regarding the type of job.

These measures will remain in effect until further notice.

We invite you to consult this page regularly to stay informed of the latest information: How the travel restrictions are affecting International Experience Canada (IEC) participants.

When will the 2021 IEC season open?

The date of the opening of the 2021 IEC season is not known at this time. Follow @IEC_EIC and IntlExperienceCanada to stay informed of the updates.

IEC candidates have received an extension of their Letter of introduction until March 31, 2021. Many are worried about what will happen after that date. Do you know more about this?

No decision has been made concerning this possibility. Follow @IEC_EIC and IntlExperienceCanada to stay informed of the updates.

Do you consider an indiscriminate reopening of Canadian borders for the United States and other countries?

This question is not within IRCC’s responsibilities and we do not have any information on this matter.

What is the economic situation in Canada? Does Canada still suffer from a labor shortage?

The Canadian economy, like that of countries in Europe and elsewhere, has been affected by the impact of the health crisis. While the unemployment rate in Canada in February 2020 stood at 5.6%, in November 2020 it was 8.5%, continuing its steady decline after the record rate of 13.7% reached last May. The tourism, accommodation and food services sectors have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis and the situation is expected to continue for several more months.

The construction sector has also suffered from the pandemic as is the case for the arts, entertainment and recreation industry.

The Canadian labour market situation, like other countries, will continue to evolve in the coming months, downward or upward depending on the sector of activity, depending on the health situation and the ability to contain the pandemic.
That being said, the Canadian labour market has adjusted to Covid-19 and many job offers are available across the country in essential services: agri-food, health, transport and logistics, manufacturing and production, retail and wholesale, food service, construction, maintenance and repair. Alongside essential sectors, information technology, education and early childhood, banking and finance remain dynamic sectors in search of talent.
Job Bank is the online tool for finding out about job opportunities across Canada, and learning about Canadian labour market trends and prospects.

The 16th edition of Destination Canada Mobility Forum will take place online, on February 26th, 27th and 28th 2021. At Destination Canada Mobility Forum, you’ll connect with Canadian employers representing various sectors seeking bilingual and French-speaking talent. You will also connect with representatives from Canada’s provinces and territories and French-speaking communities. Registration will open in January on


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