Canada looking for partners to help expand and diversify the IEC program:

  IEC is looking for new partner countries and organizations to increase the number of participants and fill gaps in some sectors. of Canada’s workforce

In light of the recently revealed IEC program quotas, CIC News has obtained more details about the program outlook for 2023 from an internal Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) memo dated September 26, 2022.
Although the global quotas for IEC admissions in 2023 have increased to nearly 90,000 participants, as immigration minister Sean Fraser announced in January, the memo offers more relevant information on how IRCC managed to reach this conclusion.

What is IEC?

The IEC is a program that is designed especially for young people ages 18 to 35 (depending on their nationality) who want to visit and explore Canada while having the possibility of finding employment to pay for their adventures and get a variety of perspectives upon that home nation youth Mobility Arrangements (YMAs) with participating nations and organizations are managed by the IEC. Canada has YMAs with 36 partners across Europe, Oceania, East Asia, and the Americas as of the time the memo was sent.

While the partner quota remains at 2022 levels, the global quota increases.

IEC admissions in 2022 did not reach pre-pandemic levels. This, according to IRCC, is caused by a number of things, including more expensive travel, hesitation because of health risks, and severe labor shortages in partner nations.

The quotas for partners for 2023 should remain at levels from 2022 as a result of these factors, but the global quota should be raised by 20% to 88,500. Participants who meet the partner quota must submit their applications through a recognized organization from either a partner sovereign country. The global quota is for those who apply directly to IRCC. The federal government is actively evaluating potential new country partners for the IEC in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and South America to support the program long-term, which contributes to a portion of the global quota increase. The possibility of bringing in more immigrants to Canada’s francophone communities is also made possible by expanding partnerships with other nations. The program’s failure to reach its previous global maximum of 73,655 activated work permits, according to the IRCC, is another justification for the global quota increase. According to the department, increasing the global quota can help reduce “wastage.” This refers to young foreign nationals who obtain work permits but do not arrive in Canada to use them.

The IRCC does not advise increasing partner quotas because it anticipates that partner nations and organizations won’t be in favor of the adjustments, especially in Europe, which is already dealing with problems brought on by the displaced Ukrainians. According to the department, increasing the quotas this year would establish a precedent for high quotas going forward, which could limit program flexibility should IRCC need to cut back.

The quotas in the event that Canada ever has a high unemployment rate.

Canadian IEC participants

France (14,000), Ireland (10,700), Japan (6,500), and the United Kingdom have the highest partner quotas (5,000). The number of permits granted to Australians is not subject to a cap or quota.

Over 40% of IEC participants relocate to the lower mainland of British Columbia, followed by 19% who choose Ontario, 18% who choose Alberta, 14% who choose Quebec, and less than 5% who choose any of the other provinces or territories.

At the moment, Canada depends on a large number of IEC participants to help fill labor shortages. IEC participants frequently work in the service industry, including retail, lodging, and food services. According to the memo, a lot of employers, particularly those in the service industry, rely on IEC to meet their labor needs.

Based on information from 2019, when 58,186 IEC participants had their permits activated, Due to the length of the visa, there was actually 87,816 foreign youth in Canada that year, according to the IRCC, making the total number of participants even higher.

Nevertheless, many IEC permit holders decide against working while they are in Canada. According to participants’ tax returns, the average income shows that 59% of participants had average earnings of just over $10,000 between 2009 and 2017.


How does IEC function?

A work permit is available to IEC participants under one of three phases. The much more famous is the Working Holiday stream, which can grant an Open Work Permit (OWP) for up to two years and entitle holders to employment with any employer in Canada. According to the report, this stream is used to issue permits to 88% of IEC participants.

For young people who have a job offer and intend to work for just one employer in Canada, the Young Professionals stream issues work permits that are employer-specific.

The international co-op internship stream, which is the third stream, enables post-secondary students from partner nations to intern for a particular Canadian firm.

Before a candidate can apply for the program, they must first meet the following eligibility criteria:

possess a passport or be a citizen of one of the 36 nations with which Canada has a youth mobility agreement;

possess a passport that is still valid during their visit to Canada;
be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) at the time of application, depending on the applicant’s nationality, and within the eligible age range;
arrive in Canada with the equivalent of $2,500 CAD;
be able to purchase health insurance during their stay;
able to enter Canada;
possess (prior to departure) a round-trip ticket or the means to buy one at the conclusion of their permitted stay in Canada;
in the absence of dependents, as well as paying the necessary fees.
If chosen, eligible candidates submit a candidacy profile to the IEC pool and are then invited to apply for a work permit in Canada. Candidates have 30 days from the time they receive an invitation to submit their finished application.

IEC Program Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must:

  • be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 at the time of application (the upper age limit depends on the applicant’s country of citizenship);
  •  be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the above countries or be a resident of one of the territories that have a bilateral Youth mobility arrangement with Canada;
  • have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada (the work permit issued will not be longer than the validity of the passport);
  •  have the equivalent of $2500 in cash.


The ability to purchase health insurance for the duration of their stay (participants may be required to show proof of this insurance atthe point of entry into Canada); be eligible to enter Canada; possess a round-trip ticket prior to departure or the funds necessary to buy a ticket out of Canada at the end of their permitted stay; be independent; and pay the required fees.
Please be aware that each country may have different minimum age and eligibility requirements.

How IEC Operates

The IEC employs a model of invitation to apply/expression of interest. Candidates who are eligible create an IEC profile, but they cannot submit an application until they have received an Invitation to Apply (ITA).

An outline of the IEC program’s steps in chronological order is provided below:

Fill out the Come to Canada form, and if you qualify, you’ll receive a personal reference number.
For your online creation, enter this code account.
Finish all of the steps in the IEC profile builder. Select the IEC pools you want to be a part of after submitting your profile.
You will have 10 days to begin your application or reject the invitation if you receive one via your account. If you agree, start the work permit application process by clicking the “Start Application” button in your account.
Regardless of whether you accept on day 1 or day 10, once you click the “Start Application” button, you have 20 days to finish, pay for, and submit the work permit application.
Before your 20 days are up, your employer must pay the $230 Employer Compliance Fee through the Employer Portal for the Young Professional and International Coop categories. Ask Your employer is required to provide you with the offer of employment number they will receive following payment of their fees. To submit a work permit application, you must have this number.
If necessary, upload all supporting documents, such as police and medical exam certificates. If you don’t have the required paperwork, at least upload evidence that you have applied for and requested a medical exam and a police certificate.

Utilize the online payment system in your account to use a credit card to pay the $153 Canadian participation fee.
The $100 Canadian open work permit holder fee for the working holiday category is also paid at this time by applicants.
At this point, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) start to review applications for temporary work permits.


You might be required to provide more documentation by IRCC. This is the final opportunity to leave IEC and receive refunds. Complete applications are typically processed by IRCC in eight weeks.
A letter of introduction (LOI) will be sent to your account if your application is accepted. The letter’s full title is Introduction Letter at Port of Entry (POE).
This letter must be presented when entering Canada through a Port of Entry (like a major airport), where a work permit may then be obtained.
In some circumstances, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) may permit IEC work permit holders to extend the duration of their work permit until it reaches the maximum duration permitted within a particular category.

Generally, no work Extensions of permits are permitted under the IEC program. IEC participants, however, might be able to extend the duration of their work permits passed the period that was initially authorized by the border services officer when they entered Canada. These possibilities are described below.

Countries with Bilateral Youth Mobility Agreements with Canada

The validity/length of each visa type is specified in the three central columns and is determined by the applicant’s nationality and the visa type for which he or she has applied.

  • Country Working Holiday Young Professionals International Co-op Age Limit
    Andorra Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-30
    Australia Up to 24 months Up to 24 months Up to 12 months (unless the applicant is participating for the second time since 2015, in which case 12 months) 18-35
    Austria Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 6 months maximum (internship or work placement must be in forestry, agriculture, or tourism) 18-35
    Belgium Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-30
    Chile Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Costa Rica Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Croatia Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Czech Republic Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Denmark Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-35
    Estonia Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    France* Up to 24 months Up to 24 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Germany Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Greece Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Hong Kong Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-30
    Ireland Up to 24 months Up to 24 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Italy Up to 12 months ** Up to 12 months ** Up to 12 months ** 18-35
    Japan Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-30
    Latvia Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Lithuania Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Luxembourg Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-30
    Mexico Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-29
    Netherlands Up to 12 months Up to 12 months N/A 18-30
    New Zealand Up to 23 months N/A N/A 18-35
    Norway Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Poland Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Portugal Up to 24 months Up to 24 months Up to 24 months 18-35
    San Marino Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-35
    Slovakia Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Slovenia Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    South Korea Up to 12 months N/A N/A 18-30
    Spain Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Sweden Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-30
    Switzerland N/A Up to 18 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Taiwan Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    Ukraine Up to 12 months Up to 12 months Up to 12 months 18-35
    United Kingdom Up to 24 months N/A N/A 18-30

    *Citizens can participate in exclusive IEC student summer job initiatives for their country.

    **Candidates may participate twice in a 24-month period.



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