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Do you wish to work in Canada, but don’t have the required work experience?

That’s okay! Canada opens its doors to individuals like you through the International Experience Canada Program. The program operates as a bridge to help your cross the Canadian border with a work permit in hand. Then upon arrival, you get a chance to work under Canadian companies and get a hands-on experience in this side of the world.

What’s the catch? Like many good things in life, this one comes with strings attached. This article sheds light on what they may be and how you can complete the process if you meet the requirements.

The Basics: What’s International Experience Canada Program?

International Experience Canada Program (IEC) is an excellent chance for international students/professionals to get exposed to the corporate world in Canada. The basic requirements for this program are based on your age and nationality.

The program allows you to visit the country and work here with a temporary work permit.

There are three possible pathways in this program:

1. Working Holiday

Applicants from this pool get an open work permit that is valid for a span of one or two years. It allows them to get employed by almost any Canadian company. This employment is their primary fund to stay in Canada for the designated time.

The benefits of this category include:

• Chance to work with multiple employers.
• Flexibility to move around Canada to get work.
• Earn a substantial income to support their travelling expenses.
In short, it’s an ideal opportunity for candidates who wish to simultaneously explore Canada and get work experience.

2. Young Professionals

This program is specifically created to provide a pathway to participants who’ve secured a job offer in a Canadian firm. The Young professionals program gives them the opportunity to receive an employer-specific work permit. It means that they get to work in Canada according to the rules and regulations set by their employer. The failure to meet these requirements or resigning from this company leads to an automatic cancellation of your work permit.
This program is restrictive in nature when compared to the first category. However, it presents you with a training ground to work in Canada on a professional scale.

The requirements for this program include:

• A valid visa and passport.
• An officially signed appointment letter/contract from the Canadian employer.
• A job designation that is classified as skill type level 0, A or , B in the National Occupation Classification.

3. International Co-op

Lastly, you have the chance to get an internship in Canada via the International Co-op program. This program allows candidates who are studying in colleges/universities to sign up for internship in a Canadian company. The applicants will receive an employer-specific work permit if their internship form gets accepted.
Similar to the Young Professionals program, your visa gets expired if you quit working for the employer.

The requirements for this program include:

• A valid visa and passport.
• Proof that you’re currently studying in a national college/university.
• Acceptance letter for the internship program.

The Conditions: Are You Eligible for IEC?

Most candidates believe that following in the age group between 18 to 30 (or 35 for some countries) automatically makes them eligible for the IEC program. This isn’t true because there are other variables that might weigh your application down.

So what makes a candidate eligible for IEC?

Let’s have a look:

• You must be a citizen of one of the 34 counties that have collaborated for the bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement with Canada.
• Your passport must be valid at the time of application and during your stay in Canada.
• You’vepaid the fee for IEC program ($100 for Working Holiday and $150 for the remaining categories).
• You have at least 2,500 Canadian Dollars when you arrive to Canada.
• You’ve already got the ticket for the return trip or enough money to pay for one when your work permit expires.
• You are visiting Canada alone i.e. you have not arrived with dependants.

Apart from this, you must not have a criminal record, incomplete applications or some other charges that prevent you from entering Canada.

Disclaimer: These rules may vary depending on your country of origin. So, it’s practical to consult your immigration office or a Canadian immigration company before applying for IEC.

The Process: How It Works?

International Experience Canada programIEC works on an Invitation to Apply (ITA) framework. That means you must receive an invitation to apply to this program before you submit the form. Your credibility prior to the ITA is evaluated via a detailed IEC profile (completed Come to Canada questionnaire) that is filled prior to the application.

Here’s a brief guide that shows you how the application process works:

• You receive a personal reference code once your IEC profile is approved.
• The reference code gives you access to an IEC account where you complete your profile.
• Once that’s done you can select the IEC categories that you’d like to participate in.
• Your IEC profile will be revaluated and you’ll get an ITA through the account.
• You’re supposed to ‘Start the Application’ within ten days of the invite. Then you get another 20 days to fill the application form, pay the required fee and submit an application for your work permit.
• For perquisite employment programs your Canadian employer will have to pay a compliance fee ($230) before the 20-day deadline.

What’s happening on the IRCC front?

The Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada commence the work permit assessment during this time. They might ask for additional documents to verify certain things. It usually takes 8 weeks for them to decide whether or not you’re eligible for this visit to Canada.

Once they’ve made a decision you’ll receive a letter of introduction (LOI)/Port of Entry (POE). This official letter has to be shown at the airport when you land here. If everything happens according to plan, you’ll receive a temporary work permit upon arrival.

Disclaimer: This process and its duration might vary in the coming years. You must always consult with an immigration consultant before you initiate the application process.

Let’s Sum It Up…

On the whole, IEC program is a wonderful way to experience Canada and work here for a short duration. Whether come here on a Working Holiday, as a Young Professional or on internship―this pathway has the chance to open up avenues for securing permanent residency in Canada.

How Can We Help?

Elaar Immigration Consulting Inc is a leading Canadian immigration company that helps clients fulfills their Canadian dreams. Our extensive research, experience and eye for detail help us optimize your application process. From applying for your work permit to your permanent residence application. we make the complex simple.

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