Getting a work permit through International Experience Canada

Last updated: November 30, 2018

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International Experience Canada (IEC)

Canada has bilateral agreements with several countries that allow young people to live and work in the reciprocating country. Agreements (and age limits) vary by country, so be sure to review the program details to see if it applies to your situation. Generally, the two most relevant categories within the International Experience Canada program are:

  1. Working Holiday: An open work permit allowing the employee to work in any occupation for any employer for 12 months.
  2. Young Professionals: A work permit specific to one employer allowing the employee to work in a skilled occupation for 12 months

Countries may have one or both categories in their agreement with Canada. For countries that offer both categories, the young person can often use both categories back-to-back and stay in Canada for up to 24 months in total.

Relevant occupations:

Any skilled occupation in NOC levels 0, A or B including:

  • Teachers
  • Speech-language pathologists
  • Psychologists
  • Librarians


  • The employee must be a citizen of a participating IEC reciprocating country
  • The employee meets the age requirement of the program
  • For the Young Professionals program: The employee is being offered a role in a skilled occupation and meets the minimum education and experience requirements for the occupation, as set out in the NOC description
  • For the Young Professionals program: The employee has a job offer from a Canadian employer

Application process:

  1. The employee creates their IEC profile through a MyCIC account on the Immigration and Citizenship website and their application is placed in the pool of candidates. Employees applying under the Young Professionals program will need a job offer from a Canadian employer before they can submit their profile for consideration under this program.
  2. Immigration and Citizenship Canada will randomly select applicants from the applicant pool throughout the year. The dates of draws and number of spaces available are often listed on the website. When selected, the employee has 20 days to complete the application and upload required documents.
  3. For applications under the Young Professionals program, the employer completes the LMIA-exempt Offer of Employment form in the Employer Portal and pays the $230 employer compliance fee upon submission. This will generate an Offer of Employment number, which is required for the work permit application.
  4. The employee must submit the work permit application through their MyCIC account within 20 days of being selected to apply. The application includes forms and supporting documents, including the e-Medical information sheet if applicable.
  5. If the application is approved, a work permit approval letter is issued. The actual work permit document is issued upon entry to Canada.

Processing times:

Processing times vary based on volume: the target processing time is four weeks from the date the work permit application is submitted.


  • $230 employer compliance fee for Young Professionals Program applications
  • $100 open work permit holder fee for Working Holiday permits
  • $155 work permit fee

Learn more

• The work permit programs under the International Experience Canada program vary according to the agreement Canada has with the reciprocating country. The programs, criteria, quotas and draw information are described on the IEC website.