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IEC Young Professionals Work Permit

The Young Professionals work permit allows young people to come and work in Canada for purposes of professional development.

For more information about International Experience Canada, the Young Professionals work permit, or any other question regarding Canadian immigration, reach out to one of our trusted immigration advisers today. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.

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    Overview of the Young Professionals Work Permit

    The International Co-op (Internship) work permit is a type of work permit issued under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

    IEC allows eligible young people from certain countries to travel and work in Canada for periods of up to 2 years.

    There are two other types of work permits available under the IEC program:

    Although these work permits essentially have the same entry requirements, the Young Professionals category of work permit is mainly aimed at post-secondary graduates or other professionals who wish to build upon their professional experience and advance their careers by working in Canada.

    Candidates for this work visa must have a job offer from a Canadian employer that contributes to their professional development in order to be eligible.

    Candidates will receive an employer-specific work permit, which means that they can only work for the same employer listed on the permit, for a specified length of time, and at the same location.

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    What Is the Eligibility Criteria for the Work Permit?

    In order to be eligible for the Young Professionals work permit, you must:

    • Have a valid passport or valid travel document of an eligible, participating country for the duration of your stay in Canada
    • Be between 18 and 30 years old
      • You may be able to apply if you’re under 35 years old if you’re from certain countries
    • Have a minimum of CAN$2,500 to help cover your expenses in Canada
    • Have health insurance for the whole duration of your stay
    • Not be inadmissible to Canada
    • Have, before departure, a round-trip ticket or demonstrate that you’ll have the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of your authorized stay in Canada
    • Have a signed letter of offer or contract of employment in Canada
      • The employment offer must be in your field of expertise (through schooling or work experience) and contribute to your professional development
    • Not be accompanied by dependants

    In addition to this, the work placement or internship you’re taking must adhere to the wage and labour laws of the province or territory you’ll be working in.

    What Are the NOC Requirements for Job Offers?

    The Young Professionals work permit requires applicants to have a valid job offer before coming to Canada to work.

    This job offer will only be acceptable for the program if it’s in your field of expertise and it’s considered to be contributing to your own professional development.

    Jobs that will be considered as contributing to your professional development include those that are classed as a National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill type or level 0, A, B, or possibly C in some circumstances.

    Skill type 0 jobs include managerial roles such as advertising, restaurant or financial managers.

    Skill type A jobs include occupations that usually require a university degree, such as doctors or architects.

    Skill type B jobs include technical jobs and skilled trades that usually call for a college diploma or training as an apprentice, such as plumbers or electricians.

    Skill type C jobs include intermediate jobs that usually call for high school qualifications or job-specific training, such as wait staff or drivers.

    A skill type C job will only qualify for the Young Professionals work if it’s directly in your field of study. When you apply, you’ll also need to submit your post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree.

    How Do the IEC Pools Work?

    To successfully apply for a Young Professionals work permit, you must first create an IEC profile and submit it into the pools for selection.

    If your profile is selected, you will then receive an Invitation to Apply.

    Note that the pools are only open for a specific limited season each year. Your profile will stay in the pool until one of the following happens:

    • You receive an Invitation to Apply
    • Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) remove all of the profiles from the pools when the current IEC season ends
    • You’re no longer eligible for IEC

    You will be able to enter your profile into the pool at any time during the IEC season. However, you may have a greater chance of receiving an Invitation to Apply if you submit your profile earlier in the season.

    How to Apply for a Work Permit: Invitation to Apply

    The first step of applying for a Young Professionals work permit is by receiving an Invitation to Apply.

    The first step of this process involves establishing your eligibility using the online questionnaire. This is in order to confirm that you meet the minimum eligibility criteria for the program based on your country of residence, age, student status, and other factors.

    After confirming that you’re eligible for the program, you will then be able to fill in and complete your IEC profile with your personal information.

    You will then be able to submit your profile into the Young Professionals pool.

    Once in the pool, you must then wait to receive an Invitation to Apply in order to then be able to submit your application for a work permit.

    If you receive an Invitation to Apply, you will have 10 days to accept the invitation. Once you accept the invitation, you will then have 20 days to apply for a work permit.

    If you don’t respond to the invitation by the deadline, it will expire. If it expires, you will then have to submit a new IEC profile and be accepted to the pool again before you can be chosen for another invitation.

    How to Apply for a Work Permit: Submitting Your Online Application

    After accepting your Invitation to Apply, you will then be able to apply for your work permit.

    When completing the online application form, you must ensure that you:

    • Answer all questions truthfully and completely
      • Your application may be refused if you give false information or leave out important details
    • Fill out all the mandatory fields in the form
    • Don’t leave any gaps in time in the work history and education history sections
      • You must ensure that you include all absences, periods of unemployment or travel dates
    • Include all paid and unpaid work in the work history section
    • Click “validate” at the end of each form so there are no errors or blank fields in your application

    Once you’ve completed the online form, the system will give you a personalized document checklist, detailing all of the supporting documents you need to provide with your application.

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      What Supporting Documents Do I Need to Provide?

      Below is a general overview of the supporting documents you may have to provide with your work permit application:

      • Proof of financial support
        • This will normally be a bank statement showing that you have at least CAN$2,500, issued no more than one week before your departure for Canada
      • Proof of medical exam (if applicable)
      • Proof of health insurance that covers the entire duration of your stay in Canada
      • Police certificate (if applicable)
      • CV or resume
      • A copy of your passport
      • A digital photo of yourself
      • A Family Information (IMM 5707) form
      • Proof of education for National Occupational Classification (NOC) skill level C jobs, which will usually be a copy of your post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree

      Note that this is not an exhaustive list and you may be expected to submit documents that aren’t listed here.

      What Are the Fees and Processing Times for the Work Permit?

      Participation Fees

      After you complete your application and upload your documents, you will have to pay the participation fee for the program.

      As of 2023, the participation fee for the Young Professionals program is CAN$156.

      You may also need to pay an additional fee of CAN$85 if you’re required to give your biometrics information in the form of your fingerprints and a photograph.

      Note that for the Young Professionals program, your employer must also pay a CAN$230 employer compliance fee and submit your offer of employment to IRCC before you submit your application for a work permit.

      Note that the participation fee and employer compliance fee are only refundable if:

      • You withdraw your work permit application before you are issued a port of entry letter of introduction
      • Your employer withdraws their offer of employment before your work permit is issued
      • Your work permit application is refused

      Processing Times

      The processing time for your application may take between a few weeks and a few months, depending on how busy the service is, and if there are any additional queries or issues with your application.

      Up-to-date processing times for the current IEC season can be found on the IRCC website.

      What Happens After I Apply?

      Once you submit your application, IRCC will verify that:

      • All the information you gave in your application is true
      • You’re eligible to work in Canada
      • You’re admissible to Canada

      You may also receive a letter requesting you to make an appointment to give your biometrics information. If you do, you must do so within 30 days of receiving your letter.

      You may also be contacted by IRCC to provide more supporting documents or information, or to attend an interview with an officer.

      If Your Application Is Approved

      If your application is approved, you will receive a port of entry (POE) letter of introduction. You will need to show this letter and your other supporting documents to a border services officer before the letter’s expiry date.

      The border services officer will then review your documents and assess whether you meet the basic entry requirements to enter Canada. In some cases, the border services officer stamps your passport as part of the process.

      If Your Application is Refused

      If your application is refused, you will receive a letter explaining why.

      If you’re unsure as to why your application was refused or need help with the next steps to take, reach out to one of our immigration advisers. Call us on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      The Young Professionals work permit offers an easy and accessible way for young people to get the opportunity to work and live in Canada.

      However, the application process requires a number of considerations to take into account, as well as an element of chance with the IEC pools and selection process.

      If you wish to apply for a Young Professionals work permit, or any of the other IEC work permits, Total Law can help.

      We offer complete and comprehensive immigration services for those looking to come to Canada for work, study, temporary residency, or any other reason. Our immigration specialists are on hand to help with any question , query or issue you might have.

      Whether you need advice on how to navigate the IEC pools, unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria for your chosen program, or need help preparing for your trip abroad, we can help.

      For more information about our services and what we can do for you, reach out to us today on +1 844 290 6312, or contact us online.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                The number of times you can participate in IEC will depend on which country you come from.

                Some countries will have restrictions placed on them meaning that citizens can only participate in IEC once. Meanwhile, citizens of other countries may be allowed to participate twice, and some may be allowed to participate twice, but only after a specific period of time.

                The eligibility requirements for each individual country can be found on the IRCC website.

                You must have health insurance that covers the whole duration of your stay in Canada if you wish to participate in IEC. This health insurance must cover the following:

                • Medical care
                • Hospitalization
                • Repatriation

                It’s also recommended that you only purchase health insurance after you receive your port of entry letter.

                Note that if your insurance policy is valid for less time than your stay in Canada, you may be issued a work permit that expires at the same time as your insurance.

                You may be able to change employers with your Young Professionals work permit, but only if you have a valid reason.

                Valid reasons to do so may include the following:

                • You were working for a company that has now closed
                • You’re not receiving the wages you were promised
                • Your working conditions are not safe or as promised
                • You have been fired or laid off

                Note that you won’t be able to change your employer because of the following:

                • You’ve been offered better wages by a different employer
                • You would like to work in a different location
                • You do not like your job or employer

                Note that those who apply for the Working Holiday category in IEC will be able to change and work for more than one employer or work in more than one location whenever they wish or need to.

                You may be able to change your status from worker to visitor in order to stay in Canada.

                However, you will have to fulfil separate eligibility criteria to do so.

                Note that you will need to apply at least 30 days before your work permit expires. There is also no guarantee your application will be approved.