International Experience Canada (IEC) applications are now open, however, due to current travel limitations, only fully vaccinated participants will be permitted to go, according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
“We regularly invite eligible candidates from the IEC pools to apply for a work permit. These are called rounds of invitations,” notes IRCC on its website. “The number of candidates invited to apply during each round varies. Rounds will take place until there are no more spots available or the IEC season closes.”
Foreign nationals had until Nov. 12 last year to submit profiles for the IEC, unless they had previously received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) before the season concluded or had begun their work permit application. In 2022, Canadian immigration officials are reminding program applicants that any profiles they created during or after the previous season are still legitimate if they have not yet gotten an ITA.
“You do not need to create a new profile for the 2022 season,” the IRCC tweeted on Thursday.
The Canadian government is advising all program participants to visit its COVID-19 travel advisory website to stay up to speed on Canada’s travel, testing, and quarantine requirements. Canadians aged 18 to 35 can live and work in one of nearly 40 countries under the IEC, and young people from those countries can live and work in Canada.
The countries that are a part of International Experience Canada include Australia, Hong Kong, Portugal, Austria, Ireland, San Marino, Belgium, Italy, Slovakia, Chile, Japan, Slovenia, Costa Rica, South Korea, Spain, Croatia, Latvia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico, Taiwan, Estonia, Netherlands, Ukraine, France, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Greece, and Poland.
The IEC program is divided into three categories: working holidays, international co-op, and young professionals. Candidates in the working holiday category are issued open work permits that allow them to work anywhere in the host country. They do not need to have a job offer and are permitted to work for more than one employer while in the nation.
Students in the international co-op, or internship, category acquire employer-specific work permits in order to gain experience in their field of study. Work permits are employer-specific since the work placement or internship must be a requirement for the course of study. For the duration of their stay, these participants must work for the same employer in the same place. Participants in the young professional’s category can get employer-specific work permits to earn specialized, professional work experience in their field of study or career path.
The employment must assist towards the professional growth of the participant. The work permit issued is specific to the employer. The IEC Adolescents Mobility Agreement allows Canadian and Italian youth to work and visit each other’s countries for up to a year. They can now engage in the program twice, allowing them to work and travel for up to two years in the other country.
“We live in an increasingly interconnected world where innovation often comes from those who have traveled widely, who have an appreciation for other cultures, and whose eyes have been opened to new ideas, insights, and ways of doing things,” said then Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino in making the announcement last year.
“This contributes to strengthening ties between Canada and Italy, and the diversity and economic strength of our two countries,” he said.
Most young adults from other nations can only stay in Canada for six months under the current youth mobility agreements Canada has with 36 other countries and territories. During the introduction of this recent agreement, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio voiced his optimism that the bilateral agreement will improve the two countries’ ties.
“This agreement, aimed at strengthening the exchange of experience and knowledge between Italian and Canadian citizens and at creating new opportunities for vocational training responds to a deeply felt need by today’s youth,” said Di Maio. “I am certain that it will help further strengthen the already excellent bilateral relations between Italy and Canada.