Last Updated on septiembre 22, 2021
Fully-vaccinated foreign nationals who want to come to Canada for working holidays do not need to have job offers before coming here, says Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
Under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, the fully-vaccinated need only have their port of entry letter – and their negative pre-entry COVID-19 test result – to enter Canada.
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That proof of vaccination must be entered into Canada’s ArriveCan app and applicants should also bring a paper copy of that document with them.
That’s a much-easier process than those who have refused to get the jab.
“Due to current travel restrictions,” says IRCC, “Unvaccinated and partially-vaccinated working holiday candidates will have to:
- provide proof of a valid job offer when they arrive in Canada;
- be required to quarantine.”
The IEC program is best known to young Canadians as the way they can go live and work in any one of 34 countries.
Those countries, though, also have reciprocal agreements with Ottawa, allowing their young people aged 18 to 35 years of age to come and work in Canada under three categories:
- the working holiday;
- the international co-op or internship, and;
- the young professionals category.
The IEC program also allows young people to come to Canada through the use of a recognized organization that will provide services for a fee to both Canadians going abroad and foreign nationals coming to Canada.
Those services might include help finding a job, somewhere to live, or travel arrangements.
The organizations are either Canadian with offices overseas, or international outfits with offices in Canada.
The recognized organizations under the IEC program include:
Employer-Specific Work Permit Only
- International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE)
- Association for the International Exchange of Students in Economics and Commerce (AIESEC)
- Academic Internship Council (AIC)
- Mennonite Central Committee of Canada / International Volunteer Exchange Program (MCC/IVEP)
- Canadian Host Family Association (CHFA) with Communicating for Agriculture Education Programs (CAEP)
- International Rural Exchange (IRE)
- University of Alberta
- University of New Brunswick
Open Work Permit Only
- SWAP Working Holidays
- Go International
- INTERNeX International Exchange
“You must also meet the eligibility requirements for your country or territory of citizenship and the pool you’re applying for,” states the IRCC on its website.
“Some countries only allow you to participate once. Others allow you to participate twice, but in different pools. Because each country is different, it’s important that you check to see if you’re eligible to apply.”
Through the working holiday category of the IEC, applicants can work for more than one employer, in more than one location, and earn some money while they travel due to the issuance of an Open Work Permit.
That type of work permit allows the holder to work at most jobs in Canada but some of those positions may require a medical exam first.
Countries that are part of the IEC program include:
- Hong Kong;
- San Marino;
- Costa Rica;
- South Korea;
- Czech Republic;
- New Zealand;
- United Kingdom;
- Germany, and;
The first step in the process for anyone interested in the IEC program is to find out if they meet the entrance requirements for Canada.
A roughly 10-minute questionnaire is then filled out to see if the applicant meets the criteria for the various IEC categories. That questionnaire asks about:
- country of citizenship;
- country of permanent residence;
- country of residence;
- student status, and;
- job offer.
Once the applicant has completed his or her online IEC profile, he or she will be given a personal reference code and be able to create their account with it, creating a profile in the process and paying the required fees.
That profile is then used to determine which candidates will be issued Invitations To Apply for a work permit and sent a port of entry letter of introduction.
“Your dependants aren’t eligible to accompany you to Canada under the IEC program. However, they may apply to visit, study or work in Canada,” notes the IRCC. “Your application will be examined separately from theirs.”