Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) maintains bilateral programs with various countries whereby young people, (typically aged 24 to 30) may seek work permits in Canada without a Labour Market Impact Assessment. This category of work permits is known as the ‘International Experience Class’ (IEC). Within this program, there are three subcategories:
- Working Holiday.
- Young Professionals.
- International Co-op Internship.
One important point to note is that there are quotas for the number of participants that can be accepted from the various partner countries.
The program changed last year from a first-come-first-served system, to a pooled system. Under the new system, all applications are pooled, and then there is a selection process to determine who will be invited to apply. This, however, does not change the reality of quotas, so it simply means that many people won’t be allowed into the program – and they won’t know that until the process runs its course.
What you or your prospective employee need to do
Each year there is a deadline for submitting an application to the pool. In 2016 it was September 30. The selection will begin from the deadline date. Note that anyone not chosen would have to reapply the following year to seek admission under that year’s quota. For employers who hope to secure the services of a foreign worker through this program, it is also imperative that steps are taken to ensure that prospective employees apply and take all other necessary steps before the deadline in any year.
Other IEC news
On a separate note, Canada has also just expanded the list of countries participating in the IEC program to include San Marino. We expect that more countries will be added as time goes on, and will apprise readers of any such occurrence.
Details about which countries are eligible for any of these programs, and the specific requirements, can be found at http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/eligibility.asp
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