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Canada's Working Holiday Program: IEC 2019 Now Open

Blog posted on by Evelyn Ackah in Study Permits and IEC International Experience Canada

Canada's Working Holiday Program: IEC 2019 Now Open

Do you want to live and work in Canada? IEC - International Experience Canada - allows young people aged 18 to 35 to work in Canada for up to two years. IEC 2019 is now open for applications for 33 partner countries. Canada has quotas on Working Holiday Visas available for 2019 by country.

IEC Working Holiday Program

You can earn money to fund your vacation in Canada with temporary work; the type of work permit you get for Working Holiday is an open work permit which allows you to work for any employer in Canada, except for an employer who is listed as failing to comply with work conditions or an employer who offers striptease, erotic dance, escort services or erotic massages.

You can qualify for the Working Holiday Program if:

  • You don’t have a job offer
  • You are willing to work for more than one employer in Canada
  • You are willing to work in more than one location
  • You want to earn some money so that you can travel around Canada

How to Apply for a Canada Working Holiday Visa

To apply for a Working Holiday Visa you must be a citizen of one of Canada's 33 partner countries. Canada's IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada) allows eligible candidates who enter the IEC pools to apply for a work permit. These are called rounds of invitations.

1. Complete an IEC Application
There is one pool of eligible candidates per country and per category. In addition to Working Holiday, there are also International Co-op (Internship) and Young Professionals IEC programs.

2. Get Invited to Apply
Applicants who are invited to apply for an IEC working holiday will get a message in their online account.

  • You have 10 days to decide if you’ll accept the invitation.
  • The deadline to apply will be in your invitation.
  • If you accept the invitation, you have 20 days from the day you accept to apply for a work permit.

If you decide to decline an application, it will not have a negative impact on future IEC applications. To decline an invitation:

  1. Go to “Continue my profile/application, not yet submitted” in your online account.
  2. Find the application called “Work Permit.”
  3. Click “Decline Application.”

If you decline an application, it will not have a negative impact on future IEC applications. If you do not respond to an invitation, your invitation expires by the deadline in your invitation. If it expires, you will have to start the IEC application over again and submit a new IEC profile and be accepted into the pool again to be considered for future IEC program invitations.

3. Apply for a Work Permit
You can apply for a work permit under IEC only if IRCC sent you an Invitation to Apply. You have 20 days to apply for a work permit once you accept the invitation to apply.

  • Complete the online work permit application truthfully and completely.
  • Gather all the documents required in the application.
  • Get a medical exam if required for your specific job category or home country.
  • Verify your passport is up to date.
  • Provide a digital photo that meets all specifications.
  • Pay all required fees.
  • Submit your completed application within 20 days.

Select Canada Working Holiday Visa Quotas

Canada quotas on Working Holiday Visas available for 2019 vary by country. Each IEC partner country has an annual quota on their reciprocal agreements with Canada. In many countries, demand exceeds the quota for the working holiday visa programs. Australia, France, South Korea and the UK are partner countries where demand is high.

  • Australia – Unlimited
  • Ireland – 10,500
  • France – 7,150
  • UK – 5,000
  • New Zealand – 2,500
  • Italy – 1,000

International Experience Canada is an online application process.


Evelyn L. Ackah, BA, LL.B.

Founder/Managing Lawyer

Ms. Ackah is passionate about immigration law because it focuses on people and relationships, which are at the core of her personal values. Starting her legal career as a corporate/commercial ...

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