Canada re-opens IEC program

Alert date: October 20, 2016

In Brief

On October 17, 2016, the Canadian government re-opened the International Experience Class (IEC) pools for most countries.


The IEC program is a temporary immigration program that allows citizens of participating countries who are between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada, provided they meet the program's eligibility requirements. Depending on an individual's country of citizenship, he or she may qualify under one of three IEC categories:

  • Working Holiday
  • Young Professionals
  • International Co-op Internships

In order to become an IEC candidate, an individual must create and submit an online profile to one or more of the above-referenced categories. For each country, there is one pool of eligible candidates per category. It is important to keep in mind that certain countries / categories may be subject to quotas. Candidates must receive an Invitation to Apply through a particular pool before submitting an application for a work permit.

If an individual's country of citizenship does not have a bilateral agreement with Canada allowing him or her to participate in the IEC program, he or she may be able to apply through a Recognized Organization.


As of October 2016, the IEC pools for most countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan and Chile, are open.  However, rounds of invitations, in which eligible candidates are invited to apply for a work permit, will not begin until November 2016.

The IEC program can be useful for employers wanting to employ young professionals, particularly for junior or entry-level positions, or for those employers seeking to fill acute labour shortages in low-skilled positions (in the hospitality or agricultural industries, for example) where a Labour Market Impact Assessment is not feasible, as the eligibility requirements of the IEC do not subject employers to prevailing wage or advertising requirements.


Given that certain countries are assigned a quota for each pool or category, anyone who wishes to participate in this program should complete the eligibility questionnaire and create and submit their online profile as early as possible.

For further information regarding the IEC program and the submission process, pleas contact a member of our team.

Contact us

Janet L. Bomza

Partner, National Practice Leader - Immigration

Tel: +1 416 598 8849

Larry J. Linton

Partner, Canadian Immigration

Tel: +1 416 815 5169

Melodie Molina

Partner, Canadian Immigration

Tel: +1 416 598 8849

Mark C. Dey

Partner, US Immigration

Tel: +1 416 598 8849

Monika Szabo

Partner, US Immigration

Tel: +1 416 687 8580

Nadine Landry

Partner, Canadian Immigration

Tel: +1 514 205 5151

Sheila Snyder

Partner, US Immigration

Tel: +1 604 806 7185