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Are you a recent graduate about to enter the workforce? Now that you have a few years of work experience, are your seeking ways to improve your career? The International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative allows you to work in Canada, generally for up to twelve months. Land a job and travel under the Young Professionals category. Securing a position in a Toronto-based company, working in a media company in Quebec, gaining valuable international experience in Calgary… Begin the job search and experience Canada!

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Travelling under the Young Professionals category: who is eligible?

To be eligible to take part in IEC Young Professionals category, you must:

  • be aged between 18 and 35 (29 or 30 is the age limit for the citizens of some of the participating countries),
  • be a citizen of a country which has signed an IEC agreement with Canada,
  • have found a job in Canada related to your field or expertise,
  • have sufficient funds to cover your expenses at the beginning of your stay in Canada,
  • have expat health insurance for the duration of your stay,
  • not have participated in the Young Professionals category before.

Applying for the International Co-op category

Canada sets up annual quotas for each country taking part in the International Co-op category. For instance, in 2014, the quota for Irish citizens was of 500 against 10 for Costa Rican nationals.

International co-op visas must be requested online. There are several steps to follow.

  1. Create a Kompass account and register.
  2. You will receive an email with your account number and instructions for activating it.
  3. Gather the requested documents: copy of your passport ID pages, resume, student card or certificate of enrolment (valid for the duration of your internship in Canada), copy of your internship offer or agreement, related to your field of studies.
  4. Complete the IEC application form through your Kompass account and submit it.
  5. You will receive a notification of receipt letter within 48 hours.
  6. Pay the participation fee and submit the requested documents.
  7. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you will receive a conditional acceptance letter in your Kompass account.
  8. Create a MyCIC account to apply for a work permit.
  9. Is the CIC assessment positive? You will receive a Letter of Introduction in your MyCIC account. You must show this letter at a Canadian the port of entry.

To find out more about the IEC International Co-op category

Has your country signed a bilateral reciprocal agreement allowing you to stay in Canada under the international co-op category? Visit the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website to find out.

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