IEC pools for certain countries opening for 2021


Canada will be opening up the International Experience Canada (IEC) pool for certain countries on March 1.

Those who are selected will be eligible to work in Canada. IEC is open to young adults who are citizens of foreign countries which have reciprocal agreements with Canada. The eligible age range depends on the country, but usually falls between 18 and 35 in some cases. Moreover, work permits under the IEC do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment.

There are three different categories under the IEC: Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op.

Normally, Working Holiday visa holders do not need a job offer to land in Canada, but that has changed due to travel restrictions. For now, everyone coming to Canada under the IEC needs a valid job offer, and a Letter of Introduction. They must also comply with the COVID-19 testing requirements, and mandatory quarantine.

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The following pools are scheduled to be open March 1. The quotas indicate how many profiles will be selected from the IEC pool for each country:

Country Working Holiday Quota Young Professional Quota International Co-op Quota
Australia Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Belgium 750 x x
Chile 725 20 5
Costa Rica 80 15 5
Czech Republic 1,000 145 5
Denmark 350 x x
France 7,100 2,200 4,250
Greece 180 10 10
Hong Kong 200 x x
Ireland 10,500 150 50
Italy 1,000 x x
Japan 6,500 x x
Luxembourg 80 10 TBA
Norway 130 15 5
Portugal 1,750 200 50
San Marino 25 x x
Slovakia 315 30 5
South Korea 4,000 x x
Spain 800 150 50
Sweden 580 100 20
Switzerland x 200 50
Taiwan 940 50 10
United Kingdom 5,000 x x

Here is a brief overview of each IEC category.

Working Holiday

The Working Holiday pathway normally allows participants to come to Canada without a job offer, and to work at any job they find here. Since the onset of COVID-19, however, participants must line up a job before coming to Canada.

Since participants under this program get an open work permit, they can work for any employer in Canada. It allows for a more customizable experience, as it is possible to change employers, or move locations with this permit.

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals Pathway is designed to hone professional skills. Accordingly, participants must have a professional job offer in Canada that falls under National Occupation Classification (NOC) Skill Levels 0, A, or B.

The jobs must be payed and they cannot be self-employed. The work permit under this category is employer-specific, meaning the holder must stay with the employer named on the permit.

International Co-op

The International Co-op category is for students who need to do an internship or work placement in Canada to complete their studies.

Participants will have to stay with the same employer at the same location for the duration of their time in Canada.

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