Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), formerly known as Citizenship and Immigration Canada or CIC, launched a new e-application system for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
The IEC provides foreign youth between the ages of 18 and 35 the opportunity to travel and work temporarily in Canada to fund their trip or to gain a Canadian work experience. There are currently 32 countries participating in this reciprocal arrangement program and three types of “working holiday” categories — Young Professionals, Working Holidays, and International Co-op Internships.
This new IEC process has been redesigned to prevent the annual crush for working visas to Canada. The previous system was on a first come, first served basis which resulted in acceptance quotas being reached within minutes of the annual program launch. This left many disappointed applicants having to wait until the next quota/year to try again.
The new system works in a similar fashion to the Express Entry pool where applicants begin the process creating an online profile. If eligible, this places the individual into a “pool” of candidates to be drawn randomly at “regular intervals”. If drawn, the candidate is sent an Invitation to Apply for a work permit. Draws continue to be held until all slots are filled for the year.
There is some talk of new participant countries being added, more flexibility with quota limits and other new features on the horizon. It will be exciting to see what happens as youth and mobility will benefit Canada.
For more information on the program, see International Experience Canada.