Immigration Law

What is an IEC Visa?

An IEC visa is a type of work permit that allows young people from certain countries to live and work in Canada for a temporary period. It is designed to promote cultural exchange and allow young individuals to gain international work experience. The IEC program has different categories, such as Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op; each with its own specific eligibility criteria and requirements.

IEC Categories:-

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program offers three categories of visas for young people to work and travel in Canada:

1. Working Holiday:

This category allows individuals to work and travel in Canada for up to 12 or 24 months, depending on their country of citizenship. It is open to citizens of specific countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada.

2. Young Professionals:

This category is for individuals who have a job offer in Canada that contributes to their professional development. It allows them to work for the same employer in Canada for up to 12 or 24 months, depending on their country of citizenship.

3. International Co-op (Internship):

This category is for students who need to complete an internship or work placement in Canada to fulfill their academic requirements. It allows them to gain practical work experience related to their field of study for up to 12 or 24 months, depending on their country of citizenship.

Which countries does this apply to?

The countries that qualify for the International Experience Canada (IEC) program vary depending on the specific category of the visa. Generally, the IEC program is available to citizens of countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada. Some of the countries that commonly qualify for the IEC program include:

  • Australia
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • New Zealand
  • South Korea
  • United Kingdom

These are just a few examples, and the list of eligible countries can change, so it’s important for potential applicants to check the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information on which countries qualify for the IEC program.

Can you extend an IEC visa ?

Yes, it is possible to extend an International Experience Canada (IEC) visa under certain circumstances. The eligibility for an extension depends on the specific category of the IEC visa and the individual’s situation.

For the Working Holiday category, it may be possible to extend the visa if the participant has not yet reached the maximum duration allowed for their country and category. However, extensions are not guaranteed, and there are limitations on how long a participant can stay in Canada under the IEC program.

For the Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship) categories, extensions are generally not allowed, as these categories are designed for individuals with job offers or internship placements that contribute to their professional development or academic requirements.

It’s important to carefully review the specific rules and eligibility criteria for the IEC category in question, and to consult the official website of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) for the most up-to-date information on visa extensions.

If you need advice or assistance with an IEC application, please contact one of our lawyers at Virtual Law Group Canada at (825) 437 8777, or via email:info@virtuallawgroup.ca