Canada has introduced the International Experience Canada (IEC), which offers young people the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to 2 years. With a 20% increase in the number of applicants who can apply, Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, announced the 2023 International Experience Canada (IEC) Program on Wednesday. Applicants will be able to apply as of January 9, next year.
IEC is a programme that enables youth from Canada and other countries to work and travel in each other’s countries. With this increase, approximately 90,000 candidates—including young Francophones—will be able to work and travel in Canada, assisting employers in filling labour shortages—including for seasonal job openings in the country’s tourism sector.
“Our government is helping more international youth to work and travel in Canada, effectively helping employers, most of those in the tourism industry, find the workers they need. By giving youth the opportunity of international travel and work experience, we are strengthening our economy and helping our businesses succeed, particularly in places like Banff that need seasonal help,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
“International youth bring so much to our country. From building people-to-people ties to helping our businesses succeed, international youth add value to communities right across Canada. Today’s announcement will benefit sectors like the tourism industry to find the workers they need to fill labour gaps, all while providing youth the opportunity to explore Canadian cultures, languages and societies,” said Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth.
There are three categories of participation under the program:
Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience within their field of study or career path.
The Canadian government helps employers, notably those in the tourism industry, fill open positions by allowing more foreign youngsters to work and travel in Canada.