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International Mobile Youth Programs

Hiring international young workers is a good alternative to address your labour needs. The Canadian government has a bilateral agreement with 31 countries allowing the exchange of youth to work and/or study abroad. They do not require a Labour Market Opinion and youth can apply for a work permit through local embassies without employer’s involvement.

There are three types of permits that are collectively part of the International Experiences Canada for young international workers, including:  Working Holiday Program (WHP), Young Professionals and Foreign Student Programs.

  1. Working Holiday Program offers a limited number of temporary work permits through Canadian embassies each year for foreigners, typically between the ages of 18 and 35. Youth from many countries are able to participate in the program up to two times.  These visas are usually valid for 12-24 months and can be a great way for employers to fill peak season labour demands.
  2. Young Professionals program issues twelve-month work permits for young professionals aged 18-35 (in most cases) who are interested in gaining serious international professional work experience in their field. Participants need a signed offer of employment or contract made by a Canadian employer before applying for the permit. Employment must typically be in the workers area of expertise (degree or work experience related).
  3. Foreign Student Programs offer qualifying students or recent graduates of eligible post-secondary institutions the opportunity to work in Canada through a variety of programs, such as the Working Off Campus Program, Co-op/Internship Program and the Post-Graduate Work Program.

Click here for a list of temporary work permits for international young workers.

In Canada, numerous organizations provide assistance with mobile youth programs, such as the Student Work Abroad Program (SWAP).  SWAP provides youth with pre-departure services and a full range of arrival services.

Click here for the International Experiences Canada website.

Click here for Citizenship and Immigration Canada: resources for foreign students wishing to work in Canada.

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