February 11, 2015
The Canadian government has a bilateral agreement with over 30 countries allowing the exchange of youth to work and/or study abroad. They do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and youth can learn more and apply for a work permit online without the 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 Permit (WHP), Young Professional Permit (YPP) and International Co-op Permit (ICP).
- Working Holiday Permit offers a limited number of temporary work permits through Canadian embassies each year for foreigners, between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35. Young people from the affiliated countries may participate in the program typically one or two times, depending on their nationality. These permits are ‘open’, meaning they are not employer specific, and are issued for 12-24 month periods. They can be a great way for employers to fill peak season labour demands.
- Young Professionals Permit is issued for a 12-24 month period for young professionals aged 18-30 or 35 who are interested in gaining international professional work experience in their field. Applicants are required to hold 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). Young Professional Permits are employer-specific, meaning the applicant may only work for the specified employer. As such, the Canadian employer must submit an online ‘Offer of Employment to a Foreign National Exempt from an LMIA’ through the Employer Portal, and pay the associated $230 fee.
- International Co-op Permit (Internship)offers qualifying students currently enrolled in a foreign post-secondary institution the opportunity to gain valuable international work experience related to their field of study. Permits are employer-specific and issued for 6-24 months depending on the applicant’s nationality.
Each country has a specific quota for how many work permits they can issue in a given year. The ‘pool’ typically opens the fall prior to the year the applicant would apply for.
Welcome BC – The Government of British Columbia’s website for all immigration-related information.
The ‘Come to Canada Wizard’ – An online app of the Government of Canada for candidates on navigating the immigration and temporary foreign worker system.
IEC Recognized Organizations – Organizations developed to assist Working Holiday Program Canadians and international youth with work permits, travel logistics and securing employment.
Moving2Canada.com is a self-service information website that provides information on all aspects of planning a move to Canada