Canada has launched the International Experience Canada (IEC) which gives youth the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to 2 years. Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on Wednesday launched the 2023 International Experience Canada (IEC) Program with a 20% increase in the number of applicants who can apply. Applicants will be able to apply as of January 9 next year.
IEC is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries. This increase means that nearly 90,000 candidates will be able to work and travel in Canada, including Francophone youth, which will help employers fill labour gaps, including for seasonal work opportunities in Canada’s tourism industry.
“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 3 categories of participation under the program:
Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them 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 that is within their field of study or career path.
By allowing more international youth to work and travel in Canada, the Government of Canada is helping employers, including those in the tourism industry, find the workers they need.