Work in Canada via International Experience Canada

One of the many new measures being implemented by the IRCC for 2023 is the increase in applicant intakes for the International Experience Canada (IEC) Program. The program will allow 20% more applications in the new year to help address the nation’s ongoing labour shortages. Therefore, on January 13, 2023, when the IRCC held the year’s first draw for the IEC, 11,810 foreign individuals were invited to work in Canada for 1-2 years. These invited candidates differ from most work permit applicants, as the IEC is a unique program for younger foreign workers. 


The International Experience Canada Program is designed for foreign individuals aged 18 to 35 (18 to 30 in some countries) to travel and work in Canada for up to two years. This unique program enables younger foreign workers to gain professional Canadian work experience that will help them in their career and skill development. Furthermore, this experience will benefit their future employment and Canadian permanent residence application if they decide to live in Canada permanently. To apply, interested applicants must choose between the different categories IEC provides, complete the online form and submit it alongside other necessary documents. 


The program offers three categories of work experience, each with its own requirements and benefits. Categories available also depend on the country you are applying from. 



This category of the IEC enables applicants to obtain an Open Work Permit. Working Holiday is the most popular category in this program, which grants candidates a more flexible immigration and recruitment process. Applicants in this category:

  • Does not have a job offer 
  • Can work for more than one employer in Canada
  • Can work in more than one location. 

For some jobs, applicants may require a medical exam to qualify. 



This category is for recent post-secondary graduates seeking work that will count towards their professional development. Therefore, the work permit provided in this category is an Employer-Specific Work Permit. Successful applicants must: 

  • Have graduated from a post-secondary institution
  • Have a job offer from a Canadian employer 
  • Participate in a  job recognized as part of their professional development 
  • Participate in a job listed under TEER 0,1,2 or 3 of the NOC. 
    • TEER 4 may be allowed if the applicant submits proof that the job will count towards their career development. 
  • Work for one employer in one location for the entire duration in Canada. 


Along with a medical exam, applicants must submit their application with a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree. In addition, applicants can extend their IEC by applying for the Young Professionals category in some countries. For instance, those in the Working Holidays category can extend their time in Canada by applying for the Young Professionals category and look jobs more in line with their desired field. 



This category is for applicants who want to apply for an internship or co-op placement in Canada. In addition, applicants must seek work for professional development. Successful candidates will receive an employer-specific work permit. Successful applicants must: 

  • Be a student at a post-secondary institution. 
  • Be in a program that requires internship/co-op placements to graduate 
  • Obtain a job offer from a Canadian employer. 

A medical exam and documents relating to your post-secondary education are all required when applying. 

International Experience Canada, work as a student


Canadian Labour laws protect successful participants in the IEC program. The employer must follow specific requirements listed by the Government of Canada that ensure the protection of foreign workers. The employer must: 

  • Pay the participant the minimum wage for their work 
  • Ensure the workplace environment is safe physically and mentally 
  • Not take away the participant’s passport or work permit. 

If an employer violates these rules, the participant has the right to report the situation to Service Canada.



At mana jobs, we work with our sister company, mana immigration, to help you throughout your recruitment and immigration process. Our team of labour market experts, combined with their team of regulated immigration consultants, provide foreign workers with the proper and practical guidance to grow a successful career in Canada, as well as live permanently with their families. 


If you are interested in applying for the International Experience Canada but do not know where to start, visit mana immigration and book a free consultation. This consultation will allow you to speak with an immigration specialist who can provide you with all the necessary information regarding the IEC. Also, follow and stay tuned to our Facebook and Instagram for upcoming news, announcements and job openings.