The following are common questions about lnternational Experience Canada as well as travelling and working in Canada.
1. Is the number of places limited? What is the quota?
There is a limit of 1,150 places for 2014, assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
2. How old must I be to be eligible?
International Experience Canada (IEC) is open to people aged 18 to 35. If you are about to turn 18, or will soon turn 36, please note that you must be aged 18 to 35 on the date your complete application is received.
3. My IEC application has been approved, but I will soon turn 36. Do I have to enter Canada before my birthday? Will my birthday limit the validity of my work permit?
No to both questions. Your Letter of Introduction is valid for presentation at a Canadian port of entry for one year from the date of issue and is not affected if you turn 36 within its validity period.
4. I do not have a Czech passport. Is there a youth mobility arrangement for me?
Visit International Experience Canada to see whether your country of citizenship (that is, the country that issued your passport) is covered by a similar arrangement.
5. May I participate in the IEC Initiative more than once?
Yes, you may participate in IEC twice but not in the same category. Please note that as of January 1, 2010, the SWAP program is included in the Working Holiday category. Anyone who participated in the SWAP program before January 1, 2010, may participate in the Working Holiday category a second time.
6. If I am issued an IEC Letter of Introduction but do not use it, will I get back the participation fee? May I apply again in other years?
Information on the terms and conditions for a refund of your program participation fee can be found in the Fees section.
7. When can I apply?
The website of the Embassy of Canada to the Czech Republic provides the date when the Embassy starts accepting applications for the coming calendar year (usually in January). After all the places for a given year are taken, the website notes that the application period is over. Applications sent after this will not be accepted. Information on the current number of vacant places can be found in the International Experience Canada section of the Embassy website.
8. Should I translate documents enclosed with my application into English or French?
Only the documents that are specifically identified at our website, i.e. your résumé and a letter indicating your prospects upon your return to the Czech Republic, must be written in English or French.
9. Will the documents enclosed with my application be returned to me?
No. Please make copies before you apply.
10. May I arrange an individual consultation before I apply?
Unfortunately, the Embassy of Canada does not provide individual consultations. However, it organizes regular meetings where applicants can consult an Embassy official. The dates are published on our Facebook page.
11. May I depart for Canada while the Embassy of Canada is still processing my work permit application?
No. Before leaving for Canada you must first receive the Letter of Introduction and temporary resident visa. When you enter Canada, immigration officials will issue your work permit on the basis of the Letter of Introduction and temporary resident visa.
12. When I apply for a job or internship in Canada, do I need to take into account any specific practices that are different from Czech practices?
Yes. For example in Canada it is not customary to add a photo to your résumé. To prevent discrimination in hiring, the employer may not ask an applicant for personal information such as age, gender or marital status. When you apply for a job or internship, it is recommended that you emphasize your professional experience rather than education. It is appropriate to add references or letters of reference about your work experience. These letters of reference should be in English or French. Remember to list the Canadian diplomas or degrees to which your academic credentials correspond. You can find more information about acknowledgement of international credentials in Canada at Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials.
13. Are internships in Canada always paid?
No, internships in Canada are not always paid. Under the Agreement between the Czech Republic and Canada on Facilitation of Temporary Work Stays of Youth, you may only apply for a work permit for paid internships.