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Frequently Asked Questions

The following are common questions about lnternational Experience Canada as well as travelling and working in Canada.

FAQ common to all IEC countries | Kompass account FAQ

FAQ Specific to Germany

FAQ Specific to Germany

1. Is the number of places limited? What is the quota?

There is a limit of 5,000 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. Do I need to have a job lined up in Canada before I apply?

That depends. If you are applying under the Working Holiday category, you do not need to have a job lined up in Canada before you apply.

However, if you are applying under either the Young Professionals or the International Co-op (Internship) category, you need to have already a contract for a job, work placement or internship in Canada. The Embassy of Canada to Germany cannot help you locate prospective employers in Canada. You may source an employer through travel and work abroad organizations, recruitment agencies, Internet job sites or newspapers. You may also wish to consult Working in Canada or the Bundesagentur für Arbeit Zentrale Auslands- und Fachvermittlung (ZAV).

5. I do not have a German passport. May I still participate in IEC?

In order to apply for a work permit under IEC at the Embassy of Canada to Germany, you have to be a citizen of Germany or the Netherlands. 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.

6. May I participate in the IEC Initiative more than once?

Yes, you may participate in the IEC Initiative twice; however, each participation must be under a different IEC category.  

7. 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?

No, fees are not refundable once the Letter of Introduction is issued. In addition, each individual may participate in the IEC Initiative only twice under the Canada-Germany youth mobility arrangement. You are deemed a participant once you are issued a Letter of Introduction.

8. May I include my family members (my spouse, my common-law partner, my child) on my IEC application?

None of your family members may be included on your IEC application. If your family members wish to stay longer than six months as tourists, they must submit separate applications through Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Your spouse or common-law partner may submit a separate IEC application package if he or she is eligible. School-aged children require study permits. Pre-school children require temporary resident visas.

9. I would like to work in child care, in primary/secondary school teaching or in the health services field while on a Working Holiday work permit. Is this possible?

Yes, but you may need to have a medical examination before your departure for Canada.

10. May I apply for the IEC initiative if I am not in Germany?

Providing you are eligible, you may submit an application while you are temporarily outside Germany (e.g. if you are in another country on a youth exchange or study program). You must provide a mailing address in Germany. If your application is successful and you are already in Canada, you must exit Canada and re-enter with your Letter of Introduction in order to obtain your work permit. Re-entry may occur through any Canadian port of entry.

11. I have applied for a new passport but have not received it. May I submit  my application now and mail a photocopy of my new passport at a later date?

No. You have to submit your application with a photocopy of the passport with which you will travel to Canada. The German identity card (Personalausweis) is not accepted.

12. I have already received my work permit, but the document contains the words “This does not authorize re-entry.” Am I allowed to leave and re-enter Canada?

This notation does not affect German passport holders. If you keep the work permit stapled in your passport, you will be able to leave and re-enter Canada as long as your work permit remains valid.

13. I am currently in Canada with a work permit issued under the IEC Initiative. My employer would like me to continue working after the permit expires. Is this possible under IEC? What should I do?

A work permit cannot be renewed or extended under the same IEC category. If you wish to extend your stay in Canada under a second IEC category, you must submit a new application. The application process will take at least eight weeks. When you receive your new Letter of Introduction, you will have to leave Canada and re-enter to get your new work permit. This work permit cannot be obtained through Citizenship and Immigration Canada in Vegreville, Alberta, Canada.

14. What documents do I need to present when arriving in Canada? How much money am I expected to have?

You should present your valid German passport with your Letter of Introduction. The border services officer at the port of entry may also ask to see your return ticket, your health insurance and proof of available funds. Proof of $2,500 will demonstrate to the officer that you will be able to establish yourself in Canada before you find a job. If you plan to do an unpaid internship, you will need to prove an additional amount of $833 per month.

Proof of funds may include: a photocopy of your bank statement and credit card limit, a photocopy of your internship or job offer (if applicable), or a letter of confirmation from another person who is able to financially support you.

15. May I enter Canada with my Letter of Introduction on a one-way ticket?

Yes, you may enter Canada on a one-way ticket. However, you must be able to prove that you have sufficient funds to purchase a return ticket.


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