The following are common questions about lnternational Experience Canada as well as traveling and working in Canada.
How many application spots are available for Round 3 opening on March 7th?
There are 2350 IEC applications will be accepted during the IEC UK Round 3. The Submit button will disappear after Round 3 is closed.
What would happen after all available spots are gone?
After the 2350 available spots are gone, IEC will accept additional applications to compensate for rejections or withdrawals. These additional applicants will receive a special “Notice of Receipt – Awaiting Quota Availability” letter. In this letter the applicants will be advised not to submit their payment and that the processing of their applications will begin only after some preceding applications have been rejected or withdrawn. The Submit button will disappear after Round 3 is closed.
I already have all sections of my applications marked as Complete? How do I submit my application? Where is the submit button?
The Submit button will become available on March 7th, upon opening of Round 3. The submit button will appear at the bottom of the My IEC Application page of your application.
Do I need to submit my C.V. with my application?
As part of the application we ask you to list your past employers, and your level of education. You will need to have this information available to put directly into your application. You will only need to submit your C.V. as a separate document if you have had more than three employers in the past five years.
You will be able to attach your resume through My Message after you submit your application and after you are assigned the World Tracking Number (WTN). Until then this functionality is not available.
Why was there a maintenance message when I tried to register between Rounds 2 and 3 (February 25 to March 6)?
IEC UK posted a maintenance message during the period between Rounds 2 and 3 (February 25 to March 6) because we were not accepting any new applications or allowing the creation of any new accounts.
All sections of my application were initially marked as complete. However, my application is now showing that the IEC Category section is pending and I cannot change anything? How should I proceed?
Round 3 opens on March 7th, you will then be able to complete and validate the IEC Category section. Until then the status of this section will appear as pending.
My contact information has changed since I initially registered. Can I change my information?
Yes. Log in to your IEC Kompass account, choose My profile and make the desired changes.
How long will my IEC Kompass account stay open?
Your Kompass account will stay open throughout the calendar year.
What do I do if I forget my password?
Follow the prompts at <Forgot my password> from the IEC Kompass login page. You can get to the login page directly from the tab on the left-side menu.
What is the difference between IEC Kompass and MyCIC?
The application process to participate in the International Experience Canada initiative is comprised of two stages. The first stage to assess program eligibility criteria for which you must create an IEC online account (Kompass). Once you have received a conditional acceptance letter via IEC Kompass, you will be directed to initiate the Come to Canada wizard and create a secure MyCIC account in order to start the second stage of the application process.
How can I know the status of my application?
To check your application status, <Log in> to your IEC Kompass account and look at <My Application Status>.
Can I submit a document that has more than one page?
Documents that are more than one page, need to be scanned and uploaded as one pdf document.
While the application round or the quota year is closed, you will not be able to create new Kompass accounts. You will have an opportunity to create a Kompass account when a new application round or new quota year is opened.
I have an active Kompass account, I had started my application but had not submitted it. I am now ready to submit my application, but the Submit button is not there. What do I do?
While the application round or the quota year is closed, you will not be able to submit any applications.
If a new application round is opened, you will be able to submit your completed application at that point. If no more application rounds are to be opened, and your quota year is closed, your account and incomplete application(s) will be deleted. You will have an opportunity to create a new Kompass account and applications when the new quota year is opened.
When will Rounds 2 & 3 open?
Round 2 will open Feb 25 in the middle of the afternoon, London time.
Round 3 will open March 7 in the middle of the afternoon, London time.
I cannot login to my IEC Kompass account. Can you help me?
To login to your IEC Kompass account, please ensure that you have done the following:
I am applying as a citizen of Northern Ireland. To which IEC initiative should I apply?
We recommend that citizens of Northern Ireland who hold a valid UK passport should apply to the UK IEC initiative. Citizens of Northern Ireland who hold a valid Irish passport should apply to the Ireland IEC initiative.
What address should I use for my "mailing address", "residential address" and "permanent address" on my IEC application form?
The "residential address" on the IEC application is the address where you are currently residing. For example, if you are currently in Canada participating in the IEC and are submitting a new application, it is recommended you insert your Canadian residential address on the application form in this field.
The "mailing address" is the address where you wish to receive any correspondence from International Experience Canada during or after the application process. Your mailing and residential addresses can be the same on your application form.
The "permanent address" is the address where you live on permanent basis. This should be a UK address.
What do I need to show as proof of funds upon arrival in Canada?
On your arrival in Canada, you must have a statement from your bank account that must have been issued no more than one (1) week before your departure for Canada. It must clearly demonstrate you have sufficient funds in your account to support yourself financially for the first three months of your stay in Canada (C$2,500).
I am preparing to depart for Canada but I do not currently have the sufficient amount of funding to support the first three months of my stay in Canada as per the eligibility criteria of the IEC. What will happen when I arrive at the Port of Entry?
If you do not have a bank account statement that confirms you have sufficient funds to support yourself for the first three months of your stay in Canada (C$2,500) – at the time you arrive in Canada at the Port of Entry, you no longer meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the IEC initiative. As such, the Canada Border Services Agency officer who will examine your documentation may not issue your open work permit and may refuse your entry to Canada. It is therefore critical that you have this important piece of documentation with you when you first arrive in Canada.
My banking institution has informed me they will not provide a bank statement before my departure to Canada. What can I submit as a substitute when I arrive at the Port of Entry?
If your banking institution will not provide you with a bank statement that demonstrates you have sufficient funds in your bank account to support yourself financially for the first three months of your stay in Canada (C$2,500), you may submit the following as proof of funds:
Please note you must submit the original letter provided to you by your banking institution, not a photocopy.
I am already in Canada under the IEC initiative and am applying as a repeat participant. I am employed but I do not have the sufficient amount of funds in my account as per the eligibility criteria of the IEC. Will a letter from my employer be sufficient to demonstrate I can support myself financially?
No. Assuming your new application to the IEC initiative is successful and you present yourself at a Canadian Port of Entry to obtain a new open work permit, you must have a bank account statement which clearly shows you have sufficient funds in your bank account to support yourself financially for the first three months of your stay in Canada (C$2,500). A letter from your employer is not sufficient to demonstrate you can support yourself financially and will not be accepted.
What is the residency requirement?
Please note that the residency requirement for UK applicants has changed. Applicants are no longer required to demonstrate that have lived continuously in the UK for the past three years.
I am in Canada/in another country. Can I participate to the IEC initiative without coming back to United Kingdom?
If your usual place of residence is United Kingdom and you are temporarily out of the country, you may apply from the country in which you are. If your application is accepted, you will receive your Letter of Introduction by email. If you are already in Canada, you will have to leave the country with this letter and present it to an Immigration Officer at a Canadian port of entry (i.e. a border crossing) in order to obtain your new work permit.
I obtained a Letter of Introduction after successfully applying to the IEC, but wasn’t able / decided not to go to Canada. May I still participate twice in the IEC as per the rules of the initiative?
No. The issuance of a Letter of Introduction counts as participation in the IEC. You are allowed to participate in the IEC twice, for one year at a time on each occasion. If you were issued a Letter of Introduction but did not use it, you will only be able to participate once more in the IEC.
I obtained a Letter of Introduction within the framework of the IEC initiative but wasn’t able to go to Canada. May I still participate in the IEC as per the rules of the initiative?
Yes. You should note, however, that the issuance of a Letter of Introduction counts as a participation in the IEC. You are allowed to participate in the IEC twice, for one year at a time on each occasion. If you were issued a Letter of Introduction but did not use it, you will only be able to participate once more in the IEC.
I am currently in Canada on Working Holiday status and would like to apply participate again next year. When can I submit a new application to the IEC?
You may submit an application to the IEC at any time while we are accepting applications for an upcoming year. It is important to note that you cannot be issued a new temporary work permit until your current permit expires and that the Letter of Introduction you would be issued is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. If you wish to apply to participate in the working holiday initiative in consecutive years, we recommend that you submit your new application no later than three months before your current work permit expires.
What kind of jobs can I hold with the work permit issued under IEC? Are there restrictions on the duration of the employment contracts, the language of the workplace, the location or the number of employers I can have?
No. The work permit issued under the IEC initiative is valid for any type of job. This is regardless of the duration of the contract, the language or the location. There are no restrictions on the total number of employers for whom you can work within the 12 month period either. Please be advised that if you wish to work in the fields of health sciences, clinical laboratory workers, patient attendants in nursing and geriatric homes, teachers of primary or secondary schools or other teachers of small children, domestic work, workers who can give in-home care to children/elderly/disabled persons, or day nursery workers, you will be required to have a medical examination and submit a medical report to CIC as part of your application. If this is the case you will be contacted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada when they are reviewing your application. Please note you need to allow additional processing time for your application in cases where a medical examination is required.
Are there any restrictions on the type of employment I can hold in Canada?
No. However, certain professions in Canada are regulated.
I would like to do an internship in Canada as a requirement for my studies in the UK. Is this possible?
Yes. As a participant under IEC’s working-holiday category, you will receive an “open” work permit. This means that any employer can offer you a contract of employment, including an internship position.
Is it possible to enroll in courses during my stay in Canada while under the IEC initiative?
Yes. However, the courses must be part-time and considered as personal development/growth. Your courses cannot be part of a university degree. If you are in Canada under the IEC initiative, you may enroll in language courses over a short period of time, i.e. less than six months.
I currently have a valid study permit. Can I apply to the IEC initiative?
You may apply to the IEC if your study permit is still valid since a permit request does not cancel an ongoing permit. However, within the framework of the IEC initiative, you are not authorized to have two permits in progress at the same time. If you are accepted to the IEC, you will have to hand in your study permit to the Immigration Officer at the port of entry before obtaining your work permit within the framework of the IEC initiative.
I currently have a valid study permit. Is it possible to have a work permit within the framework of the IEC initiative at the same time?
No. Within the framework of the IEC initiative, you are not authorized to have two valid permits in progress at the same time. You may apply for the work permit since a permit request does not cancel an ongoing permit. However, if you are accepted to participate in the IEC initiative, once you arrive at the port of entry, you will have to surrender your study permit to the Immigration officer before obtaining your work permit within the framework of the IEC initiative.
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? What should I do?
You may not work in Canada without holding a valid work permit. Keeping in mind that a work permit issued under the IEC initiative cannot be renewed or extended, one possibility remains:
If you wish to prolong your stay in Canada under Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Temporary Foreign Workers Program, you must apply for a work permit at least 30 days before the expiry date of your current status as an IEC participant.
You must go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada or call 1-888-242-2100 to check the requirements for changing the conditions of your permit or extending your stay in Canada. You should make your inquiries after entry to Canada, while your document is still valid.
My employment is starting soon but my application for a work permit is currently being processed at the High Commission of Canada. Can I go to Canada before I receive my letter of introduction?
It may be necessary to postpone the starting date of your contract if the processing time is too short.
If you leave for Canada before receiving your Letter of Introduction, you will not receive a work permit upon your arrival at a Canadian port of entry. It will be up to the Immigration Officer at a Canadian port of entry to determine whether you will be admitted as a visitor (tourist). As a visitor, you will not be permitted to work.
You may not begin working in Canada until you have been issued a work permit. If you are in Canada when you receive your Letter of Introduction by email, you will have to leave the country with this letter and present it to an Immigration Officer at a Canadian port of entry (i.e. a border crossing) in order to obtain your work permit.
Can you provide me with a list of employers? Can you help me find a job?
It is not the Canadian High Commission’s mandate to provide a list of job/internship offers. Nonetheless, there are a number of organizations involved with youth mobility that can provide support during the steps of your application process for a work permit, and/or help you find a job/internship.
I am a foreign student enrolled in a UK institution but I am not a citizen of the United Kingdom. I want to do an internship/work term in Canada. Am I eligible to participate to the IEC initiative?
If you are not an UK citizen, you are not eligible to participate to the IEC initiative because these programs fall under the framework of a bilateral agreement between Canada and UK. This agreement is based on reciprocity and applies only to citizens of Canada and UK. However, there are other possibilities for obtaining an internship with a company:
Canada has bilateral youth mobility memoranda of understanding/agreements with a number of countries. To find out if your country is one of them, please consult the website of the Canadian Embassy in your country of citizenship for a list of Canadian Embassies worldwide.
Do I need a medical examination? Can you send me a list of designated medical practitioners?
A medical examination is not generally required of persons residing in the United Kingdom. However, persons residing in the United Kingdom who are destined for occupations for which the protection of public health is essential must pass a medical examination. This includes working in hospitals or healthcare facilities, and working with children such as teachers and care providers. Food handlers are not included in this group and a medical examination would therefore not usually be required.
What type of insurance must I subscribe to before leaving for Canada?
You must have and maintain insurance for the entire duration of your stay in Canada. Your insurance policy must cover you for:
You must be able to provide proof of this insurance to the Immigration Officer upon your entry to Canada.
What kind of passport is accepted under IEC?
IEC applicant must have a UK passport with British citizenship that remains valid throughout the period of stay in Canada. UK passport holders without British right of abode will not be permitted to apply. When the work permit is issued in Canada, it will not be longer than the validity of the passport
I am currently renewing my passport. Can I submit my application with a photocopy of my previous passport and/or a letter stating that my new passport is being renewed?
No. You must submit a photocopy of the appropriate pages of your new passport, otherwise your application will be considered incomplete.
Do I need a machine readable and/or a biometric passport to enter Canada?
No, a machine readable and/or a biometric passport are not required to enter Canada.
Where do I find the passport number that I have to write on my IEC Application Form?
In the UK passport, the passport number is located in the top right-hand corner of page 2, in the section "Passport Number".
I applied to participate to the IEC initiative. Can I leave for Canada before receiving my Letter of Introduction?
If you leave for Canada before receiving your Letter of Introduction, you will not receive a work permit upon your arrival at a Canadian port of entry. It will be up to the Immigration Officer at a Canadian port of entry to determine whether you may be admitted as a visitor (tourist). As a visitor, you will not be permitted to work. If you are in Canada when you receive your Letter of Introduction by email, you will need to leave the country with this letter and present it to an Immigration Officer at a Canadian port of entry (i.e. a border crossing) in order to obtain your work permit.
I obtained my work permit. May I leave Canada during its validity?
Yes. During the validity of your work permit, you may enter and exit Canada the number of times you want. However, you must ensure that you meet the entrance requirements of the country you plan to visit.
Can I stay in Canada as a tourist after the expiration of my temporary work permit?
Yes, you may change your status in Canada by following the instructions on CIC page.
I participated to the IEC initiative and now wish to apply for a permanent residence status in Canada. How do I go about doing this?
To learn more about how to apply for a permanent residence status in Canada, please consult the Citizenship and Immigration website of the High Commission of Canada to the UK.
I have applied for permanent residence status and I’m waiting for my file to be processed. Can I go to Canada in the meantime under the IEC initiative?
The IEC initiative is not designed to provide work permits to those waiting for permanent residence status. However, if you meet the eligibility criteria of the initiative, you are welcome to submit an application to participate.
What is the difference between a visa and a permit?
A temporary resident visa is a counterfoil or sticker placed in a passport or travel document which allows certain foreign nationals to travel to Canada. A permit is a document which confirms that the foreign national is authorized to work or study in Canada. One or both may be required and one cannot be a substitute for the other. As an Irish citizen applying to the IEC initiative, you are applying for a work permit and not a visa or study permit.
How old should I be to be eligible?
The International Experience Canada (IEC) is open to people aged 18 to 30.
My IEC application has been approved, but I will soon turn 31. 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 31 within its validity period.
How long does my passport have to be valid for, in order to apply?
You must hold a valid passport at the time you submit your application. If you have been accepted as a participant and you are preparing to enter Canada through the IEC, the validity period of your passport should cover the whole time you plan to stay in Canada (up to one year). The validity period of your work permit may not extend beyond the validity period of your passport.
Do I need to have a job lined up in Canada before I apply?
No, if you are applying under the working holiday category, you do not need to have a job lined up in Canada before you apply.
You may source an employer through travel and work abroad organizations, recruitment agencies, internet job sites or newspaper. You may also wish to refer to Working in Canada.
I do not have an UK passport. Is there a working holiday arrangement for me?
You can 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.
Can I participate in the Canada IEC initiative more than once?
Yes, you may participate in the IEC initiative twice under the Canada-United Kingdom youth mobility arrangement.
If I am assigned an IEC spot and issued a Letter of Introduction but do not use it, will I get back the program participation fee? Can I apply again in subsequent years?
Fees are non-refundable once the Letter of Introduction is issued. As well, each individual may participate in the IEC initiative only twice. You are deemed a participant once you are issued a Letter of Introduction.
I would like to take advantage of IEC to travel within Canada in 2013. What are the criteria?
The Letter of Introduction is valid for twelve months from date of issue. For example, if you were issued with a Letter of Introduction on June 15th, 2012, you would have until June 14th, 2013 to enter Canada.
Why should I participate? What’s in it for me?
What you learn from other cultures and the self-reliance you gain from living and working abroad are highly marketable assets in a global economy. Companies with international operations often seek employees who are able to communicate effectively in more than one language, and who can understand the nuances of a different culture and its values. An international experience in Canada can help you build these skills and more!
Is my home country participating in these programs?
IEC is available in several countries and we are adding new ones all the time. Please see the list of all participating countries on the International Experience Canada website.
Do you provide financial assistance?
A travel and work abroad year in Canada can be a very rewarding experience, but it can be expensive. Plan accordingly. International Experience Canada does not provide any financial assistance. You are responsible for your own journey including your travel arrangements, airfare, participation fee, accommodation costs and finding employment in Canada.
What kind of jobs can I find in Canada?
All kinds! It depends on what you want to do and how hard you want to look for employment. Many of our participants find work in the tourism and hospitality industries (for example, in restaurants, pubs, and hotels) where Canadian employers are willing to offer temporary work. You can also get work experience in a variety of other fields such as science, law, education, commerce, or administration.
I am not a student. Can I still participate?
Of course! International Experience Canada is open to students or non-students aged between 18 and 30 who want to travel and work in Canada.
What is a Letter of Introduction?
A Letter of Introduction is a document sent from a visa office to confirm approval of:
The Letter of Introduction is not a work permit in itself. You must present your letter, along with other required documents, to a border service officer at a Canadian port of entry (airport, land crossing). The officer will then issue the work permit.
What is the difference between a Work permit obtained through IEC and any other kind of Work Permit?
A work permit obtained through IEC is only issued only to persons who meet the specific IEC eligibility criteria and who are admissible to Canada. For other work permits, you require an offer of employment in Canada. In most cases, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada must also provide a Labour Market Opinion.
I have replaced the passport under which my Letter of Introduction was issued (because it was damaged/ lost/ stolen/ I got married) and am about to travel to Canada. May I still use the Letter of Introduction to obtain my work permit?
Yes, as long as the validity period of the Letter of Introduction has not expired. When entering Canada, you must notify the border service officer of this change so that your work permit may be issued in accordance with your current passport information. We recommend that you bring a photocopy of your previous passport along with your current valid passport for presentation at the port of entry. If you changed your passport because you got married, please also bring a copy of your marriage certificate.
Can I volunteer while in Canada?
Yes. You may volunteer during your stay in Canada under the working holiday category. If you have any concerns, it is recommended that you call Citizenship and Immigration Canada at 1 888 242 2100 to discuss your options.
I currently have a valid IEC work permit. Can it be extended?
No, your current work permit obtained through IEC cannot be extended. However, you may apply for a new work permit for a second participation.
Is it possible to enroll in a course during my stay in Canada while under the IEC?
Yes, but the course (or courses) must be completed within a six-month period. You may not sign up for a course that is part of a program lasting more than six months (such as a two-year program or four-year degree). In this case, a separate study permit would be required. The working holiday through International Experience Canada may not be combined with formal studies. For more information about studying in Canada and work opportunities as a student, visit the Council of Ministers of Education website, and for scholarships, visit the International Scholarships website.
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?
If you wish to prolong your stay in Canada for a second participation, you must submit a new application. This process will take at least 8 weeks. When you receive your new Letter of Introduction you will have to exit the country and re-enter to obtain your new work permit.
Can I change my status (from worker to visitor; from worker to student, from student to worker, from IEC participant to another category of temporary worker through CIC ) while I am in Canada?
You must go to Citizenship and Immigration Canada or call 1-888-242-2100 to check the requirements for changing the conditions of your permit or extending your stay in Canada. You should make your inquiries after entry to Canada, while your document is still valid.
Does the time on my work permit go on hold if I temporarily leave Canada?
No, the time on your permit continues to elapse. The time cannot be put on hold.