IEC visa

Preparing an IEC Visa application

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This blog was kindly prepared by Shaun Renton, a teacher from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, who will move to Canada later this year.


Be prepared for the IEC Stage One

Canada is one of the most popular destinations for Brits to move, so competition for the 5,350 places was always going to be intense. With this knowledge I scoured forums, blogs and the official site for any advanced information I could use to my advantage. I’d read that in a previous year, all of the visas went within three hours. The visas are released in three ‘rounds’ with this year’s first round having 2,000 of the allocation. The release time was announced at 3 p.m. and, being a teacher, I felt that I’d have plenty of time to go through the process at 3.20 p.m. once my class were all out. What shocked me the most was the fact that all 2,000 had gone within about 15 minutes so I couldn’t even register for a Kompass account in the first round. Hopefully, this post will help you be prepared.

As some background information, the IEC application is broken into two stages, as explained on their official step-by-step guide.

Stage one is the biggest hurdle because of the time scale you have to apply. This stage is done through your Kompass account and once this is submitted you can breathe. To submit your application through Kompass, you first need to register but, unfortunately, you can’t do this until the round opens, so those 2,000 places that I mentioned went within 15 minutes in round one were people who managed to register their email, confirm this email, fill out all the necessary details and submit. Because of this, waiting for the second round was nerve-wracking as you only have to register for a Kompass account once and many people will have done this in round one and even saved some of the application process before the allocated visas had gone. For round two, I made sure that I was sitting at a computer hitting ‘refresh’ on the registration page one minute before the opening time.

I was right to be tense as I managed to go through the initial phase and submit my application in 7 minutes and 31 seconds, yet I was one of the last people to be allocated a place for this round (your allocation position can be worked out using the tracking number every applicant gets). As I mentioned before, it’s not just after getting through stage one you can start to relax, it’s those eight minutes of form filling. The guidelines tell you to prepare your documentation such as a passport photo and CV —however, these are requested after submitting the ‘first-come-first-served’ application. You are also given 10 days to submit these, as well as your payment, so I would focus on simply being in front of a computer with a fast internet connection as the round opens.

Other than some ‘I agree’ tick boxes, here are the exact details this first application form asks for:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Citizenship
  • Place of birth (city and country
  • Passport number and expiry date
  • Full postal address
  • Email address
  • Phone number (and international code)

It also asks about previous IEC experience but as this was my first time I don’t know if extra boxes open up for those who have done it before. There is an ‘intended work’ page which I left blank since you don’t need to have employment lined up for the IEC. The final section is ticking 10 declarations, so brush up on your skimming skills as a slow reader would take too long to read them all! Make sure that you save and complete each section before moving on to the next so that if the visas go before you’ve finished, what you’ve already done will be saved for the next round. This may seem like a daunting set of instructions but the details that need filling in to get that initial place are very simple. As a precaution, I had my passport number ready to paste in rather than rushing its entry and getting a digit wrong.

Now, breathe. That’s the hard part done but it’s not all of stage one. You now have 10 days to upload the necessary documents, so technically you could prepare them after applying. I already had mine prepared, however, as I’d read they were part of this ‘limited time’ submission. The required documents are:

  • A clear photocopy of the identification pages of your passport (you don’t need the stamped pages at this stage, that is for stage two – again, I’d read you needed these for stage one!)
  • An up-to-date CV/Resume using the template found here.

Also within the 10 days after submitting your application, you will need to make payment. Previous guides have stated that you need to upload proof of payment but this year it was done automatically so all you need to do is enter your card details. I paid by debit card so it isn’t a situation where you need a credit card.

After making this payment, everything you can do for stage one is complete and IEC will assess your eligibility. There is nothing to be done except wait and, from submitting payment, I got my conditional acceptance letter two weeks later, although it was during the Christmas holidays. I have heard of some people getting theirs within hours and others are still waiting as I write this (four weeks after submission). Once you have your acceptance letter you’re set for stage two — applying for a work permit through myCIC. I hope this has proven helpful for those wanting to take part in the IEC and remember, the only hard part I’ve found was that 7 ½ minutes of typing at the start. I hope this article helps with your IEC visa application. Good luck!

Once Stage 1 is complete check out our tips for completing IEC Visa Stage 2. 

Check out the Moving2Canada IEC forum for any other questions you may have.

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