Couples and groups wishing to apply for an IEC 2016 visa for Canada may have mixed success under the new application procedure, it has been confirmed.
A conference today, hosted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC), clarified that each candidate will be assessed separately.
This means that while one half of a couple may receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) in an early draw, the other may be kept waiting months to receive theirs – or may not receive one at all.
“Each participant must submit their candidate profile based on their own merit. There is no mechanism to apply to the pool as a group,” a moderator at the conference explained.
- For a step-by-step application guide, see our Working Holiday Visa in Canada overview
While candidates for IEC visas have always been assessed separately, the previous application procedure issued candidates with a number which gave an early indication of their success.
For example, in a round where 3,350 visas were available, a candidate issued with a world tracking number of 1,100 would know they had secured a spot in the queue.
Because a country’s allocation was made available either all at once, or over the space of just a few days, this indication would be given to couples or groups quite quickly.
Under the new procedure for IEC 2016, candidates who are in the pools will be invited to apply at random, in what’s expected to be small batches over the course of the year.
“Invitations to apply will be offered throughout the year and will spread out that way,” a CIC official in London explained.
“For example, Ireland has 10,700 visas under the IEC 2016 program. If we sent out the ITAs to everyone all at once, we wouldn’t be able to process them, so we’ll space them out. We’ve just launched the new application program, so that’s as specific as we can be for now,” he added.
It raises the possibility of couples or groups of friends being kept waiting for months to learn if they’ve all been successful in their application for a work permit.
However, spouses and common-law partners may be eligible to come to Canada outside of IEC 2016, under the C41 international mobility program.
People advised to apply early for IEC 2016
Anyone interested in applying for an IEC 2016 visa was advised to create their profile and enter their preferred pools as early as possible.
The CIC official explained that if a round opens when there is a low number of candidates in the pool, then all will receive an ITA if supply exceeds demand. Applying early exposes you to more rounds, and may increase your chance of success.
Candidates were also urged to check with their local police force to see how long it will take to obtain a police certificate.
The certs are only requested for certain countries if required in the bilateral agreement, and the length of time it takes to obtain one varies from one jurisdiction to another.
When you accept your offer of an ITA, you have 20 days to complete the application. It was confirmed today that anyone waiting on a police cert may submit evidence with their application that they have applied for one, and expect to receive it shortly.
Changes to the IEC application process for 2016 were announced last week. Candidates from participating countries can now create their profile to begin the procedure, as outlined in our updated application guide.
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