IEC Working Holiday Visa

IEC Working Holiday Visa program opens for 2017

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Tens of thousands of hopefuls will have a fresh chance to get their hands on an IEC Working Holiday Visa for Canada, when the 2017 program for most countries opens on October 17, 2016.

Pools for Young Professionals and International Co-Op visas will open on the same date. Candidates will be able to create a profile from 10am Toronto time.

Citizens from 32 countries will be able to take part in the program. Quotas are to be announced, but are expected to be similar to last year. Irish candidates received up to 10,700 visas in the 2016 program, while the UK received 6,000. Australian citizens could avail of an unlimited number.

Until 2015, candidates would need to be among the first to apply in order to receive their IEC Working Holiday Visa, as they were issued on a first-come, first-served basis.

But changes were introduced for the 2016 program, meaning applicants could submit a profile at their leisure, and candidates would be selected to complete their application at random.

This new system is being retained for 2017. It applies to those seeking an IEC Working Holiday Visa, as well as international co-op and young professionals applicants in countries where these are available.

Candidates will be required to create a profile, and become accepted into a pool of potential candidates.

Some of those who are eligible will be invited to apply for a work permit, in draws immigration authorities say will take place at “regular intervals”.

Eligible candidates can submit a profile once the pools open on October 17, but will need to wait for an invitation in order to complete their application.

The dates of the first rounds of invitations for each country and category, along with the quotas, have not yet been announced.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) oversees the IEC program. They will provide a minimum of five days notice before each country’s and category’s final rounds of invitations, prior to the closing of a pool at the end of a season.

Once an application for an IEC Working Holiday Visa is received by IRCC, it is anticipated it will be processed in eight weeks.

This new system replaced the older two-step process, whereby applicants first submitted their profile to the Kompass system, then applied to CIC through MyCIC.

The new procedure to obtain an IEC Working Holiday Visa is as follows:

Become a candidate:

  • Use the ‘Come to Canada’ tool to determine eligibility.
  • Submit your IEC Working Holiday Visa profile, and receive a place in a pool of candidates.
  • Await an invitation to apply (ITA).
  • Receive your ITA, and apply for a work permit.

Apply for a work permit:

  • Complete the work permit application form.
  • Gather documents requested by the CIC.
  • Pay IEC participation fee (CAD$150), and an additional CAD$100 IEC Working Holiday Visa fee.
  • Submit application.

At this stage, you must wait for your application to be processed – this is expected to take eight weeks.

If your IEC Working Holiday Visa application is refused, you will receive a letter of explanation. If your IEC Working Holiday Visa application is approved, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction.

For a full run-down of how to apply, see our Working Holiday Visa in Canada guide.

Get essential advice for your IEC Working Holiday Visa

If you’re looking to make the most of your IEC Working Holiday Visa, it’s essential that you review these pages:


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