Canada and Australia have agreed to expand the age range under their reciprocal youth mobility agreement, giving more Australians the opportunity to live and work in Canada under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
The upper age limit for Australians wishing to participate in the IEC program has been increased to 35 years of age, up from 30. The change will come into effect with the new IEC 2019 season, expected to start in autumn 2018.
Australia is a major source of participants in IEC, with locations in Western Canada particularly popular among the Aussie contingent, especially winter resort destinations such as Whistler, BC and Banff, AB.
The expanded age range will give more Australians who may be many years into their career the option either to continue that career in Canada, or take some time out by moving north and taking on more casual employment for a period.
Because Australia receives an unlimited supply of IEC work permits — indeed, Australia is the only participating IEC country to enjoy this privilege — expanding the age range, and thereby making more Australians eligible for the IEC, does not affect individual Australians’ chances of obtaining a work permit. Other participating countries have annual quotas, and demand has outpaced supply in some IEC pools over recent years.
All told, there are likely to be more Australians working in Canada over the coming years.
- To receive alerts and updates about the upcoming IEC season, make sure you sign up for the Moving2Canada newsletter.
Canadian working holidays for Australians
By far the most popular IEC category is the Working Holiday category. Australian Working holidaymakers can spend up to 24 months in Canada on this work permit, hopping between locations and employers if they wish to do so.
To be eligible for the IEC Working Holiday, Australian applicants must:
- Have a valid Australian passport for the duration of the stay in Canada (the work permit issued will not be issued for longer than the validity of the passport).
- Be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) at the time of application.
- Have the equivalent of CAD$2,500 on landing to help cover initial expenses.
- Be able to take out health insurance for the full duration of their Working Holiday Visa in Canada (participants may have to present evidence of this insurance at the point of entry in Canada). View providers and get quotes on our travel insurance for Canada page.
- Be admissible to Canada.
- Have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket or the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket for the end of their authorized stay in Canada.
- Not be accompanied by dependants.
- Pay the appropriate fees (participation fee of CAD$150 plus an open work permit holder fee of CAD$100).