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One of the International Experience Canada (IEC) categories of work permits is known as 'Young Professionals'. It allows young people from more than 20 countries to live and work in Canada for up to two years. This page covers all you need to know about the Young Professionals program.

The 2024 IEC season is open as of December 11, 2023.

IRCC is currently conducting rounds of invitations from the IEC candidate pool each week. You can learn more about the weekly draws in our IEC news hub.

Check if you're eligible for the 2024 IEC program by taking our free Canadian Immigration Quiz

Watch our latest webinar where we covered key questions to help you prepare for IEC 2024!


What is the IEC Young Professionals program for?

It is designed for those who wish to further their careers by gaining professional work experience in Canada.

IEC Young Professionals candidates will need to have a valid job offer in Canada prior to their arrival, and participants will need to work for the same employer, in the same location, during their stay in Canada.

The IEC Young Professionals permit offers a number of advantages compared to the IEC Working Holiday Visa in Canada:

  • Demand for these permits usually does not exceed supply, meaning eligible candidates enjoy a high chance of obtaining one.
  • In some countries, a second participation in IEC is allowed, so long as it’s in the Young Professionals or International Co-Op category. This means former IEC Working Holiday participants can avail of additional time in Canada.

If you are on an IEC work permit and want to remain in Canada, learn how and when you may be able to benefit from maintained status.

Free, personalized guidance with a Moving2Canada Account

Now that you’ve an idea of when to begin the IEC process, make sure to sign up for a free Moving2Canada account. Your account gives you access to tons of free resources, including checklists with step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a working holiday visa, job matches from Canadian employers looking to hire IEC participants, guides on how to make a Canadian style resume and killer cover letter, and much more!

Once you sign up for free, we’ll show you exactly where and how to create your IEC profile, plus a bunch of other important tasks to help you along the way.

Sign up for a free account here.

IEC Young Professionals: Who can apply?

Citizens of the countries below can create a profile to be considered for a Young Professionals work permit. Age eligibility and maximum validity varies from country to country.

CountryAge eligibilityMaximum validity
Australia18-3524 months
Austria18-3512 months
Chile18-3512 months
Costa Rica18-3512 months
Croatia18-3512 months
Czech Republic18-3512 months
Estonia18-3512 months
France18-3524 months
France (VIE)18-3524 months
Germany18-3512 months
Greece18-3512 months
Ireland18-3524 months
Italy18-3524 months (Total of up to two IEC participations)
Latvia18-3512 months
Lithuania18-3512 months
Luxembourg18-3012 months
Netherlands18-3012 months
Norway18-3512 months
Poland18-3512 months
Portugal18-3524 months
Slovakia18-3512 months
Slovenia18-3512 months
Spain18-3512 months
Sweden18-3012 months
Switzerland18-3518 months (Total of two permits)
Taiwan18-3512 months

IEC Young Professionals: Eligibility

To be eligible for an IEC Young Professionals work permit, candidates must:

  • Have a signed letter proving a job offer, or a contract of employment, for a role which, as IRCC states, “adds to your professional development”. This is defined as a job with a National Occupational Classification (NOC) Training, Education, Experience, Responsibilities (TEER) category 0, 1, 2, or 3. A TEER 4 job might be accepted if the applicant can submit a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree with their work permit application, demonstrating a direct link to their field of study. This rule also applies to those intending to work in the agricultural industry. Under the IEC Young Professionals category, the candidate must always demonstrate that an employer-employee relationship exists.
  • The employment offer must be within the applicant’s field of expertise.
  • Be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the countries that participate in IEC and have a profile in the Young Professionals pool.
  • Have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada (the work permit issued will not be longer than the validity of the passport).
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 (inclusive) at the time of application. The upper age limit depends on the applicant’s country of citizenship, as outlined in the ‘Who can apply?’ section above.
  • Have the equivalent of at least CAD$2,500 on landing to help cover initial expenses.
  • Be able to take out health insurance for the full duration of their IEC permit (participants may have to present evidence of this insurance at the point of entry in Canada). View providers and get quotes on our health 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.
  • Citizens of certain countries are also required to be resident in their country of citizenship at the time they apply for their IEC work permit.


How to get an IEC Young Professionals work permit

Interested IEC Young Professionals candidates will first need to complete the ‘Come to Canada’ questionnaire on the Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website. This will give an initial indication of eligibility for an IEC Young Professionals work permit.

You may then create a profile, and choose to be entered into the IEC Young Professionals pool for your country.

IRCC will select candidates at random from the pool, and provide them with an ‘invitation to apply’, or ITA, for a work permit.

At this stage, applicants will need to upload all supporting documentation, and pay the IEC participation fee. In recent years, this fee has been CAD $172.

Employers will also need to pay a C$230 Employer Compliance fee through their online Employer Portal. Once this is paid, they’ll receive an Offer of Employment number, which the applicant will then need to supply along with their application.

Read more: How much does it cost to move to Canada through IEC?

Once you submit your IEC Young Professionals application, staff at IRCC will spend approximately eight weeks assessing it, and may request additional documents during this process.

When you land in Canada on your young professionals work permit, make sure you bring a copy of your offer of employment letter. It is important that you also know your rights as an foreign worker in Canada. IRCC offers a great guide on this.

Further help with your IEC work permit application

Please explore our many resources to help you plan your application. Research is crucial as you plan for success in Canada.

IEC Health Insurance

More resources to prepare for your IEC:


Employment tips


About the author

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Rebecca Major

Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant
Rebecca Major is a Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant (R511564) with nearly 15 years of licenced Canadian Immigration experience, gained after graduating with a Bachelor of Laws in the UK. She specializes in Canadian immigration at Moving2Canada.
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