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The International Experience Canada (IEC) program will open on January 9, 2023, Immigration Minister Sean Fraser said at a press conference in Banff.

There will be 90,000 spots available, a 20% increase from the year before, for foreigners from 36 participating countries between the ages of 18-35.

“Our government is helping more international youth to work and travel in Canada, effectively helping employers, most of those in the tourism industry, find the workers they need,” Fraser said in a media release. “By giving youth the opportunity of international travel and work experience, we are strengthening our economy and helping our businesses succeed, particularly in places like Banff that need seasonal help.”

What is the IEC

The IEC is a reciprocal program that allows youth from participating countries to work in Canada. In turn, Canadian youth can also work in participating countries.

There are three IEC programs:

  • Working Holiday Visa: a program that lets you work anywhere in Canada.
  • International Co-Op: a closed work permit designed for students who wish to get work experience related to their field of study.
  • Young Professionals: a closed work permit for people who have a valid job offer in Canada prior to their arrival.

How to prepare for the 2023 IEC season?

Once the 2023 IEC season begins on January 9, you’ll be able to complete these steps:

  1. Submit a profile: Submit a profile through your IRCC account in order to be considered for an invitation. If you submitted a profile in previous years, you can use the same account, but you have to create a new profile.
  2. Receive an invitation: In order to apply for a work permit, first you have to be invited. Invitations are issued each week through a randomized lottery system. The earlier you’re in the pool, the more invitation rounds you’ll be considered for.
  3. Submit a work permit application: If you receive an invitation, you then have 10 days to accept or decline the invitation. If you accept, you have 20 days from that moment to prepare and submit your application.

Candidates will be able to submit profiles to the IEC pool once the season opens on January 9. Invitation rounds typically begin in the weeks following the season opening.

In the meantime, here are some things you can do in the meantime to prepare to receive an invitation:

  • Police certificates – aka police clearances or background checks, need to be provided for countries where you have lived for six or more consecutive months since the age of 18.
  • Biometrics – Submitting biometrics, including fingerprints, is now required for IEC.
  • Resume guide – prepare a resume that will help you get a job in Canada.
  • Look for jobs in Canada – Start your job search before you even set foot in Canada.

In 2023, Moving2Canada will support IEC participants and candidates better than ever with job partnerships, offers, and personalized checklists based on each person’s background and goals. Make sure you’re ready for IEC 2023 by creating a free Moving2Canada account—and we’ll help you on your journey, starting this coming January.

Find out if your country is eligible by checking the participating countries list on this page. Want to learn more about how to prepare for the 2023 IEC season? Here’s our comprehensive guide.

Citation "The 2023 IEC season is starting January 9, 2023." Moving2Canada. . Copy for Citation

About the author

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby Thevenot

Shelby is a journalist, freelance writer, and expert news analyst with more than five years of experience in writing about Canadian immigration.
Read more about Shelby Thevenot


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