Ciara Kenny

The Irish Times forum by and for Irish citizens living overseas,

Getting ready for the IEC

The application process for Canadian working-holday visas will be opening soon – be prepared with the ICAN guide

Wed, Mar 5, 2014, 15:30


A batch of more than 10,000 International Experience Canada visas, which allow Irish people under 35 to work in the country for up to two years, was expected to become available some time in January. The application process has yet to open with no official update provided by the Canadian government since, leaving potential applicants frustrated at the perceived delay. It is thought an announcement will be made on the section for Irish applicants on the Canadian government’s immigration website in the coming days. This will come as good news to those anxiously waiting in Ireland to apply, and to the small group in Canada who are hoping to use the system to extend their visas for a second year and have been fearing for their jobs in the meantime.

For more about the Canadian IEC visas, read Jennifer Hough’s report last month: After a slow burn, Irish workers’ love affair with Canada fires up.

The Irish Canadian Immigration Centre in Toronto has put together a handy guide to preparing the necessary documents for the IEC application, which they have given us permission to repost below. It is worth following them on Facebook as any updates will be posted there as soon as they are announced.

Required Documents:
Stage 1:
• Up-to-date passport: A legible photocopy of the identification pages of your passport (family names, given name(s), date and place of birth, passport’s issue and expiry dates). Your passport must be valid for at least one day beyond the date of your departure from Canada and there must be one completely blank page, other than the last page, available in your passport.
• Resume using the IEC template

Scan the above documents and have them ready to upload.

Stage 2:
• Garda certificate
• Police certificates from any countries you have lived in for more than six months since your 18th birthday
• Passport photo
• Resume using the IEC template

Application forms:
You cannot access the forms until the programme opens. The application is a three-fold process:
1. Open a KOMPASS account: you will do so with your name, date of birth, and passport
2. Make a payment: the IEC will email you a notice on how to do this once you have opened your KOMPASS account
3. Open a MY CIC account: after you pay, the IEC will email you a Conditional Letter of Acceptance and instruct you to proceed to the final application forms through a MY CIC account:

• You will then be prompted to upload all of your documents:
-passport photo
-garda cert (and other police certs if applicable)
-conditional letter of acceptance

• You will then be prompted to complete two forms:
-application form
-family information form

• Finally you will be instructed to “transmit” the application

• You will then receive an email from CIC (depending on backlogs this could take two days or two weeks—these are merely estimated times) telling you that your application is being processed. This email will include a reference number which you upload back to your KOMPASS account

• The last step is receipt of the POE—Point of Entry letter. This could take 8-10 weeks depending on backlogs. This letter allows you to enter Canada. That letter will have a Date of Validity telling you the date by which you must enter.

Filling out the two forms:
• The main application form asks for information that only you can know: name, date of birth, education, passport number, etc.

• It will ask you when you wish to arrive in Canada: you may put tomorrow’s date or a date several months in the future—it will not matter—your work permit will start from the date you actually enter Canada

• It will ask for details of work in Canada: leave the employer and employer address blank—you do not need arranged employment for this particular permit but it is a generic form so it asks. Simply fill in the section that asks you the line of work you are in and the details, ie Construction and Carpentry or Service Industry and Waiter.

• Upon completion, enter the date on the form and click VALIDATE. You do not need to sign this form. You must then save the form to your desktop and upload.

• The Family form asks for your parents’ names and dates of birth as well as addresses. You must print this form off, sign and date, and then scan and upload.

On entering Canada, bring:
• Travel and Repatriation Insurance for the entire duration of your two-year permit
• A bank statement (no more than seven days old) showing proof of funds in the amount of $2,500 Canadian dollars
• Up to date passport
• Your POE—acceptance letter from the IEC