Ciara Kenny

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

Q&A about the expanded Canadian IEC visa programme

What’s new? Why the delay? Do you need a job in advance? The IEC answers your questions

Fri, Mar 7, 2014, 17:00


We put some questions to the Canadian Department of Immigration about the changes to the International Experience Canada programme announced yesterday. Here’s what they had to say:

What’s new for the Irish International Experience Canada initiative for 2014?

International Experience Canada (IEC) supports Canada’s economic and cultural interests by facilitating bilateral, reciprocal agreements with other countries to allow travel and work exchange opportunities for young Canadians and foreign nationals aged 18-35. Each year, Canada and the governments of countries under the International Experience Canada (IEC) initiative agree to a reciprocal quota for the maximum number of participants from each country. Canada has reciprocal youth mobility agreements with 32 countries. For 2014, we have introduced two new categories for Ireland, Young Professionals and International Co-Op. As a result, participants will have greater choice in the type of experience they will have through IEC.

Why has there been a delay to the opening of the Irish quota?

First, this year, application intake from all 32 participating countries will occur on a rolling basis between November 2013 and April 2014. Secondly, we’ve been working to amend the agreement with the Irish Government to provide greater opportunities for Canadian and Irish youth to advance their professional development. By introducing two new categories, Young Professionals and International Co-Op, to the International Experience Canada initiative, we will enable those who already have job offers to gain international work experience directly related to their profession or field of study.

What is the quota for 2014?

In 2014, there will be a total of 10,700 spaces available, including 2,500 for Young Professionals, 500 for International Co-op, and 7,700 for Working Holiday.

What is the opening date for the Irish quota under International Experience Canada 2014?

The two new categories, Young Professionals and International Co-Op, will both open for applications on Tuesday, March 11th. Regarding the Working Holiday category, the program will open to the first round of applications (half the quota) on Thursday, March 13. The second and final round for Working Holiday application intake Working Holiday will be announced at a later date on our website.

Do you need to have a job to go to Canada?

You do not need to have a job offer to apply to the Working Holiday category, but those who do have a job offer and meet the eligibility criteria should apply to either the Young Professionals or International Co-Op category.

How do you qualify for the Young Professional category?

To qualify as a Young Professional, you must have a job offer from a Canadian company which will support your career development. Successful applicants will receive a work permit for up to 24 months.

How do you qualify for the International Co-op category?

To qualify for International Co-Op, you must demonstrate that you are a full-time student in Ireland, and have a job offer contract from a Canadian company for a work placement or internship that satisfies the academic curriculum of your program. Successful applicants will receive a work permit for up to 12 months.

Can applicants participate to all three categories?

Successful applicants may participate in IEC once for up to 24 months in either the Working Holiday or Young Professionals categories. Those who are eligible may also participate once in International Co-Op for up to 12 months. IEC program participation may not exceed 36 months.

What would you advise those already in Canada who have been anxiously waiting for the new IEC quota to open?

For those already in Canada, with existing or potential job offers, the new category of Young Professionals is a great opportunity to apply to IEC. We would advise them to visit the website, consider their options, and prepare their applications.

Where can people find out more about the new categories and how to apply?

All of the information on the new and existing categories is available on the Canadian Embassy’s website. IEC representatives will attend the Working Abroad Expo in Dublin and Cork at the end of March to hold information sessions to explain the two new categories and answer any questions applicants may have on how to apply.