IEC 2019 Application Process – International Experience Canada

UPDATE: 2020 IEC Procedures are essentially the same as outlined below. A new 2020 IEC application guide is on it’s way.

A few years now, Canada has been using the new system of selecting candidates for its IEC program. We’ve explained the new system (established for the 2016 season) in this blog posts. For 2019, that entire system is getting a slight redesign and update and now will include biometrics as well. So we decided to break it down to several stages in order to better explain it.

IEC 2019 – Check your eligibility

Every candidate who would like to participate in the IEC 2019 program first needs to check his / her eligibility. As you may already know, this program isn’t available for everyone. The most basic assessment of eligibility can be done here. You can see which countries are eligible for IEC 2019 and what permits are available. Remember there are 3 categories that fall under IEC but not every category is available for every country e.g. UK nationals can only apply for Working Holiday. This is just a basic eligibility checklist which provides the general eligibility criteria one has to meet.

We however, recommend using the Come to Canada online tool to check your eligibility in-detail. It won’t take too long and you will get results immediately. You will be required to provide information on your intention in Canada (you should select IEC – Travel and Work), nationality, personal information and things like that. At the end, the tool will give you your assessment and you maybe be eligible for one or all of the following categories:

  • Working Holiday
  • International Co-op or
  • Young Professionals

After completing this step, you will receive a personal reference code that you will need for the next step.

IEC 2019 – Creating your IRCC account

After you’ve completed the previous step and received your personal reference code, you can create and submit your IRCC account. There are no fees to be paid here. Just create your account OR log in if you already have an account.

IEC 2019 – Pools and notifications

Just like in the previous years, all candidates eligible for the IEC 2019 program, are put in various pools. When submitting your IRCC account you can choose which pool you want to be in (if you’re eligible for more than one). Throughout the IEC 2019 season, Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (aka IRCC) will be sending out Invitations to Apply (aka ITAs) to candidates that have been picked from the pool. We recommend submitting your account as soon as possible. Even though there no more ‘first come, first served’ approach, your profile could go through more rounds of invitations and chances of getting an ITA are higher. This will come in handy especially for nationals that are eligible only for one IEC 2019 category (UK, Denmark, Belgium, The Netherlands etc.)

IEC 2019 – ITA and application

If you received an ITA  you will have 10 days (not 10 business days) to either accept it or refuse it. After those 10 days, the ITA will expire. If you refuse the invitation, your account will be sent back to the pool and will be ‘in play’ for the next round of invitations. The message issued by IRCC will contain all the necessary information like your category, which documents you will need and what are the next steps. Once you’ve accepted the ITA you will have additional 20 days (again, not 20 business days) in order to complete the application forms, submit it with all the other supporting documents (IRCC will inform you what documents you’ll need) and pay the application fee ($150 CAD participation fee). We realize that to some, this might not be enough time. So we recommend that you collect as many of the documents ahead of time, so you don’t get confused and lost in the rush.

For those that are applying under the International Co-op or Young Professional categories. In the 20 days time frame, your employer must also pay the $230 employer compliance fee. Upon payment, the employer will receive an employment number that they need to send to you (you will need it when completing the application form).

And for those that are applying for the Working Holiday category, they will also be required to pay additional $100 CAD ‘open work permit’ holders fee, if applicable.

No matter if you apply for International Co-op, Young Professional or Working Holiday, all candidates will have to pay a $85 CAD biometrics fee. This is the new addition to the process we talked about earlier.

Important note: If you don’t manage to get the supporting documents (medical exam certificate, police certificate etc.) on time, you can submit proof that you have requested these. Of course you will have bring the certificates with you when you land in Canada.

IEC 2019 – Biometrics

After submitting your application, if required, IRCC wills end you instructions on how and where you can give your biometrics (photo and fingerprints). You will have 30 days to do so upon receiving the instructions letter. Biometrics can only be provided at official Visa Application Centres (VAC). For more information on this, make sure to visit this page.

IEC 2019 – Work permit assessment

The assessment of your work permit application may take up to 56 days (8 weeks). Even though in the past we’ve seen some remarkable improvement on this (some applications took less time to be processed) this isn’t a sure thing. It’s best to apply on time and have everything ready way before your journey to Canada. Better to be safe than sorry.

At this stage, you still have a change to withdraw from the IEC 2019 program and receive a refund of your fees (participation fee, open work permit holders fee, employer compliance fee etc.)

IEC 2019 – Approval and POE letter

Congratulations! Your application for the IEC 2019 season was approved. IRCC will issue you your own POE (Port of Entry) letter stating that your application was approved and it will also contain some other necessary information and tips. Make sure that you bring this letter with you in your carry-on luggage as you will need to present it to the border service officer in order to receive your work permit. Now…time to book your flight and pack.

We hope this guide will somewhat simply and better explain the process. The process itself isn’t that difficult. You just need to keep one thing in mind. Start on time (as early as possible) and in case you have questions, you can always reach out to IRCC on their website or through their IEC Social Media channels like Twitter.

If you are considering taking an internship in Canada and need employer compliance for your work permit application, we can definitely help you! Latitude International provides guaranteed internship placement for international students!