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Canada and Italy launches travel and work program

Canada is at its best when diverse, engaged and empowered youth are able to gain meaningful work and life experiences. In presenting opportunities for Canadian and international youth to travel and work, the Government of Canada is supporting meaningful opportunities for young people to experience other cultures and form lasting relationships.

Today, Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan–Woodbridge, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, announced the coming into force of a new Canada-Italy Youth Mobility Agreement. Under this agreement, Canadian and Italian youth now have more options when applying for international work and travel experience through the International Experience Canada Program.

This new agreement allows youth, aged 18 to 35 years old, to work and travel for up to 12 months, and participate twice in the program, for a total of 24 months. As part of the expansion, 2 new streams—International Co-op and Young Professionals—will help youth gain professional work experience abroad.

Canada and Italy are long-standing youth mobility partners that support international work and travel experiences. The program also helps youth explore new cultures, languages and societies, all while developing life skills and improving their job prospects for the future.

This agreement with Italy opens up new opportunities for future work and travel and further builds on our countries’ people-to-people ties while improving labour market access for Canadian and Italian youth.

“I’m very pleased to celebrate this agreement with Italy, which will provide Canadian and Italian youth with more opportunities to live, travel and work abroad for longer than ever before. This will give young people even more opportunity to benefit from the diversity and economic strengths of Italy and Canada, deepening the ties between our 2 countries.”

– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

“The cultural ties between our 2 countries are strong, and this Youth Mobility Agreement represents a further strengthening in the relationship between Canada and Italy. With millions of Italian-Canadians in Canada, this will be valuable to the youth in our country and will afford young individuals from both countries to mutually benefit on the exchange.”

– Francesco Sorbara, Member of Parliament for Vaughan–Woodbridge

Quick facts

  • There are more than 1.5 million Canadians of Italian descent, which is one of the largest Italian communities outside of Italy in the world.
  • Canada supports youth mobility through International Experience Canada (IEC), which allows the management of reciprocal bilateral youth mobility arrangements. These arrangements allow Canadians to travel and work in partner countries and territories and allow international youth to do the same in Canada.
  • Canada has formal youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories.
  • More than 200,000 Canadians have participated in the IEC Program since 2008, and many have returned to Canada with life-changing experiences valuable to both their personal and professional lives
  • There are 3 categories of participation under the program:
    1. Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
    2. International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
    3. Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.
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