Canada benefits when diverse, engaged, and empowered youth are able to come from abroad to gain meaningful work and life experiences here.
Today, the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, launched the 2023 International Experience Canada (IEC) Program with a 20% increase in the number of applicants who can apply. Applicants will be able to apply as of January 9, 2023.
IEC is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries. This increase means that nearly 90,000 candidates will be able to work and travel in Canada, including Francophone youth, which will help employers fill labour gaps, including for seasonal work opportunities in Canada’s tourism industry.
By allowing more international youth to work and travel in Canada, the Government of Canada is helping employers, including those in the tourism industry, find the workers they need.
Canada has a long-standing history of supporting Canadian and international youth to travel and work abroad. IEC helps youth explore new cultures, languages, and societies, all while developing life skills and improving their job prospects for the future.
“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. 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.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“International youth bring so much to our country. From building people-to-people ties to helping our businesses succeed, international youth add value to communities right across Canada. Today’s announcement will benefit sectors like the tourism industry, to find the workers they need to fill labour gaps all while providing youth the opportunity to explore Canadian cultures, languages and societies.”
– The Honourable Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
- Applicants will be able to apply as of January 9, 2023.
- Canada has youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories through the IEC Program that allow youth from Canada’s partner countries to work and travel in Canada for up to 2 years. The ages range from 18 to 35 depending on the country.
- There are 3 categories of participation under the program:
- Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
- 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.