International Experience Canada to increase program capacity by 20%

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IRCC announced some significant changes to the International Experience Canada program today, including an increase in applicant capacity and a program open date for 2023.

 Canada’s government will be expanding the applicant pool for the upcoming year of its International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

 This will make it possible for “nearly 90,000 candidates … 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.” The IEC program allows youth between the ages of 18 and 35 years living in any of Canada’s 36 partnering countries to work and travel for up to two years in this country, and vice versa.

What is the IEC program?

The IEC program contains three streams, which are outlined below.

 Working Holiday: IEC participants in this stream “receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country” as a means of “supporting their travels.”

 International Co-op (Internship): Participants in this IEC stream are provided with an employer-specific work permit. This targeted work permit enables students to gain focused work experience in their field of study.

 However, beyond allowing these students to “gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study”, the experience acquired by these students is also aimed at aiding their ability to pursue their desired career path.

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