Working holidays (IEC) Visa in Canada

a group of students who moved to Canada on working holiday visa.

Who is Eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada?

Those who are eligible for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada include citizens of participating countries, who generally must be between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive, depending on country). The programme allows individuals to experience life in Canada while also contributing to the rapidly growing economy through part-time and full-time employment.

​Canada has a bilateral youth mobility agreement with approximately 35 countries, Permitting international youth to live, work and travel in Canada for 12 – 24 months on an open work permit. (depending on your nationality).

The IEC program is composed of three categories:​

Working Holiday

Young Professionals

International Co-op

Working Holiday

Participants in this program can receive an open work permit, valid for one to two years. Open work permits allow participants to work anywhere in Canada for almost any Canadian employer. Nationals of some countries may be allowed to stay in Canada for more or less than one year.

Young Professionals

The Young Professionals category Covers all  foreign youth, particularly post-secondary graduates, who wish to pursue  their careers by gaining professional work experience in Canada.

Participants must have a signed employment offer letter or contract of employment with a Canadian employer before applying. The job offered must be classified as a National Occupation Code (NOC) Skill Type Level 0, A, or B.

International Co-op (Internship)

The International Co-op (Internship) category allows foreign youth who are enrolled at a post-secondary institution in their country of citizenship.

Applicants must want to complete a work placement or internship in Canada to fulfill part of their academic curriculum and be registered students for the duration of the internship. Permits issued under this category are generally valid for up to 12 months.

Applicants must have a signed job offer letter or contract for a work placement or internship in Canada that meets the requirements of their  current academic curriculum and must be registered students for the duration of the internship.

Eligibility requirements for the IEC program

Candidates must:

  • be a citizen with valid passport holder of one of the 35 countries that have a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada;
  • be between the ages of 18 to 35 at the time of application
  • have the equivalent of $2,500 CAN upon landing to help cover initial expenses;
  • Must have health insurance for the duration of their stay
  • Must have a round-trip ticket prior to arrival to Canada.
  • not be accompanied by dependents; and
  • pay the appropriate fees.


This is how the pool works.

Business Visitors

​An individual can Visit in Canada as a business visitor without a work permit. There are a number of reason including:

  • Attending business meetings, conferences, conventions, fairs, etc
  • Buying Canadian goods or services on behalf of a foreign entity
  • Taking orders for goods or services
  • Providing after-sales service, excluding hands-on work in the construction trades
  • Being trained by a Canadian parent company for work outside of Canada
  • Training employees of a Canadian subsidiary of a foreign company

 All business visitors must meet the following general criteria:

  • There must be no intent to enter the Canadian labor market
  • That a business visitor will engage in cross-border activities only
  • The primary source of the worker’s compensation is outside of Canada
  • The principal place of employment is located outside of Canada
  • The employer’s profits are accrued outside of Canada


Business visitors may fall into the following sub-categories:

  • After Sales Service
  • ​Board of Directors Meetings
  • ​Employees of Short-Term Temporary Residents
  • ​Employees of Foreign Companies Contracting Canadian Companies
  • ​If an employee of a foreign company is sent to Canada for this purpose, they may be considered a business visitor provided they fulfill the following criteria:

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