international experience canada

New Youth Mobility Arrangement Between Canada & Iceland

Published on: August 8th, 2023

In a move to enhance global opportunities for young citizens, the Canadian and Icelandic governments have announced a new opportunity for Canadian and Icelandic youth to gain international experience. The newly signed Youth Mobility Arrangement aims to foster international experience and perspectives, while also reinforcing the countries’ commitment to youth development and strengthening bilateral ties.

New Arrangement 

Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and the Honourable Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Iceland, jointly announced the groundbreaking initiative today. 

The new agreement signed between Iceland and Canada gives Canadian and Icelandic youth aged 18 to 30 the ability to work and travel in each other’s country through International Experience Canada (IEC). They will be able to travel to work in the country for up to 12 months with the ability to extend for an additional 12 months. This opportunity will be available to up to 120 youths from each side annually. 

Canada is home to the largest population of Icelandic immigrants and descents outside of Iceland. As of the 2021 census, 101,990 people of Icelandic origin live in Canada. This further demonstrates the importance of strong ties between Canada and Iceland. By investing in the potential of their young citizens, both nations are not only fostering the growth and development of individuals but also contributing to the creation of a more interconnected and resilient global community.

This strategic collaboration underscores the recognition of the pivotal role that international experiences play in today’s dynamic global economy. As both countries pave the way for a brighter future, the Youth Mobility Arrangement acts as a beacon of hope and unity, transcending borders and opening doors to boundless possibilities.

Iceland is very pleased to sign a youth mobility arrangement with Canada. Through this arrangement, Icelandic and Canadian youth will have the opportunity to work and travel in each other’s country, exploring new cultures while enhancing their life skills and improving career prospects.

-The Honourable Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Iceland

What is the IEC Program?

International Experience Canada (IEC) is a set of programs allowing young people from over 35 countries to travel to Canada to live and work temporarily. Foreign nationals who are successful through one of the IEC programs will be authorized to apply for a Canadian work permit without the need for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). IEC authorizes temporary stay in Canada, with the approval of work permits for a maximum of one year.

The aim of the program is to give youth, age range (18-29, 18-30, 0r 18-35 – depending on the nationality of the applicant) the opportunity to travel to Canada to live and work. There are three main streams for which applicants can apply to: 

It should be noted that while IEC encompasses these three programs, Canada has a unique relationship with each of the participating countries. For this reason, some participating countries may only offer one or two of the IEC programs, while others will offer all three options.

How to Apply for IEC

Foreign nationals interested in applying to an IEC program must follow a five-step process:

Step One: Create an IEC profile Once a foreign national determines that their country participates in IEC and selects their preferred program, they may create an account on the IEC website. As long as they meet the eligibility requirements their account is automatically entered into the IEC pool of candidates.

Step Two: Receive an Invitation to Apply IEC regularly conducts random draws of IEC candidates. If a candidate is selected in a draw, they will be issued an Invitation to Apply, which enables them to move on to step three. Quotas vary by program and by country, so candidates should verify their country’s quotas to gain a better understanding of their probability of receiving an Invitation to Apply.

Step Three: Accept the Invitation to Apply If a candidate receives an Invitation to Apply, they are given 10 days to accept the invitation. After accepting, they are given 20 days to submit an online application for a work permit. If an applicant chooses to decline an invitation they will be returned to the pool of candidates and will continue being considered in future draws.

Step Four: Submit Work Permit Application After accepting an Invitation to Apply, a foreign national has 20 days to submit a work permit application online using the IRCC web portal. Applicants should review documentation requirements in advance so they can be sure they will have sufficient time to prepare the application.

Step Five: Receive Work Permit If an application is successful, the applicant will receive confirmation of their work permit and issued information about the validity period of their authorization to work in Canada.

 

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