Government of Canada Allowing More International Youth to Work and Travel in Canada

On December 1, 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), launched the 2023 International Experience Canada (IEC) Program, increasing the number of applicants by 20%.

Recently, IRCC announced a new Canada-Italy Youth Mobility Agreement that also comes under these new measures.


What is the IEC?

IEC is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to travel and work abroad in each other’s countries. This increase means that nearly 90,000 candidates will be able to work and travel in Canada. The aim for the increase is to help employers find qualified workers. The program includes Francophone youth and seasonal work opportunities in Canada’s tourism industry.

IEC helps youth explore new cultures, languages, and societies, all while developing life skills and improving their job prospects for the future.

Program Details

Applicants will be able to apply as of January 9, 2023. Successful applicants between the ages if 18-35 (depending on country) are eligible to work and travel to Canada for up to 2 years.

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 and is for applicants who:
  • don’t have a job offer
  • want to work for more than one employer in Canada
  • want to work in more than one location
  • want to earn some money for travel
    1. International Co-op (Internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study. This works best for applicants who:
  • have a paid job offer in Canada that counts toward their professional development
  • will work for the same employer in the same location during your stay in Canada
  • do not wish to be self-employed
    1. 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. This path is best for applicants who:


  • Intend to study at a registered at a post-secondary institution
  • have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada that is needed to complete their studies


Currently, Canada has youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories through the IEC Program. For foreign applicants, the program provides excellent international experience, as well as the opportunity to improve their English and French language skills.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact us via email at for further information.