Canada and South Korea Strengthen Ties with New Youth Mobility Arrangement

Canada and South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement: The government of Canada is taking steps to strengthen its partnership with South Korea, recognizing it as a key ally in the Indo-Pacific region. This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and to commemorate this milestone, the Canadian government has announced the signing of a new Canada-South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement. The arrangement aims to expand international work and travel opportunities for youth from both nations through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program and its South Korean equivalent.

Improved Features:

The new Canada-South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement brings several improvements over the existing memorandum of understanding signed in 1995. These enhancements include:

  1. Increased Age Eligibility: The age limit for participation will be extended from 18-30 to 18-35, providing a broader range of young people with the opportunity to engage in work and travel experiences.
  2. Additional Streams: Two new streams, namely the international Co-op (Internship) and Young Professionals categories, will be added to complement the existing Working Holiday category. These new streams will cater to participants seeking targeted work experiences within their fields of study or career paths.
  3. Extended Duration: Most youth will have the option to participate in the program twice, allowing them to stay for up to 24 months on each occasion. This extension offers greater flexibility and longer periods of cultural exchange and professional development.

Implementation and Benefits:

The Government of Canada plans to implement the new Canada–South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement in 2024. This agreement will create exciting opportunities for future work and travel, strengthening the people-to-people ties between the two nations. Moreover, it will enhance labor market access for Canadian and South Korean youth.


The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, stated, “International experience and perspectives are particularly important in today’s global economy. That’s why the Government of Canada continues to support and create reciprocal arrangements for Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s country. Thanks to this new youth mobility arrangement, Canadian and South Korean youth will have more opportunities to live, travel and work abroad for longer than ever before, and Canadian employers will have a bigger talent pool to find the workers they need.”

Ali Ehsassi, Member of Parliament for Willowdale, emphasized the positive impact of the arrangement on the local community, saying, “This landmark Canada–South Korea Youth Mobility Arrangement will have a direct and positive impact on the vibrancy of Willowdale by further enhancing cultural exchanges, promoting diversity, and nurturing even more of a global mindset among our talented youth.”

The Honourable Park Jin, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Republic of Korea, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “I’m very pleased that our two countries have established the new Korea–Canada Youth Mobility Program on the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. This new program will enable many more youth to travel and work in Canada and Korea. The establishment of the program is a remarkable milestone reflecting the depth of our relationship.”

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