Before making plans to travel to Canada, always check the government of Canada website for current information as policies related to travel restrictions, exemptions, etc. can change at any time and without prior notice.
International Experience Canada (IEC) provides candidates the opportunity to travel and work in Canada. Candidates from countries who have an agreement with Canada can apply for an IEC working holiday work permit. Some countries may allow candidates to apply once, twice, in the same or different pools, for one year at a time. It’s important that candidates confirm with their country’s Working Holiday agreements with Canada prior to applying.
COVID-19 related policy
Last year the IRCC announced that work permit holders were allowed to request restoration of their status beyond the usual 90 days to apply for restoration. This came because of how the pandemic continues to have a negative impact on temporary residents within the country. Read more about it here.
Under the new policy announced on September 2, 2021, the IRCC has announced that IEC candidates who have received their Letters of Introduction (LOI), but are about to expire at the end of 2021, can request to have them extended for 12 months.
Who is eligible for this extension?
The IRCC announced that those who have not been able to come to Canada to work under the IEC working holiday program since the start of the pandemic, may be eligible to request one final 12-month extension on their LOI. They would need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
- their initial LOI was issued between January 1, 2019, and April 30, 2020 – even if an extension was previously granted due to the pandemic;
- their present LOI has expired or will expire before December 31, 2021;
- they were approved for the WHP (special program code WHP – Working Holiday Programme);
- they still cannot secure employment to overcome travel restrictions to come to Canada; and
- the request for extension is received before December 31, 2021, using the IRCC’s Web form.
Is a medical exam required again?
If the candidate has already undergone an immigration medical exam, then they will not be required to go through it again. The candidate will not be required to undergo biometrics unless it has been more than 10 years since they first submitted their biometrics.
Will all extension requests be approved?
All requests will be reviewed by immigration officers on a case-by-case basis. If they application to extend the LOI is granted, the 12-month extension will be either from the date of processing of the expired LOI, or from the expiry date of the current valid LOI.
As per the new policy, all IEC candidates must have a valid job offer and must carry their extension letters with them when traveling to Canada.
As mentioned above, always check the government of Canada website before you make plans to travel to Canada as policies related to travel restrictions, exemptions, etc. can change at any time and without prior notice.