Your Ultimate Guide: 9 Easy Steps for a Successful IEC Application to Canada

By | August 13, 2023


Moving to Canada for work or travel opportunities is a dream for many individuals around the world. The International Experience Canada (IEC) program provides an amazing opportunity for young people to explore, work, and live in Canada for an extended period. In this ultimate guide, we will take you through the nine easy steps that will ensure a successful IEC application process. From understanding the program to submitting your application and beyond, we have got you covered.

1. What is the IEC program?

The IEC program is an initiative by the Government of Canada that allows individuals aged 18 to 35 (or 18 to 30 for some countries) to work, travel, and gain valuable life experiences in Canada. It offers three categories – Working Holiday, Young Professionals, and International Co-op – each with its own specific requirements and benefits. The program aims to promote cultural exchange and provide opportunities for personal and professional growth.

2. Who is eligible for IEC?

To be eligible for the IEC program, you must hold a passport from one of the participating countries. Additionally, you must meet the age requirements, provide proof of health insurance coverage, have sufficient funds to support yourself initially, and meet the specific criteria for the category you are applying for. It’s essential to carefully review the eligibility requirements for your country before proceeding with the application.

3. How to choose the right IEC category?

Choosing the right IEC category is crucial to ensure a successful application. The Working Holiday category is perfect for those seeking a combination of work and travel, allowing you to explore Canada while earning income. The Young Professionals category is ideal if you have a job offer related to your field of expertise in Canada. The International Co-op category is designed for students who want to gain work experience in their field of study through a recognized internship or co-op placement.

4. What are the required documents?

Preparing the required documents is an essential step in the IEC application process. Some of the documents you may need to provide include a valid passport, proof of health insurance, a police certificate, and a letter of introduction or job offer, depending on the category you are applying for. It is important to gather and organize all the necessary documents well in advance to avoid any delays or complications during the application process.

5. Where to submit your application?

All IEC applications are submitted online through the Government of Canada’s official website. The application process is straightforward and user-friendly, allowing you to create an account, complete the application form, and upload the required documents. Be sure to double-check all the information provided and ensure accurate completion of the form before submitting. Once submitted, you will receive a confirmation of receipt and further instructions.


The International Experience Canada program opens the doors to incredible opportunities in Canada for young individuals worldwide. By following the nine easy steps outlined in this ultimate guide, you can navigate the IEC application process smoothly and increase your chances of a successful outcome. Remember to thoroughly understand the program, choose the right category, gather the required documents, and submit your application online. With patience and diligence, you’ll soon find yourself on your way to an enriching experience in Canada. Good luck!

6. How to create an IEC profile?

Creating an IEC profile is a crucial step in the application process. Visit the IEC website and select “Create an account” to get started. Provide accurate personal information and create a secure password. Once your profile is created, you will receive a personal reference code. This code will be used to apply for the IEC program and access your profile in the future. Keep this code safe as you will need it throughout the application process.

7. What is the importance of biometrics?

Biometrics, including fingerprints and a photograph, are a mandatory requirement for IEC applicants. Biometric information helps authenticate your identity and protect against fraud. After submitting your application, you will receive instructions on how and where to provide your biometrics. Generally, you will need to visit a designated biometric collection center to have your fingerprints and photograph taken. It is essential to complete this step within the specified timeframe to avoid delays in processing your application.

8. How long does the application process take?

The processing time for IEC applications varies depending on several factors, including the country of residence and the volume of applications. Generally, the process takes around 8 to 12 weeks from the time your complete application is submitted. However, it’s important to note that this timeframe is just an estimate and can be subject to change. It is advisable to submit your application well in advance and plan your travel or work arrangements accordingly.

9. What are the next steps after approval?

Congratulations on getting your IEC application approved! After approval, you will receive a Port of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction. This letter contains important information, such as the validity dates of your work permit and any additional documents required at the port of entry. Make sure to carefully review the letter and follow the instructions provided. Upon arrival in Canada, you will present this letter to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officer, who will then issue your actual work permit.

10. Where can I find additional resources?

For additional resources and information regarding the IEC program, visit the official Government of Canada website dedicated to the IEC program. Here, you will find detailed guides, frequently asked questions, and up-to-date information on eligibility requirements, application process, and more. It is always recommended to refer to official sources for accurate and reliable information to ensure a smooth and successful IEC application process.