International Experience Canada Program (IEC) frequently asked questions. Find out how to get an IEC Work Permit and other work permits.
How to get an IEC Work Permit, extend IEC Work permit, IEC Application, International Experience Canada Program (IEC)
page-template-default,page,page-id-21267,bridge-core-3.0.8,qode-page-transition-enabled,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,hide_top_bar_on_mobile_header,qode-theme-ver-29.5,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.10.0,vc_responsive,cookies-not-set


Most Irish (ages 18-35) obtain work permits which authorize them to work in Canada through the International Experience Canada Program (IEC). Other work permit streams are listed in this guide. You may also be eligible for permanent residency.



How do I get an IEC Work Permit?

See here

I am applying for the IEC Young Professionals Program and I am being asked for my Offer of Employment file number – what is this?

Your employer will provide this to you, as they need to file details about your Offer of Employment with IRCC.

How do I extend my IEC work permit?

IEC work permits cannot be extended. However, you may be eligible to participate in another IEC category. For example, if you have had the Working Holiday, you may still be eligible for the International Co-op.

NB: If you have had the WH, you are not eligible for the YP and vice versa. Please see the IEC website for details.

If you have a second passport for another IEC-participating country, you may be able to apply under their streams.

Note that you may be able to participate again using an IRCC recognized organization. See here

If none of the above applies, you may wish to consider other work permit options outside the IEC or permanent residency.

My partner has an IEC work permit. Am I entitled to a work permit?

The spouse or common-law partner of an IEC participant is not eligible to obtain an open work permit by virtue of the participant’s IEC application. However, there may be other options.

See here (under dependents)



What is a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) and how do I get one?

An LMIA is an employer application that they may need to file in order to show that they cannot find a Canadian for the job. Numerous conditions need to be met and the employer needs to pay a fee. If an LMIA is issued then you can apply for a work permit. An LMIA is not needed if you have an open work permit.

See here

Workforce Solutions Road Map – further changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program to address labour shortages across Canada: see here.

I am on an LMIA. Do I have to pay EI?

Yes: even though you may not be able to claim these benefits. Your employment is deemed insurable and therefore EI must be deducted. You may request a ruling from the Canada Revenue Agency.

How do I extend my LMIA or LMIA-exempt work permit?

See IRCC info here. Note that an LMIA itself cannot be extended; your employer will need to apply for a new LMIA for you.

I have applied for PR through Express Entry. How do I get a BOWP (Bridging Open Work Permit)?

See here

What other work permits might I consider?

Intra-company Transferee

Available to executive, senior managerial or specialized knowledge workers.

The intra-company category permits international companies to temporarily transfer qualified employees to Canada for the purpose of improving management effectiveness, expanding Canadian exports, and enhancing competitiveness in overseas markets.

See here


International Mobility Program: CETA

  • Key personnel: including intra-corporate (company) transferees, investors, and business visitors for investment purposes
  • Contractual service suppliers and independent professionals
  • Short-term business visitors

See here


Global Skills Strategy

A niche program.  Work permit exemptions exist in some cases, such as those for highly skilled workers and researches.

See here.


Are you Studying in Canada?

Find out how to work off campus as an international student here.

Post Graduate Work Permit:  See here


Global Talent Stream

If you are in a listed specialized tech occupation then your employer may participate in the Global Talent Stream, which will allow for an LMIA to be processed on a priority basis and then you can apply for a work permit.

See here


Significant Benefit

The foreign national’s proposed benefit must be significant, meaning it must be important or notable. Officers will rely heavily on the testimony of credible, trustworthy, and distinguished experts in the foreign national’s field and any objective evidence. The foreign national’s past record is a good indicator of their level of achievement. Thus, the foreign national’s past track record in their field should be strong and distinguished. It would be helpful to show that the foreign national can immediately be recognized as a leader in their field.

See here


International Mobility Program: USMCA (previously NAFTA)

If you are an American or Mexican citizen then there could be an option for you under this program.

See here.


Provincial Nominee

If you have been nominated under one of the provincial programs for permanent residency then you likely can also get a work permit as a nominee. You will need to check with your respective provincial program.


Francophone Mobility

If you are a fluent French speaker then there could be the option for your employer to file an Offer of Employment under the LMIA exempt category of Francophone Mobility. See details here


Reciprocal Work Permit

If your employer sends Canadians abroad then there may be the opportunity for them to bring you in on a reciprocal work permit. Bona fide evidence of reciprocity must be provided, usually by the HR department. See details here


Spousal Open Work Permit

See here.

SIN: did you know you need to keep this up-to-date?

Your temporary SIN expires on the date provided in your immigration documents. You must ensure that both expiry dates match.

Extending your work permit?  Once IRCC authorizes you to continue working in Canada, you must apply to Service Canada with your new immigration document to update the expiry date on your SIN record. The expiry date on both your SIN record and your immigration document must match.

Read more here.

This guide is by no means exhaustive. There may be other fits for you. Please consult IRCC’s website.

Please note IRCC rules and regulations can be updated at any time. Be sure to clear your cookies and cache to get the most up-to-date documents and checklists as you complete your application.  Note too that programs can be added and changed on IRCC’s website faster than we can update here–IRCC is your main source.

This guide cannot be relied upon from a legal perspective. I/CAN provides information— not advice. This information is gleaned from IRCC’s website. Before proceeding, verify all information with IRCC or an immigration lawyer or Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant.