International Experience Canada: How to apply

IEC participants: Requirements for travel to Canada

As an IEC participant, you can only travel to Canada if you have a port of entry letter of introduction and


  • you have proof of a valid job offer and can start your job as soon as you complete your quarantine
    • Make sure you check the start date on your job offer before you travel.

Find out more about travel, testing, quarantine and borders in Canada.

On this page

You cannot apply for a work permit under International Experience Canada (IEC) unless we’ve sent you an invitation to apply (ITA).

If you’ve accepted an ITA for a work permit, follow these steps.

Make sure you know the date and time of your deadline

When you accept your ITA, you’ll receive a message in your account with your deadline. You have exactly 20 days from the time you accept your ITA to submit your work permit application.

The date and time of your deadline is in coordinated universal time (UTC). This may be different than your local time.

For example, if you accept your invitation at 7:25 a.m. UTC, you must submit your IEC work permit application before 7:25 a.m. UTC time 20 days later.

Don’t wait until the last day to submit your application. The difference between your local time and the UTC time could make you miss the deadline.

Complete the online form

You can save the information in the online form and go back to it as often as you need to until you are ready to submit it.

Make sure you:

  • answer all questions truthfully and completely
    • If we find that you gave us false information or left out important details, we’ll refuse your application and you may also be ineligible for entry to Canada in the future
  • fill out all the mandatory fields in the form
    • You can’t submit your application until these fields are completed
  • don’t leave any gaps in time in the work history and education history sections
    • Include all absences, periods of unemployment, travel dates, etc.
  • include all paid and unpaid work in the work history section
  • click “validate” at the end of each form so there are no errors or blank fields in your application

Note: If you’re applying for a Working Holiday work permit and you’re asked for information about your offer of employment,

  • type “A9999999” in the offer of employment number field
  • select “No” to the question “Has your employer paid the Employer Compliance fee?” and
  • type “Non-applicable – Working Holiday” into the employer address fields

If you're having a technical problem with your application, we have some advice for you.

When you have completed the application, the system will generate a personalized document checklist for you. It will show all the supporting documents you need to upload.

Get all the documents you need

Using your personalized checklist, gather all your documents.

You must be able to make electronic copies of your supporting documents using a scanner or camera.

Once you have your documents ready, upload them on the Document Checklist page in your account.

We may ask you for more documents after you submit your application. After you upload a document, make sure you complete all of the steps. This means you must provide an electronic signature and confirm the information you’ve given. If you don’t, your application won’t be processed.

Learn more about how to submit additional documents.

If we ask you to submit documents for an application in progress

Because many applicants can now provide the supporting documents needed for us to process applications, we’ll no longer be automatically giving you more time to submit information.

  • We’ll contact you to request the supporting documents.
    • This will happen in the next few months.
    • You’ll have 30 days from the date we contact you to submit the information.
  • Start collecting your documents.
    • Do this before we contact you. It can take time to get certain documents.
    • Check the last email we sent you to confirm what you need to submit.
  • Don’t travel to another city or country to get the supporting documents.
  • We’ll consider extending your deadline if you have a reasonable explanation that shows you’re affected by COVID-19.

Find out what to do if you still have documents to provide for your application.

If you haven’t applied yet and you’re missing a document

Find out what to do if you don’t have a document you need to submit.

Documents you may need

Proof of financial support

You must bring proof of financial support (that is, a bank account statement) with you when you come to Canada. Border services officers may ask you for it when you arrive.

The statement must be issued no more than 1 week before your departure for Canada. It must clearly show that you have enough money (the equivalent of CAN$2,500) to support yourself for the first 3 months of your stay in Canada.

If you arrive in Canada with the equivalent of CAN$10,000 or more, you must tell the border services officer. If you don’t, you could be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of

  • cash
  • securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills)
  • bankers’ drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques or money orders

See what to do if you cannot get a bank statement.

The cost of living varies depending on where you decide to settle in Canada. Prepare financially by finding out how much it costs to live in the city and province or territory where you plan to stay.

Medical exams

Before you submit your work permit application, you should get a medical exam if:

  • you’ve recently lived or travelled in certain countries or territories for 6 months or more, or
  • you plan to work in:
    • the health field
    • primary or secondary education,
    • child care or
    • elderly care

You must see a doctor that has been approved by IRCC (called a panel physician).

After the panel physician completes the medical exam:

  1. You’ll get an information printout sheet or an IMM 1017B Upfront Medical Report form
  2. Upload a copy of this document to your document checklist in the “Proof of medical exam” section. If you don’t see this section, upload the document in the “Optional documents” slot at the bottom of the checklist

If you don’t complete this step, we may refuse your application or your work permit will have medical restrictions on it, which means you won’t be allowed to work in a job that requires a medical exam.

If you can’t complete a medical exam before the deadline to submit your work permit application, you can submit proof that you’ve made an appointment to get one.

Your medical exam results are valid for 12 months. To make sure they don’t expire, you should wait until you’re invited to apply before getting a medical exam.

Learn more about medical exam requirements.

Health insurance

You don’t need health insurance when you apply. However, you’ll need to get it before you arrive in Canada. It must cover the entire time you want to stay in Canada.

If you don’t have sufficient coverage, you may be denied entry into Canada.

We strongly recommend you wait until after you get your port of entry letter of introduction to get your health insurance.

The insurance (private or employer-based) must cover

  • medical care
  • hospitalization
    • That is, it must cover the cost of you staying in a hospital for medical care, if required.
  • repatriation
    • That is, it must cover the cost of getting you
      • to a medical facility
      • back to your home country, or
      • returning your remains to your home country

There are no specific requirements for the repatriation coverage. The important thing is that you have adequate medical coverage for your entire stay in Canada. If you don’t have health insurance upon arriving in Canada, you may be refused entry.

What if my health insurance is only valid for part of the time I want to stay in Canada?

If your health insurance doesn’t last the entire length of your stay in Canada, you’ll be given a work permit that expires on the same day as your insurance.

If this happens, you won’t be able to apply to change the conditions of your work permit at a later date.

Police certificates

In most cases, you’ll need to get police certificates for countries or territories where you’ve spent 6 or more months in a row since the age of 18.

When processing your application, an officer might ask you for more police certificates.

How long is my police certificate good for?

For the country or territory where you currently live, the certificate cannot be older than 6 months from the day you apply.

For any other country or territory where you’ve stayed for 6 or more months in a row, the certificate must have been issued after you left. You can use the certificate for your IEC application as long as you haven’t gone back to that country or territory.

Uploading your police certificates

There will only be 1 upload field for police certificates. If you need to give us more than 1 certificate, make sure to include all your certificates together in 1 single file.

If your police certificate doesn’t have an expiry date or document number

If your police certificate doesn’t have an expiry date, select a day that’s at least 1 year after the date it was issued. It doesn’t have to be exactly 1 year after.

If your police certificate doesn’t have a document number, type N/A in the field.

If you can’t get one in time

If you can’t get a police certificate before the deadline to submit your application, you can upload

  • a copy of the receipt to prove you’ve applied for one, or
  • a screenshot of the confirmation page or email you got when you ordered your police certificate online

An officer will send you a request letter in your account later on to ask for your police certificate. You must give us the certificate by the deadline shown in the request letter or your application will be refused.

Special instructions for police certificates

Some places of special instructions for IEC applicants. Read the special notes and considerations for the countries below:

Learn more about police certificates.


You’ll need to provide a copy of your CV or résumé. A curriculum vitae or résumé is a brief description of your:

  • education
  • qualifications and
  • work experience (main duties for each job).

It should also include your current job title and the city and country where you currently live.


You must provide a clear, readable copy of your passport.

Your passport must be valid:

  • when you apply to the International Experience Canada program and
  • when you enter and depart from Canada

Your work permit will not be issued for longer than the validity of your passport. Your passport must include a blank page other than the last page.

Digital photo

You must provide a digital photo of yourself.

Frame size
  • The final frame size of the photo must be at least 35mm x 45mm
  • The photographs must show a full front view of the head and tops of shoulders, with the face in the middle of the photograph
  • The size of the head, from chin to crown, must be between 31mm and 36mm
  • Digital dimensions are often expressed in pixels or DPI (dots per inch)
    • The physical dimensions in pixels must be at least 420 x 540

If you scan a photo you already have, the minimum resolution must be 600 pixels per inch.

File format
  • The file may be submitted in JPEG or JPEG2000 format
  • The final size of the image should ideally be 240 kB (kilobytes), but not less than 60 kB
  • The image must be in colour (24 bits per pixel) in RGB colour space, which is the common output for most digital cameras

Family information

You must complete the Family Information (IMM 5707) (PDF, 640.83 KB).

This form requests information about your

  • spouse or common-law partner
  • parents
  • children, step children and adopted children

Electronic Travel Authorization or Visitor visa application

Depending on your country of citizenship, you’ll need either an eTA or visitor visa. You don’t have to apply for these documents.

If you need an eTA, you’ll automatically receive one when your work permit application is approved. If you need a visitor visa, you’ll get a request letter asking you to send us your passport.

International Co-op (Internship) applicants

Proof of school registration

You must provide a letter from your educational institution that shows that you’re currently registered there.

Proof that your job is linked to your field of studies

Submit 1 of the following documents:

  1. Internship agreement
    • This is a 3-party agreement signed by you, your employer and your educational institution. It must have all of the following information:
      • job title
      • description of the tasks you’ll do
      • exact start and end dates of the internship
      • complete address of the job site
      • employer’s contact information
  2. Letter from your educational institution
    • The letter must
      • be on official letterhead
      • say your job offer is linked to your field of studies

Applicants using Recognized Organizations

Recognized Organization acceptance letter

If you choose to use the services of a Recognized Organization (RO) and you receive an Invitation to Apply, you may need to provide a copy of the confirmation letter from your RO when you submit your work permit application. This letter acts as proof that an RO is helping you plan your trip or find work in Canada.

Ask your RO if this applies to you.

Volontariat International en Entreprise (VIE) applicants

VIE letter

If you are participating in France's VIE program, you must provide an official certificate from Business France, the French organization responsible for managing the program. The certificate must identify the participant and the employer.

Pay your fees

The fees you pay depend on the IEC category you’re applying to.

You can use the pay your fees tool to find out how much it costs to apply to IEC and how to pay your fees.

a) All participants

You must pay the IEC participation fee. For the 2021 season, the participation fee is CAN$156.

If you need to give biometrics, you’ll need to pay the biometric fee when you pay your IEC participation fee.

b) Working Holiday participants

You must also pay an open work permit holder fee of CAN$100.

c) Young Professionals and International Co-op (Internship) participants

You don’t have to pay any additional fees, but your employer must pay a CAN$230 employer compliance fee and submit your offer of employment to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Your employer must complete this step before you submit your work permit application.


The IEC participation fee, open work permit holder fee and employer compliance fee are refundable if

  • you withdraw your work permit application before we issue your port of entry letter of introduction, or
  • your employer withdraws their offer of employment before your work permit is issued, or
  • your work permit application is refused

How refunds are processed

You don’t have to do anything else to get your refund. Normally, you’ll receive it within 8 weeks of your application being refused or withdrawn. Your refund will be issued to the credit card you use to pay the fees.

If you use a prepaid credit card to pay your fees, keep the card for at least 18 months after you pay in case you need a refund.

If we can’t refund your payment to your credit card, we’ll issue a cheque.

You will not receive a refund if we learn that you misrepresented yourself (gave false information or left out important details).

Submit your complete application

Make sure you’ve:

  • filled out all mandatory form fields
  • paid your fees and
  • included readable colour scans of all the supporting documents

The system will not let you submit the application unless all required documents are included. Use the Document Checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. If you can’t get a police certificate or medical exam before the deadline to submit your work application, you can submit proof that you have:

  • requested a police certificate or
  • made an appointment for a medical exam

This won't affect the decision an officer will make when processing your application, but your application may take longer than the advertised processing service level agreements to process.

Once you submit your application, we’ll verify that:

  • all the information you gave us is true
  • you’re eligible to work in Canada and
  • you’re admissible to Canada

If you’re eligible, we’ll send you a message in your account and tell you what to do next.

Give your biometrics

In most cases, you now need to give your fingerprints and photo (biometrics) after you apply. Find out where the biometrics stage fits in the application process.

If you’ve already given your biometrics, they may still be valid.

You can check if your biometrics are still valid and when they expire by using the Check Status Tool.

If you need to give your biometrics

We’ll send you a biometric instruction letter (BIL) to explain how to give your biometrics. After you pay all your fees and submit your application, you’ll get the BIL in your account message box within 24 hours. It tells you how and where to give your biometrics.

  • You have up to 30 days to give your biometrics.
  • You have to give your biometrics in person.
    • You must bring your BIL to 1 of the official collection service locations.
  • We recommend that you book an appointment as soon as you receive your BIL, so you don’t have any problems.

COVID-19: Changes to biometrics requirements and collection procedures

Temporary measures have been put into place for biometrics requirements and collection procedures.

Find out what to do for your biometrics

If you haven’t paid the biometrics fee, we’ll send you a letter asking you to do this first. You’ll get the BIL only if you’ve paid the biometrics fee.

Find out more about how to give your biometrics and where to give your biometrics.

If you’re outside Canada

You can go to the location closest to you. It doesn’t have to be in your country of residence.

Collection service locations include:

  • visa application centres (VACs) around the world
  • Application Support Centres (ASCs) in the United States (U.S.)
    • These are available only if you’re already legally in the U.S.
  • temporary collection locations in Europe

Find a biometrics collection point close to you.

If you’re already in Canada

As a temporary measure due to COVID-19, you don’t need to give biometrics if you’re

  • in Canada and
  • applying for IEC or you have an application in progress

This means you don’t need to pay the biometrics fee. If you already have, it will automatically be refunded once your application is finalized.

This exemption does not apply if you’re outside Canada.

If you need an extension

There may be factors outside your control that prevent you from giving your biometrics within 30 days. For example, the VAC may not have any appointments within your 30 day time frame. In this case, you can request an extension to give your biometrics.

You cannot request an extension because:

  • you have to work
  • you’re waiting for cheaper flights
  • you’re travelling or have vacation plans
  • the biometric collection point is too far
  • there are other factors in your control

How to request an extension

Send us a request using an IRCC web form. You must choose “International Experience Canada” from the drop-down menu. If you don’t, your request won’t be assessed.

Include proof with your request. For example, if the VAC doesn’t have any appointments within your 30 day time frame, you should attach a screenshot of the available appointments of the VAC.

We assess extension requests on a case-by-case basis. If your extension request is approved, you won’t get a confirmation email. Instead, you’ll get a new BIL in your account.

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