Foreign workers and foreign students, who wish to travel and work in Canada, are increasingly using the International Experience Canada program to facilitate the process of Canadian immigration. Each year the government’s International Experience Canada program enables up to 35,000 young foreigners ages 18-35 (ages 18-30 in some countries) to acquire their temporary Canadian work permits faster, with less hassle and fewer obstacles than other Canadian immigration applicants may face. Once equipped with the necessary travel or work permits and/or visas, these young foreign students and foreign workers can work legally in Canada for a period of up to 18 months, depending on the International Experience Canada category which the individual has applied under. The program only applies to citizens of certain participating countries like Australia, Chile, or Sweden, to name a few.

The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs manages the various International Experience Canada programs from country to country, and the three main categories which foreigners can apply under are: 1) Working Holiday (work while travelling; maximum stay is 12 months); 2) Young Professionals (need specified employment contract; maximum stay is 18 months); and 3) International Co-op/Internships (work in field of study; maximum stay is 12 months). For applicants from certain countries like France there are additional categories, such as: Summer jobs for students, which is up to 3 months long.

Young workers like this program because they get the chance to explore Canada’s warm culture and natural beauty during their stay. More importantly, they are able to work in one of the world’s most prosperous economies, and experience Canada’s high standard of living. This adds valuable personal and professional experience to their resumes, and allows them to see what working in an international environment is like. An experience like this also improves their cultural literacy and worldliness – both of which are important in our increasingly interconnected world. Furthermore, travelling and working through International Experience Canada gives foreign students and foreign workers, who wish to eventually reside in Canada, a significant advantage in the eyes of Canadian employers, who appreciate a foreign worker with experience working in Canada.

International Experience Canada benefits employers, foreign students and workers alike. Canadian employers benefit from the experience and diversity that international employees bring to the table, which is evidenced in everything from the languages they speak to the international connections that they can help a company develop. As for the foreign applicants, in addition to the benefits already mentioned, Canada is a land of growing employment opportunity for youth from all over the world. There are more job opportunities at higher levels that are better paid in Canada, relative to that which many foreign nationals may find in their home countries.

The ever-growing number of applicants from countries like France can attest to the countless opportunities in Canada. In fact, in the last decade the number of French youth who have come to Canada through the International Experience Canada program has more than doubled. This year the Canadian government has significantly increased the number of spots available to French applicants to 14,000 in an effort to fill the demand from France. As the number of applicants from France and other countries keeps growing, the importance of the International Experience Canada program will increase as well, as Canada continues to attract the world’s brightest youth to work in Canada and fuel the Canadian economy. 

For more information about immigrating to Canada, contact FWCanada – Canadian Immigration Law Firm

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