New UK rules in effect starting with the 2024 season

Starting with the 2024 IEC season, the newly announced UK agreement has been implemented. A new age requirement and new participation gives more UK participants a chance at the International Experience Program. 

>> The official government announcement here << 

As a British citizen, you may participate in IEC twice:

  • a first participation of 24 months under any category
  • a second participation of 12 months under any category

If you participated in IEC before 2015 for a period of up to 12 months, you are eligible for a second participation of up to 24 months in any category.

Those who already participated in IEC twice are no longer eligible to apply.

>> Official info here.<<

The age has been raised from 30 years to 35 years inclusive

You must receive an invitation before turning 36 years old.  At the time of activation the age is irrelevant and you can be over 36 years old.

If you participated thorugh an RO, you can still participate twice.

A participation through a Recognized Organization does not count towards the regular participation. 

Example: Your first participation of 2 years was through the regular process, then you participated another 2 years via an RO, you can still apply for another participation of 12 months via the regular process.  

If you did not activate a previous POE you can participate again

Since 2023 it only counts as “participation” if you arrive in Canada and activate your work permit. If you didn’t travel to Canada to activate the work permit, you can participate again without any penalties. 

If you’re still eligible, you can create a new profile. You must wait until your POE letter expires to create a new profile. You cannot cancel the POE earlier. You must wait for the exact validity date printed on the POE to pass.

>> Official info here << 

Can I apply now even though I am still on the current participation?

Yes, you can apply at any time. But be aware, after the approval, you only have 12 months POE validity to activate the new work permit. Plan this accordingly, so you don’t waste the time on the current participation. 

So basically, wait until 12 months before the current expiry to apply for the new participation. 

The three IEC categories

Existing: Working Holiday

Participants in this program receive an “open work permit”.

In this category:

  • you don’t need a job to participate
  • you can choose where you want to work
  • you can work for more than one employer in Canada

New: Young Professionals

Participants in this program receive a “closed work permit” or officially called “employer-specific work permit”.

In this category:

  • you can only work for one employer in the same location
  • the job offered must be a skilled job in TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3
  • the job must contribute to your professional development
  • the employer must pay a $230 compliance fee
  • A TEER 4 job may qualify if it’s in your field of study. When you apply, you’ll need to submit your post-secondary
    • diploma
    • certificate or
    • degree

New: International Co-op (Internship)

Participants in this program receive a “closed work permit” or officially called an “employer-specific work permit”.

In this category:

  • you can only work for one employer in the same location
  • you must be an enrolled student in a post-secondary educational institution in your home country (for example university) for the duration of the internship
  • the internship must be part of the academic curriculum
  • the employer must pay a $230 compliance fee
  • A TEER 4 job may qualify if it’s in your field of study. When you apply, you’ll need to submit your post-secondary
    • diploma
    • certificate or
    • degree

To repeat again: With an “employer-specific work permit” you can only work for one employer in the same location. The name of the employer will be printed on the work permit. You cannot have other part time jobs or side gigs under this work permit.

Additional information for the two new categories:

After you have received an invitation from the Young Professional or Internship category, the employer must:

  • create a profile in the Employer Portal,
  • submit the job offer,
  • pay the $230 employer compliance Fee.

The LMIA exemption code for the IEC program is C21

This is the code the employer has to use when submitting the job offer!

After they paid, the employer will then get an offer of employment number in their “Employment queue” that begins with “A” followed by 7 numbers.

You have to put this number into your own application. Only then you can submit the application and pay the fees.

More info for the employers >> here <<

Important things when you participate again!

If you are currently under the first 2-year participation in Canada (or have already participated once) you can now apply for another participation for 12 months.

You cannot apply in any other way to extend the current participation.

For the second participation you must go through the new process again. It means new profile into the pool, wait for the invitation and submit all necessary documents and fees again.

To participate again, you can use the same GCKey account to apply.

Log into your GCKey account and choose the option “Apply to come to Canada”

❗️❗️❗️IMPORTANT ❗️❗️❗️

If you are applying for another Working Holiday participation but have a job, answer NO to the question about the job offer. Otherwise the system will put your profile into the Young Professional pool and send an invitation to the Young Professional category.

If this happens you need to start from scratch as it was the incorrect category!!!  You will need to delete the current profile, create a new one and re enter the pool and wait for a new invitation for the Working Holiday category.

ONLY ENTER the Young Professional Pool if you also want to use the Young Professional category and are eligible for it.

You cannot change your mind later. The YP category will always be invited first. Once you receive an invitation from one pool, the profile is locked from receiving other invitations.

This means as long as there are spots left in the Young Professional category, you will not receive a Working Holiday invitation.  

New passport

In case your passport is going to expire during the planned second IEC participation, apply with the old passport and renew it before travelling to Canada or to the USA border to activate the work permit.

Show the copy of the old passport and the new passport to the immigration officer. To travel to Canada you need a new eTA for the new passport. Apply for the eTA >> here <<


If you provided biometrics for the first participation you do not need to provide them again. The system will automatically assign your biometrics to your new profile. This will happen after you received an invitation and submitted the application.

Police certificates:

You need a new police certificate from the UK if it was issued while you were still in the country.

If you provided police certificates from other countries in your first IEC application those do not need to be updated, if:

  • they were issued after you left that country and
  • you haven’t been back to that country (not even for a few days). 

If you were back to that country, you need a new one.

Even if you don’t need new police certificates from other countries, you still have to upload the old ones into the application. 

I spent more than 6 months in Canada, do I need a police certificate from Canada?

No. Canada does their own checks.

A police certificate from Canada is not required, except IRCC specifically requests it during the application processing.

If they need one and request it, it will happen after you submitted the application. 

Medical Exam:

If you would like to work in child care, health care, or elderly care, you need to re take the medical exam. The medical exam was valid for only 12 months.

Medical Exam temporary measure until October 6, 2024

For applicants from within Canada:
If you completed an IME within 5 years of submitting your new application, include the IME number (or the unique medical identifier number) from your previous exam in your current application.
You may be exempt from completing another IME if you meet all of these conditions:
  • You applied, or are applying, for either permanent residence or temporary residence.
  • You already live in Canada.
  • You completed your previous IME in the last 5 years.
  • Your previous IME indicated a low risk or no risk to public health or public safety.

>> Official info at the top of the page here << 

Health insurance:

You need to provide health insurance for the new work permit for the entire duration of the stay. If you would like to stay the full 12 months, you need 12 months health insurance.

If your insurance policy is valid for less than your expected stay, you will be issued a work permit that expires at the same time as your insurance. If this happens, you will not be able to extend your work permit at a later date.

Provincial health care or employer benefits are not sufficient to activate the new IEC work permit! They do not meet the IEC requirement as they do not cover repatriation.

Be aware! If you are already in Canada, it must be an “already travelling” policy.

>> Here you can find a few options. << 

Maintained status:

There is no maintained status between two IEC participations.

If your current work permit expires while you wait for the new IEC application processing, you must change to visitor status by applying for the visitor record online. It cost $100 and you can apply from the same GCKey account. 

While waiting for the visitor record you can stay in Canada but must stop working.

You can only start working again after you activated the new work permit. 


From inside Canada you can only activate the new work permit by flagpoling at the USA border. 

Or activate at the immigration office at the airport if you exit Canada for a vacation and return.

❗️HELP I received an invitation for the Young Professional pool❗️

If you received an invitation from the Young Professional pool, but definitely wanted a Working Holiday (you can see how the application details look like in the screenshot below) you need to start from scratch as it was the incorrect category.

You need to:
  • decline the invitation,
  • delete the current profile,
  • create a new profile,
  • answer of ‘no’ to the job offer,
  • re enter the Working Holiday pool,
  • wait for a new invitation for the Working Holiday category