What is the Young Professional?
The Young Professional is a category under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.
IEC (International Experience Canada) is a program that offers young people the opportunity to work temporarily in Canada for up to 2 years. Nationals of 36 countries with a bilateral youth mobility agreement with Canada who are between 18 and 30 or 35 years old are eligible for an IEC work permit.
The IEC program consists of three categories:
- Working Holiday (FAQ here)
- Young Professionals
- International Co-Op
Participants in this program receive a “closed work permit” or officially called “employer-specific work permit”.
In this category:
- you need an employer
- you can only work for one employer
- the job offered must be a skilled job in TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3
- an unskilled job in TEER category 4 is allowed if you have studied in the field and can provide a degree in that job.
- the job must contribute to your professional development
The Young Professional work permit is an option to extend the stay in Canada after the Working Holiday work permit. Many applicants use it as a stepping stone to gain permanent residency.
Which countries are offering the Young Professional?
Australia, Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan
What are the requirements for participating in the Young Professional category?
To participate in the Young Professional category, you must:
- be a citizen of the country you are applying for
- have a valid passport for the duration of your stay in Canada
- be between 18 and 30 or 35 years (inclusive)
- have a signed letter of offer or contract of employment in Canada
- The employment offer must be in your field of expertise (through schooling or work experience) and contribute to your professional development. This means the job must be a job in the TEER category 0, 1, 2, 3
- A job in TEER category 4 is acceptable if you can provide a post-secondary diploma, certificate or degree in your work permit application, demonstrating that the job offer is in your field of study
- have at least $2,500 in funds
- have health insurance for the duration of the intended stay
- have a return ticket or instead prove that you have the financial means to buy a return ticket at the end of your stay in Canada
- have a credit card for the fees
Many employers fear that “sponsoring” means a sponsoring through the very complicated LMIA process which cost them thousands of dollars. Let them know that the Young Professional category is LMIA exempt and will cost the employer only the $230 compliance fee. >> Here is a good link from the government that explains the process for the employers. <<
How much does it cost to participate in the Young Professional category?
It costs nothing to submit the profile to the IEC pool. Only after you have received an invitation you can apply for the work permit.
- All IEC participants must pay the IEC participation fee of CAD $172 (for 2024)
- The fee for the biometrics: CAD $85
These fees will only be paid in the last step of the application after you have uploaded all the documents.
Do I have to be in my home country to apply for the Young Professional category?
No, you can apply from anywhere in the world, where you have access to Wifi. A handful of countries that offer the Young Professional category have a residency requirement, which means they must provide a mailing address from their home country:
Czech Republic, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden
**NEW for Italy**: If you’re an Italian citizen, you’ll also need to provide a residence certificate (certificato di residenza) to prove you live in Italy. Upload this certificate in the “Optional documents” slot at the bottom of the Document Checklist page in your account. The certificate must be translated into English or French by a certified translator (it cannot be done by you).
Can I apply for the Young Professional work permit right after the Working Holiday work permit?
In general yes, but some countries that offer the Young Professional category have a discontinuance requirement, which means they must have a break between the expiry of the first IEC work permit and the application of the second IEC work permit.
- Croatia: three-month break
- Latvia: one year break
- Lithuania: three-month break
- Poland: six-month break
- Slovakia: three-month break
- Spain: three-month break
Is the application process different than the Working Holiday category?
The Young Professional work permit application is not much different than the Working Holiday application.
- You apply into the Young Professional pool.
- During the profile creation you say ‘yes’ to the question if you have a job offer.
- Wait for an invitation.
- After you received the invitation, upload all required documents which are the same as with the Working Holiday application (Family Form, police certificates, resume, photo)
- Now here comes the difference. The employer must:
- register in the Employer Portal,
- create and submit the job offer,
- very important: they must choose LMIA exemption code C21,
- pay the $230 employer compliance fee.
- Then after the payment they receive an offer of employment number in their “Employment queue” that begins with “A” followed by 7 numbers
- You have to enter this A number in your application.
- Only then you can complete and submit the Young Professional work permit application.
- You pay the fees and submit the application.
I gave biometrics in the Working Holiday process, do I need to give them again?
Good news. No. Biometrics are valid for 10 years. In the application process you answer ‘yes’ to the question if you gave biometrics. They will automatically be assigned to your profile.
Do I need a police certificate from Canada?
Even if you spent more than 6 months in a row in Canada, you do not need a police certificate. IRCC does the checks themselves.
They might request a police certificate, then you need to provide it.
Can I use the police certificate I provided in the Working Holiday application?
- Yes, you can use the same, if it is not older than 6 months at the time of the Young Professional application.
- No, you need a new police certificate, if it is older than 6 months.
- Exception: If the police certificate was issued AFTER you left the country and never been back (not even for a short visit or vacation) you can use the same certificate because it is valid indefinitely.
Does the job offer have to be a full-time job, or can it also be a part-time job?
There is no requirement that the job must be a full-time job. However, it is the only job you are allowed to have and therefore the government will check whether you have enough financial resources so that you can pay for rent and living expenses with a part time job.
Is there a minimum pay for the Young Professional what you have to get paid?
No, there is no official requirement for the offered wage, but it should be at least the minimum wage of the respective province. Since the job is classified in a skilled category (e.g. manager or supervisor), you should also receive a higher wage than that of a normal employee. Don’t let yourself be taken advantage of!
Note, that since you’re tied to one employer and you can’t have other part-time jobs, which means the job under the Young Professional work permit should cover your living expenses. For example with a part-time job of 10 hours a week, this would not be possible.
Can I have another part-time job with the Young Professional work permit?
No. The Young Professional work permit is a closed work permit tied to the employer and location. The name of the employer will be mentioned on the work permit and no other employer is allowed to hire you.
Do I need a health insurance again to activate the Young Professional work permit?
Yes, you need the same documents for activation as for the Working Holiday work permit because it is a work permit under the IEC (International Experience Canada). Among other things, the health insurance for the entire intended duration of your stay. Be aware, if you are applying for the Young Professional from within Canada you need an ‘already travelling’ policy.
Can I change employers with the Young Professional work permit?
Under the Young Professionals category, you have a work permit, that is tied to the employer. Therefore you can only change your employer if you have a valid reason.
Examples of valid reasons to change your employer include:
- you were working for a company that has closed
- you’re not receiving the wages you were promised
- your working conditions are not safe or as promised, or
- you have been fired or laid off
You can’t change your employer because:
- you’ve been offered better wages by a different employer
- you would like to work in a different location, or
- you do not like your job or employer