Information on COVID-19 and Immigration to Canada
The IEC Work Permit Extension

Typically, the IEC work permit is valid from 12 to 24 months without the possibility to validate it for a longer period. For instance, passport holders from Australia and Ireland can claim up to 24 months, given their medical insurance covers that period. However, the work visa term for Germans is only 12 months.

A visa extension for the Working Holiday Visa or other IEC programs is possible but under certain conditions.

Example 1. Administrative errors in the IEC work permit

Sometimes, a candidate can get an IEC work permit with the wrong expiry date. It occasionally occurs, and the only reason is a human mistake.

If a person happens to receive a work visa with the wrong date, they can apply for an extension. Let’s imagine the IEC participant is supposed to get a 24-month work permit and instead has got it for one year. He won't be charged for a new processing fee in a scenario like this, and the employer won't need to resubmit a job offer.

Example 2. The passport validity period is shorter than the employment agreement validity

This exception is only applied to IEC applicants under the Young Professionals or International Co-op programs.

IEC participants should always ensure their passport expiration date matches the work permit eligible period. Otherwise, they end up with a shorter job that matches the expiry date of their passport.

If this happens, an individual is allowed to apply for the IEC work permit to be renewed. In some cases, the employer might need to submit a new employment agreement and pay the submission fee. The IEC candidate doesn't need to cover the IEC work permit processing fees again.

Example 3. The period covering health insurance is shorter than the job offer validity

This situation is only applied to IEC applicants under the Young Professionals or International Co-op programs.

Travel insurance is a must for all IEC participants. Like in the previous scenario, if the participant decides to buy a package that is shorter than the maximum validity period of an IEC work permit, border officers are likely to issue a work permit matching the expiry date of the medical coverage.

If this occurs, the IEC participant won’t be able to reapply to extend his work visa.

Example 4. Job offer is shorter than the allowed maximum duration of the IEC work permit

This exception is only applied to IEC applicants under the Young Professionals or International Co-op programs.

Let's suppose the IEC participant has a shorter job offer than the maximum validity period of a work permit. In that case, border officers are likely to issue a work permit matching the expiry date of the employment agreement.

Participants will be able to extend their work permits. However, the same Canadian employer will have to submit a new job offer; he is not allowed to change the initial job offer or the job's location.

The IEC candidate can also extend his health insurance after he arrives in Canada. The employer will need to submit a new job offer and pay the submission fee. The IEC participant doesn’t need to pay the work permit processing fees again.

Example 5. Changing the location with the same employer

This scene is only applied to IEC applicants under the Young Professionals or International Co-op programs.

If the IEC participant applies for a work permit extension with the same employer but at a different address, the application will be rejected.

Exceptions might be applied to passport holders from countries eligible for multiple entrances under IEC. 

Example 6. Changing a limited condition on the IEC work permit

This situation is only applied to IEC applicants under the Working Holiday Program.

Some IEC work permits have limited conditions, which means a candidate can’t work in certain occupations that require a medical exam. These are, for example, child care, teaching positions in schools, or nursing. But what if the IEC participant wants to start working in a field that requires one?

In such a case, candidates outside Canada can undergo a medical exam test and show it to the border officer once at the port of entry. The same applies to Working Holiday participants already in Canada. The medical exam results should be included in the in-Canada work permit form and a letter asking to remove restrictions on the IEC work permit.

The IEC candidate will need to pay the open work permit fee but not the work permit processing and the IEC participation fees.