The International experience Canada is a visa programme that allows people to travel and work in Canada on a temporary basis. Registration for the latest round of applications opened on 17th October. In order to be able to apply applications must meet a set of criteria and be from a county which have a reciprocal agreement with Canada. Countries include Australia, Croatia and Japan but there are too many to list here and details of which countries have such an agreement in place can be found on the Government of Canada website http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/work/iec/eligibility.asp. Visas are divided into three categories – working holidays, young professionals and international Co-op Internship. The most popular is the Working Holiday as it gives an open work permit for any employer in Canada.
Prior to 2015 visas were granted on a first come, first served basis but this has now been altered and applicants must register into a pool of candidates from which Invitations to Apply are issued at random per country and per category.
This temporary visa system allows many foreign visitors to spend some time in the country and is often the first step towards permanent residency in Canada.
It has recently been reported that Canada’s East Coast have been most active in offering permanent residency to Canada and the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia are exhibiting at Career Opportunity Expos around the world, most recently London.
By submitting an application to the Express Entry pool applicants get an opportunity to discuss with an immigration officer which provinces have skills shortages and what programs are available residency. Canadian immigration targets were increased in 2016 when the new government came to power but at the same time Ottowa reduced the number of their skilled immigrants. Doing your homework on which provinces are currently the most active in offering visas would therefore be advisable.