Immigrating to Canada for work is an incredibly popular decision, which is why multiple work programs have been created to facilitate this process. With great benefits, a welcoming and friendly culture, as well as a supportive government system, taking the chance to work in Canada is a dream for many people.
The International Experience Canada Program
One of the most popular programs for young adults to start their working career and enter Canada is through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. Through it, individuals between 18 to 35 years of age—who are citizens of one of the 35 countries with a bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement—are capable of applying for work permits.
The Effects of COVID-19 on the IEC
Unfortunately, due to the exponential growth of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) around the globe, the program has been affected indefinitely. The need for quarantine and lockdown procedures, as well as the travel bans occurring throughout the world, have hampered IEC program operations—making it an unusable plan to work in Canada for the moment.
To help clear the air regarding IEC’s status, here are some of the ways that COVID-19 has affected the IEC program.
The Application Process
Unfortunately for those who wish to put themselves forward for the IEC program, as well as for those who are currently waiting on the status of their application, the IEC is no longer sending new out new rounds of invitations at the time. They are, however, open to new applications being sent in, but these can’t be processed until business resumes as normal.
Due to the effects of the pandemic, applications on pending status also can’t be processed as of this time. This does not mean, however, that your applications will be closed or rejected, particularly due to incomplete documentation or medical requirements—deadlines will be extended until further notice.
For those under the IEC program who were out of the country for work or vacation, you will be exempt from the travel restrictions and allowed entry into Canada—provided that you still have a valid work permit.
Take note, however, that all individuals entering through the IEC program are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival into the country, regardless of the reason.
Health Care Insurance
All participants of the IEC program are still required to obtain health care insurance that will span the entire duration of your stay to proceed with it. It is up to your discretion, however, to determine if your health care insurance provider is adequate for the current situation. If you arrive at the port of entry without one, then you will be denied entry.
Ensure to check if your provider caters to COVID-19 treatments, these are integral now, more than ever.
If your work permit is about to expire, then you must either extend it in accordance to the stipulations provided by the IEC agreement. In the situation that you can’t leave Canada, however, you must still find a way to maintain your “legal” status within the country. As such, you will need to apply to stay as a “visitor” until you are able to return back to your country of origin.
If you’re currently in Canada under the IEC program, then knowing about the changes and the required steps to take after your work permit expires. For those thinking to apply for the IEC program, however, take note that it may take a while before operations return to normal, so expect delays to the processing time of your application. For the best solutions, contact an immigration consultant for help.
If you’re looking for professional help for immigration services in Canada, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-404-8472.