Have you ever thought about spending a year working and travelling in Canada? Your dream can come true thanks to a program called International Experience Canada (IEC). We’ll introduce the IEC program and explain the sometimes confusing travel insurance component.
International Experience Canada (IEC) is a program managed by Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT). The IEC administers youth mobility agreements and makes it easier for people aged 18 to 35 to travel and work in Canada for up to one year. Each year the IEC agrees to a quota of visas with each participating country that holds a working holiday agreement with Canada. The Canadian visa permits you to work, live and travel in Canada for 12 months (more for certain countries).
There are two ways to apply: You can apply directly to the IEC, or you can hire a private agency to help you out. If you choose to apply directly, the IEC website is a great resource. It has easy-to-follow information, instructions and FAQs for each country in the program. The direct applicant will also need to arrange their flight, accommodations, banking arrangements, travel insurance etc.
Private agencies are also available to help you navigate through the process. There are several Canadian agencies available (like SWAP, Internex, Global Lifesyles Canada) and some of these agencies have partners located in the participating countries. For a fee, these companies offer support with your visa application and provide other useful services, like jobs advice, accommodations, and orientation sessions once you arrive.
Most non-Canadians who participate in the IEC are not covered by the Canadian public health care system, so it’s important to protect yourself with travel insurance. According to the IEC, “it is vitally important that you arrange to be covered by your own private health care insurance from the moment you arrive in Canada, and that you ensure this insurance coverage lasts at least until you leave.”… Read the rest