Canada Adds New International Experience Class Country: Portugal

2018 JUN 19
The International Experience Class (IEC) provides young people from various countries the opportunity to receive a Canadian work permit, allowing them to work in Canada for a limited period of time (typically one year, in some cases, two years). Currently, 33 countries participate in the program. [Note that similar opportunities exist for Canadian citizens in the countries that partner with Canada for this program.]

All three types of IEC work permits will be available to qualified candidates.


The Working Holiday program

This program provides for an open work permit for qualified applicants, typically aged 18 to 35 (in some cases, 30)


The International Co-op program

This program is designed for post-secondary students, seeking a work placement/internship as part of their academic curriculum. It requires an offer of employment.


The Young Professional program

This program is designed for post-secondary graduates to gain work experience in their fields, and requires a job offer from a Canadian employer in a related field.

(Please note that this is a brief summary only – there are various considerations including quotas, pooling procedures for application, and otherwise, that would need to be considered for any particular case. A listing of program details, and eligible countries can be found at

Starting in 2019 (for which registration will begin in late 2018), citizens of yet another country will be entitled to access the Canadian IEC:
● Portugal

All three types of IEC work permits will be available to qualified candidates.

For employers, this provides an opportunity to secure a worker from Portugal where, otherwise, the case may have required a Labour Market Impact Assessment, or qualification in another work permit category. Similarly, prospective Portuguese workers will be able to take advantage of this program, where qualified, to secure temporary employment in Canada.

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