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Latest News Concerning The IEC Program

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program has been in the limelight since Canada is now looking for ways to improve its international profile. More details regarding the program prognosis for 2023 from an internal Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) letter from 26 September 2022 are now available after the recently disclosed quotas for the IEC program.

In January, immigration minister Sean Fraser confirmed that the global quotas for the IEC admissions in 2023 will cater to 90,000 participants after the increment. The letter explains the reasons behind IRCC’s decision to increase the cap.

About the IEC Program

The IEC program is specifically designed for individuals aged 18 to 35 years to travel to Canada and explore the country while being able to fund their trip by working. Approved applicants also get to experience living in Canada as a local.

Moreover, the IEC collaborates with participating groups and countries to manage Youth Mobility Arrangements (YMAs). At the time of the delivery of the memo, Canada had YMAs with 36 territories and countries throughout East Asia, Oceania, Europe, and the Americas.

Why Did IRCC Increase The Global Quota And Not The Partner Quota?

It should be noted that the total IEC admissions in 2022 didn’t recover to pre-pandemic levels. IRCC says that the failure to match the statistics that existed before the pandemic is because of increased travel costs, massive labour shortages in partner countries, and health concerns.

Therefore, IRCC has recommended a 20% increase in the global quota to 88,500, while the partner quotas in 2023 are to be kept at 2022 levels. What’s important to note here is that applicants under the partner quota have to submit their applications through a Recognized Organization in a partner country. This means that the global quota is applicable to applicants who apply to IRCC directly.

The increase in the global quota comes when the Federal government is looking for new partner countries for the IEC program and evaluating nations in Asia, the Middle East, South America, and Africa for the program’s long-term success. Plus, collaborating with more countries is likely to welcome more newcomers to the French-speaking communities of Canada.




In addition to this, IRCC is said to have to increase the global quota to match its previously achieved number of 73,655 activated work permits. Furthermore, the department wishes to counter the increasing number of young foreign nationals who get a work permit but fail to come to Canada to activate it by increasing the global quota.

On the other hand, the IRCC is against increasing partner quotas since it believes that partner countries and organizations will not find the adjustments favourable. This is especially for organizations and countries in Europe where they are dealing with problems linked to the dislocation of Ukrainians.

Moreover, increasing the quotas in 2023 will set expectations for high quotas in the future, which could make the program less flexible if IRCC has to cut the quotas, in case the rate of unemployment in Canada increases.

IEC Participants In Canada

As far as IEC participants in Canada are concerned, here are the numbers for each country;

  • Ireland – 10,700
  • Japan – 6,500
  • France – 14,000
  • United Kingdom – 5000

Here, you should know that there is no limit or quota for the number of permits granted to Australians under the IEC program.

Nearly 40% of the participants in the IEC program go to British Columbia’s lower mainland, and 19% of them prefer to live in Ontario. Similarly, 18% of participants live in Alberta, and less than 5% go to the rest of the provinces and territories.

What’s interesting is that Canada is largely dependent on IEC participants to fill the gaps in its labour market. Approved applicants mostly take jobs in the service sector, like lodging, retail, and food services. The memo suggests that numerous businesses rely on IEC to fulfill their labor demands, especially those operating in the service sector.

We hope you found this information helpful. Follow our blogs for the latest updates and informative content on Canadian immigration.


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