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Reciprocal work permit agreements for Canadian and international youth travelers


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Canada’s International Youth Program encourages young Canadians to travel and work abroad; to acquire the skills, training, and cultural experiences that are so valuable in Canada and in the global marketplace. Canada has coordinated reciprocal work permit arrangements with close to 40 countries in which qualifying Canadians and international youth can visit each others’ countries to experience a new culture and different work environment. 

Just this month, Poland became the most recent country to sign a youth mobility agreement with Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). The agreement will allow young Canadians and Poles (between 18 and 35) to travel and work in each other’s country for a one-year period. 

“The Agreement will serve to actively engage our youth to learn about our respective countries, develop skills for global careers and build networks to ensure an even stronger relationship between Canada and Poland for the future,” stated Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs David Emerson.

More than 22,000 young Canadians travel abroad every year through Canada’s various youth mobility agreements, and about 36,000 international youth choose to travel and work in Canada. Beyond its reciprocal work permit arrangements, Canada has formal agreements for youths with close to 20 countries, through which four specialized programs are available for Canadians.

The first is the Working Holiday program, which is geared towards non-students visiting participating countries. The program allows them to work in order to finance their travel expenses. Then there is the Young Workers’ Exchangeprogram which allows Canadians to acquire professional work experience and training in a foreign culture. The SWAP Working Holiday program (short for Student Work Abroad Program) is geared toward students. Canadian youth traveling to participating countries can receive assistance with finding accommodation and work from SWAP’s partner organizations abroad. Finally there is the Co-op Education program which aims to provide students with valuable foreign work experience related to their current academic field of study.

Participating countries may partake in all or some of these programs. The full breakdown is available on the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada website

To apply for one of these programs, Canadian youth must have a valid Canadian passport, a reasonable amount of money, and a pre-purchased round-trip airline ticket. 

By promoting world travel to young Canadians, the government is encouraging international network-building and cultural discovery. Those who participate can gain the skills and work experience to succeed in an increasingly globalized world.

International Experience Canada (IEC) manages Canada’s youth mobility arrangements and agreements with different countries around the world. These arrangements and agreements make it easier for you to obtain a work permit to travel and work in Canada for up to one year.
Work permits under IEC are available to young people aged 18-35* who are from one of the countries that have a bilateral reciprocal youth mobility arrangement or agreement with Canada. Consult the list below for participating countries to see if your country of origin has a bilateral reciprocal youth mobility arrangement or agreement with Canada. Click on the name of your country to be redirected to the corresponding Embassy of Canada website for specific application details.
Can’t find your country in the list? Connect with one of these recognized organizations for other travel and work opportunities in Canada.
Over the age of 35?* Contact Citizenship and Immigration Canada for information on other work permit options.
Australia Yes Yes Yes
Austria No Yes Yes
Belgium Yes No No
Chile Yes Yes Yes
Costa Rica Yes Yes Yes
Croatia Yes Yes Yes
Czech Republic Yes Yes Yes
Denmark Yes No No
Estonia Yes Yes Yes
France Yes Yes Yes
Germany Yes Yes Yes
Hong Kong Yes No No
Ireland Yes No No
Italy Yes No No
Japan Yes No No
Korea, Rep. Yes No No
Latvia Yes Yes Yes
Lithuania Yes Yes Yes
Mexico Yes Yes Yes
Netherlands Yes Yes No
New Zealand Yes No No
Norway Yes Yes Yes
Poland Yes Yes Yes
Slovakia Yes Yes Yes
Slovenia Yes Yes Yes
Spain Yes Yes Yes
Sweden Yes Yes Yes
Switzerland No Yes Yes
Taiwan Yes Yes Yes
Ukraine Yes Yes Yes
United Kingdom Yes No No
Are you a Canadian citizen looking to travel and work abroad for up to one year? Find out more about international travel and work abroad options for Canadian citizens.
In some countries the age limit is 18-29, or 30

1 Comment

  1. sara says:

    Nice Post about Easy way to get a Canada work permit Many peoples want to get it.


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