Sun | Feb 18, 2018

Immigration Corner | I want to work in Canada

Published:Tuesday | June 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Dear Ms Powell,

I would like an opportunity to visit Canada to work. I just want to get some experience of working in another country. Does Canada have programmes like that? I would just like to get some international work experience and get to know Canada. I could visit some of the universities to see if I would like to do further studies there.

- W.P.


Dear W.P.,

Canada has a programme known as the International Experience Class (IEC), which allows young people from around the world, who qualify, to come to Canada to travel and work under one of three available programmes. The programmes are The International Co-op (internship); Young Professionals; and The Working Holiday programmes. Your eligibility for these programmes is based on your country of citizenship.

To qualify for an IEC work permit, your country of citizenship must have an agreement with Canada that allows you to apply for the work permit. If your country is not on the list, you will need to use one of the Recognised Organisations (RO) to assist you with your application.

There is no Caribbean country on the list of countries that are in agreement with Canada. So as a Jamaican, you will need to visit the website of one of the ROs to find out how to access the programme with their help.

There are currently 12 organisations on the list of ROs.

You will need to contact them to make an application to them and to see if you will be granted a letter confirming that they will help you to plan your trip or to find work in Canada. Once you have this confirmation letter in hand, you may check to see if you are eligible to enter into the pool of candidates via the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website.

You will be required to create an online portal, which is similar to the express entry portal so that you can be admitted into the pool of IEC applicants. Once you enter the pool, your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for a work permit will be based on programme for which you are qualified. The most competitive is the working holiday programme. Therefore, you should try to get accepted under the Young Professionals and International Co-op (internship) category to increase your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for a work permit. You must wait for IRCC to grant you an invitation to apply for a work permit. You cannot apply for a work permit under this category without receiving an invitation to apply.

You will need the cooperation of the employer, who will be required to pay a fee within the specified time through the employer portal. Once your prospective employer has paid the fee, you should request the reference code in order to complete your application within the specified time.

You will also be required to do a medical and security checks. These reports must be uploaded along with other supporting documents to the IRCC portal. Fees associated with this application are C$150 (participation fee), plus C$100, which should be paid to IRCC via the online portal. You will need an international credit card to be able to make this payment.

This process could take approximately eight weeks to be completed. Therefore, university or college students between 18 and 35 years who are interested in this programme should contact an immigration lawyer, visit the IRCC website, or the website of one of the recognised organisations for additional information.

• Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is admitted to practise in Jamaica and Canada. Submit your questions and comments to

Find her on Facebook: jamaicanlawyer.

Call 613-695-8777 or 876-922-4092.