IEC Work Permit: Automated Processing Implemented for a faster processing time.

Canada introduced automated processing for IEC work permits

On November 7, 2023, Canada introduced a new tool to make it faster and easier for young people from other countries to get work permits through the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. The goal is to cut down on wait times and enhance the overall immigration process for these individuals.

The new tool sorts applications for the IEC work permit based on their complexity, speeding up the process for some applicants. It handles tasks like organizing applications and initial approvals, leaving more intricate decisions to experienced officers.

The tool uses specific criteria developed by seasoned IRCC officers to

categorize applications, directing them to officers for further processing. For

straightforward cases, the tool identifies them for streamlined processing, with a final decision made by an officer to determine admissibility to Canada.

Importantly, the automated tool cannot refuse applications; only an IRCC

the officer has that authority. If the tool doesn’t automatically approve eligibility, an officer can still review and approve the application manually.


The automated tools are part of IRCC’s effort to enhance the immigration system using technology. They are committed to responsibly developing and deploying data-driven technologies that adhere to privacy and human rights standards.

Following Canada’s Treasury Board Directive on Automated Decision Making,

the tool for processing IEC work permit applications underwent an algorithmic

impact assessment (AIA). The assessment classified the impact level of the

system as moderate. To address potential risks, several measures are in place,

including a review for possible discriminatory impacts, privacy and security

features embedded in the tool’s design, and the ability of officers to overturn the tool’s decisions if needed.


The IEC is a program that gives international youths the opportunity to work in Canada. Youth from over 30 different countries can get an open work permit so they can work for any employer of their choice in Canada.

Work permit issued under IEC are exempt from the requirement for a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA).

In order to be eligible for the IEC program, candidates must:

  • Be a citizen (passport holder) of one of the above countries or be a resident of one of the territories that have a bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement with Canada;
  • Have a valid passport for the duration of their stay in Canada (the work permit issued will not be longer than the validity of the passport),
  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 or 35 at the time of application (the upper age limit depends on the applicantโ€™s country of citizenship);
  • Have the equivalent of $2,500 CAN upon landing to help cover initial expenses.
  • Be able to take out health insurance for the duration of their stay (participants may have to present evidence of this insurance at the point of entry in Canada);
  • Be admissible to Canada;
  • Have, prior to departure, a round-trip ticket, or the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket for the end of their authorized stay in Canada,
  • Not be accompanied by dependents; and
  • Pay the appropriate fees.