Process


1. Sign Up


If you already have a paid, full-time job offer fitting into one of Canada’s National Occupational Classifications 0, A, or B, complete our quick sign up process and pay your $795 program fee at least three months before your desired travel date. In some cases applying with shorter notice might be okay, but work permit processing times cannot be guaranteed. We’ll contact you soon regarding next steps.


2. Employer submits the job offer letter through the Canadian Government website, and provides you with a contract


We have a tip sheet your employer can use to guide them through the process, and they may contact SWAP Working Holidays with any doubts. Your employer will need to provide you with a seven-digit number, which is generated once they’ve submitted the job offer information using the government’s International Experience Canada (IEC) Employer Portal. The employer will also pay CAD $230 in government fees.


3. Submit your profile to the IEC Young Professional candidate pool


Once approved by InterExchange, we’ll send you information on completing the International Experience Canada (IEC) work permit application, which begins with you setting up a profile on the IEC section of the Government of Canada website. When asked, your Recognized Organization (R.O.) is SWAP Working Holidays.


4. Receive and Accept Invitation to Apply


Once your profile is submitted and reviewed, you will receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for your work permit through the IEC website. This usually happens within three weeks. You must accept this and move forward with the application at your earliest possibility, before the invitation expires.


5. Submit IEC Application


Complete web forms and upload required documents to the IEC website. You will also need to pay any IEC and Government of Canada fees (about CAD $153).

Police certificate requirements can vary by applicant. Generally speaking, only applicants who have lived outside of the U.S. for 6+ months are asked for police certificates but others may also be required to provide this. U.S. citizens typically do not require biometrics.

Medical report requirements can vary by applicant. Generally speaking, only applicants who indicate an interest in working in fields such as childcare, healthcare, or education are asked for this but others may also be required to provide this.


6. Receive IEC Work Permit Decision


Processing times can vary widely but in our experience, most applicants receive approval within 3 months. During this time, it’s possible that IEC will request additional information or documentation.


7. Purchase Travel Medical Insurance


This is a program requirement and we will gladly point you in the direction of a few options. Your insurance must cover the full length of your intended dates in Canada. Your work permit will only be issued for the duration of your insurance coverage.


8. Provide Travel Dates


The last step before you travel is to give us your planned travel date. In order to register you with SWAP, the program provider in Canada, we will need your estimated travel dates. Please note that your work permit validity will be specific to your job start/end dates.


9. Enter Canada and Receive Work Permit


Your general IEC approval issued online or through email is not actually your work permit. It allows you to enter Canada and obtain your permit at the border or airport. At that time you will want to thoroughly ensure that the permit information is correct before proceeding into the country.


10. Attend Orientation, Social Activities, and More!


SWAP is available for support in Canada throughout your program. If you have any logistical questions or want to link up with their community for social events, SWAP is there for you! If you find yourself in Toronto or Vancouver feel free to join an orientation meeting or schedule a one-on-one with a SWAP staffer.

U.S. Department of State-Designated J-1 Visa Sponsor
Alliance for International Exchange
Exclusive partner of the Erasmus Student Network for J-1 Visa sponsorship of internships in the U.S.
European-American Chamber of Commerce New York
Generation Study Abroad
Global Ties U.S.
International Au Pair Association
WYSE Travel Confederation