1. Sign up

Complete our quick sign up process and pay your $795 program fee at least three months before your desired travel date (work permit processing times cannot be guaranteed). We'll contact you soon regarding next steps.

2. Submit your profile to the IEC 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.

3. 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.

4. Submit IEC Application

Complete web forms and upload required documents to the IEC website. You can get a sense of required documents here. You will also need to pay any IEC and Government of Canada fees (about CAD $253).

Police certificate requirements can vary by applicant. Generally speaking, only applicants who have lived outside of the US for 6+ months are asked for police certificates but others may also be required to provide this.

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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Provide Travel Dates

The last step before you travel is to give us your planned travel date. If this changes later you can let us know, but in order to register you with SWAP, the program provider in Canada, we will need your estimated travel dates.

8. 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.

9. Attend Orientation, Social Activities, and More!

SWAP offers weekly orientation sessions (about 2.5 hours) at their offices in Toronto and Vancouver. If you can't make it, they're available through phone and email. They will also send newsletters with jobs and activity updates and invite you to use their jobs database and social media groups.

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