Fast-track Canadian Work Routes

immigration Canada

Fast-track Canadian Work Routes: International Experience Canada and Global Skills Strategy

If you intend to work in Canada, it’s easy to find the processes and documentation involved in getting a work permit overwhelming. However, some routes are less complicated and notably fast in processing.

The International Experience Canada and the Global Skills Strategy are the two fast-track routes we’ll be discussing in this post.

International Experience Canada (IEC)

As a young person between 18 and 35 years of age (18 and 30 for some countries), you can travel to work in Canada via the International Experience Canada (IEC) route. However, you must be a citizen of a partner country – partner countries span Europe, Asia, Australia, and South and North America. It is currently open to 36 countries.

You can still apply for the IEC scheme via a recognized organization if your country isn’t eligible.

Via the IEC scheme, you can work in Canada for 12 or 24 months, depending on your country. However, the limit for most countries is 12 months. Australia, France, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, and the United Kingdom are the only countries eligible to stay for 24 months.

Application fees start at $156. It varies and depends on route and job type. Furthermore, processing takes approximately seven weeks from the date you submitted all required documents.

Most countries can only apply for the IEC once. Others can apply twice via different routes, while others can reapply for 24 months’ work if their first time was 12 months.

The IEC scheme consists of three routes, and they include:

1.   Working Holiday

You can apply via the Working Holiday route if you have no job offer and want to work to earn money to travel. In addition, you can apply if you intend to work for multiple Canadian employers or in different locations. If your application is successful, you’ll receive an open work permit. An open work permit allows you to work for almost any Canadian employer.

The Working Holiday route has the highest quota among all three IEC routes. The total allocation is close to 59,000, and in 2022, the Canadian Immigration department has issued over 74,000 invitations.

2.   Young Professionals

The Young Professionals route is open for paid and employed work. Hence, you are eligible if you have a job offer in Canada, ideally one in line with your career. In addition, you must work in the same location and for the same employer.

Notably, your employer must meet labor law requirements to be eligible. If your application is successful, you’ll get an employment-specific work permit. The permit allows you to work for one employer during your stay.

The Young Professionals route has a total quota of 5,306, and in 2022, the Canadian Immigration department has sent out about 3,100 invitations.

3.   International Co-op (Internship)

This route is exclusive to internship job positions. It accommodates students in post-secondary institutions and people with a work placement or internship job offers in Canada.

You have a high chance of qualifying for this route if the work placement or internship is imperative to completing your studies. Like the Young Professionals route, you get an employment-specific work permit, which means you can’t work for multiple employers or in different locations.

The International Co-op route has the lowest quota: 3,434 persons max. So far, the Canadian Immigration Department has issued around 2,700 invitations in 2022.

Global Skills Strategy (GSS)

The Global Skills Strategy (GSS) helps Canadian businesses hire highly skilled workers in the fastest possible time. You can take advantage of this route if you’re an expert in your field. Applications take only two weeks to process.

Notably, your job field must fall between skill type 0 (managerial) or skill level A (professional), according to the National Occupational Classification (NOC). Please also read the Global Talent Stream.

Jobs in skill type 0 (managerial) include, among others, Finance Managers, HR Managers, Purchasing Managers, Engineering Managers, and Corporate Sales Managers. Also, Government workers like Legislators, Senior Government Officials and Managers, and Commissioned Police Officers are eligible.

Skill type A (professional) jobs are primarily non-managerial professional occupations. Some examples are Auditors, Analysts, Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, Physicians, Chemists, Mathematicians, Veterinarians, Programmers, Social Workers, and Librarians.

Notably, as a beneficiary of the GSS route, you can bring your spouse and dependents to Canada. Their visas will also take no more than two weeks to process, and they can apply for a visitor visa, work permit, or study permit. However, they must apply at the same time as you.

GSS Application Procedure

To apply for GSS, you must be outside Canada. First, you must get all the documents supporting your job offer from your employer. After that, you can complete the online application. Some requirements for the online application include:

  • Medical exam (if necessary)
  • Proof of payment of the processing fee
  • Documents to prove your skill level
  • Police certificates (if necessary)
  • Biometrics (if necessary)

The processing fee is the same as the Canadian work permit fee: $100. You must provide certified English or French translations if any of your documents are not in any of the two languages. Requirements for a medical exam, police certificates, and biometrics depend on your location. If you need to submit biometrics, you must do so within two weeks of applying.

Aside from the above requirements, the local visa office in your country may have additional requirements.

Notably, you may not need a work permit if you’re working short-term and are a highly skilled worker or researcher. You’re eligible for this exemption as a highly-skilled worker if you’ll work up to 15 consecutive days once every six months or up to 30 consecutive days once per year.

Bottom Line

You can take advantage of the IEC as a young individual, provided you’re a national of a partner country. The Working Holiday route is the easiest as it has the highest quota and doesn’t require a job offer. The International Co-op (Internship) route is also ideal if you’re a student.

If you’re a career person and highly skilled in your job position, you can apply for the GSS route and get a work permit in just two weeks.

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