How to stay in Canada after your IEC Working Holiday

Your International Experience Canada (IEC) work permit is a type of temporary status in Canada, but what if you could apply to stay permanently and work for any employer anywhere?  

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The type of status that allows you to stay, live and work as long as you want is called Canadian permanent resident status.

To stay in Canada after your IEC working holiday, you should definitely aim for a permanent residence status. But they’re other means that’d keep you in the country also. Check out our ultimate guide to getting your permanent residency.

How to Extend Your Stay in Canada as a Visitor

The Visitor visa typically permits you to stay in Canada for up to 6 months after your working holiday visa expires has expired.

extend IEC working holiday period

Although you won’t be able to work while in Canada on a Visitor Visa, you’re permitted to travel and reside within the country.

Ensure to apply for the Visitor Visa at least 30 days before your work permit expires. 

If you’ve applied for your Visitor Visa and your IEC get expired before you receive approval, you are eligible to stay in Canada on implied visitor status until a decision is made about your application. 

Apply for The Young Professionals Program

The Young Professionals Program is designed for post-secondary graduates who would like to pursue a career in Canada.

To be eligible to apply for the Young Professionals Program, you must have either a contract or a job offer from a Canadian employer.

This job ought to be within your area of expertise and your field of study. 

It’s paramount to note that the Young Professionals Program is employer-specific. This implies that you can only work for a specific employer during your stay in Canada. 

Apply for Permanent Residence

Canada has a few pathways to permanent residence, we’d be outlining three pathways to acquiring a  Canadian permanent residence status and they are:

Worker Immigration

If you have a decent amount of work experience, post-secondary education, and command of the English or French language, then you might qualify for an “economic immigration” pathway for workers, such as Express Entry or a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP).  

Express Entry is a particularly fast path to permanent residence (the clue is in the name), with processing times within six months, while the PNP route may take a bit longer (but you may be able to stay in Canada working while waiting).

Please note that not all candidates for Express Entry are applying for permanent residence, but if you gain at least 12 months of qualified work experience in Canada while you have your IEC work permit, that will increase your CRS points and give you a great opportunity to be invited. through Express Entry.


The Express Entry system manages applications for three programs: 

And if you’ve been working in Montreal or anywhere else in the province of Quebec, be aware that there is a separate Quebec immigration system for workers, so you may need to brush up on your skills in French.

Family Immigration

Is your reason for staying In Canada that you found someone worth staying for?  Well, if your partner is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and the two of you are married or meet the definition of cohabitation or marital partnership, then your partner would be eligible to sponsor you to become a permanent resident.

Get a Study Permit

You’ve had a year of fun, now is the time to continue the adventure, but do a little self-improvement along the way.  Why not apply to study in Canada?

Canada has some of the highest-rated universities in the world, so you can get a quality education.  

In addition, a Canadian study permit gives you the possibility to work while you study.  

Completing post-secondary studies in Canada is also a big step on the road to becoming a Canadian permanent resident.

Enlist an immigration expert

If you’re still unsure of what route to take after your IEC work permit, we advice that you enlist the services of an immigration consultant to help take some stress off your back and make this process less worrisome.

We know that Immigrating to another country is a complicated process of application and related legalities. But before you enlist the services of an immigration consultant here are signs you need to look out for:

  • They’ve a good track record.
  • They’re registered with the Immigration Consultants of Canada Regulatory Council (ICCRC).

There you have it, Your options for staying in Canada after IEC. Good-luck!

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