Prepare for arrival – International Experience Canada

New entry requirement now in effect

Study and work permit holders from visa-exempt countries who received their permit on or before July 31, 2015 need an eTA to fly or transit to Canada.

Note: The leniency period that allows travellers to board their flight without an eTA ends soon.

Applicants who are issued an initial study or work permit on or after August 1, 2015 will automatically be issued an eTA along with their permit. For work permit or study permit renewal applications, the eTA will not be automatically renewed. If you wish to exit and re-enter Canada by air, you will need to ensure that your eTA is still valid by consulting the Check Status Tool. If your eTA has expired, you will need to apply for a new one as soon as you can and before the eTA leniency period ends.

When you arrive in Canada, you will be greeted by a Border Services Officer from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). Be prepared to present the following to the officer:

  • your passport;
  • your Port Of Entry (POE) Letter of Introduction;
  • proof of funds;
  • proof of health insurance;
  • a ticket for your departure from Canada or sufficient funds to purchase such a ticket.

Note: If you are an unpaid International Co-op (Internship) participant, you may also be asked to show proof of additional financial resources to cover expenses for your entire stay.

We recommend having original copies available of all the documents you provided for your International Experience Canada work permit application.

Funds and health insurance

The Border Services Officer may ask you for proof of funds and proof of health insurance (covering medical care, hospitalization and repatriation to your country).

When you arrive at the Port of Entry, you must have health insurance valid for the entire duration of your authorized stay in Canada. Note that being in possession of a valid provincial health card will not meet this requirement as repatriation is not covered by provincial health insurance.

You may be refused entry if you do not have insurance.

If your insurance policy is valid for less than your expected stay, you may be issued a work permit that expires at the same time as your insurance. If this happens, you will not be able to apply for an extension of your work permit at a later date.

If you arrive in Canada with the equivalent of CAN$10,000 or more, you must tell the Border Services Officer. If you do not, you could be fined or put in prison. These funds could be in the form of:

  • cash;
  • securities in bearer form (for example, stocks, bonds, debentures, treasury bills); or
  • bankers’ drafts, cheques, travellers’ cheques or money orders.

You will receive a work permit if the officer is satisfied that your entry is consistent with the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and its Regulations. If the officer is not satisfied, you may be asked to return to your home country on the next flight at your own expense.

Review your work permit

Check your work permit carefully before leaving the Border Services Officer. Make sure you understand all the information on the permit and that the expiry date is correct.

If you are in the Working Holiday category, your work permit should show:

  • a validity period for the duration of your expected stay starting from the date you enter Canada;
  • “open” employer and “open” employment location. Open employer and employment location means you can work for any employer, anywhere in Canada, should they be willing to employ you. There is no restriction on how long you can work, or how many hours you can work, as long as your work permit is valid.

Check your work permit before you leave the international zone. If you think there is a mistake on your work permit, please tell the Border Services Officer right away.

If you are in the Young Professionals or International Co-op (Internship) categories, your work permit will show:

  • a validity period equal to the period of time listed in the agreement between Canada and your countryFootnote 1; and
  • the name of your employer.

This means that you can only work for the employer specified in your letter of introduction. If you finish your work contract and your work permit is still valid, you can stay in Canada under a renewed contract with the same employer to work at the same address or stay as a visitor until your work permit expires.

Check your work permit before you leave the international zone. If you think there is a mistake on your work permit, please tell the Border Services Officer right away.

Note: The work permit will also state “This does not authorize re-entry.” This means the permit allows you to work in Canada after you have been legally admitted as a temporary resident. If you leave Canada during the period of your work permit and return to continue working, the Border Services Officer will re-assess your admissibility as a temporary resident. If you remain admissible, the Border Services Officer will authorize you to re-enter Canada with your original work permit. The work permit does not act as a visa or passport to allow you entry to Canada, nor does it guarantee admittance.

Staying in Canada

You may be able to stay in Canada as a tourist once your work permit expires. Complete the Come to Canada tool to find out if you are eligible to extend your stay.

You must do this while your work permit is still valid.

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