The InterExchange Work & Travel Canada program gives U.S. young adults the chance to experience Canada while taking on seasonal jobs. Whether you already have a job in mind or just want to experience the country and pick up work along the way, our program gives you a leg up and a smoother transition.
Participating on this program means that for official purposes you will be a participant on the International Experience Canada (IEC) - Travel and Work program. The program allows you to live, work and travel in Canada for up to one year and U.S. citizens are able to participate twice (not including participation prior to 2017).
- Support for working, living and traveling
- Work permit information and documents
- Optional orientation in Toronto or Vancouver
- Members’ jobs database
- Newsletters with job opportunities and social events
- Social media groups to connect with other travelers
- InterExchange t-shirt
Arrival and Orientation
Once you have your approval to travel you are welcome to enter Canada on any date. You should allow several weeks to complete the InterExchange and IEC work permit applications. In many cases the whole process has taken about eight weeks (based on typical processing times in 2017 and subject to change).
The program includes an optional orientation session in Toronto or Vancouver, covering the job search, logistics of living and working in Canada, finding housing and more. Whether you start in one of these two cities or pass through them at a later date you are welcome to attend a session any Thursday. If you're out of the way you are welcome to touch base with the InterExchange partner organization by phone or email throughout your program.
Your permit will allow you to stay in the country for one year and we recommend taking as much of this time as you can to experience the beauty of Canada. Many participants travel for the summer only but if you can add a few extra weeks, do it! You will receive updates through social media and a regular newsletter on social activities and happenings around the country.
The International Experience Canada (IEC) Travel and Work program is meant as a chance to explore Canada with the option to take on seasonal jobs for a maximum of one year. Many participants already have an idea of what they will be doing in Canada but others travel without a job lined up and take advantage of the job support provided by our partner in Canada. This is up to you. If you have a specific date in mind to travel please consider the time it takes to complete the InterExchange and IEC applications.
Hospitality (restaurants, bars, hostels, hotels, etc.), travel and tourism jobs, and seasonal work at ski resorts or summer camps are all common. Manual labor positions and office temping are also possible. Many jobs don't require previous experience so don't worry if you haven't worked before. On the other hand, plenty of participants have found career-specific positions. Note that there are restrictions on working in health care, child care or primary or secondary education. Also, if you're hoping to work in Montreal or surrounds you may need French language experience.
InterExchange provides support during the pre-departure phase, most importantly to help demystify the work permit process. Once you arrive in Canada you are invited to attend a brief info session at the Toronto or Vancouver office of the InterExchange partner organization, SWAP. If you find yourself in another part of the country you are encouraged to contact SWAP through email or phone for support. SWAP also maintains an online jobs database and will provide newsletter and social media updates about featured jobs and events around the country.
When your program ends you will have access to InterExchange alumni resources including our Language Partner Program, events and the InterExchange Foundation Alumni Grant.
The InterExchange application is easy and can be completed with a few simple online forms and uploads. We will then provide information on the next steps, which include your work permit application through International Experience Canada (IEC). We cannot guarantee how long the IEC process will take. While most of our participants are approved within eight weeks, it's better to give yourself more time if you can.
We accept applications for our Work & Travel Canada program on a rolling basis and you can start almost any week throughout the year. We are now accepting applications for 2018. Once you sign up with InterExchange, the process to apply through International Experience Canada can take several weeks so we recommend preparing well in advance.
What our participants are saying
I know if I need anything I can send a quick email and be assisted right away. I feel secure with [InterExchange] staff and am grateful for the extensive information that has been provided. Keirsten
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