How To Apply For A Canadian International Co-op Visa 2016

December 16, 2015
Posted in How To Guide, Study & Work


Instructions For Candidates

Instructions For Host Employers

For those who are still not aware, International Experience Canada 2016 has announced a completely new application process for the new year! The changes are applicable to Working Holiday, International Co-op, and Young Professional candidates. For those interested in applying for the International Co-op category, there will be quite a few changes to take note of, especially for host companies and Canadian employers, that you will need to take into account before applying to IEC 2016.

In this updated “How To Apply For An International Co-op Visa 2016” guide, we want to focus on those changes with step by step instructions for both you and your host employer when applying to International Experience Canada 2016. We want to make sure that you are prepared to submit your IEC profile, your employers pays the appropriate fees and submits the correct information, and that you successfully apply for your International Co-op visa.

Part 1. For IEC Candidates: Complete steps in applying to International Experience Canada 2016

The process to become an International Experience Canada 2016 candidate is the same for every single category (Working HolidayInternational Co-opYoung Professional). The steps are explained in detail in our previous post: How To Apply For A Canadian Working Holiday Visa 2016. We recommend you to check it out, since this IEC 2016’s process is completely different from what we’ve seen in previous years. There is no more rush of securing posts on a first come first served manner – candidates are accepted into “pools(s)” and will wait while the CIC regularly holds rounds of invitations to apply for work permits. The following is what will appear in your MyCIC account once you get an invitation, as well as what your invitation will look like. Remember you will have 10 days to click the “Start application” button and then 20 days after you click start to complete your work permit application once you click start. If you do not have your documents ready yet, DO NOT CLICK START. You have 10 days to gather what you need. Once you have what you need, you can click start.


This is what your invitation will look like:


NOTE: This year International Experience Canada (IEC) has included a new requirement for all candidates: Proof of financial statements, where candidates must demonstrate having at least CAD 2,500. The instructions in the document checklist will list some of the ways you can prove this. In previous years, it was required to demonstrate proof when you actually arrive in Canada. However, from now CIC requires proof of those statements in order to process your application for an international co-op visa. So please take into account that this year you will need to provide your bank information earlier.

proof of funds 1

What Is Considered “Proof Of Means Of Financial Support”?

It is important that bank statements are presented for at least the last four months showing that your bank account has a stable amount. In this case, we recommend CAD 2500 corresponding to the last 4 months from your personal bank account. In the image below we share what CIC categorizes as sufficient proof to give you an idea of what you can submit for your international co-op work permit application for Canada. You can simply upload a screen shot or photo of the balance in your bank account. You only have to provide a minimum of one form of proof from all the choices given.

proof of funds 2

The difference between International Co-op candidates and Working Holiday candidates is that the co-op candidates will need to ensure that their employer pays the Employer Compliance Fee and submits an offer of employment form through the NEW Employer Portal once they get an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a work permit. Note that employers need to do this before candidates can submit their application for a work permit. Details follow below.

Part 2. For IEC Candidates: Ensure that your employer pays the Employer Compliance Fee and submits an offer of employment form through the NEW Employer Portal.

Once your have gotten an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for a work permit, you must ensure that your employer complete this step before you submit your work permit application.

Your employer may receive a refund of the $230 CAD compliance fee, if:

  • You withdraw your work permit application before CIC issues your Letter of Introduction
  • Or if your work permit application is refused
  • You will not receive a refund if you are found to have misrepresented yourself (gave false information or left out important details).

You have 20 days to submit your work permit application from the day you accept your Invitation to Apply (ITA). You will have 10 days to accept your Invitation to Apply (ITA) before it expires. Your employer MUST submit the offer of employment and pay the fee before you submit your work permit application. Your employer must provide you with an employment ID number that you will need to complete your application.

Instructions For Employers:

The CIC’s Employer Portal is a secure medium that employers use to do business electronically with the CIC. The Employer Portal is accessed with either a GCKey or the SecureKey Concierge serve. When you enrol in the portal, your your unique user ID is linked to your portal account and each time you want to access the portal you will be prompted to input your user ID and password. A GCKey is a unique credential that protects the communication you have with the government. You also have the option of using a SecureKey Concierge if you have an account with a Sign-In Partner. These partners allow you to use existing online accounts (like banking information) to access the Government of Canada services.

Before accessing the Employer Portal for the first time, you must register for a GCKey or use SecureKey Concierge. You must choose only one of these two sign-in methods:

Step 1: Use a GCKey to access the portal

If you already have a GCKey, you do not need to create a new one. You can skip to the log-in steps to learn how to access the portal with your existing credential. If you don’t have a GCKey, follow the steps below:

Create your GCKey

1. Go to the Employer Portal web page, click Continue to GCKey. You will be directed to the GCKey homepage.

2. Click the Sign Up button, under Simple Secure Access.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 3.20.46 PM

3. Read and accept the Terms and Conditions of Use.

4. Follow the instructions on the next page, and click Continue to create your GCKey.

Once you have your GCKey, you will log in using your key:

1. From the Employer Portal web page, click Continue to GCKey. You will be directed to the GCKey homepage.

2. Enter your GCKey user ID and password and click Log In.

3. You will be directed to the GCKey Welcome web page, which displays your user ID and last log-in information (date and time). Click Continue.

4. Read and accept the CIC Portal Terms and Conditions of Use.

Step 2: Complete an enrolment request

When you sign in to the Employer Portal, you must submit a request to enrol in the portal as an employer. The enrolment starts with a short questionnaire. You will not be able to proceed to the next question until the previous question is answered. The portal is used for a variety of purposes (not just for employers), so please ensure you answer each question carefully.

1. Select No when you are asked if you have a PIN.

2. Select No to each question about: enrolment as a designated learning institute, as an authorized representative, and about affiliation with a visa application centre.

3. Select Yes when you are asked if you would like to enrol as an employer.

4. Select No when you are asked if you have previously enrolled as an employer.

5. Complete the Create your security questions online form, and click Continue. Remember to choose questions and answers that will be easy for you to answer but difficult for someone else to guess.

6. Select Enrol as an employer.

7. Complete the online enrolment questionnaire (which will contain questions about your first and last name, title at company, fax, telephone, and email address used to be contacted by the CIC. Business information like: business legal name, operating name, if your business a Canadian organization, and your CRA business number) Click Continue.

8. Enter your name to sign your enrolment request electronically, answer the security question prompted of you, and click Submit, then Transmit.



9. When your enrolment application is processed by the CIC, you will be notified by email letting you know if your request has been approved or rejected. If your request was approved,  you will be able to log in to the Employer Portal and have full access to its features in order to pay the compliance fees and submit an offer of employment. Note: Emails to Employer Portal users are sent from Make sure that this address is on your safe sender list and that these emails will not automatically be sent to your junk mail folder.

Note: You will have 30 days from starting the enrolment process to complete your enrolment request. If your request is not completed and submitted within 30 days, the incomplete request will be deleted, and you will have to start a new one.

Step 3: Pay the employer compliance fee and submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal

Now that you have full access to the feature in the Employer Portal, you may pay your employer compliance fee and also submit an offer of employment to the candidate that you have decided to hire, through the portal. The fee is $230 Canadian dollars and may be paid through these types of credit cards (prepaid cards are also accepted):

  • Visa®
  • MasterCard® or
  • American Express®

Be sure to note down your fee receipt number, which will be needed to complete your offer of employment. This will be the number provided after you have paid your employer compliance fee of $230 CAD using the Employer Portal.

You will then fill out and submit your offer of employment on the Employer Portal as well. After you submit an offer of employment through the Employer Portal, you will receive an offer of employment ID number. You must provide this ID number to the temporary worker you plan to hire or are continuing to employ. Once the temporary worker has this information, they can complete the work permit application. CIC or the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will review the application to see if the temporary worker is eligible to work in Canada.

*End of Instructions for Employers*

Do you still need to secure your Internship in Canada for 2016? Don’t know where or how to look? Don’t hesitate – we can help you! We offer a professional Student Internship program which offers a guaranteed professional internship position and ongoing support from our staff! If you would like more information please don’t hesistate to check out program details here and to see the stories of our previous internship participants and their Canadian experiences here. Contact us today if you want help securing your Internship in Canada!


Note: Official information about the IEC program can be found on the International Experience Canada website. All information contained in this blog is intended to be informational in nature, and does not pretend to be an official source of information. We are not responsible for any changes in the IEC process that may occur. We highly recommend to check the IEC website (within the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website) to obtain the most accurate and updated information as it is released.