How to Extend Your POE Letter – IEC Working Holiday Canada

June 23, 2020
Posted in News


UPDATED AS OF SEPTEMBER 3, 2020

Is your POE Letter for Canada about to expire? The current situation of COVID-19 is affecting all work permit applications and work experiences planned in Canada for 2020. International Experience Canada (IEC) is working to make sure you do not miss your IEC work opportunity in Canada.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis (March 2020), IEC announced a 90-day extension to everyone holding a POE Letter that was about to expire. In June 2020 IEC announced an additional 90-day extension. Now that this extension is nearly up, they have announced yet another extension.

IEC recently announced POE Letter holders may now be eligible to apply for extra extensions totaling up to 12 months combined. The extension may only be available to you if you could not travel to Canada during your previous extensions due to covid-19 travel restrictions.

A very important note: Canada is only giving this extension to those who have not yet activated their IEC work permit. This extension does not apply if you are already in Canada with a valid IEC work permit.

Why do I need to apply for a POE extension?

The reason why IEC is providing these extensions is that as of May 8, 2020, anyone that wants to activate their Working Holiday work permit must have a valid job offer in Canada. Normally, having a job offer is not a requirement to activate your working holiday permit. However, IEC is aware that not everyone can get a job before their arrival in Canada. So for that reason, they are giving some extra time to activate your working holiday.

If you are one of the lucky ones to have a job offer then you might be eligible to enter Canada, but be sure you check all the requirements before booking a flight to Canada. Your job offer letter must include a note confirming that:

How do I apply for a POE extension for IEC?

IEC has provided very simple instructions to request your POE extension. Complete an IRCC Webform providing as much information as possible.

  1. Make sure you select “International Experience Canada” in the dropdown of “Type of application/inquiry”
  2. Explain your situation, including why you could not travel to Canada until now. Provide as many details as possible. The number of characters is limited but will be enough to explain.
  3. Include your personal details. Do not forget your UCI and Application Number, you will be able to find these on your POE letter.
  4. You are allowed to support your request by attaching documents. You can attach your POE Letter, a copy of your passport, and any other supporting documents you think will help justify your case.

Will I receive an automatic extension of my POE before it expires now?

No, you will not automatically receive this extension. You still need to request your extension through IEC’s webform and explain your situation the best you can. Describe why you will not be able to travel to Canada before the expiration date of your POE or your previous extension date.

Remember: Decisions on all extensions will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of an immigration officer.

Can I apply for the extension and request a 12-month extension right away? 

In your extension request, you need to explain your situation and why you cannot travel for as long as the extension that you are requesting. Decisions on the length of your extension will be made on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of an immigration officer.

I already received one extension for 90 days, would this mean I can get an extra 12 months extension? 

No, in the latest update IEC confirmed that you could be eligible for a total extension of maximum 12 months, which means that if you already got 90 days, you could be eligible for the remaining time equalling to 12 months. 

Example: 

  • Your 1st extension: 90 days granted
  • Your 2nd extension: additional 90 days granted

Now you could be eligible for an additional 6 months before your POE expires. 

Can any of the IEC countries apply for the POE extension? 

YES, as long as you have a POE letter from IEC and any of the work permit category permits, then you are eligible to apply for the POE extension. 

How far in advance can I apply for my POE extension request?

You can only submit your extension request 30 days before the expiration date of your POE. Do not complete the webform if you have more than 30 days, as IEC clearly requests here on their regular updates page.

With the new regulation, can I now apply for the extension before the 30 days expiration date?

No, you still have to wait 30 days in advance before your POE expires to apply for it.

Example:

My POE letter expires in February 2021, can I apply for an extension? No, this regulation of extension of POEs is valid currently but it could change at any time. It is not guaranteed that you will get your POE extension in January. Check this link to view the latest updates so you can plan accordingly. 

If Canada continues extending POE letters, does this mean that Canada’s border will remain closed? 

No, these are measures that IEC is taking to make sure people don’t miss their opportunity to use their working holiday permit. International Experience Canada does not control the Canadian border closure. 

How do I apply for a second or third POE extension for IEC?

This is done the exact same way as your previous extension requests. Make sure you explain your case by describing why the previous time given was not enough. You can support your request, attaching the extension letter that you received initially with the new deadline.

How will IEC communicate the extension of my POE letter?

Until today many of our participants have received an email with the POE extension confirmation, but some applicants have received an update in their MyCIC accounts. Make sure you check your email and MyCIC account regularly for updates.

I applied for my POE extension, but I have not heard back. What can I do?

IEC is receiving a lot of applications, so be patient. They have even stated on their announcement page that even if you have not heard from them, it does not mean they haven’t received it.

You can also check the status of your request by calling the IRCC call center: 1-888-242-2100 (within Canada only).

I do not want to extend my POE Letter, can I cancel my IEC participation and apply another year?

No, you cannot apply again another year. Once IEC issues a POE it counts as participation and there won’t be any refund of the fees you paid to the Government of Canada. If you decide that you don’t want to travel anymore to Canada, you will lose your chance to participate in IEC under the same category of IEC work permit. Unless you are from a country that allows repeat participation under regular IEC like Chile or Croatia.

Amazing experiences are waiting for you in Canada once it’s safe to travel again. Just ask Valeria who did a Working Holiday in Vancouver – she will tell you it’s worth the wait!

Interested in securing a job on arrival in Canada?

Stepwest offers working holiday programs where we guarantee you a job so you can focus on enjoying your experience in Canada! Enjoy the winter or summer season working at a resort in Whistler, Banff, Jasper, or Lake Louise.

If you’re more of a city person, check out our Working Holiday City Job Program and get assigned a personal job coordinator to secure interviews for you upon arrival.

Our team will help you make the most of your time in Canada by:

  • Preparing for your arrival to Canada – documents to prepare & what you need to know
  • Resume revisions and interview preparation – we get your job profile Canada-ready & provide training in our Interview Preparation Workshop
  • Secure your job – before arrival at a resort, or on arrival in Vancouver
  • Welcome Orientation – Free bank account, SIN number, and tons of helpful information for living and traveling in Canada
  • Canada Tax support – how to pay your taxes & documents you need to collect
  • Complete support – during pre-departure and throughout your time in Canada, our team is here for you to answer questions and make sure your experience is a success!

Chat with our team about our job support programs:

Send us a message in the form below with your trip details and we’ll get back to you to set up a call with our team.

Disclaimer: No Legal Advice Provided.

The material on our website and this webpage is intended to provide only general information and comment to our clients and the public. Although we make our best efforts to ensure that the information found on our website is accurate and timely, do not, under any circumstances, rely on information found on our website as legal or immigration advice. Nor do we guarantee the accuracy of any information contained on websites to which our website provides links. For assistance with your specific inquiry or problem, please contact a lawyer or an immigration consultant.

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