Canada and Iceland sign youth mobility arrangement
August 4, 2023—Winnipeg, Manitoba —The Government of Canada is committed to providing Canadian youth with opportunities to gain international experience and perspectives, as they are particularly important in today’s global economy. Canadian youth will soon have easier access to a new destination for working and travelling abroad.
Today, Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and the Honourable Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation of Iceland, announced the signing of a new Youth Mobility Arrangement between Canada and Iceland. Under this arrangement, Canadian and Icelandic youth aged 18 to 30 can work and travel in each other’s country through International Experience Canada or the Icelandic equivalent for up to 12 months, with the possibility of repeating the experience for another 12 months.
The governments of Canada and Iceland anticipate implementing the new arrangement in 2024 once all requirements have been met. Canadian youth will have more options than ever when applying for international travel and work opportunities.
The arrangement further strengthens the strong ties between Canada and Iceland founded on people-to-people links and common values while helping Canadian and Icelandic youth explore new cultures, develop life skills and improve their future job prospects. By investing in the potential of their youth, the two nations are paving the way for a stronger, more interconnected global community.
Photos of the signing of the arrangement are available in Dropbox for use by the media.
“Youth mobility arrangements are all about supporting our young people—their dreams, their passions and their potential to make a difference. With this exciting arrangement in place, we are creating a path for them to connect, learn and grow together, fostering friendships and memories that will last a lifetime. Together, we are building a world where our youth can gain valuable life skills and experiences, while supporting Canadian employers with a larger and more diverse talent pool.”
– Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“Iceland is very pleased to sign a youth mobility arrangement with Canada, here in Manitoba. Through this arrangement, Icelandic and Canadian youth will have the opportunity to work and travel in each other’s country, exploring new cultures while enhancing their life skills and improving career prospects.”
– The Honourable Áslaug Arna Sigurbjörnsdóttir, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Iceland
Canada is home to the largest population of Icelandic immigrants and their descendants outside Iceland. According to the 2021 Census, 101,990 people of Icelandic origin live in Canada.
International Experience Canada (IEC) is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s countries. There are three categories of participation under the program:
- Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
- Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.
The arrangement between Canada and Iceland will allow up to 120 youth annually from each side to work and travel in each other’s country.
Canada has signed youth mobility agreements or arrangements with 38 countries and foreign territories.
More than 240,000 Canadians have participated in the IEC Program since 2008, and many have returned to Canada with life-changing experiences valuable to both their personal and professional lives.
Youth who need help planning their IEC experience may consider using a recognized organization (RO). ROs are typically youth service organizations that offer work and travel support. They can be non-profit, for profit or educational.
Bahoz Dara Aziz
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
Source URL: https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/news/2023/08/canada-and-iceland-sign-youth-mobility-arrangement.html
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