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Staying in Canada After an IEC Visa Expires

Staying in Canada after an IEC visa expires

The opportunities provided by the IEC Visa program lead many participants into wishing to extend their stay in Canada, or even make Canada their permanent home.

We have encountered many IEC visa participants who accept temporary seasonal work in Canada in resorts. This work is often semi-skilled and falls under Skill Levels C and D in the Canadian National Occupation Classification. These types of jobs rarely add value to their permanent residence applications and therefore, they do not utilize the full benefit of an IEC visa.

IEC Visa participants have the following options when seeking to remain in Canada as a permanent resident.

The Canadian Experience Class

The Canadian Experience Class (CEC) is an immigration program that provides an opportunity for individuals with Canadian work experience to immigrate permanently.

Applicants must have at least one-year of skilled worker experience in Canada in a skilled occupation in order to apply. Full-time employment is a minimum of 30 hours per week. Employment maybe in one or more job titles as long as they are all in Skill Levels 0, A or B on the National Occupation Classification.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) or Federal Skilled Trades (FST) Programs.

IEC visa participants may also be eligible for the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) class or Federal Skilled Trades (FST) class.

Work experience gained while inside Canada on a IEC visa provides additional points through the Express Entry system. IEC visa holders may also be able to secure the necessary licensing, LMIA validated job offer or Certificate of Qualification in a skilled trade to obtain 600 points  under the Express Entry system. 

Entering Canada with an IEC Visa therefore, can place you at a clear advantage in the competitive Express Entry immigration system.

IEC visa participants have the opportunity to build relationships with Canadian employers and provincial communities. This can help when looking for a qualifying job offer or seeking an enhanced nomination from a Canadian province. If the candidate can obtain either of these, he or she will be awarded 600 Comprehensive Ranking System points and will receive an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence.

Quebec Immigration

IEC visa participants with experience of living and working in the province of Quebec may be eligible to apply under either the Quebec Experience Program or the Quebec Skilled Worker Program, both of which lead to Canadian permanent residence.


It is clear that an IEC Visa is a great way to enter Canada and then transition to permanent residence through one of the above mentioned programs. IEC Visa holders should do their research in advance and only accept qualifying job offers which will lead to permanent residence.

To learn more or apply for an IEC Visa please complete our Free Case Evaluation Form.

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