CANADA & PORTUGAL – New Opportunities for Young Workers
Starting in 2019, the new bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement signed May 3 between Canada and Portugal will authorize up to 2,000 young Canadian nationals to live and work in Portugal, and up to 2,000 young Portuguese nationals to live and work in Canada for periods of up to two years. To be eligible, applicants must be citizens of one of the two signatory countries and aged 18 to 35.
International Experience Canada (IEC) Program
In Canada, the opportunity will be administered through the Working Holiday, International Co-op, and Young Professional streams of the International Experience Canada (IEC) program. While details on the arrangement with Portugal and applications process has yet to appear online, general information about the IEC Program can be found on the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) website here. Work permits issued through the IEC are valid for up to two years and do not require a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). With the addition of Portugal, 33 countries are currently participating in the Canadian program.
A reciprocal program will be available through the Portuguese government for its citizens desiring to live and work in Canada.
Opportunities for Companies
This new arrangement may present opportunities for companies located in Canada and Portugal to access talented young workers in the corresponding country through an additional work authorization route without an LMIA requirement. Interested Canadian and Portuguese young people in turn benefit from valuable international travel and work experience.
Companies with operations in Canada and Portugal wanting to assess whether this new arrangement presents opportunities for their specific business and workforce needs should reach out to their immigration advisers for an evaluation of their corporate immigration needs and recommended options.