This post from our Know Before You Go blog features five things Irish citizens should know about moving to Canada on an International Experience Canada (IEC) visa, courtesy of our colleagues at The Eamonn O’Loghlin Irish Canadian Immigration Centre (I/CAN).
1. Health Insurance – some things to be mindful of: You need to have two years’ health insurance when coming to Canada on a two-year IEC work permit (if coming on the International Co-op, see IEC instructions for insurance). Arriving with just one year’s insurance will likely result in a shortened work permit—you may not be able to extend later. Learn more here.
- Tip: do not cancel your insurance after you enter Canada. You must keep this insurance for the full duration of your IEC. Accidents can happen. See here.
2. Check your work permit before leaving the airport—mistakes do happen. If transiting through another Canadian city en route to your final destination (e.g. connecting in Toronto to go to Vancouver), check before leaving the immigration desk to catch your connecting flight. It is easier to get things corrected at your first port of call. Confirm your personal details are accurate and make sure you have been given the full duration of your work permit.
- Tip: you must have the insurance as above and a passport that matches the length of your work permit (along with all other IEC documents listed in the Prepare for Arrival guidelines).
3. Beware—rental scams can happen! It is important to always view rental accommodation in person before transferring any money. If you feel you have been a victim of fraud, contact your financial institution or bank to inform them. This is crucial to protect your account; depending on how you transferred the money, your account could be at risk. Your financial institution or bank can assist you. You can also report this to the police: we encourage people to report fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. For more information on this please see “general fraud” here.
4. Get a photo ID card—like a proof of age card in Ireland. Avoid taking your passport to the pub! Expect to be asked for local government issued photo ID. If you are not eligible for a Canadian drivers’ license (province-specific, e.g. British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta), get a provincial ID card. An easy solution! Learn more here.
We look forward to welcoming you to Canada! Get in touch from any city, town, province across this second largest country in the world. Wherever you land in Canada, we are here to help. To learn more, watch our video here.
The Eamonn O’Loghlin Irish Canadian Immigration Centre assists Irish diaspora from across the island of Ireland, offering outreach and information, nationally, in three key areas:
- Immigration System Navigation: queries about work permits, visitor status, and permanent residency.
- Employment Guidance and Resources: direction on ‘Canadianizing’ resumes (very different from Ireland!), job applications, interview skills, networking, local labour markets, foreign credential recognition, etc.
- Social Services Navigation: national social care program signposting to local providers (healthcare, free- and subsidized-counselling, addiction services); mental-health and wellbeing awareness-raising.