CANADA: Canada-Italy Youth Mobility Agreement and Updates

November 16, 2022

International Experience Canada (IEC) gives youth the opportunity to travel and work in Canada for up to two years.  The Canada-Italy IEC program has been expanded to create further opportunities for youth to develop their professional experience abroad.

Regulatory updates have now been published outlining several obligations for employers who hire temporary foreign workers in Canada.  The employer must, in part, provide the foreign worker with up-to-date information about their rights in Canada.


Canada-Italy Expanded Opportunities

The new youth mobility agreement with Italy expands work opportunities for Canadian and Italian youth. This new agreement allows participants aged 18 to 35 years old, to apply for an invitation to work and travel for up to 12 months, and participate twice in the program, for a total of 24 months. The expanded opportunities are found under the International Co-op and Young Professionals categories which both require a formal offer from a Canadian employer.

The International Co-op category is designed for students registered at a post-secondary institution who have a job offer for a work placement or internship in Canada. The Canadian work experience needs to be a required component of their studies to be completed, and applicants may only work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada.

The Young Professionals category is for applicants who have a job offer in Canada that contributes to their professional development and who, similarly, will work for the same employer in the same location during their stay in Canada.

There are quotas for selection under each category, so applicants are advised to start preparing their supporting documents now.


New Regulatory Obligations for Canadian Employers

The immigration department has introduced regulatory amendments that pertain to Employer obligations when employing temporary foreign workers.  These include:

  • Access to health services:  All employers under both the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP) are now required to make reasonable efforts to provide access to health care services when a temporary foreign worker is injured or becomes ill at the workplace.
  • Written job offer: Employers must attest to having a written job offer in place for the terms of employment set out in the underlying Offer of Employment or LMIA. The employment agreement must be drafted in the temporary foreign worker’s choice of English or French, and it must be signed by both the employer and the temporary foreign worker.
  • Providing information to foreign workers: Temporary foreign workers are entitled to be informed about their rights in Canada. Therefore, the employer must provide the foreign worker with up-to-date information about their rights in Canada. The employer must provide this information on or before the first day of work, and in the worker’s language of choice (either English or French, the two official languages of Canada).
  • Private health insurance for emergency medical care

All TFWP employers must obtain and pay for private health insurance that covers emergency medical care during the period for which the temporary foreign worker is not covered by their provincial or territorial health insurance system. This condition applies to all TFWP employers, except in the case of employers who employ a foreign worker under an agreement reached between Canada and another country concerning seasonal agricultural workers, where the agreement includes health insurance.

This immigration update is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal or scenario-specific advice. Furthermore, it is important to note that immigration announcements are subject to sudden and unexpected changes. Readers are encouraged to reach out to Newland Chase for any case- or company-specific assessments.