The bilateral agreement between Italy and Canada will provide youth (18-35) the opportunity to live and work in either country for up to two years.
This new agreement between Italy and Canada builds and improves upon a previous youth mobility deal between the two nations. Under the revised terms, and once officially ratified by both governments, youth will have even greater labour market access and mobility between the two countries.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in temporary international travel restrictions, once those are lifted, it is expected that this agreement will allow future opportunities for Canadian and Italian youth.
Bilateral youth mobility agreement between Canada and Italy
This new version of the agreement between Italy and Canada expands upon the first youth mobility arrangement signed between the two countries in 2006. Under this initial agreement, youth were eligible to apply only once for a six-month open work permit.
The new agreement allows candidates to apply for a 12-month open work permit with the possibility to participate again for an additional 12 months. It also opens up two additional streams for youth mobility, the International Co-op and Young Professionals.
To be eligible, you must be an Italian citizen and hold a valid passport. You must also be between the ages of 18 to 35 and have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Canada. Dependents, like a spouse or child, cannot be included on your application.
The Dec. 11 agreement was signed by Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic.
The International Experience Canada (IEC) Program
Canada has bilateral agreements with 36 countries that provide access for youth from either country to apply for work permits. The level of access depends on the country of citizenship you are applying from. The agreements are reciprocal so if your country can apply for a visa to Canada, Canadians can do the same in your country.
Generally speaking, IEC has three main streams for youth mobility:
1. Working Holiday
This is the ideal category to apply to if you are eligible. An open work permit allows the holder to work in Canada, for any employer, for as many hours as they wish. You do not require a job offer and you can change employers as you wish.
2. Young Professionals
This category is for those who have a job offer from a Canadian employer that contributes to your professional development. It is an employer-specific work permit, meaning you cannot switch employers.
3. International Co-op (Internship)
This category is for ideal for post-secondary students that have an offer for a work placement or internship in Canada to complete their studies.
Like the Young Professionals category, this is also an employer-specific work permit.
“I’m very pleased that we were able to reach this agreement with Italy, which will provide both Canadian and Italian youth with even more opportunities to live, travel and work abroad once it is safe to do so. We live in an increasingly interconnected world where innovation often comes from those who have travelled widely, who have an appreciation for other cultures, and whose eyes have been opened to new ideas, insights and ways of doing things. This contributes to strengthening ties between Canada and Italy, and the diversity and economic strength of our 2 countries.” – The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship