These bilateral arrangements aim to simplify the administrative process for young Canadians and youth from around the world, aged 18-35, to gain unique travel, work and life experiences in another country.
Through the Government of Canada’s International Experience Canada initiative, participants from partner countries can obtain a temporary work permit to gain professional experience in Canada, or to work in Canada to finance their travels. Young Canadians have the same opportunity to travel and work in partner countries. In 2010, nearly 57,000 young adults from around the world and approximately 19,000 Canadian youth participated in exchanges under the initiative.
The International Experience Canada initiative also aims to foster closer bilateral relations between Canada and other countries and territories by facilitating opportunities that give young people an understanding of other cultures. This experience gives them a competitive edge in the global job market.
To date, Canada has negotiated arrangements and agreements on youth exchanges with 32 countries and territories under the International Experience Canada initiative. These include Australia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The Declaration of Intent with Thailand aims to conclude a similar bilateral arrangement.