Canada and Portugal sign MOU promoting Youth Mobility Arrangement
Youth Mobility Arrangement will offer Canadian youth an opportunity to live and work in Portugal through the International Experience Canada Program.
May 3, 2018: In a move that opens channels of exchange between young Canadian and Portuguese professionals, a new bilateral Youth Mobility Arrangement between Canada and Portugal was signed recently. The signatories were the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, and Jose Luis Carneiro, Secretary of State of Portuguese Communities Abroad.
Under this International Experience Canada (IEC) Program, young professionals in the age group of 18 to 35 can live and work in the partner country under three different streams of international co-op, young professionals and working holiday.
Under the arrangement, 2,000 Portuguese youth will have an opportunity to gain international work experience by travelling and working within Canada. An equal number of young Canadians will have the chance to travel abroad to visit and work in Portugal each year.
This unique Working Holiday initiative was first developed with Germany post the second world war, in the year 1951 as a way to enhance bilateral relations and enable rich interpersonal relationships and travel and cultural exchanges.
International Co-op and Young professionals stream participants receive employer-specific work permits, which allows them to gain valuable industry experience in their field of study. The Working Holiday stream will enable participants to hold an open work permit, which will allow them to work anywhere in the country, to support their ongoing travelling.
“This new arrangement will give Canadian and Portuguese youth the opportunity to broaden their perspective of the world and gain a better understanding of each other’s cultures, languages and societies while travelling and working abroad,” says Hussen.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Prime Minister of Portugal, António Costa were on hand to witness the signing. Costa is currently in the process of touring several Canadian cities.
Carneiro mentioned that this Memorandum of Understanding was likely to boost people-to-people relationships between the two countries, thus enabling them to gain a better understanding of each other’s cultures and society. He also believes the memorandum has the power to bring the two countries together in partnership and help augment the youth experiences and their learnings.
As it stands, Canada and Portugal have a healthy, mutual relationship based on shared values and commercial trade. Canada is home to a vibrant Portuguese-Canadian community, with more than 480,000 Canadians of Portuguese origin.
The popular IEC Program helps facilitate the opportunity for young professionals to obtain valuable work experience and forge meaningful relationships abroad. With the signing of this agreement, Portugal becomes the 34th partner country in the program. Since the initiation of the IEC, more than 200,000 Canadians have taken part, many of them returning home with new insights and experiences that shape both their personal and professional lives.
Applicants need to be eligible for a work permit in the country, to qualify for the program.
Different countries have different requirements, usually taking into account things like age, potential place of residency, financial conditions and field of work. An application requires several documents, including a passport, proof of sufficient funds to cover your stay in the partner country, proof of medical insurance and an employment contract.
At Nanda & Associate Lawyers, we understand that you may have questions regarding this program for your child or your friend or colleague may have a child who wants to apply under this International Experience Canada program. Contact us today to reach an experienced immigration lawyer.