Today, an announcement was made regarding the signing of a new Canada-United Kingdom (UK) Youth Mobility Arrangement. This arrangement, set to come into effect in 2024, brings several enhancements compared to the existing youth mobility agreement between the two countries. These improvements include expanding the age eligibility range to 18-35, introducing two new streams for UK nationals moving to Canada, and extending the visa period to 3 years. Currently, the agreement is applicable to individuals aged 18-30, and the visa period lasts for 2 years.
The youth mobility agreement, initially launched in 2008, aims to foster reciprocal work opportunities in both countries. These agreements operate under Canada’s International Experience Canada (IEC) program, which encompasses three categories: Working Holiday, International Co-op (internship), and Young Professional. Each category offers different work permits to facilitate work experiences related to individuals’ studies or career paths.
Canada has established youth mobility agreements with 37 countries and, in 2023, is providing IEC opportunities to nearly 90,000 young people worldwide. The Canadian government hopes to address labor shortages through the IEC program. Additionally, since 2008, more than 240,000 Canadians have participated in IEC. UK youth who relocate to Canada have favorable prospects for transitioning to Canadian permanent residence.
Canada’s goal is to welcome 500,000 new permanent residents annually by 2025. Last year, the country experienced a record high of over 437,000 new immigrants. This significant immigration rate is intended to bolster Canada’s economic and fiscal well-being as the baby boomer population, numbering over 9 million, reaches retirement age in the coming decade.
Most immigrants to Canada fall under the economic class category. Immigration in Canada falls within the jurisdiction of both federal and provincial governments, and they offer incentives for individuals with Canadian work experience to transition to permanent residence. Research conducted by the Canadian government suggests that domestic work experience contributes to positive labor market outcomes when transitioning to permanent residence.
Federal and provincial economic class programs evaluate candidates based on various human capital criteria, such as age, education, language proficiency, work experience, as well as factors like Canadian work and/or study experience and having close family ties in the country.
Therefore, UK youth who utilize the IEC program to move to Canada are in a favorable position to transition to permanent residence due to factors like their young age, English fluency, and Canadian work experience.