Canada and Italy sign youth mobility agreement

Canada and Italy sign youth mobility agreement

News release
December 11, 2020

A new bilateral youth mobility agreement was signed between Canada and Italy by The Honourable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, and His Excellency Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic.

There are more than 1.5 million Canadians of Italian descent, which is one of the largest Italian communities outside of Italy in the world. This agreement allows Italians between 18 and 35 years to work for a total of 24 months and gain work experience. It will open new opportunities for future work and travel although the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in several temporary measures, namely travel restrictions.

Canada and Italy have been longstanding youth mobility partners. The first signed youth mobility arrangement was back in 2006. The new one will be implemented following ratification in Canada and in Italy.

Under the International Experience Canada (IEC) program, only youth with current and valid job offers can travel to Canada for the time being.

There are 3 categories under the IEC program:
Working Holiday participants receive open work permits that allow them to work anywhere in the host country, to support their travels.

International Co-op participants receive employer-specific work permits that allow students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.

Young Professionals participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.

It should be pointed out that Canada has formal youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories. Since 2008 more than 200,000 Canadians have participated in the IEC program.

Many of them have returned to Canada with life-changing experiences valuable to both their personal and professional lives.

“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 traveled 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

“This Agreement aimed at strengthening the exchange of experience and knowledge between Italian and Canadian citizens and at creating new opportunities for vocational training responds to a deeply felt need by today’s youth. I am certain that it will help further strengthen the already excellent bilateral relations between Italy and Canada.”

– His Excellency Luigi Di Maio, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and International Cooperation of the Italian Republic

“Canada and Italy have long enjoyed deep cultural ties. The International Experience Canada Youth Mobility Agreement will allow the next generation of Canadians and Italians alike to gain a better understanding of our cultures, languages, and history. This agreement symbolizes yet another linkage between our 2 countries.”

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs

If you are an Italian and want to explore this opportunity, for more details email us at

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