The governments of Canada and Iceland have announced the signing of a new Canada–Iceland Youth Mobility Arrangement.
Under this arrangement, which will be implemented in 2024, Canadian and Icelandic youth aged 18 to 30 will benefit from reciprocal work opportunities in each other’s country, for up to 12 months (renewable for an additional 12 months) through International Experience Canada (IEC) and the Icelandic equivalent.
International Experience Canada (IEC) is a reciprocal program that allows Canadian and international youth to work and travel in each other’s country. The program has three categories:
- Working Holiday participants receive an open work permit that allows them to work anywhere in the host country to support their travels.
- International Co-op (internship) participants receive an employer-specific work permit that allows students to gain targeted experience in their field of study.
- Young Professional participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.
The arrangement between Canada and Iceland will allow up to 120 youth annually from each side to work and travel in each other’s country.
Canada has signed youth mobility agreements or arrangements with 38 countries and foreign territories.
Foreign nationals now have expanded right to family reunification and may be granted longer permits under amendments to the Foreign Nationals Act which have already taken effect.
The main changes to the different categories of permit are listed below:
Residence permits on the basis of employment:
- A residence permit for work requiring expert knowledge may now be granted for four years instead of two years;
- A residence permits for athletes may now be granted for two years instead of one year;
- A residence permit for specialised staff on the basis of a collaboration or service contract may now be granted for one year instead of six months;
- A residence permit due to a shortage of labour may now be renewed for two years instead of one year, and a foreign national who has held a residence permit on this basis is no longer required to spend two consecutive years abroad before being able to apply again;
- The holder of a residence permit on the basis of expert knowledge may now be granted a permit for one year, when an employment relationship is dissolved, so that he or she may seek employment on the basis of his or her expert knowledge;
- The holder of a residence permit due to shortage of labour may now be granted a residence permit for six months, when an employment relationship is dissolved, so that he or she can seek another job;
- A residence permit due to shortage of labour and a residence permit for specialised staff on the basis of a collaboration or service contract are now accompanied by the right to family reunification with spouses, children and parents over the age of 67.
Residence permits on the basis of studies and cultural exchanges:
- Doctoral students may now be present in Iceland when applying for a residence permit;
- A residence permit for a foreign national who has completed university studies in Iceland may now be renewed for up to three years from the date of graduation for the purpose of seeking employment in Iceland on the basis of his/her expert knowledge. Previously the duration was six months;
- A residence permit for students now comes with the right to family reunification with spouses, children and parents over the age of 67 for all students;
- A residence permit for students now comes with the right to work up to 22,5 hours per week (60% work) instead of 15 hours previously (40% work);
- A residence permit for au pair placement may now be renewed once for one year.
Residence permits on the basis of family reunification:
- A residence permit for children may now be granted to children born in Iceland even if their parents hold residence permits that are not accompanied with the right to family reunification;
- A residence permit for children may now be granted to children who have reached the age of 18 as long as they were not 18 years old at the time of application;
- A residence permit for the spouses and children of foreign nationals, who hold a residence permit for work that requires expert knowledge, is now accompanied by the right to work without a work permit in Iceland.
The government has made available 7500 new quota places in Italy for vocational training courses and another 7500 places for internships in the years 2023 to 2025. The quota is unchanged from the previous three-year period, even though only 3219 places were used in the last period.
Applications for a professional training visa or an internship visa can be submitted at an Italian consulate and do not require a work permit.
Following recent regulatory changes, residence permits issued for study purposes can now, at the end of the training period, be convertedinto a work permit outside the quota limits.
Professional training courses are defined as courses which lead to a professional qualification or a certification of skills, which last up to 24 months and are organised by accredited institutions. University courses are not included.
Internships must be part of a vocational training course started in the country of origin, based on an agreement between an accredited intermediary organization and the hosting employer, and must obtain regional approval.