New Canada-Italy youth mobility agreement takes effect

3 categories including Working Holiday, International Co-op, Young Professionals

New Canada-Italy youth mobility agreement takes effect

A new Canada-Italy Youth Mobility Agreement has come into force.

Under the agreement, 18- to 35-year-olds can work and travel for up to 12 months, and participate twice in the program, for a total of 24 months.

The agreement will provide Canadian and Italian youth with more opportunities to live, travel and work abroad for longer than ever before, says Sean Fraser, Canada’s minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship.

“This will give young people even more opportunity to benefit from the diversity and economic strengths of Italy and Canada, deepening the ties between our two countries."

Canada supports youth mobility through International Experience Canada (IEC), which allows the management of reciprocal bilateral youth mobility arrangements. These arrangements allow Canadians to travel and work in partner countries and territories and allow international youth to do the same in Canada.

3 categories to program

The Canada-Italy program allows youth to participate in 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 Professionals: participants receive an employer-specific work permit to gain targeted, professional work experience that is within their field of study or career path.

The agreement also provides two news streams that will help youth gain professional work experience abroad, namely International Co-op and Young Professionals.

Canada has formal youth mobility arrangements with 36 countries and foreign territories. In 2010, a Canada-Mexico youth mobility agreement came into effect.

Canada and Italy are long-standing youth mobility partners that support international work and travel experiences, according to Ottawa. The program also helps youth explore new cultures, languages and societies, all while developing life skills and improving their job prospects for the future.

 “With millions of Italian-Canadians in Canada, this will be valuable to the youth in our country and will afford young individuals from both countries to mutually benefit on the exchange,” says Francesco Sorbara, MP for Vaughan–Woodbridge in Ontario.

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.

More than 200,000 Canadians have participated in the IEC Program since 2008.

According to relocation platform Expatrio, students who work abroad:

  • develop professional skills
  • improve communication skills
  • gain insights into other cultures
  • experience personal growth
  • improve future prospects

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