Canada Signs Youth Mobility Agreement with Spain

(No. 66 - March 10, 2009) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today signed an agreement with Spain under Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada's (DFAIT's) International Youth Program (IYP) that would allow youth from Canada and Spain to travel and work in the other country for up to one year.

"The International Youth Program will benefit the long-term international interests of both Canada and Spain by helping our youth gain new opportunities for professional development through significant cultural and work experiences abroad," said Minister Cannon.

The agreement, signed by Minister Cannon and Spanish Ambassador Mariano Alonso-Burón, will be tabled in Canada's Parliament this spring and implemented later in the year. "We want young Spaniards to have an opportunity to know Canada better," said Minister Cannon. "The two-way flow of our youth will contribute to building bilateral relations between our two countries, as well as to increasing trade, investment and tourism."

The IYP operates on a cost-recovery basis. The program allows Canadian youth to work and travel in a foreign country and foreign youth to work and travel in Canada for up to one year. DFAIT has negotiated agreements with several countries and has partnered with various organizations to allow Canadian youth to easily obtain a temporary work permit to gain professional and personal experience abroad.

Europe is one of the most attractive locations in which young Canadians can gain international work experience. Canada signed an agreement with Poland in May 2008 and is expected to sign agreements in the coming months with eight other European countries. Currently, Canadian participants can travel and work under the IYP in 19 countries.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is responsible for issuing work permits to foreign participants of the program.

For more information on the IYP, visit DFAIT's website.

For details on visiting Canada, visit the CIC's website.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874