Can a spouse of an IEC candidate obtain a work permit too?

The International Experience Canada (IEC) program itself does not allow for ‘accompanying dependents’ however, the Act and Regulations do allow for dependents who meet specific requirements to apply for work / study permits.

Spouses or common-law partners of IEC participants cannot be included as ‘accompanying dependents’ in the principal applicants’ work permit applications. Instead, spouses or common-law partners may submit their own work permit applications. These applications must be accompanied by a proof that the principal spouse or common-law partner’s work permit is for a specific NOC 0,A or B occupation or by having an open work permit and a letter from the employer specifying the occupation they are working in plus pay slips.

The requirements for spouse of a high skilled worker (C41 LMIA exemption) are the same for all spouses, whether principal is in the IEC program, Post-Grad Work Permit, or holds occupation specific work permit.

Here are the sites that explain the rationale behind issuing such permits as published by IRCC: