Young Professionals Permit or VIE: the choice for an expatriation to Canada?

Are you unsure about the type of work permit for your expatriation to Canada? You have already heard about the "VIE" or "Young Professionals (JP)" for Canada and you are wondering which permit is right for you?

Here is a comparison of these two work permits in Canada: the Young Professionals permit and the VIE (Volontariat International en Entreprise). We have decided in this article to give you all the necessary information so you can make the best choice for your expatriation to Canada and we will give you the winner of this match at the end of the article!

What is a Young Professionals Permit for expatriation to Canada?

The Young Professionals (YP) permit is a work permit available through the IEC (International Experience Canada). This program aims to offer young people (between 18-35 years) the opportunity to work in Canada. The Young Professionals Permit is for a period of two years for French people.

This is a so-called "closed" work permit: it allows you to work in Canada with a Canadian employer for a period of 2 years. This permit is very easy to obtain if you have a job offer from a Canadian company. It will allow you to have your first experience in Canada before considering to stay longer and start your permanent residence procedure.


What is a VIE (International Volunteer program for french speakers)?

The VIE (International Volunteer Experience) is a civic service managed by Business France. It allows you to work and support the growth of a French company with a subsidiary in Canada.

This program is reserved for young French people aged 18 to 28 for a period of 6 to 24 months.

Young Professionals Permit & VIE: comparison table for your expatriation to Canada


Young Professionals International Volunteer Experience
Duration 24 months maximum From 6 to 24 months
Salary Determined by the company Convention from the French state. It is not a salary but an allowance.
Increases Possible Impossible
Employee status

Determined by the company and can change

Mainly "trainee" status
Health insurance Eligible for RAMQ April International Insurance
Age limit 35 years old for French citizens 28 years old when registering on the platform and 29 years old at the beginning of the mission
Taxes Taxable according to the current scale Income is not taxable in either France or Canada
Type of work permit Closed Closed

Young Professionals Permit & VIE: duration of employment in Canada


The VIE lasts between 6 and 24 months.The VIElasts between 6 and 24 months and can be renewed once. Renewal must be requested from the managing organisation 1 to 3 months before the end of the assignment.

Young Professionals

In Canada, the Young Professionals permit is valid for a period of 24 months maximum.

Young Professionals Permit & V.I.E.: salary in Canada


The VIE salary is not a salary but an allowance . It is made up of a fixed portion (known as the common allowance) and a variable portion (known as the geographical) depending on the country in which you are going to work.

    • The basic monthly fixed common allowance shall be 723,99 € (1064 $) on 1 January 2021. This sum is exempt from income tax and no contributions (social security, unemployment insurance, CSG...) are deducted.
    • The monthly geographical allowance in Canada depends on the province of your employment. In 2021, for Quebec, the geographic allowance is 1,351.26 euros or (1987.33$) .

You should also know that the company may be able to pay for a small part of your accommodation (to be negotiated). In this case, the geographical allowance will be reduced by 20%..

Moreover, in VIE you will not be entitled to bonuses, commissions or incentives during the term of your contract, or even a raise! 

Young Professionals 

Under the Young Professionalspermit , you will get a local contract and therefore a local salary .You and the Canadian company will jointly decide on your salary. There is no ceiling on your salary.

Local wages in Canada, in IT,are generally much higher than in France.

Young Professionals Permit vs. VIE: the example of a developer with 5 years experience in Quebec

Below is a comparison of the salary between a VIE and a Young Professionals permit for a web developer with 5 years experience. The amounts are for illustrative purposes only.


Young Professionals VIE
Gross monthly salary or allowances 6 250 $

Common allowance : 1064 $

Geographic allowance : (1987 $- 20%*)

= 1 589 $

Total = $2,653

Gross annual salary 75 000 $ 31 836 $

22 749 $ (30%)

Many tax deductions are possible (health, moving, etc.)

Support for housing 0 500 €* = 735 $
Net salary 52 251 $ 31 836 $
Total salary (with accommodation) 52 251 $ 40 656 $
TOTAL / month  4 354.25 $ 3 755 $

* The host company or organisation may pay part of the cost of your accommodation. In this case, the geographical allowance is reduced by 20% but the common allowance remains the same. For the example, we have taken 500 euros for the accommodation allowance (the amount remains optional and at the discretion of the company).


Young Professionals Permit & VIE: administrative procedures


The international volunteer work in companies (VIE) allows, under certain conditions, to carry out a mission (scientific, technical, commercial, humanitarian...) in a French company abroad. You must be between 18 and 28 years old to apply. 

Steps to follow to register as a VIE

Young Professionals

In order to start the administrative process related to the Young Professionals permit, you must have a job offer from a Canadian employer. After that, the process is very simple and quick! Follow our guide to register in the EIC pool of WHPs.For the Young Professionals permit, you will have to select "Young Professionals when you are asked which pool you want to register for!

Young Professionals Permit & VIE: taxation in Canada


With a VIE, you do not receive a salary, but an allowance, so you do not pay income tax. 

    Young Professionals

    When you are on a Young Professionals Permit, Canadian tax is deducted at source from your salary, i.e. the employer collects the tax from the employee's salary and pays it to the government. More information on Canadian tax and how it works.

    Young professional life-canada-holiday

    Young Professionals Permit & VIE: holidays in Canada


    You are subject to French legislation. As a result, you will have 2.5 days/month of work, i.e. 30 days per year (you will not be able to take them in advance or have them paid for if you leave the company).

    To this you can add four paid local holidays, for the other holidays you will usually have to take time off.

    On average per year for a VIE you will have 34 days not worked and paid.

      Young Professionals

      You depend on the local legislation. In Canada, the minimum paid holiday is two weeks. However, in the IT sector, you usually have four weeks' holiday.

      In Quebec, you have 10 paid non-working holidays (holidays that fall on a weekend are usually "pushed back" or "advanced" to Monday or Friday).

      On average per year for a Young Professionals licence, you will have 30 days not worked and paid.

      Young Professionals Permit & VIE: health insurance


      If you go on a VIE, you will have access to private social security coverage set up by Business France. Currently, this is April International.

      If you are accompanied by your partneryour partner will be eligible for VIE health coverage only if he/she undertakes not to carry out any salaried activity in the destination country.

        Young Professionals

        If you are on a Young Professionals permit for more than six months, and you live in the province of Quebec, you will benefit from the Quebec Health Insurance Plan (RAMQ), which is the Quebec social security system. social security system.

        Your spouse and children may also be eligible for RAMQ.

        Young Professionals Permit & VIE: professional development


        If you choose to go on a VIE, you will have to make do with the allowance offered by your employer when you are hired for the entire duration of the contract. There is no possibility of upgrading.

          Young Professionals

          The Young Professionals permit does not impose any rules on your professional development. You can negotiate your salary after one year, for example, or even move to a new position!

          Young Professionals Permit & VIE: retirement and unemployment


          As mentioned above, you do not pay taxes or social security contributions during your VIE. As a result, you do not pay unemployment or pension contributions.

          However, the duration of your VIE assignment will be counted as working time for your pension. You will have to apply for this when you return.

            Young Professionals

            With a Young Professionals permit, you contribute to the Canadian pension plan. There is a bilateral agreement between France and Canada.

            This agreement allows you to receive a Canadian retirement pension if you live in France and vice versa (several conditions apply).

            More information on the bilateral agreement.


            Young Professionals Permit Versus VIE: what to choose for your expatriation to Canada? The WINNER: the Young Professionals permit

            Although the VIE has a number of tax advantages, it is important to keep in mind that this contract is especially interesting for young graduates who want to have an international experience in a large French company with a subsidiary in Canada. It does not allow you to work for a Canadian company and therefore live your international experience to the fullest!

            The Young Professionals permit generally offers better salary prospects in terms of salary negotiation and job progression. The Young Professionals permit also allows you to be fully immersed in your international experience with a local contract and access to Canadian health insurance. For us, the Young Professionals permit is the big winner of the match!

            On the Maplr side, we can help you get a Young Professionals permit! Don't hesitate to register to our free support program reserved for Tech talent!

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