Canada will expand its Working Holiday Visa program

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The Canadian Government will allow 70% more Irish people to come in the country with the Working Holiday Visa program. Under the new rules, more than 10 700 Irish citizens under age 35 will have the right to receive Canadian Working Holiday Visas. The visas allow Irish workers and their children to live and work in the country for up to two years. The new total is up dramatically from 6,350 last year reports the Irish Times.

The Working Holiday Visa was introduced in the year 1970 and in the beginning, it was primarily a cultural exchange program, but it becomes more work-focused during the last years. The first deal that was signed by Ireland and Canada allowed for and exchange of only 300 people per year.

In 2009 just half the quota of 2,500 IEC visas was filled but the 2013 allocation was snapped up in just 48 hours last January. The new agreement allows for a total of 2,500 visas for young professionals who have already secured a contract of employment with 500 places set aside for an ‘international co-op’ category for full-time students to take part in an internship program. In addition to that 7,700 visas will be issued for working-holiday makers.

During the last five years, Canada has become a preferred destination for many Irish people as the EU economy was hit by the global financial crisis. At the same time, Canada has a long history of Irish immigration. It is expected that the new agreement will strengthen the ties between the two countries.

The Canadian Immigration Minister Chris Alexander has stated that Canada can offer Irish immigrants a lot of working opportunities in the areas of IT, Agriculture, Engineering and administration.

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