With the percentage of jobless households hitting 22 per cent equating to approximately 5,900 in Westmeath, experts at www.visafirst.com say that recent changes to the Canadian Working Holiday Visa program (WHV) coupled with the fast approaching date for the opening of next year’s quotas has led to an unprecedented demand in the number of Irish applicants looking for Canadian visas. A new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has revealed that the proportion of households without a working adult in Ireland is the highest out of 31 European countries and more than double that of the euro zone average and this will contribute to increasing numbers emigrating to Canada next year according to migration experts.
According Edwina Shanahan, migration expert with www.visafirst.com, “When we compare our visa applications in the last four weeks with the same period last year we see that they have increased by a staggering 400 per cent. The numbers looking to apply for Canadian working visas nearly equal those for Australia - which has never happened before. There are two primary drivers behind this jump - firstly Canadian employers’ visits to Ireland throughout 2012 have really driven home to people the amount of work opportunities that are currently on offer in Canada and secondly there are a growing number of Irish people that are willing to travel for work due to unemployment. Many of these people feel that Australia is that bit too far - and so are choosing Canada instead.” VisaFirst.com say that Canadian immigration officials have also introduced changes which are due to come into force in early 2013 which will work in favour of the thousands of Irish seeking permanent visa grants next year. The migration experts say that these changes have been introduced to allow Canada to better select skilled workers who can hit the ground running and fill skill shortages that are evident throughout the country.