Four-fold increase in Canadian working visa applications

With the percentage of jobless households hitting 22 per cent, equating to approximately 9,500 in Mayo, experts at say that recent changes to the Canadian Working Holiday Visa programme (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 Eurozone average, and this will contribute to increasing numbers emigrating to Canada next year according to migration experts.

According to Edwina Shanahan, migration expert with “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 to 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.” says 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 fill skill shortages that are evident throughout the country.

Ms Shanahan continued: “In 2011 alone 5,340 Irish people went to Canada on working holiday visas while an additional 6,000 travelled there on work permits with job offers, which highlights the popularity of Canada as a destination for Irish workers over the last decade. For the whole of 2013 there are just over 6,000 places this year for Irish passport holders who want a Working Holiday Visa – we have already received over 1,000 registrations for the 2013 Working Holiday Visa programme.” says that it also expects 2013 to herald an increase in the number of Irish families that are travelling to Canada to build a new life. The Irish are fortunate in that they can apply for this WHV visa up to the age of 35 and their family can travel with them providing they too have been granted the necessary visas.

The working holiday allows workers to enter freely to work in Canada but it also allows workers to move around in seek of better opportunities. Tax rates vary with the provinces of Canada so those going to work will seek out best opportunities. Recent changes to the working holiday programme will allow the Irish to go to Canada for up to 24 months.

Another big improvement to this programme is that Irish citizens will no longer be required to demonstrate habitual residency, that is they no longer need to show that they were living in Ireland for 18 months in the last three years prior to the application.


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