Canada and New Zealand offering jobs to Irish workers

Canada is offering 10,000 working holiday visas for Irish residents this year, while New Zealand is offering jobs to those in the construction industry.

According to migration specialists, Canada’s IEC (International Experience Class) Working Holiday Visa programme looks set to open over the next few weeks, with 10,000 places available for Irish workers in 2015.

Commenting on the much sought after visa programme, Edwina Shanahan manager with, the Canadian visas are likely to be snapped up as soon as they are launched.

“We believe this year’s visas will be akin to Frozen dolls at Christmas — and I think most people will understand the buying frenzy that occurred around these. In addition, there is talk of late that Canadian Immigration will be reducing the number of visas for the working holiday programme in 2016.” contend the quota for 2015 will generate the same, if not more, interest as the 2014 quota for Canadian working holiday visas. They are advising that 2015 applicants prepare all relevant documentation now.

“The 2014 Canadian working holiday quota for Irish applicants was issued in two stages, the first quota was filled within 15 minutes and the second quota was filled within a half hour,” said Ms Shanahan.

In 2014, applicants who were issued places in the first and second quota roll out, were given up to three months to get documentation ready for the work permit application.

However, this year it is estimated that once an applicant has a place on the Canadian working holiday programme, immigration will give applicants just one to two weeks to get the required documentation lodged.

“Because of the smaller timelines involved we are stressing the need to have this documentation ready in advance — we can assist with the preparation and lodgement of these files,” Ms Shanahan added. also revealed New Zealand is calling for Irish workers to fill posts in the construction sector. In the region of 20,000 Irish workers have relocated to New Zealand in the last five years.

“Since 2011 approximately 18,000 Irish workers have travelled to New Zealand for work and, with 4,000-5,000 expected to leave this year the total number of the last five years will surpass 20,000,” said Ms Shanahan.

According to reports from Statistics New Zealand tradespeople have become Canterbury’s indispensable migrants, with bricklayers, carpenters and joiners topping a Statistics New Zealand ‘most wanted’ list.

Vacancies they are looking to fill include scaffolders, carpenters, plumbers, and also qualified mechanics.

Applicants may apply for a working holiday visa or a work permit visa, the latter requiring a job offer in advance. A skilled migrant visa gives permanent residency, but takes up to a year to come through.

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