Canada’s popular International Experience Canada (IEC) working visa programme will be open to Irish applicants from today.
More than 10,000 places will be made available for Irish workers in 2015.
Canadian immigration officials have confirmed there will be 2,409 spots available for the young professional visa (this is for those with job offers), and 495 spots available for International Co-op (internship).
VisaFirst.com estimate that more than 7,000 working holiday places will be available for Irish passport holders under the age of 36 who do not have pre-arranged job offers.
Manager at visafirst.com Edwina Shanahan said there was a “big demand” for places and that the first round of the working holiday category would open today — although it is unclear how many places will be available.
“We likened the demand for last year’s visas programme to Garth Brooks tickets as they were snapped up as soon as they became available and with Canada only growing in popularity for Irish people looking to work abroad — we believe this year’s visas will be akin to Frozen dolls at Christmas,” she said.
Ms Shanahan said the working holiday visa was “by far the easiest route to Canada” and that successful candidates have 12 months to activate their visa
“Anyone interested should note it is likely that round one will sell out in less than 10 minutes and there will only be one other opportunity to get an open IEC visa — though we have not yet been told when the second round will be rolled out,” she said.
The working holiday visa allows workers to enter freely to work in Canada but also allows workers to move around in seek of better opportunities. Tax rates vary according to province in Canada. Alberta is the lowest taxed province so if often attractive to the Irish workforce.