Irish emigrants take up thousands of Canadian visas in less than 24 hours

31 Jan 2013

Irish emigrants take up thousands of Canadian visas in less than 24 hours

The Canadian government has opened a process which will allow a record number of Irish people to take up working holiday visas this year. Within 24 hours of the allocation being made available on Tuesday afternoon, half the allocation for Ireland was already gone.

While the new allocation is good news for job seekers, a Dublin support service helping emigrants, is advising young people to be as prepared as possible before leaving Ireland.  A total of 6,350 working holiday visas will be available to Irish people in 2013 — 1,000 more than last year via the International Experience Canada initiative.  10,700 will be available in 2014. Canada is now the second most popular destination for working holidays well ahead of the USA which has a different allocation system and granted just over 1000 such visas last year. Australia remains the most popular destination for Irish emigrants, topping the allocation again last year with 18,940 issued up to the end of September 2012.

Working Holidays Visas are 1-2 year visas for people who wish to travel and work casually in a country – Ireland has a number of reciprocal arrangements with such countries.
Crosscare’s Migrant Project, which provides information and advice to people intending to emigrate, has warned young people to be prepared for some initial difficulties on arrival in Canada.  Joe O’Brien, Policy officer with the Migrant project said, “Canada is certainly an increasingly popular destination for young Irish people and there are reasonable casual job prospects. The unemployment rate is half what it is in Ireland, but people cannot assume, especially if they have not been on a working holiday visa before, that it will be easy to settle in and find a job. Employment and accommodation remain the two big challenges”

The Director of the Toronto based Irish Canadian Immigration Centre, Cathy Murphy offered additional support saying their service is there to meet the needs of newly-arrived Irish immigrants to Canada offering outreach and information regarding work permits, residency, social services, and employment. Mr. O’Brien said preparation is the key to a good experience. “Once you arrive you are out of your comfort zone and familiar support network and the resources start diminishing rapidly. It’s vital to do plenty of web research and also talk to as many people as possible who have been there recently,” he added.


•    Further information contact Joe O’Brien – Policy Officer, Crosscare Migrant Project, 1 Cathedral St., Dublin 1 at 087-9608540 and 01-8732844 and [email protected]
•    Crosscare’s Migrant Project has a guide to the various working holiday schemes and specific information on Canada at
•    Crosscare Migrant Project is supported by Department of Foreign Affairs Emigrant Support Programme.