4-Fold Increase in Canadian Working Visa Applications as Jobless Households hit a new High

With the percentage of jobless households hitting 22% according to a new report from the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) out today, experts at www.visafirst.com <http://www.visafirst.com> say that this & recent changes to the Canadian Working Holiday Visa program (WHV) are contributing to the increasing popularity of Canada as a destination for Irish workers. The migration experts say that the opening of next year’s quotas is fast approaching & this has led to an unprecedented demand in the number of Irish applicants looking for Canadian visas.

According Edwina Shanahan, Migration Expert with www.visafirst.com <http://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%. 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 employer’s 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 is a growing number of Irish people that are willing to travel for work but 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 shortage that are evident throughout the country.

Edwina continued, “In 2011 alone 5340 Irish people went to Canada on working holiday visas while and 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 6000 places this year for Irish passport holders who want a Working Holiday Visa – we have already received over 1000 registrations for the 2013 Working Holiday Visa programme!”

VisaFirst.com say that they also expect 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.

Edwina went on to say, “We are finding that more and more of the applicants for this programme are family people going out to work on their own either with the intention of bringing the family over at a later date or of commuting to Ireland a few times a year”.

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.

Employers are keen to take on skills on this visa as it means that they do not need to get labour market opinion and they are not tied to salaries dictated by the local labour market, nor do employers have to provide housing which can be a condition of certain contracts on LMO process.

Another big improvement to this program is that Irish citizens will no longer be required demonstrate habitual residency, that is they no longer need to show that they were living in Ireland for 18months in last 3 years prior to the application.