The application process for Canadian working holiday visas opens online today at 7.00pm.
The International Experience Canada (IEC) permit allows Irish people under the age of 35, along with their children, to live and work in Canada for up to two years.
The visas are expected to be taken up within in minutes. Some 7,700 visas will be available this year – with applications for 3,850 opening at 7pm today and applications for the remaining 3,850 opening on Thursday.
A further 2,409 “young professional” IEC permits are also available for Irish people who have a job offer secured in advance. The application system for these permits opened last month.
The first IEC round last year saw visas snapped up in a record seven minutes, with a similar rush expected today.
Speaking on NewstalkFM this morning, Edwina Shanahan, manager at VisaFirst, said places on this programme “are in big demand”, noting: “People have been waiting eagerly for the last two months to see when the Irish part of the programme would open”. 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. The working holiday visa enables people to work in Canada and also allows them to move around in search of better opportunities. IEC started as a cultural exchange between Ireland and Canada in 2003, but in recent years the programme has increasingly become focused on addressing Canada’s ongoing labour shortages.
Many people will have their documentation ready to go as new rules mean applicants must submit their documentation, including Garda clearance, within 14 days. People had three months to do this in 2014.
Full details from Government of Canada website here.
Visit VisaFirst here to request a copy of the User Guide for the Canadian Visa Process.
The CareersPortal Team