Canada extends visas for Irish

Wed, Jan 19, 2011, 00:00

Canada has increased its working holiday visa allocation to Ireland by 1,000 and is to allow Irish people to apply for a second visa.

Changes to the one year working holiday visa programme for 18 to 35-year-olds has come into operation as applications for 2011 have opened.

Canada has extended the Irish allocation of working holiday visas from 4,000 visas last year to 5,000 this year.

More than 4,200 Irish people were given a Canadian working holiday visa last year , Irish Ambassador to Canada Ray Bassett said. Not many Irish people were turned away in 2010 and Ireland was allocated extra visas that were not taken up by other countries, he said.

From this year Irish people will be entitled entitled to apply for two one year visas instead of being restricted to just a single year visa.

As a result many of the thousands of Irish people who are already in Canada on a one year holiday visa are expected to apply to stay for a second year.

“As far as I know there is going to be no bias towards people in Canada already. If the pool is bigger the chances of people getting a visa will be higher,” he said in an interview with Irishalien.com, a website for the Irish community in Toronto.

Most Irish people were accepted last year and the main reason people were turned away, was because of mistakes on their applications forms, he said.

Another change will mean that applicants can apply directly to the Government of Canada to participate for a fee of CAN$150.

“This is a significant change to previous years” a spokeswoman for the Canadian Embassy in Dublin said. This year applications will be through the Canadian embassy in Paris.

The move will see the phasing out of third parties issuing Canadian visas by 2013.

USIT will open bookings for its own allocation of Canadian visas tomorrow morning.

Mr Bassett expects even more demand for visas this year. “Unlike the 1980s Canada is very much flavour of the month, people want to come here and there is demand for it,” he said.

He advised emigrants who want to stay in Canada to get themselves into a position where an employer will sponsor them.

Application forms can be found at Canada.ie