Canadian minister announces more 'working holiday' visas for Irish
10 October 2012
For concise and recent immigration information watch our news.The Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney visited Ireland last week. On Friday 5th October, Mr Kenney held a joint press conference with the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore. The two men announced an expansion of the Canada-Ireland International Experience Canada program .
The ministers said that the number of International Experience Canada (IEC) working holiday visas granted to young Irish citizens will be nearly doubled to 10,000 annually from January 1st, 2014.
IEC visas entitle citizens of certain countries, including Ireland and the UK, with which Canada has reciprocal arrangements, to visit Canada for a 'working holiday'. Applicants must be aged between 18 and 35. While in Canada, they are entitled to work to support themselves. Many such visas are taken by young people before or after they attend university.
The two ministers also announced that, as of January 1st 2013, the IEC visas granted to Irish citizens will last for two years. They currently last for only one but Irish IEC visa holders are currently allowed to apply twice. From 2013, they will only be allowed to apply once.
Mr Kenney announced last week that IEC visas granted to UK citizens will also last for two years from 2013. He said that he would change the requirements of the Canadian Experience Class scheme for granting permanent residency so that the Canadian Experience requirement will change from one year's Canadian skilled work experience rather than the current two years skilled work experience requirement. Mr Kenney told the English newspaper the Daily Telegraph last week that he hoped that these changes would combine to encourage UK students who visit Canada on a gap-year holiday to stay and make their lives in Canada.
Mr Kenney is visiting the UK this week for a series of meetings intended to boost UK immigration to Canada.
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