Canada 'the new Australia' for Irish workers as brain drain continues

Some 10,000 Irish citizens have secured Canadian working visas for next year, a travel agency based in Ireland has said.

Some 10,000 Irish citizens have secured Canadian working visas for next year, a travel agency based in Ireland has said.

VisaFirst.com say emigration to Canada has increased to a point where it could overtake Australia as the top destination for Irish people.

The company say that more than 50 percent of people chose Canada at their first country of interest at a recent overseas recruitment drive.

The agency said the majority of applicants were interested in moving to Canada were under the age of 36 and eligible for the working holiday, unlike Australia and New Zealand where the cut-off point is 31.

Edwina Shanahan, Manager at www.visafirst.com said: "Over the last two years we have seen significant increases in the number of Working Holiday visa grants to Irish workers going to Canada - from 3,500 in 2012, to 6,500 in 2013 to 10,000 which have been confirmed for 2014. Our guestimate forecast would be that this could rise to 15,000 in 2015."

Shanahan also pointed out that the Canadian Working Holiday Visa (WHV) can be held for two years, as opposed to just one for New Zealand or Australia, Breaking News.ie reports.

This particular visa also allows applicants to bring their spouses and dependents again unlike Australia and New Zealand.

Shanahan added: "All occupations are in demand throughout Canada and there are routes to permanent residency (PR) through the provincial nominee programme and Canada experience programme once you have a job offer and a year’s Canadian work experience which applies across a wide range of occupations including managerial, professional, technical & trade work.

"We are currently trying to fill positions in Canada for electricians, artic drivers, concrete finishers, welders."

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