International Experience Canada visas now require biometric testing

The 2019 International Experience Canada (IEC) pools are now open for Irish people to apply for visas that will allow them to live and work in Canada.

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In a press release, Moving2Canada said that 10,700 visas are open for application. 10,500 of the pool are for the popular Working Holiday visa, while the remaining 200 are for the IEC Young Professional and International Co-Op work permits.

Working Holiday visas allow Irish people aged 18 to 35 to live in Canada for up to two years and for work for any employer in Canada.

However, since July 2018, Canada now requires visa applicants to complete biometric testing if they are arriving from Europe, the Middle East, or Africa.

This presents an extra hurdle for Irish applicants as the closest fully-operational Visa Application Center (VAC) where biometric data can be collected is in London. There is, however, a temporary service is available two days per month at the Canadian Embassy in Dublin.

Hugh O’Doherty, editor at Moving2Canada Editor, said: “There is no doubt that the biometric requirement for Irish applicants looking to come to Canada on a Working Holiday changes things, and it would certainly make a lot of sense for a full-time VAC to be established in Ireland in 2019.”

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“However, despite the addition of biometric testing, the Working Holiday remains extremely popular among Irish applicants, and it’s easy to see why.”

“This is a big opportunity for young Irish people. During their year or two in Canada, IEC participants can gain valuable professional experience in an international environment, while also having the opportunity to explore a beautiful country that spans six time zones and is home to some of North America’s most exciting, culturally diverse cities.”

Moving2Canada reports that in 2018, Irish people were the largest group applying for IEC visas.

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O’Doherty, who first moved to Montreal from Dublin in 2011, said: “At Moving2Canada, our team is made up of people whose first encounter with Canada was through the IEC Working Holiday, so we know exactly what goes into securing work permits and jobs, discovering new neighborhoods and finding places to live.”

“We understand the journey that many young Irish people are going to embark on in Canada in 2019, and are determined to use our first-hand experience to provide newcomers with the best resources and guidance to make this journey as seamless and enjoyable as possible.”

Would you be interested in living and working in Canada? Let us know in the comments

Canada has opened more than 10,000 visas available to Irish people for 2019Getty