Canada has increased its working holiday visa allocation to Ireland by 1,000 and has also unveiled plans to allow Irish people to apply for a second year visa extension.
The changes were announced as the applications open for the 2011 one year working holiday visa programme, for 18 to 35-year-olds.
For 2011, Canada has extended its allocation for Irish working holiday visa from 4,000 to 5,000.
Last year more than 4,200 Irish citizens were granted a Canadian working holiday visa.
Ray Bassett, Irish Ambassador to Canada, said that not many Irish people were turned away in 2010 and that Ireland had been granted extra visa that were not taken up by other countries.
From 2011 Irish people who are currently in Canada on a one year visa holiday visa can be apply 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.
He added that the majority of Irish applicants were accepted last year and some were denied because of mistakes on their visa application.
Mr Bassett expects a greater 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.
For the first time applicants can now apply directly for visas to the Government of Canada for a fee of CAN$150.
“This is a significant change to previous years” a spokeswoman for the Canadian Embassy in Dublin told the Irish Times.