Irish people are applying in their droves for the newly offered under 35 one-year working visas to Canada.
When the 1,000 allocated visas were made available earlier this week, they were snapped up in two days.
According to USIT (a leading Irish travel agent specializing in student, youth and independent travel), there are now more than 500 people on a waiting list for the much sought after Canadian working visa.
"The waiting list is still open but we don’t want to create false expectations for people," said a USIT spokeswoman.
With the current economic climate in Ireland young people are seeking working in other countries with Canada coming out on top because of visa availability.
Statistics from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland show that so far this year 4,000 Canadian visas have been approved. Last year the number was 2,500.
Only Irish citizens who have not lived outside of the country for more than four years since they turned 18 were eligible to apply for the over-35 working visa. Participants are not required to have pre-arranged employment in Canada before arriving.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said Ireland is “fully committed” to continuing such arrangements with foreign countries.
"Many thousands of young Irish people have benefited greatly from the experience of working and living in foreign countries. In turn, many young people have visited Ireland and have acquired a lifelong love of this country,” he said.
Lauren Daly, a 27-year-old from Co. Kerry, has been on a working visa for the past six months in Canada.
Daly, who has been out of work in Ireland for five months before embarking on Australia, told Irish Central that she is “having a blast” and earning money she would never have seen if she lived in Ireland.
“Although I’ve only been here six month s and have to return to Ireland in June, it really has been an experience living and working here,” said Daly who works in a construction office in Toronto.
Daly said she will return to Ireland in the summer but will apply for another visa as soon as she gets home. “I doubt they will give me one but it’s worth a shot,” she laughed.
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