Canada’s Working Holiday Visa program opens in the coming weeks, offering 10,000 spots to Irish residents - migration specialists expect the spots to fill almost immediately. For those dreaming of a warmer climate, New Zealand is looking to fill construction jobs with skilled Irish workers as well.

Edwina Shanahan, manager at VisaFirst, says the 2015 quota will likely generate more interest than the 2014 quota, which was already extremely high.

“We believe this year’s visas will be akin to Frozen dolls at Christmas – and I think most people will understand the buying frenzy that occurred around these,” she told the Examiner.

“In addition, there is talk of late that Canadian Immigration will be reducing the number of visas for the working holiday program in 2016.”

Canada’s International Experience Class (IEC) Working Holiday Visa program will open over the next few weeks, and VisaFirst advises applicants to prepare all documentation now.

Applicants who were given places in the first and second quota roll out in 2014 were given three months to prepare all necessary documentation for the work permit application.

This year applicants will only be given one to two weeks.

“The 2014 Canadian working holiday quota for Irish applicants was issued in two stages, the first quota was filled within 15 minutes and the second quota was filled within a half hour,” Shanahan said.

“Because of the smaller timelines involved we are stressing the need to have this documentation ready in advance – we can assist with the preparation and lodgment of these files.”

Meanwhile, in New Zealand: VisaFirst has also revealed that the country is seeking Irish scaffolders, carpenters, plumbers and mechanics.

In the last five years, nearly 20,000 Irish citizens have relocated to the country down under and have made a name for themselves as diligent, hard workers. According to Statistics New Zealand, bricklayers and carpenters from Ireland and elsewhere are indispensable and highly sought after.

“Since 2011 approximately 18,000 Irish workers have traveled to New Zealand for work and, with 4,000 - 5,000 expected to leave this year, the total number of the last five years will surpass 20,000,” said Shanahan.

Applicants may apply for a Working Holiday Visa or a Work Permit Visa, though the latter requires a job offer in advance.