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Canadian working abroad visa to be extended to two years

More than 10,000 visas will be made available by 2014 to Irish and Canadian participants for the newly-extended working holiday programme.

Image: Sasko Lazarov

THE TÁNAISTE AND Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has today announced significant enhancements to the Ireland Canada working holiday programme.

Canada’s Minister for Citizenship was also present for the announcement today, which will see the number of visas available for Canadian and Irish participants double to over 10,000 by 2014.

The enhancements will see the length of stay extended from one year to two years.

Speaking at the announcement this afternoon, the Tánaiste welcomed the changes to the programme: “I visited Toronto over the St Patrick’s Day weekend this year to meet those participating in the the programme as well as the companies seeking to hire Irish workers. At that time both Minister Kenney and I felt that the programme could be enhanced to better meet the needs of participants and prospective employers.”

“I am delighted that as a result of that meeting in March, we were able to bring forward these changes which will benefit both out countries in the coming years,” he added.

Gilmore pointed out that Canada is one of the biggest investors in Ireland – and that Irish companies now employ 60,000 people in Canada – and expressed hoped that the “new generation working holiday programme” would continue to facilitate economic ties between the two countries.

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Kenney said that Ireland and Canada had a relationship based on “shared cultural and democratic tradition” and said he hoped the expansion of the initiative would ensure the countries’ long-standing partnership endures well into the future.

Read: More than 12,000 people attend Working Abroad Expo>

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