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U.S. & Canada Immigration Blog


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Last weekend in Dublin, an international job fair dubbed The Working Abroad Expo, attracted close to 80,000 people in search of work outside of Ireland. Canada has opened the doors to the Irish with a change in the International Experience Canada (IEC) program.

In an attempt to increase the numbers of educated Irish workers immigrating to Canada, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) plans to allow entrance to nearly double the number of young Irish, between ages 18 to 35, by the year 2014. Canada has seen a huge loss in Irish immigrants to Australia and New Zealand in the last few years; a loss that immigration minister Kenney would like to see reversed.

The IEC now allows young Irish workers to come to Canada with an open work permit for a period of up to a year. Currently, this program can be utilized twice, though the plan is to change it to a one-time 24 month program at the start of this coming year. The only downside to this plan is that there is no guarantee for these workers to remain in Canada once their open work permit expires. Those whose skill level does not allow for them to apply for permanent residency are left with no other options but to return home or find someone who can sponsor them in Canada (a spouse or common-law partner). On the other-hand, for those skilled workers who wish to leave their native land in search of better opportunities in Canada, this program gives them an opportunity to do just that.

To learn more about the International Experience Canada (IEC) program we encourage you to contact our office to speak with an immigration adviser.  If you are already in Canada with an open work permit that was issued for only one (1) year, you may be eligible to extend.  Those who are in Canada and would like to apply for permanent residence, contact our office today.