Canadians ease curbs after surge from Irish job hunters
CANADA is widening its doors for Irish emigrants after a massive rise in applications to work there.
Tough restrictions are to be eased as Canadian authorities give our young emigrants the option of staying longer.
And as our jobs situation worsens, it is also set to lift its cap on the number of visas it issues.
The Irish ambassador in Canada, Ray Bassett, has confirmed working visas for under-35s from Ireland will be extended from one year to two.
The number of accepted applications last year rose from 2,500 in 2009 to 4,229.
Officials now say they expect a further 6,000 applications to be lodged with the Canadian embassy in Dublin over the next 12 months.
Mr Basset said that while Canada was trying to be more accommodating, there were still significant concerns.
The change of rules has been sparked by fears that the ever-increasing number of people looking for work could result in people trying to stay illegally.
Canadian authorities say that is the thinking behind their plan to increase the duration of working visas from one year to two.
In a further boost for those looking to move abroad, officials are also increasing the number of Irish emigrants allowed in by taking places from countries that do not reach their quotas.
Canada has a total annual capacity for 250,000 immigrants.
It is now estimated that 30pc of Irish emigrants opt for Canada or Australia.
The loosening of visa restrictions comes at the same time as a new study confirmed that a brain-drain was hitting the Irish economy.
Almost two out of three graduates are thinking about leaving Ireland because they have better job prospects abroad.