Jason Kenney, Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister recently stated that by 2014, the International Experience Canada (IEC) programme will offer 10,000 18-35 year old Irish people an open work permit and the opportunity to spend a year under Canadian employment. The IEC programme effectively provides something of a student exchange service, so conversely, just as with the Irish, Canadian’s will get the chance to experience a year in the life of a working Irishman.
In order to simplify the whole process and to reduce the workplace disruption stemming from repeat staff transfers, Kenney is introducing new application parameters that will permit residence to the Irish for two years instead of one, although the number of visits will decrease from twice to just once. These advances are expected to enhance the well established relationship already shared between the two countries.
So as to facilitate the expansion of employment opportunities and to further aid economic growth, similar complementary changes that have Ireland’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Eamon Gilmore’s approval, are being introduced to Kenney’s Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Canada’s economic immigration programme.
Kenney has commented on the recent changes that will lead to significant developments in Canada’s surely brighter future:
“Our government is focused on creating a proactive, nimble immigration system that helps us grow Canada’s economy … relations between Ireland and Canada are already close, based on family ties, historically rooted cultural affinities and shared democratic political traditions … the expansion of the Canada-Ireland working holiday agreement will also help build a stronger Canada … the proposed changes to the CEC will make the programme more flexible and give many people who are temporarily working in Canada a more realistic chance of staying as permanent residents and eventually citizens if they so choose. That includes many young people who are in Canada as part of their working holiday, who may have found a good job and want to stay and build a new life here.”