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Archived - Providing greater opportunities for Irish and Canadian youth

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Ottawa, March 6, 2014 — Young people from Canada and Ireland will have more opportunities to work and travel abroad, thanks to the signing of an amendment to the youth mobility agreement enjoyed between the two countries.

Today, Canada and Ireland signed an amendment that will expand on the existing agreement on youth mobility beyond the ever-popular Working Holiday category. Two new categories have been added to better meet the needs of participants and prospective employers and the total number of spots available is rising to 10,700 for 2014, a significant increase from the 6,350 spaces available in 2013.

Known in Canada as International Experience Canada (IEC), the youth mobility program provides opportunities for Irish citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 to travel and work in Canada for up to 24 months. In exchange, young Canadians can travel and work in Ireland. Young participants benefit from these opportunities by gaining a better understanding of the other country’s culture and society through their work and life experiences abroad.

With today’s announcement, two employer-specific categories have been added as options for young people from both countries. Young people with a pre-arranged contract of employment in support of their career development now have the option of applying to the Young Professionals category. Full-time students who have arranged a work placement or internship as part of their academic curriculum will now be able to apply to the International Co-op category. 

Quick facts

  • Young Canadian and Irish citizens can participate in IEC once for up to 24 months, in either the Working Holiday or the Young Professional categories. Some young people may also be eligible for an additional one-time participation for up to 12 months under the International Co-op category.
  • For 2014, the number of spots available is 10,700, including 2,500 for the Young Professional category, 500 for the International Co-op category and 7,700 for the Working Holiday category.
  • For Irish nationals, the Young Professional and International Co-op categories will open for applications on March 11, 2014, and the first round for the Working Holiday category will open for applications on March 13, 2014.


“Our government values the strong relationship between Ireland and Canada, which is based on our history, our people-to-people connections and our shared values. This expanded agreement will strengthen the ties between our two countries, provide young Irish and Canadians the opportunity to live abroad, and foster life-long relationships that may translate into expanded economic opportunity.”

— Chris Alexander, Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister

“The new programme offers Irish and Canadian young people further exciting opportunities to experience living and working abroad, gain a better understanding of our respective countries and develop their careers.” 

— Ray Bassett, Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada

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Alexis Pavlich
Minister’s Office
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Media Relations
Communications Branch
Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Building a stronger Canada: Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) strengthens Canada’s economic, social and cultural prosperity, helping ensure Canadian safety and security while managing one of the largest and most generous immigration programs in the world.

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