Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Questions (284)

Michael McGrath


284. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Justice and Equality if he will address a matter raised in correspondence by a person (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29301/19]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

The Working Holiday Authorisation Programme (WHA) allows non-EEA nationals from certain countries to come to Ireland to experience living and working (without the requirement of a formal work permit) for a certain period of time, normally one year. Ireland's Working Holiday bilateral agreement with Canada, which is under the remit of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been in place since 2003.

The formal agreement with Canada allows for Canadian nationals to live and work in Ireland for up to 2 years. Applications for the Programme are processed and approved by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  My Department is solely responsible for the granting of an immigration permission consistent with the terms and conditions set out in the WHA for that country (in this case Canada), and has no basis to extend the immigration permission .

Where an individual (such as referred by the Deputy) seeks to continue their employment with an employer after the expiry of their WHA, they cannot extend their immigration permission under the WHA in order to continue that employment.  Based on the terms and conditions of the WHA application that was signed by that person, participants in the programme must leave Ireland on the expiration of their immigration permission, which cannot be extended or renewed. Should an individual who has left the State upon the expiry of their WHA and seek to re-enter the State under a working permission (Stamp 1 basis) they are required to apply for the relevant work permit through the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation and have a valid permit before registering their permission with the INIS. The criteria applying under the Employment Permits Acts and Regulations are solely a matter for that Department.