The process of applying got your Canadian Working Visa is relatively straightforward, and you can now apply directly through the IEC website. The 2013 applications are due to be released in mid January.
With this Visa you have the option of booking one-way or return flights into Canada, so this does give you flexibility if you were unsure of your return date, or you were looking to stay longer than 12 months.
On arrival be sure to get your Social Insurance Number sorted. Take your passport and visa to your local tax office and you will receive your Social Insurance Number that you will need to present to any employer that you are looking to work with while in Canada.
Banks generally require 2 forms of ID and proof of address in order to set up a bank account. A passport and Drivers licence should suffice. The process is relatively easy and you should be issued with your Bank Cards on the day of setting up the bank account, so no waiting around for the cards to arrive in the post. One thing to be aware of is that you will need to take the drivers licence test within 3 months of arrival as after that your Irish drivers licence will not be accepted as valid as you are technically seen as resident in Canada and expected to hold a Canadian drivers licence. This procedure is similar to that of Australia and New Zealand.
Accommodation wise you would be looking at a similar cost for renting as you would in Dublin, but be aware cities such as Vancouver can be higher as accommodation is at a premium.
When starting to look for a job, be aware that the Canadian format for Resume’s or CV’s is different to that of an Irish CV, so it is reccomended that you take the time to go over the preferred format and tailor your CV accordingly as this will help you in the job hunting process. Two of the most popular job hunting sites are www.monster.ca, http://www.jobbank.gc.ca/ . Make sure that if you have any qualifications or certificates that you take these with you and have your references lined up as the odds are your employer is going to look for this information and follow up with your references. Networking is a big thing in Canada, so wherever possible try and keep your online profiles updated and have your CV up to date as well on your profile.
Do your research before you go. Read up on the different cities, and decide which city suits you best to start out in. If you have any qualifications, make sure that you have all your documents in order before you leave Ireland as it can be much harder from Canada to organise these documents than iif you were Ireland.
Make sure on arrival you have money to put towards a deposit for a house or apartment, and a contingency for those unexpected costs, or if it takes you a little longer than expected to settle into a job.
Most of all enjoy your time in Canada, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.