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Sorting through the red tape isn't easy but it's worth the effort

Eavan Brady, from Clonskeagh, Dublin, is a research assistant who moved to Toronto in September 2011 with her boyfriend, Alan.

We wanted to move away from Ireland, to live in a another country and experience what it was like to live in a new and different city. The possibility of better job opportunities and a better way of life was also a factor. Australia always seems so far and the US is so hard to get into visa-wise.

It was definitely a fair bit of work between viewing places, signing the lease, getting all the necessary paper work together -- it was more official than what we had been through in Ireland, some places ask for references, and we had to provide a letter of employment and also 'renters insurance'.


As far as jobs, I found it difficult and worked in retail for two months before moving into a temp receptionist job for another six months and only in May did I start to get work that was more in line with my qualifications/career.

In my experience, the Irish are perceived very well here. I've found that the Canadians I have met are interested when they find out where I am from and have questions or a personal connection to Ireland.

I haven't got the impression that the Irish have 'taken over', maybe it is the case and I haven't heard about it, but it is not something that I'm aware of.

I've never had experience of drinking or fighting being a problem.

My advice to anyone coming over is this: grab every opportunity that you get to go out and meet new people when you get here, whether it's through a friend of a friend of a friend or a social club/group or whatever.

It might seem daunting, but I found that meeting lots of different people helped me to settle.

>Alex McRoberts (25) is a web developer from Belfast. He moved to Vancouver with his girlfriend Michelle, an occupational therapist from Dublin, in October 2011.

We had travelled to Vancouver in 2010 for a two-week holiday and thoroughly enjoyed the country. We had great jobs at home but wanted to travel, so we originally started off going two months around the states then moving to Vancouver, with the intention of moving on to Australia. But we liked Canada so much we stayed. The scenery is beautiful, and life is much slower paced.

Michelle got a job within the first two weeks, and I started a job with a local technology company after six weeks of being here. We had no jobs lined up before we got here, but we were prepared to take any job we could get to begin with.

There are lots of jobs here, you just have to know where to look. Our work ethic is always noticed and how skilled we are. When you go for interviews people are shocked that someone under 30 can have all of these qualifications.

Vancouver is very multicultural city. The number of Irish here has increased significantly, even in the past year of us being here.

Irish people blend in well and embrace the Canadian outdoor lifestyle.

Coming to Canada is probably the best decision I've ever made. It does take a lot of preparation in terms of forms. Come prepared to take any job, to volunteer in sports clubs, and to integrate into local society by joining clubs."