New Irish app helps immigrants navigate their way around Toronto

Relocating to a new country can be a daunting and overwhelming experience.

So two men originally from Ireland have created a new app aimed at helping Irish immigrants with everything they need when landing in Toronto.

It’s called Irish App-Roved.

“Toronto right now has a lot of employment and the city has a great reputation. The Irish have always been really well received and the Canadians are really, really friendly people,” Patrick Doherty, one of the app’s creators, told CBC News.

Doherty said when he first came to Toronto six years ago, he found it extremely difficult to find a job as his previous experience in Ireland wasn’t recognized. Finding living accommodations also proved a difficult task as he lacked a credit score.

“I was a little bit homesick, to be honest, right off the bat.”

Doherty explained that people can log onto the app before they even come to Canada and access useful information about accommodations, what banks to use, available cell phone providers as well as immigration services to assist with obtaining permanent residence.

Doherty said about 65 per cent of Irish immigrants who come to Canada settle in Toronto and that this new app is about making that transition easier.

He explained that they also assist with getting immigrants placed in proper employment, which increases their chances of sponsorship.

Cassandra Fultz, a regulated Canadian immigration consultant, explained to CBC News that many immigrants want to come to Canada on a working holiday visa, which is very common, but the process can be challenging.

“You have to make sure you’re not missing any documents and that there’s nothing that would make you inadmissible to Canada before you apply.”

Fultz said people have the option to book a consultation, ask questions, and fill out immigration forms right through the app.

App took just 4 months to launch

Doherty and his business partner, Cormac Graham, were both living and working full time in Toronto when they got together to work on the idea. Doherty decided to quit his job at HiLo Bar — a watering hole on Queen Street East near Broadview Avenue.

Graham, who has been in Toronto for eight years, quit his job at RBC Ventures. The two pooled their resources, designed the app and launched Irish App-Roved in four months.

The app went live on April 4.

Since the launch, Irish App-Roved has been trending in the top five on the Google Playstore social app category, out of 2.6 million apps.

Doherty and Graham are also working on a Realtor app they plan to launch this summer.

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