The most popular post on my previous blog was the first in a series about the Working Holiday Visa process for Ireland. It won out by a landslide. Even today, it is still the topic I receive the most questions about. The post has secured a spot on the second page in most Google searches. The SECOND PAGE guys. I’ve arrived!
I’m so glad there are so many of you out there who want to choose Ireland as a place to live and work as a young person. It really is a fantastic, life changing experience. But a lot has happened in the world since 2012 (yes, it was the long ago that I first arrived in Ireland!), migration rules are always changing, so it seems like the time has come to update this series – from scratch.
So you’re thinking about a Working Holiday in Ireland?
First thing – amazing! If this is your first year abroad – never fear, a working holiday is a like a baby step into the world of living abroad. You get to travel for a year and support those travels by earning money along the way. For the seasoned, Ireland offers diverse opportunities for work and a great lifestyle to go with it. It’s sure to compare with the best experiences you’ve had thus far. Think castles, countryside and lots, I mean lots, of stout.
Going on a working holiday can be a great way to travel. In general, these visas allow young people to fund their travel through work (and sometimes study) as long as they abide by certain restrictions. Restrictions normally cover things like age, personal funds, health insurance and the type or duration of work you can do at your destination. It is so important to research your destination and your visa options thoroughly. You don’t want to forgo private health insurance, get sick overseas and then find out you are not entitled to receive access to public funds!
Although aimed at young people, a working holiday visa can be a significant financial investment. Not just in terms of the visa fee but also the cost of flights, start up money for your arrival, and ensuring the minimum fund requirements are met. You’re going to need a plan before you book your tickets to (literally) greener pastures…
It’s probably your quest for information about Working Holiday visas for Ireland that has brought you here! Celt & Kiwi will do it’s best to assist through the Working Holiday Ireland series.
This series will cover all the major steps of setting up life in Ireland: from the cost of living in Ireland’s major centres to applying for a tax number. Remember to make your topic requests in the comment section or #askceltkiwi on social media!
Q// Is there any work in Ireland?
Although there is plenty of short-term, casual work around in Ireland you will be competing with the school leavers, high-school students and other young people from the EU who typically fill those positions. For reference, it took me 3 months to find a job in Dublin between August and October 2012. Take this into consideration if you’re planning on looking for Christmas temp, summer tourism, pub, hotel or au pair type jobs.
You could also consider using Ireland as an opportunity to undertake an internship or work experience. Ireland is the European heart for many big tech corporates.You may be able to use your circumstances to your advantage here. One of my friends brought her environmental science degree with her and managed to get a job offer in her field before she arrived in Ireland.
Q// What is the Working Holiday Visa for Ireland?
The Working Holiday Visa for Ireland is a multi-entry visa allowing limited work rights for young people aged 18-30* who are citizens of an eligible country. The visa is valid for twelve months* from your date of entry into the Republic of Ireland.
*35 years or age and a 24-month visa for Canada.
Visa holders are also required to hold sufficient personal funds to support themselves for the initial portion of their trip or in the event they do not find work. Border staff have the right to ask for evidence of this. Since there is no guarantee you will find work in Ireland with this visa, it is definitely a good idea to save up as much as you can before you travel.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade recommend that applicants hold private medical insurance, but this is not a visa requirement.
Applicants from the United States are also subject to a few additional requirements (e.g. they must be a recent graduate or currently at university). There is also no upper age limit provided US citizens meet the other requirements – neat, eh?
Q// How do I apply?
In all circumstances, you will apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) from your local Embassy of Ireland before you travel. A Working Holiday Authorisation allows you to enter Ireland, subject to normal immigration controls, with the intention to apply for a Working Holiday Visa at a local GNIB (Garda National Immigration Bureau) office. You must then apply for your visa in person within 90 days of arrival. An Authorisation and a Visa are NOT the same thing.
There is a lot of demand for Working Holiday Authorisations for Ireland, so some embassies release them in batches. Basically, a number of places are opened up at specific times during the year. Chileans, for example, only have 100 authorisations per year. Then that’s it – finito. Pay careful attention to application opening and closing dates advertised by your local embassy to ensure you don’t miss out!
You should also be aware that a travel period restriction may apply to you. A travel period is a window of time in which you are allowed to enter the country. When I applied for my authorisation years ago in New Zealand, I was allowed 12 months from the date of issue to arrive in Ireland. As far as I know, this is still the case for kiwis. Other countries may have shorter or more specific travel periods. As an applicant, you need to be fairly sure that you are able to because you may have a certain time frame you’ll need to travel before.
Still keen? Go on ahead and apply to your local embassy or consulate.
|YOUR COUNTRY||APPLY TO|
|Argentina||Embassy of Ireland (Buenos Aires)|
|Australia||Embassy of Ireland (Canberra)|
|Canada||Embassy of Ireland (Ottawa)|
|Chile||Embassy of Ireland (Buenos Aires)|
|Hong Kong||Consulate General of Ireland|
|Japan||Embassy of Ireland (Tokyo)|
|New Zealand||Honorary Consulate (Auckland)|
|South Korea||Embassy of Ireland (Seoul)|
|Taiwan||Irish Immigration & Naturalisation Service|
|United States of America||Embassies of Ireland in the USA|
Too complicated? Consider using an agent like VisaFirst to help you through the process.
And that’s the summary! Remember to send those questions in and we’ll see you in the next post.
Last updated: 5 April 2017 – Although we try to keep the information on this page up to date, please ensure you check your local Irish embassy or with the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for the most current immigration information. The Celt & Kiwi are not immigration advisors or lawyers but mentors and coaches. This post is intended to present general guidance on the working holiday visa process for Ireland and that advice may not be suitable for all circumstances. Your own immigration requirements may differ.