My Irish Working Holiday

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One of the many, many reasons I started a blog was to describe my life and adventures as an expatriate. Currently, I am on a 12 month working holiday in Ireland. My lovely friends have already been putting people on to me who are interested in doing the same so I am going to write a few posts about the process.

Introduction to the Working Holiday

I chose Ireland not only because it was somewhere I had always wanted to visit, but because it is also a good stepping stone to travelling long term. I didn’t want to cover the expense and time of a 5 year ancestry visa to the UK only to find out that I didn’t like being so far from New Zealand.

If you’re considering going on your OE, but aren’t to sure if it’s for you I would recommend Ireland as a starting point. As long as you have a bit of savings behind you when you start off you will find that it is an amazingly friendly place and a really exciting country to set up your base camp.

What is the Working Holiday Scheme?

The Working Holiday Scheme is a reciprocal visa scheme which allows young people of participating countries to supplement their travel with part time or temporary work.

The scheme in Ireland allows nationals of certain countries to enter Ireland, remain for a year and take up employment to support further travel. These countries are listed further down the page with links to the Irish embassy or consulate relevant to that country.

When applying for a visa through this scheme what you receive is not a visa but authorisation to apply for one when you get to Ireland. This is still subjected to passing through immigration and reporting to your local Garda station. I talk about this in a later post. This post will be about applying for authorisation in your country of origin.

What is the criteria?

  • Typically you must be a ‘young person’ to apply for a working holiday visa. Generally, this means you are between the ages of 18 and 30.
  • You must also be able to support yourself without help from public funds. The minimum funds requirement can be found on the relevant embassy pages below. You must be able to show you have these funds readily accessible to you while in Ireland.

How do you apply?

Here is a list of websites where you can apply for visa authorisation as of 2012:

New Zealand:
Republic of Korea: 

United States of America:
There are a few places you can apply depending on where you are in the US,

How long does it take?

Allow two weeks. Mine came back ridiculously fast, within the week.


I’m not an immigration adviser or in anyway endorsed or supported by Irish Immigration. This blog post is simply an example of the process I went through when applying for a visa to Ireland. I recommend you use the links to the Embassy of Ireland nearest you to get the full low down about applying for a working holiday or speak to an authorised immigration adviser if you need help 🙂


16 thoughts on “My Irish Working Holiday

  1. Hey rachel

    I’m in need of help explaining the visa process.

    It’s doing my head in!

    Love your post! You write very cleverly!

    I’m 25 and wanting to work in Ireland but the process is confusing.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!


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