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Working Holiday Scheme between Ireland and Hong Kong

Working Holiday Authorisation

A Working Holiday Scheme was set up between Ireland and Hong Kong in 2005. Under the Scheme, young people of Hong Kong may apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation to Ireland, and vice versa. The purpose of the Scheme is to broaden the horizons of young people. It provides an opportunity for young people to gain first-hand living experience in a foreign culture while they are on holiday in Ireland and to supplement their funds through incidental employment.

Successful applicants from Hong Kong will be issued an Irish Working Holiday Authorisation. A Working Holiday Authorisation is a multiple entry visa valid for a one-year stay in Ireland from the date of entry. During your stay, you can take up short-term employment of not more than three months with any one employer. There are currently 200 places per year available under this scheme. There is still quota available for the current period.

Irish people interested in applying for the Working Holiday Scheme should review the requirements set out by the Hong Kong Immigration Department and contact the Chinese Embassy in Dublin to make your application.

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found below. If you have further inquiries, please contact us.

Please note you are required to make an appointment in advance to submit your application.

 

Eligibility

To obtain an Irish Working Holiday Authorisation you must:

  • be a resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), and be ordinarily resident in the HKSAR at the time of application and visa issue, and have a valid HKSAR or BNO passport;
  • intend primarily to holiday in Ireland;
  • be aged between 18 and 30 (inclusive) and not be accompanied by dependent children;
  • have at least HKD 25,000 and have a return or onward ticket; or HKD 35,000 in the absence of a return or onward ticket when you arrive in Ireland; and
  • hold a year's valid medical insurance (please see FAQs for conditions of insurance). 

Documents

Documents to be submitted to the Consulate, by appointment:

  • your completed application form and your passport (please include photocopies of the bio-page, all visas and all stamps). Your passport should be valid for at least 15 months from the issue date of the Working Holiday Authorisation;
  • photocopy of your HKID card;
  • one current passport style photo;
  • your curriculum vitae/resume and originals of your qualifications;
  • evidence of sufficient funds; and
  • evidence of medical and comprehensive hospitalisation and liability insurance to remain in force throughout your stay in Ireland. Please attach an English copy of the Terms and Conditions of your insurance policy.

Note to Applicants

Please prepare TWO non double-sided sets of photocopies of all required documents when submitting your application. If you do not supply a photocopy the original documentation will not be returned to you. We regret that we do not provide photocopying services at the Consulate


Terms and Conditions

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its representatives and agents reserve the right to refuse any application as they see fit. They may also ask for further documentation.

An applicant will not be refused a Working Holiday Authorisation under the Scheme solely on the grounds of his/her lack of knowledge of the Irish, English, Cantonese or Mandarin languages.

Applicants must have sufficient funds to support themselves for at least the initial part of the holiday or in the event of failing to secure employment. Immigration officials may request evidence of sufficient funds at the point of entry to Ireland.

Applicants must have private medical insurance to cover any costs incurred in the event of an accident or illness for the entire duration of the stay in Ireland

To avoid the risk of misunderstanding or unrealistic expectations, applicants are advised that the market for short term casual work is highly competitive and is adequately supplied from the large number of school leavers and other young Irish people looking for work.

Notwithstanding the issue of a WHA, applicants will be subject to normal immigration control at point of entry. All non EU nationals who wish to stay longer than 3 months in Ireland must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and its representatives and agents reserve the right to refuse any application as they see fit. They may also ask for further documentation. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I apply?
Holders of the Working Holiday Authorisation must enter Ireland within 90 days of visa issuance, therefore your application should be submitted no earlier than 3.5 months prior to your intended date of travel. Applications are accepted from 1 March each year, until the quota is filled.

How long will it take to process my application?
Please allow at least 20 working days from time of application for the WHA to be issued. During this time your passport may be held. However if you urgently require your passport, please contact your local office and we will arrange for it to be returned. The passport must be returned to the Irish representative office before a WHA can be issued.

May I apply on the scheme more than once?
This is only possible if your prior application(s) was rejected.

I am given up to a year's permission to remain in Ireland. When does that begin?
You are given up to 12 months permission to remain from the date you propose to enter Ireland. This will be shown on your visa.

Can I buy insurance after my authorisation has been approved?
We will not process applications without all the required documents, including insurance.

What should I take note of when purchasing insurance?
The insurance policy should provide medical and accident coverage in Ireland for a year from the day you enter the state. You should make sure your policy includes these requirements before purchasing.

Please request your insurance agent to provide a letter or an English copy of the Terms and Conditions specifying coverage in the state of Ireland, if not worldwide. WHA medical insurance letter.

I already have ongoing insurance. Can I use this to apply on the scheme?
You must provide a copy of your membership certificate and an English copy of the Terms and Conditions that comply with our requirements specified above.

How much is the application fee?
There is no application fee at present, but a fee of €300 (Euros) will be charged in respect of each immigration certificate of registration issued to a non- EEA national in Ireland (see below).

What is an immigration certificate of registration?
An immigration certificate of registration is a document that is issued to a non-EEA national who registers with his/her local immigration registration officer. The credit-card sized document is issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau and includes the person's photo, residency details and date of expiry. At present, legally resident non-EEA nationals who have entered the State with the intention of residing in Ireland for a period of more than three months must register with their local immigration registration officers.