Skip to main content

Working Holiday Authorisation/COVID-19 FAQ

COVID-19  FAQs

1. I want to apply to travel to Ireland under a Working Holiday Authorisation. Is it possible currently to do so?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily ceased accepting new applications under the Working Holiday Authorisation programme. We intend to resume accepting applications when circumstances allow. We do not expect that we will be in a position to accept any further applications in the near future.

Our primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation here and in the relevant locations abroad, in terms particularly of public health advice, travel restrictions, job opportunities and the availability of short-term accommodation.

We will make a public announcement when we begin to accept new applications. Please keep an eye on our website.

2. I submitted a WHA application before the outbreak of COVID19. What has happened to my application?

Applications already submitted remain on file until operations resume. You will be contacted once your application has been processed. If you wish to withdraw your application, please contact us.

3. I am currently in Ireland under the WHA programme. Will my permission to remain be extended?

In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID19, the Immigration Service Delivery in recent months has announced several general extensions of all permissions to remain in Ireland, including permissions related to the WHA. On 26 March, it was announced that the temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions would be extended further up to 20 September 2021. This applies to permissions that are due to expire between 21 April 2021 and 20 September 2021, including permissions that have already been extended by the previous six temporary extensions.

The terms and conditions as outlined in the WHA application form state clearly that participants in the WHA scheme must leave Ireland on the expiration of the permission. As such, we strongly advise all WHA holders to make all necessary arrangements to depart Ireland in adequate time in advance of the expiry of their permission to remain. Please note that we are not anticipating any further extension of permission to remain.

4. I was in Ireland under the WHA programme, but returned to my normal country of residence due to the COVID19 situation. Can I return in the future on my current permissions?

Our strong advice remains not to travel to Ireland at this time. A primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. A range of public health restrictions remain in place in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest updates can be found on www.gov.ie.

If you have registered with Immigration Service Delivery and have been issued with an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) during your initial stay, you are eligible to return to Ireland until that permission expires.

If you have not yet registered, please contact the Embassy to discuss your personal situation.

5. I currently hold a valid WHA but have not yet travelled to Ireland. Can I still travel? What if it expires?

Our strong advice remains not to travel to Ireland at this time. Our primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. A range of public health restrictions remain in place in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The latest updates cann be found on www.gov.ie

We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation here and in the relevant locations abroad, in terms particularly of public health advice, travel restrictions, job opportunities and the availability of short-term accommodation.

We do not, at this stage, expect that conditions will change sufficiently to enable you to take up your WHA opportunity in Ireland in the near future. We will, when circumstances allow, re-issue letters of Authorisation with revised dates of travel for individuals who were unable to travel in 2020 due to COVID-19. Please contact the relevant Embassy for more information

We hope you will have an opportunity to visit Ireland as soon as we announce that circumstances have sufficiently improved and that you are able then to fully enjoy the opportunities and experiences that are the ambition of this programme.

6. Can I transition from a WHA to another form of permission?

The terms and conditions as outlined in the application form state clearly that participants in the WHA scheme must leave Ireland on the expiration of the permission, which cannot be extended

Working Holiday Authorisations

Ireland and Australia, have reciprocal agreements under which each country allows young citizens from the other to fund a holiday through casual work. Each of the schemes is open to applicants aged 18-35.

  • Australian Citizens
  • Irish Citizens
  • Contact Us

Australian Citizens

Working Holidays in Ireland for young Australians

Ireland and Australia have a reciprocal agreement under which each country allows young citizens from the other to fund a holiday through casual work. Each of the schemes is open to applicants aged 18-35. Both schemes allow participants to work for a maximum period of six months with any one employer.

As Australian citizens do not require a visa to enter Ireland, our scheme is not based on a visa, but on a Working Holiday Authorisation. Participants are issued with a document which they must carry with them when they travel to Ireland and produce upon request. This allows a qualifying traveller to engage in casual or temporary work in Ireland without the need for a work permit. It is valid for employment only when the bearer also presents a valid Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) Registration Card. You should apply for this card as soon as possible after arrival, either through the GNIB office at 13/14 Burgh Quay Dublin 2 (for residents of Dublin) or through your local Garda (police) station outside Dublin.

The Authorisation must be activated within twelve months of issue or it will lapse. It is not possible to extend the period of validity of Working Holiday Authorisations, or to accept a second application from someone who has already been granted an Authorisation (whether or not they availed of it).

The current Working Holiday Authorisation is activated by arrival of the holder in Ireland. The holder is subject to normal border immigration controls upon arrival. 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. The Authorisation is valid for a period not exceeding 12 months after entry into Ireland.

How to apply

Applications can only be made through the Embassy of Ireland in Canberra; or through the Embassy of Ireland in London, for Australian applicants resident in the UK. It is not possible to apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation from within Ireland.

Applicants must complete an application form and return it with the following:

  • Completed application form
  • Processing fee.
  • Two recent passport photographs, each with your name on the reverse side.
  • Your original passport, which should be valid to a date at least three months after you are due to depart Ireland.
  • Evidence in the form of a statement from a bank, building society or similar savings agency that you have personal access to funds sufficient for the cost of both a return ticket and normal maintenance for a substantial part of your proposed holiday period in Ireland. A minimum of AUD$5,000 is required or AUD$2,500 with a return ticket to Australia.
  • Copies of educational certificates, or, if you are still a student, a letter from your college to that effect should be provided in support of your application.
  • Current curriculum vitae (with references)
  • Return Self-Addressed Registered envelope available from Australia Post. Please use Express Post if your application is urgent.

Please ensure that all questions are answered correctly. An incorrect or incomplete answer to any question will be taken into account when your application is being considered and could lead to a delay or refusal of your application.

The completed form, with supporting documents, fee and photos, should be sent by registered mail or courier to the Embassy of Ireland, 20 Arkana St, Yarralumla, ACT 2600.

The usual processing time is 15 working days from when we receive all required documentation. If a Working Holiday Authorisation is required sooner, you can pay the expedited processing fee to have your application prcoessed within 5 working days from when we receive all required documentation.

Irish Citizens

Irish citizens wishing to apply for a Working Holiday visa to Australia can make their application online through the Australian Department of Immigration website. The Working Holiday visa is referred to as a 417 visa.

Contact Us

Contact Us