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.
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:
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 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.