Working Holiday Programme
Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions
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 processing new applications under the Working Holiday Authorisation programme. We intend to resume processing applications when circumstances allow. We do not expect that we will be in a position to process 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 process 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 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, including negative PCR tests taken 72 hours before arrival and self-restriction for 14 days on arrival. For those coming from countries designated to be high risk countries, these 14 days must be spent in a pre-booked and pre-paid designated quarantine facility. Temporary employment opportunities are scarce and opportunities to travel internally may be limited.
If you have registered with Immigration Service Delivery and have been issued with an Irish Residents 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. A primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. A range of restrictions remain in place in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, including negative PCR tests taken 72 hours before arrival and self-restriction for 14 days on arrival. For those coming from countries designated to be high risk countries, these 14 days must be spent in a pre-booked and pre-paid designated quarantine facility. Temporary employment opportunities are scarce and opportunities to travel internally may be limited.
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.
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.
Live and Work in Ireland
Ireland’s Working Holiday agreement with Canada has offered Irish and Canadian young people between the ages of 18 and 35 the exciting opportunity to experience living and working abroad since 2003.
- About the programme
- How to participate
- Irish applicants
About the Working Holiday and Internship Programme
Ireland’s Working Holiday agreement with Canada offers an exciting opportunity for young Canadians to experience living and working in Ireland. The Programme gives Canadian youth the chance to progress their career ambitions, connecting with leading global companies located in Ireland. The programme also fits in with many work experience commitments as part of University curriculums.
Ireland, the only English speaking country in the Eurozone, offers the warmest of welcomes to students from all over the world - 35,000 international students from 161 countries enjoy Ireland's vibrant culture each year. The friendliness and hospitality for which the Irish people are renowned contributes to the ease with which overseas students adapt to the way of life in Ireland which, together with Canada, is one of the friendliest and safest countries in the world.
Ireland offers two visas under the Programme, which are open to Canadian youth living both in and outside Canada:
The Working Holiday Authorisation, valid for two years, is open to Canadian citizens aged 18-35. This open work visa allows young Canadians to travel and work in Ireland, or to progress their chosen careers through employment in Ireland that is related to their degree and/or professional experience.
The International Co-op Internship Authorisation, valid for one year, is for students who intend to complete a paid work placement or internship in Ireland. It is open to Canadian citizens aged 18-35 who are registered students at post-secondary institutions.
Eligible applicants may participate in both theInternational Co-op Internship category and the Working Holiday category, in any order. Applicants may participate in each category once only.
How to participate
Applications for the Programme are processed by the Embassy of Ireland, Ottawa, and are accepted either directly to the Embassy (Working Holiday Authorisation,International Co-op Internship Authorisation or through SWAP Working Holidays). Passports must be valid for 30 months from the date of entry into Ireland.
Qualifying applicants are issued with an Authorisation which they must carry with them when they travel to Ireland and produce upon request. The Authorisation is activated by arrival of the holder in Ireland. The Authorisation must be activated within twelve months of issue or it will lapse. The holder is subject to normal border immigration controls upon arrival in Ireland.
Within one month of arrival in Ireland, holders of Authorisations must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) and will be issued with a Registration Card on payment of the appropriate fee; the current fee is €300 (this is subject to change).
Together, the Authorisation and GNIB Registration Card allow a participant to seek employment in Ireland without the need for a work permit.
There is no maximum period on the time spent with any one employer within the validity of the Authorisation.
It is not possible to extend the period of validity of an Authorisation. However, eligible applicants may participate in both theInternational Co-op Internship category and the Working Holiday category, in any order and any time frame within the age limits. Applicants may participate in each category once only. In the case of a successful application to a second category while in Ireland, the applicant should leave Ireland on the expiration of their current Authorisation and re-enter on the new Authorisation. They should then re-register with GNIB.
Canadian citizens living both in and outside Canada are eligible to apply. Canadian applicants living outside Canada should enclose a certified copy of their passport. Canadian citizens living in Ireland at the time of their application should enclose a copy of their passport stamped as “original seen” by their local Garda Station, and will then need to leave Ireland before re-entering with the Authorisation and registering with GNIB in order to activate their new status.
Fee payable by:
Canadian bank draft, money order, certified or personal cheque:
payable to Embassy of Ireland in Canadian Dollars. Euro not accepted.
Credit card: please include the name on card, card number, and expiry date. Please do not include the three or four digit security code.
Debit cards are not accepted.
Working Holiday: $150
Student Cooperation: $100
Please also include return fee:
For registered post - $15
For courier service - $60
Irish citizens interested in the programmes should consult the website for International Experience Canada.