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Working Holiday Programme

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

Processing of applications under the Working Holiday Authorisation programme in the US and Canada has now resumed.     

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

Applications which have been submitted since March 2020 will be reviewed and you will be contacted once your application has been processed. If you wish to withdraw your application, please contact us. Due to the backlog incurred during the COVID-19 period, we ask for your patience.

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

In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID-19, the Department of Justice has announced several general extensions of all permissions to remain in Ireland, including permissions related to the WHA. On 14 September 2021, the Minister for Justice, Heather Humphreys TD, and the Minister of State for Law Reform, Youth Justice and Immigration, James Browne TD, announced a final temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions to 15 January 2022. This means that anyone in Ireland on a WHA which expires on a date up until 15 January 2022 will be permitted to remain until 15 January. This extension is also valid for those whose WHAs were previously extended.

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 issued with a WHA letter before the pandemic but never travelled to Ireland. Can I still travel on this?

If you received a letter of authorisation but never travelled to Ireland due to the pandemic please contact us and we will re-issue a new, valid WHA. You will need to provide your passport to prove that you did not enter into Ireland.

5. I no longer meet the eligibility requirements to apply for a WHA but I was fully eligible when I originally applied. Will my application be granted?

We will strive to accommodate applicants who were fully eligible when they applied but who may no longer meet the requirements, on an exceptional basis.

6. I travelled to Ireland but then returned to my home country very shortly afterwards due to the pandemic. I did not obtain an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) or make full use of my WHA, can you issue me with a new, valid WHA?

We will consider applications from those who are in this situation on a case-by-case basis. Please contact us to discuss.   

7. I received my Irish Residence Permit in Ireland before returning to my normal country and it has now expired. Can I apply for a second WHA?

Applications for a second WHA cannot be accepted in the case where an IRP was already issued.

8. I applied for a WHA but would like to withdraw my application. Will I be refunded?

The application fee is for processing purposes and is non-refundable. Please notify the relevant mission if you wish to withdraw your application.

9. 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
  • Fees
  • Irish applicants

About the programme

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

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. 



Fee payable by:

Canadian bank draft, money order, or certified 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
International Courier Service - Confirmed based on destination

Irish applicants

Irish applicants

Irish citizens interested in the programmes should consult the website for International Experience Canada.