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Work and Travel in Ireland

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How do I qualify for the program?

For Canadian citizens there is an age requirement to be able to participate in the program. You must be aged 18-35 to be eligible for the program and hold a Canadian passport.

When can I go?

There is no time limit to apply for the Work In Ireland Program, applications and arrival dates are open all year round, you decide when you wish to arrive. Please be aware that there is an 8 – 10 week processing period required from when you first apply.

Can I apply for the program if I am planning to study in Ireland?

Yes. You can combine your Work in Ireland program with a study abroad program and choose to work part-time. This could be employment found before your studies begin or after they conclude. If you’d like to work during your study abroad program, check with your study abroad advisor, as there may be restrictions on the number of hours you are allowed to work while studying. You will require a study visa and not a working holiday visa in this instance.

I am a permanent resident of Canada, but not a citizen, can I apply?

The visa assistance service is only open to Canadian citizens. Please contact the Irish embassy or consulate in the country where your passport was issued for further options. Work in Ireland can accept you onto the program and provide you with assistance in housing jobs and living in Ireland.

What is a letter of eligibility?

Your letter of eligibility is your Work Holiday Authorization letter. This is an official, signed document that you need to show at Customs and Immigration. The letter alone does not allow you to start work immediately, however. Information will be provided at your USIT orientation session in Dublin on how to register with the local Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB), which will give you full working authorization.

What do I need to satisfy immigration requirements?

You need a valid passport, a letter of eligibility and proof of funds (a recent bank or credit card statement). You’ll also need to bring your address for your first few days, insurance documents and return ticket (if applicable).

Do I need a Police Certificate?

A police clearance certificate is not required throughout the application process, however we encourage you to obtain one. Certain employment industries in Ireland will require you to hold a Police Certificate for your home country. If you plan on working in the health or wellbeing industry it is a must. Police Certificates are free of charge and you can apply for them through your local police department.

Do I need to secure a job before I travel?

No. Your Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) is not tied to any specific job. It gives you a terrific opportunity to work anywhere you like in Ireland in any type of paid employment. It’s quite unlikely and difficult to acquire a job before you land in Ireland.

Working abroad in Ireland - How do I find a job?

The support network provided by USIT’s Work in Ireland program, as well as the important information about working abroad in Ireland provided at your arrival orientation, will point you in the right direction for finding work opportunities in Ireland.

Some advance research will help ensure your success in your chosen field. For more information, see our Jobs section.

What kind of jobs can I expect to get?

On this program there are no restrictions on the type of employment you can undertake. We have a huge market for hospitality and retail, however career based jobs are available in multiple fields throughout Ireland. Our participant ratio would be 50/50 between hospitality and career based positions. The Work in Ireland team help in any way possible to help you acquire your desired position. Ultimately, the position you acquire will be determined upon your experience and qualifications.

How much will I earn?

The current minimum wage is €9.25 per hour and previous participants have found jobs paying between €10-16 per hour for office-based work – some even as high as €25 per hour. However, your wage/salary will depend on the type of employment you are looking for and the length of time you work in Ireland.

Do I have to stay/work for the full 2 years of my stay?

No. This is just the maximum amount of time you can stay/work in Ireland. It is important to know that you cannot exceed these 2 years. Many participants on the program opt to spend the majority of their time travelling while here and that is perfectly fine! It’s entirely up to you on how you would like to spend your time here. Your visa allows multiple re-entries into Ireland.

Can I change my job during the 2 years?

Yes, you can change your job position as many times as you’d like. Your WHA allows you to work as many jobs with as many employers as you would like.

Do I have to stay in Dublin?

No. You can go anywhere in the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland. After your arrival and USIT orientation in Dublin, where you will complete your work authorisation process with the Work in Ireland team, you are free to head to any part of the country.

Please note, there is only one Work in Ireland resource centre which is situated in Dublin city centre. If you reside outside of the Dublin area USIT provide assistance through email, Skype, Phone and our closed FB groups.

Where can I go in Ireland?

You can travel and live anywhere in Ireland while also changing your location as many times as you’d like. The WHA has no restrictions on location just once you stay within the Republic of Ireland to work.

What does housing cost?

This depends entirely on where you live (city versus village) and whether you share accommodation with roommates or live on your own. See our Accommodation section for more information on housing and cost of living.

How much money should I bring with me?

We recommend that you bring a minimum of €2,500 with you when you arrive, to cover initial costs such as a deposit on an apartment, food and transportation while you are looking for work. The bigger the financial cushion you have the better!

It is required by Customs and Immigration that you provide proof of funds for €1,500 with a return plane ticket. Please check with your local Irish embassy or consulate about any further requirements relating to proof of funds and return ticket policies.

When is the best time to work and travel in Ireland?

The most popular months for arrivals are March to June and late August to October. These are the time employment is at its highest, do keep in mind that the August-October time line would mean you will be in competition with students for accommodation. A time of year that can be difficult in sourcing a job would be just after Christmas-New Year and mid-summer so always keep that in mind.

Can I travel to other parts of Europe?

Yes. In fact, we actively encourage you to because your Work in Ireland program puts you right at the gateway to Europe, with its wealth of cultural heritage to explore and enjoy. USIT can help you make travel arrangements throughout Europe, as we are the leading youth travel organisationin the country. Also, if you are thinking of extensive travelling, look into the Interrail pass, which you may purchase within USIT office.

Can I leave and re-enter Ireland while I am on the program?

Yes. There are no program restrictions, but remember that your 24 months will be clocking away as you go in and out.

Do I need to attend the orientation?

Yes! Orientation within the first two weeks of your arrival is MANDATORY. Failure to book an appointment and show up may result in the Work in Ireland team refusing to assist you in future matters.

Can I go on my own?

Of course! Majority of participants on the program have come as lone travellers to mix and experience as much of Ireland as possible. USIT also arrange multiple social event monthly to help participants mix and meet like-minded people. The Irish culture is also extremely friendly, we love making new friends wherever possible!

What is a IRP and do I need to book my IRP appointment before arrival?

Yes, it is encouraged that you book for appointment 8-10 weeks prior to your arrival date. The IRP appointment activates your visa, allowing you to begin working in Ireland. Appointments are booked online at: burghquayregistrationoffice.inis.gov.ie

It’s extremely important that you check the website at 7.30am, 10.15am and 2.30pm GMT (Irish Time) and search appointments by ‘closest to today’. Please let Work in Ireland staff if you are having trouble booking an appointment.

Can I apply from outside Canada?

Applicants can apply from both inside and outside Canada. If the applicant is applying from outside of Canada, they can arrange for their passport to be copied and stamped with “original seen” at an Irish Embassy or Consulate and include this copy with their application, rather than their original passport. There is a charge of $80 for return delivery by international courier.

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