Living and growing up on an island comes with its fair share of positives and negatives. The positives are undoubtedly the close connections and sense of community that can only exist on an island such as ours. The negatives are the lack of exposure to different ways of life. If you find yourself currently longing for something more, perhaps the working holiday visa is exactly what you are looking for. Find out everything you need to know about the working holiday visa here…

What is the working holiday visa ?

This may seem like a pretty simple question to answer but you may in fact be surprised to know that it’s not. In the global landscape which we currently live in, visa application processes can often be long, drawn out processes where a simple mistake can set an application back months. I have tried my best to accumulate the most important information for Irish people wishing to apply to a working holiday visa in the near future to make the process a little easier. Irish passport holders can select one of ten countries to apply to based on diplomatic arrangements made between our government and international friends in several different corners of the globe.

What is the working holiday visa? | Where can I travel with a working holiday visa?

The working holiday visa programme is something I could not recommend more. Sampling different cultures, learning new languages and fending for yourself on a foreign land are completely invaluable experiences. Opening your mind to what the world has to offer is one of the telltale signs of a life well lived. We all know someone who did a J1 to America or an Erasmus semester abroad and the working holiday visa is another option that allows you to opt for well-traveled and not so well-traveled paths.

Where can I travel with a working holiday visa ?

As I have mentioned already, Ireland’s government has made agreements over the course of the last few decades with ten different regions across four different continents. Whether you already know the destination you wish to travel to, or you are here looking for inspiration I have tried my best to compile all the most important information needed to give you the best chance possible of having your application granted.

North America| South America | Asia | Oceania

North America

Canada – USA

  • Working Holiday Visa in Canada

A rapidly growing economy and a huge variety in possible different destinations has meant that Canada has experienced a surge in popularity over the course of the last decade. From east to west there is an abundance of options available to young Irish people looking to broad their horizons. Whether it is the soaring skyscrapers of Toronto in the east or the diversity and natural beauty of Vancouver in the west, Canada has something for everyone. The beauty of the working holiday visa in Canada is that you are also able to work in multiple locations over the course of its duration and in different industries too. So you are not stuck to just one place, you’re instead free to roam and explore a truly special place.

Criteria for Selection:

  • Be between 18-35 (inclusive)
  • Have a valid Irish passport for the duration of your stay.
  • Pay the necessary visa application fee : around CAN$250
  • Funds to support yourself : have a minimum of CAN$2,500 in your account to help cover your expenses.
  • Take out an appropriate health insurance to cover you during your stay

► Start your Application

If you learn to love your new surroundings, you will be pleased to know that you can also opt to reapply for the programme to take you past 1 year also.

Find cheap flights to Canada

  • 1 Year Working Holiday Visa in the USA 

The close cultural ties between our own country and our American counterparts is something that I think we are all made aware of growing up. The vastness of the land and diversity you are exposed to in terms of destinations and also ethnicity, make America a particularly unique prospect. The criteria for this particular visa is a lot more strict than the other options on the list and the programme for 2018 is actually under threat. Once obtained though this visa allows you to access each of the 50 states and also gives you 90 days to find employment once you have landed in America. If you have your affairs in order you will still be able to apply this year according to USit.ie.

Criteria for Selection:

  • Be a recently qualified (less than 12 months graduated) postgraduate/undergraduate student
  • Have a valid Irish passport for the duration of your stay.
  • Be over the age of 18
  • Pay the programme fee: €2730 (if booked through USit and excluding insurance)

► Start your Application

Other forms of working visas for America are extremely difficult to acquire as it literally is a lottery. If you are looking to a fast start to your professional career though, this could be the perfect option for you.

Find cheap flights to the USA

South America :

Argentina – Chile

  • Working Holiday Visa in Argentina

If you want to go off the beaten track a little bit and fancy calling Buenos Aires home for 12 months, then maybe the Argentinian working holiday visa is the one for you. The annual quota for this programme is 200 so you are likely to face stiff opposition. Once you secure your place though, you will have the pleasure of immersing yourself in a truly beautiful country.

Criteria for Selection :

  • Be between 18-30
  • Have an Irish passport.
  • Cost of Visa: around €150
  • Required funds: A minimum of €2500 prior to your arrival
  • A letter outlining your motivation for your trip.
  • Take out insurance covering the necessary criteria set out by the embassy.
  • A return ticket or proof of sufficient funds to purchase return ticket.
  • Maximum duration: 12 months (non renewable)

 Start your application

The working working holiday visa in Argentina allows you the platform for a memorable year. If you decide to take the leap, be sure to enjoy it.

Find cheap flights to Argentina

 Birds eye of Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires Argentina iStock_000065150149_Large-2

  • Working Holiday Visa in Chile

Like Argentina, Chile is a dream for all travelers looking for picturesque landscapes and unspoiled nature. Whether it’s the Atacama Desert, Tierra del Fuego, Santiago de Chile or the Parque Nacional Terres del Paine, your year in Chile promises to be rich in new discoveries! Chile offers 200 working holiday visas per per year and this visa allows you to go out and return to the country as many times as you want in one year.

Criteria for selection :

  • Be between 18 and 35 (inclusive)
  • Be an Irish citizen and hold a valid passport for the entire duration of your stay.
  • A letter outlining the motivation for your trip.
  • Cost of Visa : ca. €100
  • Required funds: A minimum of €2500 prior to your arrival
  • Take out insurance covering the necessary criteria set out by the embassy.
  • A return ticket or proof of sufficient funds to purchase return ticket.
  • Maximum duration: 12 months (non renewable)

Start your application

It is currently not possible to apply as the quota for 2017 has already been reached understandably. I would say though to check back here in early 2018 and take a look at the website prior to applying to get familiar with the process.

Find cheap flights to Chile

santiago_del_chileshutterstock_430949926

Asia :

South Korea – Hong-Kong – Japan – Taiwan 

  • Working holiday visa in South Korea

Time to change destination completely by heading for the Far East and the small peninsula of South Korea. It is in a mix of tradition and modernity that is well worth a year of your lifetime. Having had a brother spend two years living in Seoul in the aftermath of the World Cup in 2002, I can personally guarantee that time spent in Korea as a twenty-something is time well spent. Things have changed in terms of the agreements between both countries but this current will still allow you to discover the huge metropolis that is Seoul, or the mountainous areas like Seoraksan National Park, among other things. 400 working holiday visas are issued each year for Irish people to relocate to South Korea.

Criteria for selection :

  • Be between 18 and 30 years old (inclusive)
  • Be an Irish citizen and hold a valid passport for the duration of your stay.
  • Cost of Visa Application: €82.80
  • Necessary funds : at least €2500 in your account prior to arrival (bank statement needed)
  • A return flight purchased or proof of enough money to purchase.
  • Agree to take out a necessary health insurance meeting the state’s requirements
  • Maximum duration: 12 months.

Start your application

Find cheap flights to South Korea

  • Working holiday visa in Hong-Kong
  • Get ready for a cultural shock if you decide to opt for a working holiday visa in Hong Kong! Discover a financial hub with 10,000 restaurants and 7 million inhabitants where there are many opportunities for young graduates looking for their first challenge. Outside of your working hours, you can discover many temples, fortified towns and local markets and explore other neighboring countries too. There are 200 visas made available each year for Irish people looking for a new challenge.
  • Criteria for selection :
    • Be between 18 and 30 years of age (inclusive)
    • Be an Irish citizen with a passport valid for the entire duration of your stay
    • Visa cost: free
    • Necassary funds : financial proof of having not less than HK$20,000 prior to arrival
    • Taking out a relevant insurance to cover you during your stay
    • Not able to work for same employer for more than 3 months
    • Maximum duration: 12 months.

    Start your application

    Find Cheap Flights to Hong Kong 

  • Working holiday visa in Japan

Japan is the destination that intrigues and fascinates people from all over the globe! So, why not jump on the opportunity to discover and understand this country for a year thanks to your working holiday visa? Discover the hustle and bustle of Tokyo, the endless amounts of historical temples, Mount Fuji or the Kyoto Gardens So, why not try to get one of the 400 visas distributed each year to Irish people?

Criteria for selection :

  • Be between 18 and 30 years of age (inclusive)
  • Be an Irish citizen with a passport valid for the entire duration of your stay
  • Letter of motivation outlining the reasons for your trip
  • Necessary funds : Financial proof of at least €3200 prior to departure (€1600 if return flight booked)
  • Taking out a relevant insurance to cover you during your stay
  • Maximum duration: 12 months

Start your application

Find cheap flights to Japan

  • Working holiday visa in Taiwan

Another one of the four Asian Tigers, Taiwan has been able to forge its identity since independence from China in the 1950s. Today, Taipei is an incredibly modern city with many soaring skyscrapers. If you are more of a nature lover, you just have to leave the city to discover mountain ranges, volcanoes, waterfalls and green forests in the surrounding areas. You’re pretty much getting a two for one special if you opt for Taipei as your working holiday visa destination!

Criteria for selection:

  • Be between 18 and 30 inclusive
  • Be an Irish citizen with an valid Irish passport for the duration of your stay.
  • Cost of visa application: €86
  • Necessary funds: At least €2500 prior to departure
  • Already have a return/onward flight booked from Taipei.
  • Take out necessary insurance as required by host government.
  • Maximum duration: 12 months

Start your Application

Find cheap flights to Taiwan

taiwan

Oceania :

  • Working Holiday Visa in Australia

Surely one of the first countries we think of in terms of options for a working holiday, Australia is a popular destination of choice for young people looking for adventure and eager to discover a new world. Whether it’s to live in cosmopolitan cities like Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane or discover unique landscapes like Fraser Island, Whitsunday Islands or the Valley of the Giants, Australia is an extremely diverse country that will delight all its visitors.

Criteria for selection :

  • Be between 18 and 30 inclusive
  • Be an Irish citizen with an valid Irish passport for the duration of your stay.
  • Cost of visa application: ca. €320
  • Necessary funds: At least €3250 prior to departure
  • Already have a return flight booked
  • Take out necessary insurance as required by host government.
  • Maximum duration: 12 months (renewable for a second year)

Start your application

Find a cheap flight to Australia

View of Sydney Harbour, Australia

  • Working Holiday Visa in New Zealand

Want to spend a year with your backpack, to discover landscapes brought to the centre of our attention thanks to Lord of the Rings? This country is an absolute gem and even better is that there is no quota per year for Irish applicants! Between beautiful beaches, cosmopolitan cities, ski resorts, rugby, lakes and many other activities such as bungee jumping or rafting, the year promises to be rich in unforgettable experiences!

Criteria for selection: 

  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 (inclusive)
  • Have a valid Irish passport for the entire duration of your stay
  • Cost of visa application : ca. €36
  • Necessary funds: at least NZ $4,200 prior to your arrival with proof
  • A return or onward flight purchased already
  • Take out the necessary insurance as required by the government
  • Maximum duration: 12 months

 Start your application

Find cheap flights to New Zealand 

Auckland, New Zealand- December 12, 2013. Bungee jumping man.

So there you have it! A run-down of all destinations where it’s possible to enjoy the rewarding experience that is a working holiday. 2017 is nearly at an end a new adventure potentially awaits. Be brave and chase your dreams! :)

If you like what you've seen on this page so far, why not check out our shiny new podcast. Holidayguru's Gurucast is our newest way to inspire and interact with you beautiful people. Here you can learn about new and exciting places, pick up some great tips on how to save on your travels and also listen to interviews with some of the world's most influential personalities. Happy listening! :)