The Irish Working Holiday Visa

The Working Holiday Visa is a unique opportunity that is really so awesome I’m ashamed it’s not more popular with Americans. While requirements vary depending on which country you decide to apply for, applications aren’t difficult and they’re not hard to be approved! It’s a sick deal- you get to work as much or as little (well, anything under 39 hours is considered legal… what you do under the table is your business) as you want, and get to live in your new home for a year. Anyone who has graduated within one year is eligible to apply, as long as they have the following on hand.

{Let me repeat that, because it’s one distinct feature that makes it different from the other Working Holiday Visas- you can only apply if you’ve graduated undergrad with a Bachelor’s within one year.}

There are several programs you can pay hundreds of dollars to do the application for you. I’m going to save you that moolah and outline everything for you here so that you can instead use that money to do a week of backpacking. Please think of me when you’re sipping your sickly sweet moscato on the Eiffel Tower lawn with your saved pocket change. It’s really not as difficult as those assistance programs make it out to be, though it can be intimidating if you don’t answer everything to their standards! Like I said before, while requirements vary between the different countries’ visa programs, here is what was all required for an Irish Working Holiday Visa!

The Irish Working Holiday Visa has two parts. 

Part 1: The Irish Embassy requires you to submit:

  • The online application
  • A valid US passport (and make sure it’s valid at least six months after your intended return date!)
  •  TWO recent passport pictures, standards found here
  • A current curriculum vitae (CV), which should be outlined according to Irish standards, explanations and examples found here
  • References. I submitted four: two current supervisors, a former supervisor who I knew would give me a great review, and a family friend just for chets and giggles. Make sure you note who they are in relation to you, and the timeframe (if applicable) you worked with them.
  • Original bank statement showing you have access to 3,000 euro. This is more or less $3,500. I went to Wells Fargo, had them print me out a copy of my current bank account summary info, and had the girl attach her business card, and then sign and date it. That was official enough for the consulate!
  • Originals of qualifications obtained: for this, I submitted my original high school diploma, my university diploma, and an official transcript. Don’t forget the transcript! I didn’t think it was necessary, but I was wrong and it cost me another couple weeks of waiting.
  •  A $349 (call to make sure what the current fee is!) money order.

Package this all up in a manila envelope, suck it up and pay the $20 it costs to mail it with the tracking label and all the fancy things (you don’t want to lose your passport!) and pray you followed this list right! It took about four weeks for me to hear back that Part 1 looked in check and that I was all cleared to submit part 2! I submitted everything to the Irish Consulate in Chicago. They were friendly (well, as friendly as consulate people are… they’re a step above the DMV, that’s for sure), and answered my calls in a timely fashion. Their hours are as wonky as most consulates are, but when they were there I never felt silly for asking the plethora of questions I had. If the Italy Consulate was Wal-Mart, the Irish Consulate was definitely Target. Part 2: All part two requires you to submit is:

  • A copy of your round trip flight
  • A copy of your travel insurance, valid for the duration of your stay

I would love to tell you that this second part is a breeze, because look at it! It’s a list of only two things! How stressful can that be! It’s not hard, persay. But it takes work. The flight part? That’s easy. I booked through American Airlines directly (a choice I may or may not regret later…) because I knew I was probably going to end up extending my stay when the summer comes. Either that, or I’d need to be able to hike it back home ASAP if I end up jobless and homeless for too long. The insurance part takes a little bit of investigating. According to my mom, I had to take out a plan that would insure me a safe private plane trip back if I should catch a deadly virus and had to be placed into one of those bubble suits. I ended up taking out a travel plan through Blue Cross Blue Shield, my insurance in the States, that didn’t end up being too pricey. Throw in a pot, simmer at a low boil for 20 minutes… and a few weeks later you’ll have your shiny passport with a new buddy inside. Get excited, and begin to wonder how you’ll fit your life (and a case of emergency Ramen) into a suitcase again.



PS: Not vibin’ towards Ireland? (whatever, be a thot) As an American, here are your other options!

~Singapore Working Holiday Visa~

~Korean Working Holiday Visa~

~New Zealand Working Holiday Visa~

~Australian Working Holiday Visa~


4 thoughts on “The Irish Working Holiday Visa

  1. Hey!

    Great blog! Stumbled upon it when I was looking up Working Holiday Visas. This post was super informative. Was wondering if I could ask
    a question or two about the process?

  2. Hi Monique! I just found your blog recently and it’s a wonderful read! I am preparing my papers for the WHV and was wondering if you submitted the originals of your diplomas or copies, and if they sent them back when they sent back the passport?

  3. Hey Kayla!
    I emailed in originals. They sent them back! I made copies of the originals to keep just in case they lost them. I’d definitely recommend paying extra to have the postage be a sign off drop off so you know it made it there in one piece!

    If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at! I’d love to help out any way I can. What town are you planning on settling into?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s