Ireland Working Holiday Visa

The Ireland Working Holiday visa (two-years in length) is very easy to get as a Canadian.  The limitations on it is that you must be in Canada to apply (although you can do this from abroad as long as you can get to an Irish Embassy to have your passport witnessed); you must be under 36 years of age at the time of your application; and you are required documentation to show proof of funds of at least $2500.  The cost for the Ireland working holiday Visa Essentials package is $200*, through a third party travel agency who middle-man’s your money and sends your documentation off to the Irish Embassy for you.  There is no other way to acquire the visa other than this process through a third party agency called SWAP.  But once processed, the visa gives you unlimited multiple-entries to the Republic of Ireland for work and visitation rights to any of the other countries within the European Union.

For two consecutive years, you are able to work with the Ireland Working Holiday Visa, and even for the same company the entire time you are there should you so desire.  And best of all is when you fly from Republic of Ireland to the United Kingdom, you often have your own line at immigration where you are just allowed to walk through without even having to talk to an official.  It is a powerful working-visa is that regard as well as in terms of time allowed.  Once granted, you have one entire year to arrive in Ireland to activate the visa.

In order to apply for the Ireland Working Holiday visa, as a Canadian it is required that you have travel insurance for your time in Ireland, but I was able to apply for the visa with only 11 months of coverage.

  • I had to promise that I would buy coverage for the remainder of my time there once my insurance expired.
  • I had to have a passport photo with me.
  • There was a two-page application form that I had to print off and fill out.
  • I had to give them the confirmation page of my travel-insurance coverage.
  • A bank statement for proof of support funds.
  • A bogus itinerary of my arrival that I had a travel agency make up for me.
  • I have to leave them my passport.

The turnaround timeline was about 4 weeks before the passport was mailed back to home address.  There is no visa or any kind of documentation inside of the passport, so it is difficult to know why they physically need the passport when they could just make official copies of it at the office and then use those numbers for the process.

There is a bureaucratic issue with this visa as once you arrive in Ireland, you then have to pay an additional sum of €300 to officially activate the visa and register within the country.  It is a dirty fee that you will have no idea of until you have officially received your visa.  ‘Oh by the way… Once you arrive in Ireland you will have to pay a substantial amount more…’  But for the value of your time in Europe, this is a very good visa to purchase for a great adventure in Ireland.  I hope you like Guinness and traditional music…it will be the next two years of your future.

*There is a more expensive Swap Ireland Package visa option offered for $560 where they will provide extra support information though SWAP and two nights of accommodation. You will never use this information.  The visa is the exact same visa.  Choose the $200 Ireland Visa Essentials Package option, book your own hostel (through for two nights, and save yourself $260.