US-Ireland Holiday Working Agreement (J1)

COVID-19 update and FAQ

Back to top

Eligibility

Any US citizen, over the age of 18, who:

  • Is currently in full-time (i.e. not part time or online) post-secondary (i.e. post high school) education, inside or outside the US, leading to an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate degree, or;
  • Is currently in full-time (i.e. not part time or online) post-secondary (i.e. post high school) education, inside or outside the US, leading to certificate/diploma leading to a degree described at a) above, or;
  • Has graduated from a programme of study described at a) or b) above within the 12 months prior to receipt of their application by the relevant Consulate/Embassy

may be considered eligible for the programme as long as they meet all other requirements.

Back to top

How to apply (US citizens only)

These instructions refer to US participants only.
Irish citizens who wish to avail of the provisions of the Working Holiday Agreement  to travel to the US should consult the websites of the US Embassy in Dublin and/or the US Department of State for more information about the Intern Work and Travel Pilot Program with Ireland  (a.k.a. Intern work/travel: Irish).

US citizens wishing to travel to Ireland under the terms of the Agreement may apply for a US Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) directly through the relevant Consulate General or Embassy.

Note: All commercial suppliers of assistance with the application should be treated with due caution. The Embassy and Irish Consulates are not represented by these commercial suppliers and do not vouch for their services.

The application process consists of two stages.

Stage 1:

The applicant must submit the following documentation to the relevant Consulate General or Embassy:

  • A completed and signed Application for a working holiday authorisation
  • A photocopy of the applicant’s United States passport valid for at least a full year after ticketed date of entry
  • 2 recent identical passport-sized photographs with applicant’s name on the reverse;
  • Current CV/résumé (with at least 2 references)
  • Evidence that the applicant is currently in full-time post-secondary education, or has graduated within the 12 months prior to receipt of their application (see Eligibility tab) e.g. diploma, or if a degree or diploma has not yet been conferred, applicants can submit another form of proof such as their official transcripts or a letter from their university, to show that they graduated within the 12 months prior to receipt of their application by the Consulate/Embassy, or that they are still studying. In all cases original documents should be provided. These will be returned to you.
  • Original bank statement showing that you have access to at least $4,000;
  • The relevant non-refundable fee (see below) payable by money order, cashier's cheque or bank draft made out to the relevant Embassy/Consulate only. Please note that the postage costs are based on the average postage costs for the region covered by each office.
Office Fee Return Postage Total
Consulate General of Ireland, New York(processes applications from US citizens resident in Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, North & South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) $339 $13 $352
Consulate General of Ireland, Boston(processes applications from US citizens resident in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont) $339 $15 $354
Consulate General of Ireland, Chicago(processes applications from US citizens resident in Alabama, Arkansas, North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin) $339 $13 $352
Consulate General of Ireland, San Francisco(processes applications from US citizens resident in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming) $339 $21 $360
Embassy of Ireland, Washington(processes applications from US citizens resident in the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, Puerto Rico and West Virginia) $339 $21 $360

Once the Embassy or Consulate has received and is satisfied with the documentation above, the application will be approved in principle and the applicant notified. The application then proceeds to stage 2.

Stage 2:

The applicant must then submit the following documentation to the relevant Consulate General or Embassy:

  • Return airline tickets; [see FAQ tab on airline tickets]
  • Certificate of medical/travel insurance valid for the duration of the trip (based on dates on tickets) (see FAQ tab on medical insurance)
  • The applicant’s original United States passport valid for at least a full year after ticketed date of entry

When the Embassy or Consulate has received and is satisfied with this second stage documentation, the Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) will be issued.

You may submit your application documentation to us by post (mail) or in person. If you wish to submit your application by post/mail, we strongly recommend that you use registered (certified) mail or a reputable courier company.

The Embassy/Consulates cannot be held responsible for documentation lost in transit. If you wish to submit your application in person, please check the visa section of the website of the relevant Consulate General or Embassy (Our Services/Visas) as some restrictions may apply (e.g. appointment times).

Back to top

On arrival in Ireland

The market for short-term casual work in Ireland is highly competitive and adequately supplied by the large number of school leavers and other young Irish and EU nationals looking for work.

Getting your WHA is not a guarantee of finding work. If you hold a Working Holiday Agreement you are permitted to work from your date of entry to the State once your passport has been endorsed by an Immigration Officer at a Port of Entry confirming the purpose is to “take up employment under a WHA”.

Immigration controls

Even if you have a WHA, you’re still subject to normal immigration controls when you enter Ireland. As a non-EU national, you must register with the Immigration Office to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days.  

There is a fee of €300 for the issue of a Garda (police) registration card. It is a criminal offence to not register within ninety days. Persons seeking an appointment for the purposes of registration may encounter delays in securing an appointment. Working Holiday Agreement holders may book their appointment before they leave for Ireland.

WHA holders will also need to obtain a Personal Public Service Number (PPSN). Information on how to obtain a PPSN can be found on the Department of Social Protection.

Back to top

Frequently asked questions

This advice refers to US participants only, Irish citizens who wish to avail of the provisions of the Working Holiday Agreement to travel to the US should consult the websites of the US Embassy in Dublin and/or the US Department of State.

Back to top

Information for Irish applicants

Irish citizens who wish to avail of the provisions of the Working Holiday Agreement  to travel to the US should consult the websites of the US Embassy in Dublin and/or the US Department of State for more information about the Intern Work and Travel Pilot Program with Ireland  (a.k.a. Intern work/travel: Irish).

Back to top

Non-Irish citizens

If you want to work during your holiday in Ireland, you need to apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) from your nearest Irish Embassy/Consulate or relevant organisation.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and our representatives and agents, reserve the right to ask for further documentation and/or to refuse any application for a Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA).

Sufficient funds

You must have enough money to support yourself for at least the first part of your holiday or in case you don’t find work. Immigration officials may ask for proof that you have sufficient funds when you enter Ireland.

Medical insurance

We strongly recommend that you get private medical insurance to cover any costs in case you have an accident or fall ill while in Ireland.

Finding work

The market for short-term casual work in Ireland is highly competitive and adequately supplied by the large number of school leavers and other young Irish and EU nationals looking for work. Getting your WHA is not a guarantee of finding work.

Immigration controls

Even if you have a WHA, you’re still subject to normal immigration controls when you enter Ireland. As a non-EU national, you must register with the Immigration Office to stay in Ireland for more than 90 days. There is a fee of €300 for the issue of a Garda (police) registration card. You will be permitted to engage in short-term casual work once you have received the appropriate immigration stamp (Stamp 1).

Back to top
BETA

This is a prototype - your feedback will help us to improve it. Leave feedback.