This Working Holiday in Ireland Blog has been updated September 2019.
Ireland is synonymous with Irish pubs, Guinness, Riverdance, Waterford Crystal, leprechauns, kissing the Blarney Stone, the Cliffs of Moher, Yeats, a great deal of rock bands and good craic. Now you have the chance to experience all that Ireland has to offer for yourself because you would like to live work and play in Ireland on a working holiday.
The Working Holiday Authorisation
The Republic of Ireland has reciprocal working holiday arrangements with Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, United States of America and Taiwan. If you are aged between 18 and 30 (sometimes 35) years you can apply for a working holiday authorisation (WHA). This will allow you to stay in Ireland for up to one (1) year and take casual work to extend your time in Ireland.
How to apply for the Working Holiday Authorisation
For full details on how and where to apply for the Working Holiday Authorisation go to www.inis.gov.ie. Or contact your nearest Embassy of Ireland.
It should be noted here that this working holiday authorisation is for the Republic of Ireland and not Northern Ireland. If you want to work in Northern Ireland, this country is part of the United Kingdom and you will need to look in to a working holiday visa for the UK.
What if I don’t qualify for The Working Holiday Authorisation
Don’t despair if you are outside the age range for a Working Holiday Authorisation as many travellers can still live work and play in Ireland. Most who are outside the age range look into what other visas might be available. Or possibly an Irish Passport if you have Irish relatives. Some request to be transferred there for work. Many work on-line as digital nomads providing website design, social media management, drop ship, etc. There is the possibility of cash work (which we don’t condone) for jobs like baby sitting, pet walking, busking, etc. Or you could look in to your ancestry and see if you are eligible for an Irish Passport.
How to get to Ireland
Ireland is an island so most visitors to her shores either fly or sail. Dublin International Airport greets many a plane from destinations all around the world. To get a great flight deal I suggest visiting the Skyscanner website. This site will allow you to compare the airfares available and to book your ticket on-line.
You can also sail from the UK and some parts of Europe on one of the many ferry services that exist.
Things to do when you arrive in Ireland
When you arrive in Ireland, Immigration will stamp your passport after viewing your authorisation letter. Once through Immigration and before you can start to live work and play in Ireland there are a number of things to do. These things are particularly important if you intend to work in Ireland.
- Register with the Garda Naturalisation and Immigration Bureau (GNIB) to get an immigration card. This registration fee currently costs €300. It is encouraged you book this appointment 8-10 prior to your arrival at burghauayregistrationaoffice.inis.gov.ie.
- Apply for a PPS Number – this is like a social security or tax file number for tax purposes.
- Open a bank account.
- Find somewhere to live.
- Find a job.
- Purchase a mobile phone and/or sim.
Once you have these things done you can start doing what you came for – to live work and play in Ireland.
Where will you live in Ireland
Short-term Accommodation in Dublin
Hostels can be a great place to start your working holiday in Ireland
Finding Longer-term Accommodation in Dublin and Ireland
Many travellers set up home in Dublin as Dublin offers the most work opportunities. However, there are many other major towns you could live in including Cork which is the second largest town in Ireland. Other towns are Kilkenny, Waterford, Limerick and Galway.
Once you decide where to live be prepared to view properties with lots of other people. Finding somewhere to live is one of the hardest things to do as the rental market, particularly in Dublin is tough. Expect to pay between €500-600 on rent, and you’ll need to put down a month’s rent as deposit. You can search websites for housing on sites like DAFT.ie.
What work is available in Ireland for Working Holiday Makers?
There is plenty of short-term accommodation available in Dublin and the rest of Ireland. It ranges from hostel dorm rooms to small B&Bs to 5-star hotels. For your initial stay I would highly recommend you book a hostel bed or small hotel room for at least 1-2 weeks. I suggest booking closer to 2 weeks as by the time you get over jet lag, do some sightseeing and start to get your bearings one week will be up.
Before you book and pay for accommodation think about what you want from your accommodation. Do you want your digs to be as cheap as possible? Are you happy to share or want a room of your own? Would you prefer something comfortable and homely? Do you want to party or want a place that is quiet? Does it need to be as close to the centre of town as possible or are you happy to walk or take public transport? Consider these things while checking out the following suggestions.
Hostels are always a popular choice particularly with budget and single travellers. They offer a bed in a dorm room and because of lots of competition from other accommodation offer lots of extras to get your money. Extras include free Wifi, use of a kitchen, a communal lounge area, a coffee shop or restaurant. Following I have provided some links to hostels, small hotels and apartments to help you on your way for your working holiday in Ireland.
If a hostel is your choice of accommodation check out:
Jacobs Inn Hostel, only 600m from the city centre.
The Apache Hostel in the Temple Bar area.
Generator Dublin, about 1.2km from the city centre and is great value if you measure it in terms of star rating, facilities and reviews.
Backpackers D1Hostel, only 450m from city centre.
The Times Hostel, College Street, only 500m from city centre.
Backpackers Citi Hostel, Dublin City Centre, 450m from centre.
If after a budget hotel room check out:
If you would like a small apartment then check out:
Work can big part of your live work and play Irish holiday. After all, you will mingle with Irish people and discover working life in Ireland.
There is a variety of work available for the working holiday maker including hospitality work such as bar work, waiting, barista, chef, hotel housekeeping, etc. in the large number of bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels. There is also work to be found in the fields of administration, accounting, IT and child care, to name a few job types. Pretty much what you can do at home you can do in Ireland, however it can depend on if you qualifications are recognised and whether you need to register with governing bodies as to whether you would get work at your current level. In most cases your qualifications are recognised. Here are some popular working holiday job opportunities.
Hospitality: Tourism in Ireland is rising and in fact 2018 had a record year for hotel occupancy which in turn means, there are plenty of jobs on offer in this area and the associated hospitality areas. Different types of positions that can be found can include chefs, cooks and wait staff in the cafes and restaurants and hotels. Bar staff are also needed to work in the pubs as are receptionists for the hotels. Hours of work can vary and can be shift work to ensure staff are available morning, evening and over night to cater to tourists needs. Expect to receive around €11 per hour for working as a housekeeping assistant to around €15 per hour as a chef. Hostels often employ travellers to work in all areas of their operations so when you arrive ask at the hostel or hotel you are staying at if they are seeking staff.
Finance: The Republic of Ireland is part of the European Union and in terms of wholesale Financial services it is the 4th largest provider and has more than 400 financial institutions. This is great news if your background is in finance and you have qualifications as an accountant or in finance. Even if you don’t, the finance area requires administrators and other office administration staff. Most work can be found in Dublin but there are opportunities in other major towns of Cork, Galway, Limerick, Kilkenny and Waterford. Working hours are usually standard office hours of 9am-5.30pm. Don’t forget to bring some corporate clothes to wear.
Child Care: With or without qualifications you could find a child care position. They can range from being a live-in nanny (which takes care of finding a job and accommodation in the one go) to working in a child care centre. Positions can be found all around Ireland.
Sales and Customer Service: If you have an outgoing personality, are a confident communicator and have great customer service skills then there are many work opportunities to undertake such work in a variety of sales and customer service fields. From industries such as media, to retail, to IT, to pharmaceuticals, to banking jobs are available. Most positions are target-driven, demanding and highly competitive so if you like working in such an environment then this type of work might be for you.
IT Sector: The It sector is thriving in Ireland. In fact Ireland has the second highest concentration of ICT multinationals in the world, apart from Silicon Valley that is. Ireland has many tech headquarters which are on the lookout for IT professionals. So if you are a App Developer, Software Developer or Tester, UX Designer or Technical Support, this is good news. Most find a position in Dublin, Waterford, Galway or Cork. Hours of work are usually 9am-5.30pm but can be longer if projects require it. You could even see yourself working from home which means you could live anywhere in Ireland.
Nursing: Overseas nurses are in demand to fill positions. To practice nursing you will need to be registered with the An Bord Atlantis, The Irish Nursing Board. Once you are registered you can find a position.
Other Industries: Ireland has many industries where you could find work. So what you do now you can most likely do in Ireland. However, it might depend on how long you are staying in Ireland. If only going on a working holiday you might want to try something different to what you do at home.
There are different ways to find work from walking the streets and dropping off your CV to different establishments to registering with employment agencies. A very good option is to look on-line at sites like Jobs.ie, IrishJobs.ie, Recruit Ireland and Monster.ie etc.
What to see and do in Ireland
There is plenty to see and do in Ireland and you will probably have it in your mind what things you want to see and do. Most visitors start in Dublin. To get your bearings and an overall view of the touristy things to see and do in Dublin I suggest you get aboard the BigBus Dublin. This hop on hop off bus will take you to many places in Dublin which will help you to decide which ones you wish to return to and spend longer in and at. You can purchase a ticket o the BigBusDublin here.
Time to Live Work and Play in Ireland
So there you have it, an overview of how you can Live Work and Play in Ireland on your working holiday in Ireland. Once you get the legalities sorted, found a place to live and a job, then you can get on with what you came for, to experience Ireland and all that it has to offer.
Sharyn McCullum has travelled most of her life thanks to her dad who worked for an airline. In her 20’s she went overseas on her own for the first time and found herself in London where she spent 4 years living, working and playing and travelling through many countries. Her travels have inspired her ‘Live Work and Play’ series of working holiday guides and a number of travel websites. She continues to travel regularly and currently calls Melbourne home.