Working holiday visa opportunities for Irish citizens

world map of working holiday destinations for Irish citizens

What is travelling? For some people travelling is to visit new places and meet new people.

For others, travelling is just moving from point A to point B.

According to the dictionary travelling is “to go, move, or journey from one place to another”.

For us, travelling is all these things plus having fun while doing it.

Working holidays offer you all that and even much more. What travelling means to you?

But what exactly are working holidays?

It is simple, working holidays are agreements between two countries that allow young people to travel to another country for up to 12 months and to find temporary work there to fund their stay.

Here we will compare for you some of the most popular working holiday destinations that Irish people choose, like Australia, Argentina, Hong Kong, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Korea and the USA.

Age limits or how old should I be to apply for a Working Holiday Visa?

To apply for a working holiday visa for most of the countries (Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and South Korea) you must be of age 18 to 30. For Argentina and Canada, the age limit is 18 to 35.

To apply for a visa for Japan Working Holiday you must be age 18 to 25 or up to 30 upon agreement with the authorities.

The USA Working Holiday program is the only one with age limit 18+.

Working Holiday Visa duration or how long can I stay?

Almost all of the working holiday visa programs allow you to stay in the country for up to 12 months, starting from the date of entry.

Some of the visas are valid for 12 months from the date of issue (Canada, South Korea), or you have 12 months to enter the country before they expire (Australian and New Zealand Working Holiday).

Only the visas issued from Argentina are valid for six months from the date of entry and you must enter the country within 3 months of the issue date.

Some of the countries (like Argentina, Australia and Canada) allow you to extend your working holiday visa or apply for another one at later point.

For Argentina, you can renew your visa for 3 months and for Australia and Canada a year.

What is the number of Working Holiday visas available?

For Argentina and Hong Kong, there are up to 100 working holiday visas available per year.

For Japan and South Korea, that number is increased to 400 visas per year.

Canada had issued 5300 visas to Irish citizens in 2012 and for the US there are 20000 visas available.

The countries with no limit for the number of issued working holiday visas are Australia and New Zealand.

Processing time or when will I get my visa?

If you applied for Working Holiday in Argentina you will get your visa in 2 – 3 days from the date you submitted your documents.

For Australian Working Holiday, that time is up to 6 to 28 days (2 days if you apply with VisaFirst) for first visa and 21 for second (if eligible).

Canada wants you to wait 8 weeks after the application documents are received.

If you plan to go to Hong Kong you must apply at least 2 weeks before your flight date.

For Japan, that period is up to 3 weeks.

If you plan a trip to Korea you will have to call the embassy to get more information. For the USA to get your visa usually takes 6 to 8 weeks.

New Zealand offers you a visa in a matter of a week (only 48 hours if you use VisaFirst as your migration agent).

Now that you know the basics you just have to choose your destination and pack your bags. Also, don’t forget to bring your travelling spirit with you and good luck finding your four-leaf glover!


Hi Neville, Yes, you can, you just need to apply before you turn 31, or you'll lose the opportunity.

im 30 now.can i still get a working visa before i turn 31?

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