Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, acceptance of new applications to the WHA programmes is suspended until further notice. It is unlikely that applications will re-open this year. This position is taken with consideration to the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who seek to travel to Ireland. We will continue to monitor the situation closely with a view to re-opening applications as soon as circumstances allow.
1. I want to apply to travel to Ireland under a Working Holiday Authorisation. Is it possible currently to do so?
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have temporarily ceased accepting new applications under the Working Holiday Authorisation programme. We intend to resume accepting applications when circumstances allow. We do not expect that we will be in a position to accept any further applications in 2020.
Our primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation here and in the relevant locations abroad, in terms particularly of public health advice, travel restrictions, job opportunities and the availability of short-term accommodation.
We will make a public announcement when we begin to accept new applications. Please keep an eye on our website.
2. I am currently in Ireland under the WHA programme. Will my permission to remain be extended?
In light of the uncertainties caused by COVID19, the Immigration Service Delivery in recent months applied a general extension to all permissions to remain in Ireland, including permissions related to the WHA. The most recent announcement on 18 August extended permissions expiring between 20 August and 20 September by one month. There is currently no intention to extend these permissions any further.
The terms and conditions as outlined in the WHA application form state clearly that participants in the WHA scheme must leave Ireland on the expiration of the permission. As such, we strongly advise all WHA holders whose permission to remain in Ireland is due to expire to make all necessary arrangements to depart Ireland in adequate time.
3. I was in Ireland under the WHA programme, but returned to my normal country of residence due to the COVID19 situation. Can I return in the future on my current permissions?
Our advice remains not to travel to Ireland at this time. Our primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. A range of restrictions remain in place in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and limit contagion, including self-restriction for 14 days on arrival. Temporary employment opportunities are scarce and opportunities to travel internally may be limited.
If you have registered with Immigration Service Delivery and have been issued with an Irish Residents Permit (IRP) during your initial stay, you are eligible to return to Ireland until that permission expires.
4. I currently hold a valid WHA but have not yet travelled to Ireland. Can I still travel? What if it expires?
Our strong advice remains not to travel to Ireland at this time. Our primary concern remains the health, welfare and wellbeing of those who would seek to travel to Ireland on a WHA. A range of restrictions remain in place in order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and limit contagion, including self-restriction for 14 days on arrival. Temporary employment opportunities are scarce and opportunities to travel internally may be limited.
We continue to monitor the rapidly evolving situation here and in the relevant locations abroad, in terms particularly of public health advice, travel restrictions, job opportunities and the availability of short-term accommodation.
We do not, at this stage, expect that conditions will change sufficiently to enable you to take up your WHA opportunity in Ireland before the end of 2020. However, we are confident that if a change in the timeframe for your permission to enter Ireland is required, this will be amended so as to facilitate your travel to Ireland when circumstances allow.
While holders of WHA’s with an expiry date in 2020 are eligible to travel to Ireland up to the end of 2020, we continue to advise that you delay your travel until circumstances improve. We hope you will have an opportunity to visit Ireland as soon as circumstances improve and that you are able then to fully enjoy the opportunities and experiences that are the ambition of this programme.
5. Can I transition from a WHA to another form of permission?
The terms and conditions as outlined in the application form state clearly that participants in the WHA scheme must leave Ireland on the expiration of the permission, which cannot be extended.
Only applications received on the official application form (available on this website) will be accepted for processing.
Applicants applying for a Working Holiday Authorisation (WHA) to Ireland must be resident in New Zealand during the application process, must have and provide evidence of access to a minimum of NZ$3,000 of available funds and a return ticket, or NZ$6,000 of available funds, and hold a New Zealand passport which must be valid for a minimum of 15 months from the date of planned entry to Ireland.
The Authorisation must be activated within twelve months of issue or it will lapse. It is not possible to extend the period of validity of Working Holiday Authorisations, or to accept a second application from someone who has already been granted an Authorisation (whether or not they availed of it).
The current Working Holiday Authorisation is activated by arrival of the holder in Ireland. The holder is subject to normal border immigration controls upon arrival. The Authorisation is valid for a period not exceeding twelve months after the date of initial entry into Ireland.
Within one month of arrival in Ireland, holders of Working Holiday Authorisations (WHA) must register with their local immigration registration officer and will be issued with an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) on payment of the appropriate fee. More information on registration and obtaining an IRP can be viewed by clicking here
Working Holiday Authorisations take approximately ten working days to process.
Click here to view and print the WHA application form and guidelines CURRENT – WHA. (The link will be inserted when the suspension on processing has been lifted)
Employment Permits for non-EEA nationals married to an Irish citizen
Are you married to an Irish citizen and planning to live and work in Ireland? Click here to read more
Employment Permits for non-EEA nationals
Latest information available from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Click here.