Thoughts on the application process for the Irish Working Holiday Visa

I decided to move from Canada (where I was under the working holiday visa there) to Ireland under a working holiday visa programme.

  • You are required to show up in person at the Irish embassy in Australia but this was not possible.  I was able to get my passport sighted and signed by the Australian embassy (there was a fee involved) and from there use it as part of my application.
  • You needed to fill in a form with your plans during your stay in Ireland and submit as part of the application.
  • There will be other papers required.  I usually go to the bank and have it stamped by them just to verify the documents.  I didn’t want anyone coming back disputing any of my documentation.
  • The process to approve was really quick, though considering the fact that I’ve had to mail the package to the Irish embassy in Canberra.  What delayed this by many weeks was that they had to send my package to my address in Australia as they couldn’t send it to a non-Australian address.
  • The contact that I had (Ann) was very wonderful and patient with all the questions that I have! I’ve had a couple of instances where embassies don’t even bother answering emails… so a huge applause/bonus to the people at the Irish embassy for being responsive.
  • What made my application more delayed than usual was that the package was held up by customs in Vancouver when it was mailed from Australia to Ireland.  I ended up having to rebook my flights – though luckily, I was given a full refund of my booking when I explained them my situation.  Believe it or not, I ended up getting my package on the day after I rebooked my flights.
  • One thing to note with the fee is that the embassy site didn’t include the fee for your GNIB card which is required if you are planning to stay for more than a few months – which is the reason for the visa in the first place.  The border officer also stamped me to ‘stay’ in Ireland for a month to get my GNIB appointment even though the next available day was in 6-7 weeks – it ended up not being an issue but this was a big disconcerting at first.  I have a blog post dedicated to it here.

Overall, Ireland and living in Dublin has been really wonderful.  It has been a culture shock (!) moving from Toronto to Dublin.  From the roads, to the housing, to the shops, to the Irish culture (ballads in pubs while drinking Guinness pints and eating Guinness shepherd’s pie!) and all the history of Ireland.  I was already here for a few weeks four years before and much has changed since then.