Looking for work abroad? Read this for what you need to know about living and working abroad, including information on working holidays for people under age 35. You’ll also find details of Irish Business Networks around the world.
- Working Holidays for people under age 35
Ireland has working holiday agreements with the following countries:
Country Age Visa Duration Max. number of visas available per year Argentina 18 – 35 6 months 200 Australia 18 – 35 12 – 36 months unlimited Canada – IEC Working Holiday 18 – 35 24 months varies Canada – IEC Young Professionals 18 – 35 24 months varies Canada – IEC International Co-op 18 – 35 12 months varies Chile 18 – 30 12 months 100 Hong Kong 18 – 30 12 months 200 Japan 18 – 30 12 months 800 New Zealand 18 – 30 12 months unlimited Republic of Korea (South Korea) 18 – 30 12 months 600 Taiwan 18 – 30 6 – 12 months 400 USA – Intern Work & Travel Over 18 12 months 20,000
Read our leaflet Working Holidays for Irish Citizens – Crosscare Migrant Project 01.2020 for full details of each. Please note that this information was current at date of publishing, but we recommend checking with official sources prior to making your application.
- Living and working in Europe
Irish citizens can live, work and travel within the EU / EEA. For everything you need to know about living and working in Europe, download our ‘Leaving Ireland for Europe 2019’ factsheet. It includes specific information on transferring social welfare benefits if you’re a jobseeker, employment-related links and details for EURES (European Employment Services) advisors in Ireland.
Social welfare support
If you have been getting Jobseeker’s Benefit in Ireland for at least 4 weeks, you may be able to continue receiving this while you looking for work in another EU country (or the UK) for up to 13 weeks. To do this, contact your local Intreo Centre / Social Welfare Office at least 4 weeks before you plan to leave Ireland and ask for a completed Form U2 (formerly Form E303). You must then bring this form to the social services office of the country you are travelling to and register with the unemployment services there within seven days of your arrival. Your Jobseeker’s Benefit will be paid directly to you at the same rate as it was paid in Ireland. For information on this and other social welfare payments that you may be able to continue getting whilst abroad, visit the Citizens Information website or contact the office that issues your payment.
If you think you might need to claim benefits in the country you are moving to, you should bring details of your Irish social insurance record. You can do this by requesting forms U1 (formerly E301) and E104 from the Department of Social Protection before you leave Ireland. Your eligibility to receive benefits will depend on the rules in your destination country, and on the type of assistance you need. To avoid a situation where you are refused this sort of assistance, do your research and look into this in detail before you leave.
- Living and working in the UK
With Brexit, the rights of Irish citizens in the UK are protected under the Common Travel Area agreement. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs has updated information on everything that may affect Irish citizens living in the UK. The UK Government also has a useful Brexit Checker to help you identify how changes may affect you.
Find out all about living in the UK at www.citizensadvice.org.uk.
The first thing you will need is a place to stay. Start your search at www.rightmove.co.uk. If you have not lived in the UK before, it’s unlikely that you will be able to access local authority housing or homeless services. See here for more on this: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/housing/.
It is also a good idea to start looking for a job before you move. These links will help:
National Insurance Numbers
This is a unique reference number that you will need for tax, social welfare and to deal with any UK government agencies. It is like a PPS number but for the UK. You can only apply for this once you have a UK address, and applications can take 8 weeks to process. Find out how to apply at: www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number. You cannot access any benefits or entitlements until you have received this so you will need to be able to support yourself during this time. Make sure you bring valid photo ID with you to the UK, as well as your birth certificate.
Social welfare support
You can apply for a social welfare payment in the UK if you have a low income, or are looking for work. For some payment you must have lived there or in the Common Travel Area (including the Republic of Ireland) for the last 3 months. You will need a National Insurance Number to apply. You may also need to prove that you do not have any active social welfare claims in Ireland.
Applications take time to process so it is very important that you be financially able to support yourself in the meantime. Find more information on benefits & entitlements in the UK at www.gov.uk/browse/benefits.
If you are in receipt of Jobseeker’s Benefit from the Department of Social Protection in Ireland, you may be eligible to continue receiving this payment for up to 13 weeks while you seek work within the European Union (EU). This includes the United Kingdom. To do this, contact the social welfare office that pays your Jobseeker’s Benefit payment and ask them for ‘Form U2’. Make sure you do this at least 4 weeks before your departure. On arrival in the UK, you will need to provide this form to your local JobCentre Plus. Find out more about this at citizensinformation.ie.
Under the National Health Service (NHS), health services in the UK are mostly free for UK residents. You will need a National Insurance Number and a UK address before you can register with a Doctor on the NHS. See www.nhs.uk for full details.
For all you need to know about public services in Northern Ireland, see Advice NI for independent advice on your rights and entitlements.
For information on living and working between Ireland and Northern Ireland see Borderpeople.info.
If you are going to the UK because you are homeless or in crisis in Ireland, come speak to us before you decide to go.
A useful guide to moving to London, including information on jobs and accommodation, is available from the London Irish Centre, at www.londonirishcentre.org/Pages/Category/moving-to-london.
Going to Luton? Check out http://thisisluton.com/.
Moving to or just arrived in Birmingham? Take a look at www.birminghamirish.org.uk/just-arrived
Irish Support Organisations in the UK may be able to provide more information on living there.
- Living and working in Australia
For an overview of the sort of things to consider if you are thinking of going to Australia, read this this excellent guide by the Irish Times Abroad: www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/australia.
To live and work in Australia, you will need a visa or work permit. Research your options using this official Visa Finder Tool. You’ll also find more information at the Immigration and Citizenship section of the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website: immi.homeaffairs.gov.au
If you are between the age of 18 to 35, you might be interested in doing a working holiday in Australia. Read all about this in the section above. You’ll also want to read about these practical #3thingstoknow about going to Australia on a working holiday.
If you are thinking of using a Visa Agent or Migration Specialist to help you with your visa application, make sure that they are registered with the Office of Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) – see www.mara.gov.au.
Working in FIFO
FIFO involves workers travelling to remote mining areas to work on roster for a number of weeks then returning home for a fixed break. It’s most common in Western Australia and Queensland.
We’ve put together a guide for Irish people working in or thinking about working in FIFO at www.migrantproject.ie/fifo.
The guides below will give you more information on specific regions and your rights in Australia:
Irish Support Organisations in Australia may be also able to provide more information on living there.
Applying for an Irish pension from Australia
Living in Australia, but previously worked in Ireland? You might be able to combine your Irish and Australian social insurance contributions to help you qualify for an Irish pension. Read our guide on Claiming an Irish State Pension from Australia(18May22).
- Living and working in New Zealand
For an overview of the sort of things to consider if you are thinking of going to New Zealand, read this this excellent guide by the Irish Times Abroad: www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/new-zealand.
If you are thinking of going to New Zealand, start by doing some research on the various visa options available to you as an Irish citizen. Full details of these are available on the official Immigration New Zealand website (part of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) at www.immigration.govt.nz.
If you are between the age of 18 to 30, you might be interested in doing a working holiday in New Zealand. Read all about this in the section above. You’ll also want to read about these practical #3thingstoknow about going to New Zealand.
The Embassy of Ireland is located in Wellington and their website contains useful information for Irish people resident in and visiting Aotearoa New Zealand – www.dfa.ie/irish-embassy/new-zealand/.
Irish Support Organisations in New Zealand may be able to provide more information on living there.
- Living and working in the USA
Unless you already have a visa that allows you to live and work in the USA, you will need to start doing your research on visa options. To be sure that you are getting the most up to date information, go to the US Department of State website at https://travel.state.gov/. You can also try the Department’s Visa Wizard to help you figure out what visa options you have.
You might also want to consider applying for the Diversity Visa Programme (the Green Card lottery). See the official site for full details https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/diversity-visa-program-entry/diversity-visa-instructions.html and dvprogram.state.gov.
J-1 and graduates
If you are a recent graduate from a QQI Level 6 course or higher check out our leaflet on the Intern Work Travel Programme 2019, a 12 month US visa for Irish graduates.
If you are going to the USA on a J-1 Visa, read the Coalition of Irish Immigration Centers leaflet by clicking here. You can also check out this great guide from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) at http://bit.ly/1NxRyNn. Make sure you read these #3thingstoknow about Summer in Chicago if that’s your destination in the USA.
Claiming a pension from Ireland
If you are already living in the USA and would like some information on applying for an Irish State pension, take a look at our Claiming an Irish Pension while living in the USA 2019 leaflet.
Irish Support Organisations in the USA may be able to provide more information on living there.
- Living and Working in Canada
For an overview of the sort of things to consider if you are thinking of going to Canada, read this this excellent guide by the Irish Times Abroad: www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/canada.
Start by looking into the visa options available to you at the website of the Canadian Department of Citizenship and Immigration: www.cic.gc.ca. You can also check your eligibility at www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/come-canada-tool.html.
Between the age of 18 and 35 and you are thinking of working in Canada? Take a look at www.cic.gc.ca/iec-eic for everything you need to know about the International Experience Canada (IEC). You’ll also want to watch back our videos on Going to Toronto and Going to Vancouver on the IEC in 2022.
The Irish Canadian Immigration Centre in Toronto have lots of essential guides on living and working in Canada at irishcanadianimmigrationcentre.org. Take a look Moving2Canada for plenty of information on moving to Canada at moving2canada.com.
Irish Support Organisations in Canada may be able to provide more information on living there.
- Living and working in the Middle East
For an overview of the sort of things to consider if you are thinking of going to the Middle East, read this this excellent guide by the Irish Times Abroad: www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/abroad/destination-gulf-the-irish-times.
For official information on visas to the UAE, visit: https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/visa-and-emirates-id/types-of-visa.
Although there are no Irish emigrant support groups in the Middle East yet, there are a large number of GAA clubs that be a good way to network once you are there.
- Irish Business Networks
Irish business networks exist around the world. Many run networking events which can be a great way to make connections in the local business community.
- New Zealand
- Middle East
- Central and South America
If you know of an Irish business network that you think we should include, send us an email at email@example.com and tell us more.