Work in Ireland

The Emerald Isle is calling you!

This is one of our most popular programs for a reason! Living in Ireland gives you the chance to fund your travels and explore its historic capital, quaint villages, and dramatic cliffs at your own pace.

Great for first time world travellers

Ireland is world-renowned for its friendliness, which you will experience first-hand. Plus, they all speak English - if you can understand the lads' and lasses' sometimes thick accents...

Help every step of the way

The hosting centre is located right in the very heart of Dublin, so you are always welcome to drop by for a "top of the mornin'" chat, some advice or laughs. Local staff are always there to help!

SWAP Ireland since 1976

Canadians have been living in Ireland since the year the band U2 formed, thanks to SWAP! We've been a long time exclusive provider of the Irish working holiday visa.

Due to the travel restrictions in place from the pandemic, our office in Dublin is closed. We strive to offer only the highest level of service at SWAP, and since this is not possible at the moment, we have made the decision to temporarily pause our SWAP Ireland program. We intend to re-open the program as soon as we are able to provide the support in Ireland that our Swappers count on.

SWAP Work in Ireland

  • If you want to work and travel in Ireland this year, you don't need luck, just a wee bit of SWAP! Experience Ireland your way through one of our most popular working holiday programs! Not only do you get to live and work in an exciting location, but Ireland's hospitality and knowledge of the English language makes it a jolly good destination for both first-time and experienced travellers.

    The famous SWAP Ireland program comes with a 2 year visa, expert support in getting your visa, a GO SWAP Kit loaded with pre-departure information, 2 nights of accommodation and all of the local Irish support and resources you need to live and work in Ireland! Being a stone's throw from the UK and the rest of the continent, living and working in Ireland is the ideal home base. With Celtic tunes, breathtaking cliffs, and friendly folk at every turn, it will be a whale of a time! And having a two-year visa gives you the chance to explore Ireland and Europe at your own pace and avoid feeling absolutely knackered!

    With no language barriers, you'll have the ability to make new friends easily with both locals and ex-pats and the opportunity for career advancement. Your new visa allows you to live anywhere you like in Ireland and work in any field, whether it's seasonal work or career-related experience. Add to that the obvious perks of living in Ireland - whimsical scenery, soulful cities, legendary nightlife, all with the support of SWAP along the way. It is sure to be the craic of a lifetime!

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  • Your Visa

    A two-year working holiday visa that allows multiple entries into Ireland. To be eligible, you just have to be a Canadian, ages 18-35, have a valid passport, and DO NOT have a serious criminal record.

    This visa can only be acquired once, making it (literally) once-in-a-lifetime!

    Typically, all visa holders in Ireland pay a registration fee of €300 each year they stay. As a SWAP participant, you only have to pay this once for your 2 year visa, after arriving in Ireland.

  • Local Support in Ireland

    Get real support from our local staff for your entire working holiday. The staff are experts at work and travel and know Ireland inside and out. They'll help you get set up, find a job and a place to live, be there to answer any questions you may have, or just to talk.

    • Arrival orientation at our partner's hosting centre in Dublin. They will go over everything you need to know about living and working in Ireland
    • Up-to-date job postings and access to employer contacts
    • One-on-one resume help and guidance
    • Accommodation boards, insider advice on what to look for and what to avoid when finding accommodation
    • Ongoing opportunities to meet people from all over the world who are doing the same thing you are. Most of our participants meet their housemates and make lifelong friends though our overseas partner's social events, and by visiting the hosting centre
    • Unlimited access to computers, Internet, phones and fax machines at the hosting centres
    • Mailbox and mail-forwarding services
    • Help opening an Irish bank account (it can be more complicated than you would imagine)
    • Detailed advice on getting the Irish equivalent of a Social Insurance Number, so you can work sooner
    • Instructions on how to claim taxes (and get money back) in Ireland
    • A staff of travel-minded, fun, friendly people are there to assist you with anything you need advice or assistance with. They've got your back for the full duration of your stay
    • Fun social events (e.g. pub crawls, concerts, football games and much more!)
    • Emergency support. If anything goes wrong, if you lose your passport, have a sketchy landlord, have a health problem, or anything else goes wrong, our overseas partners can help you 24/7
    • Membership to an exclusive online group where you can talk to other SWAP participants (Swappers) and check out job postings, social events, and what's going on in your destination country

  • Social Community / Events

    One of the greatest advantages of going with SWAP is the immediate, built-in social network that you will be connected to as soon as you arrive! As early as your first orientation, you'll already be meeting fellow travellers in the same situation, and you'll get to know each other and meet many new people in the numerous social events that are held every month. It's the perfect opportunity to make new friends, find potential roomates, and network with people to find your next job. It's much easier (and more fun) than hanging out in a pub by yourself, or looking for roommates on the Internet.

  • Accommodation

    Two hostel vouchers are provided, redeemable at a list of hostels either Dublin, Cork, or Galway. This will help you get settled in once you arrive, or you can save them for a weekend trip! You can easily book up to 5 nights of additional arrival accommodation in Dublin.

  • Our Famous SWAP Support and Resources

    We've been helping Canadians live and work in Ireland since 1976, so we know how to apply for an Irish working holiday visa. That's part of the reason why thousands of Canadians choose SWAP to help ensure their application's success. Our dedicated visa experts will go over your application in detail and make sure it is perfect. If we notice anything, we'll work with you to make sure it's flawless before your paperwork is submited to the Irish government.

    Over 40 years of Irish visa expertise isn't the only thing you'll get on the SWAP Work in Ireland program. You'll also get:

    • Detailed, step-by-step instruction on how to fill out your visa application paperwork
    • All the visa forms, information, checklists, and tips you'll need to have your visa approved
    • SWAP's visa experts go over your application and make sure it is perfect. If there are any errors, we contact you before the application is submitted to authorities
    • Your GO SWAP Kit, which has valuable information on your visa, as well as pre-departure preparation
    • Our exclusive Ireland: The SWAPPER's Guide. This essential, full guide will prepare you for living and working in Ireland
  • Frequently Asked Questions

    What is a Working Holiday?
    When I sign up, do I have to travel right away and have everything ready?
    What types of jobs are available? Do you provide jobs to me?
    Can I find a job or apartment before I arrive?
    Can I find work in my field?
    What if I don’t find a job?
    Will I have time off to travel?
    Are there any additional fees?
    What is the cost of living in my destination?
    What does the age range mean exactly? If I'm near the cut off can I still get the full length of the visa granted to me?
    Is accommodation included in SWAP programs?
    How do I book nights of accommodation?
    How would I book more than 5 nights of arrival accommodation?
  • Booking the SWAP Work in Ireland program

    Working and living in the Ireland is easy with SWAP. You can register online here, or do it in-person by visiting any of these Merit Travel locations and talking to a friendly travel counsellor. The choice is yours and our staff will be there to help you either way! The program price includes all the support services offered in Ireland (listed in the support section), plus all the support services offered in Canada by SWAP to make sure your application goes through without a hitch and your working holiday is a success.

Live and work in Ireland in the most stress-free way imaginable

Program Info

  • Eligibility

    Canadians ages 18-35

  • Registration Timeline

    Apply for the SWAP Work in Ireland program at least 3 months prior to your intended departure

  • Length of Visa

    Any period up to 2 years

  • Required Savings

    You must have the amount of $2500 CAD saved in your account as of the day you submit your application. These are called support funds and are a requirement of the Irish government

Program Reviews

  • "The SWAP program has been invaluable to me and is ultimately a big reason why I am living and working abroad. From the very beginning of the process, their knowledgeable staff answered all of my questions. And for me, particularly, I had a lot of anxiety not knowing what to expect about coming to Ireland and the employees I dealt with from SWAP program helped ease a lot of my worries. They were also are a huge help when it came to applying for my Visa. All in all, I would highly recommend going through the SWAP program because at the end of the day, if you need help or someone to talk, they are always there to help and encourage you through this life changing adventure!"

    Jamie K. in Dublin, Ireland

  • "Ireland is a great base, especially Dublin. It's a huge tech hub and there are fantastic career opportunities with large international companies where you can really develop your skills. Being based here has allowed me to travel all through Europe and beyond. The people, the craic, it's second to none. I am working for one of the largest tech companies in the world in a role I adore - I even get to travel to destinations like Spain for meetings! It took me 6 days from landing to receive my job offer and I've now been in my role for a year."

    Katherine D. in Dublin, Ireland

  • "My best piece of advice is to hit the ground running - and I don't mean checking off as many tourist attractions as fast as you can. Trust me, you'll have plenty of time for that. You'll receive a checklist during orientation telling you everything you need to do to get your paperwork in order and settle in. Devote yourself to accomplishing this list! Settling into Dublin, especially if you have no contacts, can be daunting (don't get me started on apartment hunting!), but SWAP will help you out every step of the way."

    Kevin T. in Dublin, Ireland

  • "First-off I would like to preface this with a massive THANK YOU! My journey to Ireland on the SWAP program has been an unparalleled experience that I never expected to touch my life on such a profound level. To your entire team who support youth-travel and cultural immersion - Thank you for all you do."

    Tiffany W. in Dublin, Ireland

  • "Some of the best things would include seeing U2 in concert in their hometown of Dublin; happening upon a premiere of Alexander and getting a picture with Colin Farrell in his hometown of Dublin; happening upon a premiere of Collateral in Berlin and getting a picture with Tom Cruise; going to the Oxygen Music Festival; kissing the Blarney Stone; going for a gondola ride in Venice; visiting Stonehenge, the Eiffel tower, the Tower of London, the Anne Frank Museum, the Colosseum, Neuschwanstein Castle, the Cliffs of Moher, the Acropolis, the Checkpoint Charlie Museum; and randomly running into a friend from high school on two separate days in two separate cities in France. Lastly, meeting some truly amazing people while working and traveling in foreign countries."

    Mel B. (center) in Ireland