For Written Answer on : 15/09/2021
Question Number(s): 365 Question Reference(s): 43984/21
Department: Foreign Affairs
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs when he expects his Department to resume the processing of working holiday authorisations from New Zealand; if the Irish Embassy in New Zealand is currently accepting applications for working holiday authorisations; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
Working Holiday Authorisations (WHAs) play an important role in building Ireland’s bilateral relations by encouraging people-to-people contacts especially with non-European countries. The WHA Scheme has successfully facilitated many young people from New Zealand, including college graduates, to travel to Ireland to experience our culture and way of life first-hand, in the context of a short-term working holiday. Reciprocally, many of our citizens have enjoyed similar experiences in New Zealand.
During the pandemic, the primary concern in terms of the operation of the WHA scheme has been the health, welfare and wellbeing of those on working holidays abroad as well as current WHA holders presently in Ireland. Therefore the processing of Working Holiday applications by our Embassy in Wellington is temporarily suspended . As well as health and safety concerns in Ireland, a key factor has been the ongoing travel restrictions that have impacted international travel to and from New Zealand.
Our Embassy in Wellington continues to monitor the evolving situation in New Zealand, in terms of a possible resumption of the WHA scheme, taking on board public health advice, possible easing of travel restrictions, job opportunities and the availability of short-term accommodation. We look forward to re-opening to new applications from New Zealand when safe to do so and when circumstances allow so that young people can once again benefit from a working holiday here in Ireland and can fully experience and understand our way of life.