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A year working abroad

Hey all,

I hope this is an appropriate place for this question as I'm not wanting to just visit but live and work in Ireland for a year or more. This is a relatively new thing I've decided to do and I'm still in the very, very beginning stages of planning. I could use some tips if you have any! I'm only plan on working 1 or 2 years there as the most.

My biggest question is, obviously, how do I legally work in Ireland! I'm 28 and currently working as full time as a baker, something I want to do in Ireland. However, I've been reading about Irish Work Permits and culinary seems to be listed as ineligible for said Permit. Unless I'm reading that wrong? And what's the difference between a Work Permit and a Working Holiday Authorisation? I'll admit, I can't really wrap my head around the various things I've read about working in Ireland as a US citizen.

My second biggest question is money and how much I should realistically have when I first get there. I'm really just looking for a estimate.

Other than that however, any general tips would be wonderful. Or, if this isn't the proper place for such questions, I'd appreciate it if someone could point me in the right direction.

Thank you!

Posted by
5774 posts

Yes. your first place to start is the Irish Embassy nearest you. However, to bring reality in to the discussion, few countries allow for a work permit if they have plenty of people qualified to fill the available jobs. Most people who move to work in Europe from the US fall into the categories of:

  • Work for a US based company and either go there to work in one of their facilities or work from "home", which happens to be there for a while
  • Have a very specialized skill not easily available locally, to the point that the company in Europe traverses the hoops and hurdles to get the visa
  • Go on some type of Student Visa, but that usually means paying tuition and likely not getting pay, unless it is handled as a stipend

I doubt a Baker would fit into one of those categories unless it had a bent towards education or Artisinal element. Unemployment in Ireland is pushing 8%, so not much need for foreign workers. Travelling on a tourist visa and trying to work is illegal, plus at best you can stay only 6 months. Getting a longer term visa would require proof of income or savings plus proof of medical coverage.

Maybe other sites have other takes on it, but I think the legal routes are as above.

Posted by
293 posts

There are scores and scores of cool jobs abroad under the umbrella of Uncle Sam - bartenders, hotel front desk jobs, Dept of Defense Schools (Teachers and school clerks, secretaries, ) at, which is the USA Federal Service's website for job advertisement.

Under the umbrella of Uncle Sam, there is no visa requirement. Many jobs require you to be already registered in the Fed Govt, (it will say "GOV" or "PUB" under "who may apply for this job?"). But Non-Appropriated Jobs are open (look for NF or NAF and "PUB"). Mostly they want you to be a family member of a soldier, but if you're visiting Europe and can drop in - well - - -I say go for it.

A month ago there were some bartending jobs in Aviano, Italy. When you look at the jobs for teachers - well, if you're a retired teacher you could pick from many wonderful locations in Germany, at least.

I myself have taught in Belgium for "The City Colleges of Chicago" - - I don't know if they still have a presence in Europe. ( THe govt wants soldiers and family members to have access to college courses while stationed in Europe. Also look at the University of Maryland, who used to have a YUGE presence in Germany.

There are positions for Youth Recreation Specialists, Dance instructors (even if it's HipHop, Ballroom, whatever) etc. Check it out. And dream away. Be resourceful - get your DMV printout ready, get your passport etc. The only bad news? I didn't see anything at all for Ireland.

Posted by
293 posts

Oh, as I re-read your post about being a baker: I would write a letter to the Armed Forces Recreation Center located in Garmisch Germany, with pictures of your specialties. ALSO, there are "Officers Clubs" and "NCO Clubs" in locations in Germany and also Great Britain, I believe (High Wycomb, and Mildenhall UK, also Ramstein, Kaiserslautern, Landstuhl Germany). I think you should send some really pro-looking images of all the wonderful things you can bake.

IF you are looking at Ireland, then you should research the fanciest Hotels, and write them letters too. And if they want you, they will reach out to you. Good luck! It can be done, But YOU have to make them want you.

Posted by
11280 posts

In addition to Paul's categories (of how people get to work legally in Europe), there are two more that come to mind:

1) Being an Irish citizen, or citizen of another EU country. Through your parents or grandparents, you may be eligible for citizenship of an EU country. The rules differ greatly for each country, and it can be a complex process. A friend of mine was able to get Polish citizenship through his grandfather; it took many months, and he wouldn't even tell me the full cost but implied it was several thousand dollars (he needed a lawyer in Poland, for starters). But he now has a Polish passport, which would enable him to live and work in other EU countries. So, if you have any European heritage, start investigating.

2) Having a European spouse. If you are married, you can see if your spouse is eligible for European citizenship. If you are single...time to strategize?

Since this is a travel forum geared to short term visitors, you should also look at expat forums geared more to your situation.

Posted by
191 posts

Hi Beka,

I worked in Dublin and it isn't that cheap a place. If you can even get a job there, you are going to need a lot of start up capital. To get an idea of housing, check out You'll probably need to have at least 2 months of rent to start with.

Also, consider when and how you will get paid. In Ireland, to legally work, you'll need to get a PPS number (like an SSN). There will probably be a delay between when you work and when you first get paid. Also, you will be subject to the emergency tax until your work information is entered into the government system which means your first couple of paychecks could be significantly smaller (you get the emergency tax back, but it can put a strain on the bank account). Which leads to bank accounts - they are difficult to set up and require letters from your company, letters from your housing, and a PPS number.

Also, look at the Facebook Group Americans in Ireland, and the folks there may be able to give you some advice as there is a wide variety of expat experiences in Ireland.