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Top 7 places for Irish workers to find jobs abroad

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Over 60% of employers favour candidates who have experience working abroad. Experience working abroad shows you can adapt and work with different cultures, an important trait as Ireland’s workplace diversifies.

Irish qualifications are well regarded internationally, so really, it’s a matter of finding available jobs abroad and having the right paperwork. With changes to various visa programs pending and Brexit uncertainty, we’ve gathered the 7 most popular and feasible places for skilled Irish workers to work abroad.


Tax-free wages and the option to travel makes Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Dubai & Abu Dhabi attractive destinations for Irish workers to find jobs abroad. The construction, finance, healthcare and education sectors are most popular with Irish job seekers. Packages are often offered covering flights, accommodation and bills as well as attractive wages. Your employer will also look after the visa process for you.


Irish workers can live and work across the European Union and EEA countries – which covers EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Popular destinations for European English speaking job seekers include Sweden, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Estonia and Germany. Naturally, if you have a second language you will be a more attractive job candidate.

The UK

Despite Brexit, the UK remains a popular destination for Irish jobseekers. A skills shortage in construction, engineering and healthcare means there are plenty of opportunities for skilled Irish workers. Wages are generally higher than in Ireland and you will find a broader variety of jobs and opportunities. Interested in working in the UK? Visit our Cpl UK Website.


The main route Irish workers take to move to Canada is the IEC or International Experience Canada. This is a working holiday visa program that allows people under 35 years of age to work in Canada for one or two years. There are a limited number of visas each year, allotted using a random lottery system. There is also an express entry system for in-demand roles which include manager level jobs in Finance, Healthcare and Marketing.


According to the Irish Times 6,500 Irish people emigrated to Australia in 2019 – the majority of whom were recent graduates or jobholders. Healthcare professionals continue to be drawn to Oz, with An Bord Altranais stating that 420 Irish nurses applied to move to Australia to work in 2016. Australian hospitals hire their own graduates first, but if you have over 3 years of experience you will be in demand.

From March 2018, the popular 457 visa (the visa used by Irish professionals) will be replaced by a two or four-year Temporary Skills Shortage visa. To match criteria for this new visa you must have 2 years of work experience, efficient English and match the skills shortage list. These changes will only effect workers who do not have in-demand skills, so nurses need not worry.

New Zealand

Stunning scenery, a laid-back culture and pleasant weather attract the Irish to New Zealand. New Zealand offers a Skills Shortage Visa – which if you are eligible for makes moving to New Zealand much easier and quicker. Industries covered include: Agriculture, Engineering, Construction, Health & Social Services, ICT and Science. Remote positions in the wider work force are also in demand and are often extremely well paid.

If you’re under 30 you can obtain an Ireland Working Holiday Visa which allows you to work and travel for 12 months.


It’s a taxing time in America, but that hasn’t stopped Irish people emigrating to the States. The 12-month graduate visa allows Irish workers to move to America to work in their field. Once you secure a job you have the potential to extend your 12-month visa. A lottery system is currently used to grant 65,000 visas every year and another 20,000 to graduate student workers.

The Department of Foreign Affairs states that the highest number of Irish Diaspora are in America, Australia and the UK. Despite growing international challenges Irish residents and workers continue to travel and seek new opportunities.

If you are one of the thousands of Irish workers living abroad and want to move back to Ireland we can help. Find Irish jobs.