Families living in the Republic of Ireland can welcome au pairs from the EU European Union or from the three following countries: Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein. Au pairs from these countries only have to register with the Irish police when they arrive but do not need any work permit to live and work in Ireland.
However, if you are from Romania or Bulgaria, you will need a work permit. Please see this site for more information: http://www.djei.ie/labour/workpermits/bulgariaromania.htm
For au pairs coming from other countries it is possible to obtain a student visa if the prospective applicant is registered to study English at an approved language school or enrolled in a full-time degree program. A student may hold down a part-time job to support them while studying. Part-time employment cannot exceed 20 hours per week. The immigration officials at the entry point will always have the right to refuse entry if they believe the student is actually intending to work full-time. For more information on eligible courses, visit this page: http:www.icosirl.ie/eng/student_information/working_in_ireland
US citizens can go to Ireland by applying for a US Working Holiday Authorization at the Embassy of Ireland. To be approved, you must either be in post secondary education or have graduated in the past 12 months. More information on this program can be found here: http://www.dfa.ie/home/index.aspx?id=73713
The Working Holiday Maker Scheme allows a person, age 18 to 30, to come to Ireland for up to one year as a tourist, and work casually in order to fund their stay.
When granted a visa you are permitted to do any kind of work of a temporary or casual nature in Ireland. Applicants may not work for more than 39 hours per week. In addition, it is not permitted to work for a period in excess of three months with any one employer.
Ireland currently has working holiday agreements with Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
Australian, New Zealand And Hong Kong Citizens: More Information On Working Holiday Visas and Application form available at The Irish Department Of Foreign Affairs Web Site
New Zealand applicants applying for an Irish Working Holiday Authority must be resident in New Zealand at the time of application and receipt of the Authority.
Full time students or recent graduates from South Africa can apply for a special work visa valid for up to 6 months. See SASTS
Canadian citizens should contact SWAP (Student Work Abroad Programme, Ca) which administers the program on behalf of the Irish Embassy in Ottawa. Information and application forms are available from their website.
Further information can be obtained from your nearest Irish Embassy or Consulate, the Irish Government Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (work permit section): Tel: 00353 21 274099/ 00353 1890 220222.