If you have been offered a job in Ireland, or you are trying to hire someone who is not currently resident in Ireland, it may be necessary to apply for a work permit. Anyone who is from a visa required country will also need to get an employment visa before travelling to Ireland.
If you want to work in Ireland, or you want to employ a non-EEA national, contact our Irish immigration solicitors for advice. We can explain what immigration permissions you need, and can manage the application(s) for you.
Do I need a work permit to work in Ireland?
Not everyone needs a work permit to work in Ireland. Citizens from the UK, Switzerland and EEA member states can work in Ireland without restrictions – they do not need a permit or a visa.
Also, non-EEA nationals may be exempt from a work permit if they have:
- Permission to remain as a spouse or dependent of an Irish/EEA national
- Permission to remain as the parent of an Irish citizen
- Temporary leave to remain on humanitarian grounds
- Permission from the Department of Justice and Equality to remain as a resident and employer in Ireland
- Permission to be in the State as a registered student who is permitted to work 20 hours during term time and 40 hours during holiday periods
- Permission to be in the State under the terms of the Diplomatic Relations and Immunities Act 1967, and are assigned to a mission of a country with whom the government has entered into a working dependents agreement
Unless you or your prospective employee falls into one of the above categories, it will be necessary to get a work permit.
How do you get a work permit in Ireland?
Work permit applications are made through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. There are different types of work permit. You must apply for the one that applies to your specific situation.
The types employment permits in Ireland are:
- Critical Skills Employment Permit – for those whose occupations are listed on the Critical Skills Occupations List
- Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit – for those who are staying with the same employer but are moving to the company’s Irish branch
- Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit – for those joining a spouse, civil partner or de facto partner who is working in Ireland on a Critical Skills Employment Permit or as a Researcher on a Hosting Agreement
- Contract for Services Employment – for those who need to work in Ireland after winning a contract to provide services to an Irish company
- Reactivation Employment Permit – for those who want to work legally in Ireland after having been exploited in the workplace or who fell out of the system through no fault of their own
- Sport and Cultural Employment Permit – for those hired for the development, operation and capacity of sporting and cultural activities
- Exchange Agreement Employment Permit – for those who wish to work in Ireland under an international reciprocal agreement
- Internship Employment Permit – for those who are studying outside of Ireland but who wish to gain work experience inside the State, in relation to occupations listed on the Critical Skills Occupations List
- General Employment Permit – for those whose employment does not fall into one of the above categories. A broad range of occupations is allowed, although there is a list of ineligible occupations for work permits in Ireland
Either the employee or the employer can apply for a work permit. Each type of work permit has its own eligibility requirements.
What are the requirements to work in Ireland as a non-EEA national?
To get a work permit, the employee must:
- Have a job offer in Ireland which is not on the list of ineligible occupations
- Have the skills, knowledge and expertise required to fulfil the job (this must be demonstrated on the application)
- Be outside of Ireland while the application is being processed
- Have a passport that is valid for at least six months
In addition, an employer must:
- Be registered with the Revenue Commissioners
- Have a valid employer-registered number (ERN)
- Be registered with the Company Registration Office
In some circumstances, the employer must show that they could not find an Irish or EU national to fill the role. If so, the employer has to complete a Labour Market Needs Test before a work permit application is made.
Do I need a visa to work in Ireland?
If you’re from a visa required country, you will also need a work visa to enter Ireland. This is in addition to your work permit.
You can find out if you’re from a visa required country by checking the Immigration Service Delivery website.
Specifically, you need a long stay Employment Visa. This is a type of ‘D’ visa, meaning you can stay in Ireland for more than 90 days. This is an entirely separate application to your work permit. Work visa applications are made via the AVATS online application facility and are assessed by a Visa Officer.
If you’re already working in an EEA member state and you want to work in Ireland temporarily for your employer, then you may be eligible for a Van der Elst Visa instead.
Immigration solicitors Ireland
We specialise in Irish immigration and can help you with a work permit application and/or a work visa application. We act on behalf of individuals and companies, and can carry out group work permit applications where necessary. Our aim is to make the entire process as easy and as straightforward as possible. With RNL Solicitors, you can rest assured that your application is in safe hands.
Contact us to discuss:
- Work permit applications
- Employment visa applications
- Van der Elst visa applications
- Group work permit applications
- Rejected applications and appeals
We work with individuals and corporations across the globe. We can be contacted outside of Irish office working hours and can communicate with you via phone, email and WhatsApp.
Work permit/visa Ireland – quick facts:
Can foreigners work in Ireland?
Citizens from the UK, Switzerland and EEA member states can work in Ireland without any restrictions. Non-UK/Swiss/EEA nationals can only work in Ireland if they have obtained a work permit (unless they fall under one of the exemptions listed above).
Can I move to Ireland without a job?
If you want to work in Ireland and you do not fall under one of the exemptions, you need to find a job and apply for a work permit before you travel to the State. You should not move to Ireland until you have accepted a job offer and got a work permit.
Are a work permit and a work visa the same thing?
A work permit and a work visa are not the same thing. A work permit gives you permission to work in Ireland. A work visa gives you permission to enter Ireland. Most non-EEA nationals require a work permit. You will only need a work visa if you are from a visa required country.
Do you need help with a work permit and/or a work visa for Ireland?