Learn how to successfully secure an Employment Permit with our comprehensive guide, including tips and requirements for applicants.

Employment Permit

This guide will be about how to get an Irish Work Permit and what are the various permits that exist to fit your working conditions.

Understanding the Irish Work Permit

This employment visa is granted to foreigners who are willing to take up a job in Ireland. Decided by the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, the scheme is recruiting fresh talent for employment opportunities for up to 2 years in specific positions. The mandate is bound to a given employer and cannot be transferred to another. When you opt for a new job, you will need to request another work permit.

Eligibility Criteria

You need to meet specific criteria to qualify for this permit:

  • Age: You must be over 18 years old.
  • Job Offer: You must have a job offer from an employer in Ireland.
  • Minimum Salary: The salary offered must meet or exceed the minimum requirements.
  • Qualifications and Skills: You should possess the necessary qualifications and skills for the job.
  • Eligible Occupation: Your chosen occupation must be on the list of occupations covered by the General Employment Permit.
  • Nationality: You must be a citizen of a country outside the European Union, European Economic Area, or Switzerland.
  • Criminal Record: You should not have any previous convictions for criminal offenses.

Types of Permits

Ireland offers various employment visas and permits to meet the needs of foreign nationals:

Critical Skills Employment Permit

  • Designed for highly skilled workers from outside the European Union.
  • Valid for two years, renewable, with a job offer of at least €64,000 per year in specific fields.
  • Encourages skilled workers to contribute to Ireland’s economy and allows flexibility in occupation choice without labor market testing.

General Employment Permit

  • Open to non-EEA nationals for employment in Ireland.
  • Valid for the contract duration, up to two years, and renewable for additional three-year periods.
  • Requires occupation eligibility and a minimum annual salary of €30,000, not available to self-employed individuals or interns.

Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits

  • Allows dependents of work permit holders to work in Ireland.
  • Valid for the same duration as the work permit holder’s contract, up to two years, renewable for three years.
  • Eligible applicants are spouses, civil partners, or dependent children of work permit holders.

Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit

  • Facilitates employee transfers from multinational companies to Irish branches.
  • Valid for the contract duration, up to two years, extendable to five years, requiring a minimum 12-month employment with the overseas company.

Internship Employment Permit

  • Enables non-EEA full-time students from foreign institutions to complete paid internships in Ireland.
  • Valid for up to 12 months and requires an internship offer as part of the educational course.

Contract for Services Employment Permit

  • Allows non-EEA nationals to work in Ireland under a contract for services.
  • Valid for the contract duration, up to 24 months, with a contract value of €40,000 or more.

Sport and Cultural Employment Permit

  • Issued to foreigners working in Ireland’s sports or cultural sector.
  • Valid for up to 12 months for highly skilled workers.

Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

  • Facilitates non-EEA nationals working in Ireland under exchange agreements.
  • Valid for up to 12 months with an Irish employer’s job offer.

Reactivation Employment Permit

  • Allows non-EEA nationals who lost their employment permit to work in Ireland again due to circumstances beyond their control.
  • Valid for up to 12 months with a previous work permit validity of at least six months.

The Application Process

To apply for an Ireland work permit, follow these steps:

Online Application

  • Submit an online application via the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) portal, available in English and Irish.
  • Benefit from features such as application tracking, email updates, document uploads, and secure online fee payments.

Document Submission

  • Gather the required supporting documents and send them to the Employment Permits Section.
  • Accepted electronic document formats include PDF, PNG, or JPEG/JPG, not exceeding 10MB.

Fee Payment

  • Pay the application fee, which varies by permit type and whether it’s your initial application or renewal.
  • Make payments online through the EPOS portal using a credit or debit card.

Application Deadlines 

Labor Market Needs Test (LMNT) Applications:

For applications requiring a Labor Market Needs Test, a EURES vacancy must be published for at least 28 calendar days before submission.’

Non-Labor Market Needs Test (Non-LMNT) Applications:

Non-Labor Market Needs Test applications can be submitted no more than 90 days before the proposed employment start date.

Work Permit Expiry:

Failure to submit a renewal application within 28 days of the work permit’s expiry date necessitates a new application process.

Ireland Work Permit Requirements

When applying for an Irish work permit, you’ll need to meet these requirements:

  • Complete the online application form available through the EPOS portal.
  • Obtain a written job offer from an Irish employer detailing duties, salary, start date, and contract duration.
  • Provide a copy of the biographical page of your passport.
  • Include a passport-sized photograph of yourself.
  • Present evidence of your qualifications, such as educational certificates, transcripts, or professional licenses.
  • Demonstrate English language proficiency through exams like TOEFL or IELTS.
  • Furnish a police clearance certificate from your home country and any other countries where you’ve resided for over six months in the past five years.
  • Undergo a medical examination and provide proof of good health, along with private medical insurance.
  • Show evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in Ireland.
  • Include proof of payment for the work visa application fee.

Specific requirements may vary based on the type of work permit you apply for. Refer to the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation’s Employment Permits page for the latest information.

Employer Requirements for Hiring Foreign Workers

Employers seeking to hire foreign workers must fulfill specific conditions, including:

  • Registration with the Companies Registration Office.
  • Possession of a valid Tax Reference Number.
  • Providing a written statement of support for the work permit application.
  • For comprehensive details regarding employer requirements, please visit the Employment Permits page on the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation website.

Irish Residence Permit for Work Visas

If you’re staying in Ireland for less than 90 days, you don’t need an Irish residence permit. However, if you plan to stay longer, you must apply for a residence permit within 90 days of arrival. For more details, visit the Immigration page on the Department of Justice and Equality website.

Obtaining an Irish Work Permit opens doors to exciting job opportunities in this beautiful country. Though the process may seem complex, with the right guidance, you can navigate it smoothly toward a fulfilling career in Ireland. 

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