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Work Permit Ireland

If you are a non-European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EA) national and would like to work in Ireland, you must obtain a valid Ireland Employment Permit that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) gives. Talk with our immigration lawyers for expert advice regarding Irish work permits.

For more information about Ireland employment permit, get in touch with us on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online for immediate assistance.

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    Overview of Employment Permits

    Employment permit authorises you to work in labour short occupations in Ireland. If you meet other requirements, you can obtain a work permit for jobs that are not listed on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits.

    Once you obtain your employment visa from DETE, you may then apply for an employment permit. DETE offers different types of employment permits which include critical skills employment permit, work permit, etc.

    DETE will soon roll out a new selection of employment permits. Any DETE-issued employment permit holder should apply for an employment (permits etc.) visa.

    You may apply for an employment permit three months before the day you plan to travel to Ireland. You should have the necessary visa for your intended state of visit before applying for an Irish visa, before arriving in Ireland in your passport.

    During your application, don’t submit any application materials that contain inaccurate or misleading information. Your application can be refused if you do this. You might not be able to appeal the visa decision in some cases, and you might be prohibited from applying for an Irish visa for a period of five years.

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    Types of Employment Permits

    There are Ireland employment permit types offered to applicants in Ireland. They include:

    General Employment Permit

    Professions that do not meet the requirements for the Critical Skills permit are given this Irish employment permit. Under the General Employment permit, there is no list of eligible professions. You may apply for this kind of employment permit in Ireland under any profession may, unless the profession is on the list of “Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits.”

    Critical Skills Employment Permit

    Highly skilled foreign workers can apply for the Ireland Critical Skills Employment Permit, which aims to encourage them to come over to Ireland and fill skills gaps in a select group of high skill eligible occupations.

    You can qualify for the critical skills employment permit if you’re a professional working in the fields of natural and social science, engineering, ICT, health, teaching and education, architecture, etc.

    All the qualified professions are listed on the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation’s website. Irish employers are exempt from doing the Labour Markets Needs Test if they hire foreign nationals who qualify for the Critical Skills Permit.

    Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits

    These licences are given to a critical skills employment permit holder’s spouse, partner, or other dependents.

    You can work in any occupation, even those on the list of ineligible occupations except being a domestic operative if you are granted an Ireland employment permit as a dependant, spouse, or partner of someone who has a critical skills employment. Additionally, your application will be free.

    Intra Company Transfer Employment Permit

    If you are a foreign worker that wants to transfer to an Irish branch of the company you’re already working in, you may be issued the Ireland intra company transfer employment permit. This permit is accessible to senior management, important staff, or trainees.

    Internship Employment Permit

    With the Ireland internship employment permit, full-time international students registered in third-level institutions outside of Ireland are authorised to come and gain work experience in Ireland. You are not allowed to renew the permit to work as an intern in Ireland when it expires after 12 months.

    Contract for Services Employment Permit

    Foreign employees who are still employed by a foreign company but travel to Ireland to work for their employer, who has been hired by an Irish national, are issued the employment contract services permit.

    Sport and Cultural Employment Permit

    As a foreign national, if you possess the qualifications, skills, knowledge or experience necessary to advance sports and culture in Ireland, you may be granted the Ireland sport and cultural employment permit.

    Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

    If you’re coming to Ireland to work under an international exchange agreement to which Ireland is part of (including The Fulbright Programme, The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE), or AIESEC) you may be granted the Ireland exchange agreement employment permit.

    Reactivation Employment Permit

    You may be issued the reactivation employment permit if you’re a former employment permit holder who lost the right to work in Ireland for some reasons that are not entirely yours. An instance for losing the work permit could be that you were abused or exploited at your workplace.

    Who is Eligible for an Employment Permit?

    An application for an employment permit must be made by you or your employer before coming to Ireland. You need to meet the Ireland permit visa requirements to be issued the Ireland general employment permit. You can apply for a general employment permit if:

    • You possess a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) with Stamp 1, 1G, 2, 2A or 3 permission and already reside in Ireland.
    • You have a Stamp 4 permission that is about to expire and you can’t renew it.
    • You have a job that pays a minimum annual salary of €34,000 (figure correct as of January 2024; note that this is set to rise to €39,000 by January 2025).
    • Your employer has carried out a Labour market needs test.
    • The company or organisation has over 50% EU citizen workforce (the 50/50 rule).

    If your annual salary is below the minimum threshold (figure varies based on circumstances and the current threshold as of the 2024/2025 increases), you can also apply if you:

    • Have graduated from an overseas third level institution as a non EEA student in the last 12 months and from the Critical Skills Occupations List, you have been offered a graduate position as an ICT professional.
    • Have been offered a job as an assistant in healthcare. You have to possess a Level 5 QQI qualification but if you don’t have one you may get it within 2 years of starting your job.
    • Have been offered a job as a home carer. You have to possess a Level 5 QQI qualification but if you don’t have one you may get it within 2 years of starting your job.
    • Have been offered a job as a specialist language and technical or sales support with a fluency in a non EEA language for companies that State enterprise development agencies give support to.

    Are you considering applying for an employment permit in Ireland? Ensure a smooth and successful process by contacting our experienced immigration lawyer today. Contact Us

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      Eligible Jobs for a General Employment Permit


      Any work that is not on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits is eligible for a general employment permit application. The employer has to be registered with the Revenue, Companies Registration office and must be trading in Ireland.

      You must possess the skills, qualifications and experience the job requires. A labour market needs test must have been carried out by your employer.

      Job Offer Requirements for a General Employment Permit

      To apply for an employment permit, you must have received a job offer.

      Applications for a general employment permit from intermediaries like recruiting agencies are not accepted. Your employer is not permitted to keep your personal papers or deduct recruitment costs from your compensation.

      Labour Market Needs Test

      Employers must demonstrate that they have made an effort to find an Irish or EEA citizen to fill the position. To achieve this, they advertise the position for a sufficient amount of time in Ireland and the EU. If no qualified applicant can be found, the business may hire a worker who requires an employment permit. This is known as a test of the labour market needs.

      The applicant for an employment permit must demonstrate that a labour market needs analysis was completed.

      How Does the Labour Market Need Test Work?

      The employer has to advertise the vacancy in all of these:

      • A minimum of 3 days on a national newspaper.
      • A minimum of 4 weeks, in The Department of Social Protection (DSP) and European Employment Services (EURES).
      • A jobs website or local newspaper including the EURES and DSP for 3 days.

      The job posting must include the employer’s name, job description, annual salary, location of the job, and the number of hours per week.

      Before submitting an application for an employment permit, you must wait for the results of the Labour Market Needs Test. Then you must make the application within 90 days of the position being announced on the DSP and EURES.

      Labour Market Needs Test Not Required

      The evidence that the Labour Market Needs Test has been carried out must be included in all new applications, except:

      • IDA Ireland or Enterprise Ireland have recommended the job.
      • You previously had an employment permit, you were laid off, and you notified DETE of your termination.
      • The job is included in the Critical Skills Occupations List.
      • A person with significant medical needs now depends on you because you have been providing care for them.
      • The annual salary is more than €64,000.

      The ‘50:50’ Rule

      For positions in companies where at the time of application more than 50% of employees are from outside the EEA, DETE does not grant employment permits. This is known as the ’50:50′.

      However, the exceptions are:

      • When a company has a letter of support from IDA Ireland or Enterprise Ireland and is new (has only recently been registered as an employer with Revenue). This only applies to businesses that are IDA Ireland or Enterprise Ireland clients.
      • Permits for employment issued prior to October 1, 2014.
      • In a situation where you’ll be the only employee of the company.

      Application Process for an Employment Permit


      You or your employer may submit an application for an Irish work permit to the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment’s Employment Permits Section.

      Using the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS), submit your ireland work permit application form online with the necessary supporting documents. You can apply using the General Employment Permit Checklist.

      You will be prompted to select the type of work permit you are requesting when you begin an application. If you are a seasoned user, you can just choose the form on your own. However, if this is your first time applying, you will get help if you choose the “Help me choose Employment Permit Application Form” option.

      You must fill out the entire essential information once you are directed to the correct application form. You are free to finish any step of the application procedure and save your work up to that point. You can go back and make changes to the data you’ve already input.

      Where Can I Submit the Application?

      Either you (the foreign worker) or your employer must use the Employment Permits Online System, or EPOS, to submit your application for an Ireland work permit.

      You will be given a number when you begin an online programme called a MyWork-ID, which enables you to pause the application and pick up where you left off later. However, once you begin an application for an Ireland work visa, you must finish it within 28 days or your data will be deleted.

      Who Should Submit the Application?

      Either you (the foreign worker) or your company can submit an application for an Irish work visa.

      Your employer in your home country may also submit the application on your behalf if you are shifting from a foreign company to the Irish branch of that company (intra-company transfer).

      Contact our immigration lawyer today to benefit from their expertise and increase your chances of success in securing an Ireland employment permit. Contact Us

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        Documentation Required for an Employment Permit


        You will need to present all the documents needed while applying for your Ireland work permit. However, you will be required to present required documentation depending on the type of work permit you’re requesting. They include:

        • A signed copy of the employment contract by you and your employer.
        • A passport-size picture that complies with Ireland photo requirements.
        • A copy of your passport bearing your personal details, signature and picture.
        • Your contact person’s details which include, name, phone number, email address and position in the company.
        • Your employment details which include work responsibilities, duties, duration and salary.
        • The details of your employer which include, name, address, company registration number, and necessary certificates from authorised bodies.
        • A copy of your current immigration stamp, if you are living in Ireland at the time you applied.
        • The company’s relevant registration pin or licence that an appropriate Irish Government Ministers or Regulatory bodies issued the company.
        • The copy of IDA/Enterprise Ireland letter of support (if required).

        Attaching the Documents

        The needed documents must be electronically attached to the application form. All the documents needed are listed in a drop-down box. The document you are adding must be chosen and uploaded. You must therefore have access to a scanner.

        Your electronic materials must be under 10MB in size and in one of the following file types: PDF, PNG, or JPEG/JPG.

        Additionally, after filling out portions of the application form, you must print and sign them or send them to the appropriate authority for signature, as necessary. You will need to scan the signed documents and upload them once more to the internet system.

        Doing all of this might be quite confusing and requires expert help to avoid insufficient documentation or other mistakes that might risk a refusal for your work permit application. We recommend that you seek expert help from our team of immigration lawyers at Total Law. Call us on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

        After You Have Applied


        The Department’s website lists the times for processing applications. You must be informed of the precise reasons your application was rejected if it is rejected. When rejected, you can use the form to request a decision review, but you only have 28 days to challenge this decision.

        Immigration and Registration

        If your application is approved and you are from a nation whose residents require a visa to enter Ireland, you must still apply for a visa to enter Ireland even if you already reside outside of Ireland. At the airport or point of entry into Ireland, you must show the immigration official your Irish work permit.

        When you arrive in Ireland, you must register with the local registration office in the region where you intend to live. An IRP will be issued to you once you have registered.

        You must visit your local registration office to change your registration authorisation if you are already residing in Ireland under another immigration permit.

        Your Family

        After one year has passed since the General Employment Permit was obtained, the holder may bring their family to reside with them in Ireland. You must demonstrate your ability to support them by exceeding the Working Family Payment thresholds.

        Family members must each apply for a separate visa because they are from a nation whose people require one in order to enter Ireland.

        If family members are from a nation whose residents do not require a visa to enter Ireland, they must present documentation proving their relationship to the General Employment Permit holder to an immigration official at the airport or port of entry.

        Registration and Work

        Any child 16 years of age and older, as well as your spouse or de facto partner, must register and obtain an IRP.

        To work in Ireland, they must submit an employment permit application. If you have a Stamp 1H and are a doctor employed by an HSE-funded hospital or organisation, your spouse or partner may work there without a work visa. When they register, they are eligible for a Stamp 1G.

        How to Applying for a Stamp 4 After 5 Years

        General Employment Permits can be obtained for up to two years. A permit can be obtained for up to three years if it is renewed.

        Using the Employment Permit Online System (EPOS), you can renew the permit. 16 weeks before the expiration of your present permit, you must submit an application.

        You can apply to Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) for a Stamp 4 permit once your General Employment Permit has been in effect for five years. Holders of a Stamp 4 are permitted to work without a work permit. You may also apply for citizenship through naturalisation after five years of residence.

        Doctors with Stamp 1H

        A Stamp 1H can be obtained by doctors who are employed by the HSE or an organisation that receives funding from the HSE. After two years, you can make an application for a Stamp 4. Also, you can submit a Stamp 4 Letter of Support application to DETE.

        Take the first step towards your employment goals in Ireland with the guidance and support of a professional immigration lawyer by your side. Contact Us

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          Changing or Losing Your Job


          You may find yourself in a situation whereby you may need to change your job or lose your job. Here’s what you need to do in the event of these situations:

          Changing Your Job

          Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, you must remain with your employer for a full year if this is your first employment permit in Ireland. After that, you are free to switch employers with a fresh General Employment Permit application.

          Losing Your Job

          Within 28 days of being fired, you must use the redundancy notification form to tell the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment that you have been made redundant. You have six months to find another job, according to the Department. Even if your new job falls within an ineligible category, you can still apply for a new general employment permit.

          To confirm your immigration status, get in touch with your neighbourhood immigration registration office. You may stay in Ireland for a period of six months if your immigration authorisation is still valid after that time.

          You can extend your immigration authorization to 6 months if you have fewer than 6 months left on your current IRP, but you will need to pay for a new IRP. After six months, you could need to leave Ireland if you haven’t secured new employment.

          You can apply for a fresh employment permit if you subsequently receive an employment offer in Ireland.


          The applicant is responsible for covering the Ireland work permit cost. The applicant may be a linked person, contractor, employee, authorised agency, or employer. Businesses use Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) to send payments to customers.

          New applicants for General Employment Permits must pay an appropriate fee of €500 for 6 months permit and €1,000 for 2 years permit. While the renewal for General Employee Permits requires a fee of €750 for 6 months permit and €1,500 for 3 years permit.

          It should be noted that in the event of withdrawal or refusal of your application, you will be refunded 90% of the fee. Additionally, you will pay €300 for registration with immigration and getting an IRP.

          Processing Time

          Applications are handled in a particular order. It is advisable that you wait to buy tickets until you know how your visa application will turn out.

          Between countries, processing times can differ and also during the year’s peak volume times. Nevertheless, you may often anticipate a response eight weeks after submitting your application to the visa office, Irish embassy, or consulate.

          If, for instance, you have not provided the required supporting evidence, your supporting documentation needs to be checked. Or because of your unique circumstances, such as if you have a criminal conviction, your application may take longer to process.

          On their website, the visa office, embassy, or consulate handling your application will list how long it will take to know your Ireland work permit processing time.

          How can Total Law Help

          The Ireland work permit authorises you to work in Ireland. The Ireland work permit are of different types, consequently, the required documents to be attached in the application differ.

          You also need to be eligible to apply for the work permit to stand a chance to have a successful application. During your application you must get all facts right to the required standard for your application to be granted.

          You also need to meet the Ireland work visa requirements and make financial commitment throughout your application process. You wouldn’t want a situation where you’ll make wrong payments and risk getting a full refund of your money.

          This is why we recommend you seek expert advice from our expert immigration lawyers at Total Law. They have the experience in handling immigration applications that have a very high chance of acceptance.

          For more information about Ireland Employment Permit, Irish visa or guidance in your work permit application, reach out to a member of our team today on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

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                    Related pages for your continued reading.

                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The Irish immigration authorities must grant you authorization to work if you are a non EU/EEA citizen. This indicates that you must first apply for a work permit before applying for a work visa. The kind of work permit you apply for will depend on the kind of work you do and how long you plan to stay.

                    You must include a complete disclosure of your criminal history with your application. Be advised that you can have your visa application denied if your criminal history involves repeated serious crimes or violations of immigration law.

                    Know if you require a visa to enter Ireland if you are from a non EEA, Switzerland, or the UK citizen. You must apply for an employment permit in order to work in Ireland. Non EEA citizens who already live in Ireland and have certain immigration permits are not required to obtain an employment permit.