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Ireland Employment Visa

If you are looking to work in the Republic of Ireland, you will need an employment visa. With an Employment visa, you can take on a new job or be transferred from your current employer in your home country into Ireland.

We can help you acquire an Ireland Employment visa. Call us on (+353) 061 518 025 for immediate assistance or advice.

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    What is the Employment visa?

    The Ireland Employment visa is a Long Stay ‘D’ visa that allows you to travel to Ireland for the purpose of work. The Employment visa is required for workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)

    You can only apply for most of the Employment visas after you have obtained an Employment Permit, otherwise called the Work Permit, from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE).

    There are four Employment visa routes for foreign nationals who want to come to Ireland, namely:

    • Employment visa
    • Employment (scientific researcher) visa
    • Employment (Van der Elst) visa
    • Atypical Working Scheme

    Due to the different work visas and their requirements, this route is often complicated. Give us a call on (+353) 061 518 025 to see how Total Law can help you secure your Irish Employment Visa.

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    What is the Ireland work permit?

    The employment or work permit allows you to work in Ireland and apply for an Employment visa. There are nine different work permits issued by DETE, namely:

    • Critical Skills Employment Permit
    • Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
    • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
    • General Employment Permit
    • Contract for Services Employment Permit
    • Reactivation Employment Permit
    • Internship Employment Permit
    • Sport and Cultural Employment Permit
    • Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

    The critical skilled employment permit is for highly skilled individuals, such as ICT professionals, engineers, and technologists, who want to obtain permanent residency in Ireland. The Dependant/Partner/Spouse work permit allows the dependants, civil partners, and spouses of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders and researchers on Hosting Agreements.

    The Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit helps to facilitate the transfer of foreign nationals who are essential personnel or trainees from an overseas branch to the same company’s Ireland branch. A General Employment Permit covers all occupations not in the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits.

    The Contract for Services Employment Permit is designed for foreign contractors who have a contract to provide services to an Irish company. That also includes facilitating the transfer of their non-EEA employees to work on the Irish contract in Ireland.

    You should get a Reactivation Employment Permit if you are a non-EEA national who entered Ireland on a valid Employment Permit but fell out of the system for a fault that wasn’t yours or was badly treated or exploited in the workplace.

    The Internship Employment Permit is for full-time third-level students taking an internship connected to their course. The course must be in a discipline that is part of the critical skills occupation list.

    You should get the Sport and Cultural Employment Permit if your work covers sporting and cultural activities. Finally, The Exchange Agreement Employment Permit caters for the employment of non-EEA nationals based on international agreements between Ireland and other countries.

    Eligibility requirements for the Employment Visa Ireland

    Job requirement

    To be eligible for the Employment visa, you must have a job offer from an employer in Ireland. To prove this, you are required to provide the employment contract or a letter from your employer with details of the job, salary, and accommodation provision.

    The Irish authorities expect applicants for the Employment visa to be qualified for the job. Hence, they are to provide evidence of qualification and previous work experience in the form of professional certificates, recent payslips, training certificates, tax statements, or other documents as proof.

    Finance requirement

    When applying for the Employment visa, you must prove you have enough money to support yourself while in Ireland. There’s no minimum amount, but you must present an up-to-date bank statement covering the last six months that can prove you have sufficient funds to cover living costs. The visa officer will use that to determine if you can support yourself in Ireland.

    Employment permit requirement

    Before applying for the employment visa, you must have obtained an employment or work permit from DETE.

    The employment permits have varying eligibility requirements. If you need the General Employment Permit, you or your employer can apply if the job meets the following conditions:

    • Pays at least €34,000 per year (correct as of January 2024; this figure is set to rise to €39,000 by January 2025) or at least €30,000 if you meet certain conditions, including getting a job offer as a healthcare assistant (although these exemptions will eventually be abolished and the minimum threshold for all permits will become €39,000 by 2026)
    • The job is not on the list of ineligible occupations
    • Your employer had done a Labour Market Needs Test
    • Over 50% of the employees in the company are EU citizens

    If you are already in Ireland and have a valid Irish Residence Permit with a valid Stamp 4, you don’t need an employment permit. Holders of a Stamp 1, 1G, 2, 2A or 3 permission must apply for a permit and can do so from within the country. Those outside the country can apply from their home country or one where they have a visa or residence permit.

    How to apply for the Employment visa

    You should apply for an employment visa up to three months before your intended travel date to Ireland.

    The first step is to create an application on AVATS, the online application system of Irish immigration. You will be prompted to answer some questions about the employment visa. When done, AVATS will present the summary application form, which will contain information on where to submit your supporting documentation.

    You should print, sign, date the summary form and submit it alongside your documents. The summary will also include the address to submit your documents; that could be the Dublin visa office, any other visa office, Irish Embassy or consulate.

    Also, you should prepare an application letter detailing your reason for coming to Ireland, how long you intend to stay and where, any family member currently in Ireland or the EU, and your commitment to observe the conditions of the employment visa.

    Documents for the Employment visa

    The supporting documents for the employment visa application include:

    • Two colour passport-sized photographs that are not more than 6 months old
    • Your current passport and photocopies of all previous passports
    • Application letter
    • Employment Permit
    • Contract of employment
    • Letter from the employer in Ireland
    • Evidence of qualifications
    • Bank statement and/or other documents to prove you have enough money
    • Medical or Travel Insurance
    • Previous Visa Refusals, if you have any

    We can assist you with the entire application process to help maximise your chances of success. To find out how we can help you, please call (+353) 061 518 025 or chat with us via live chat.

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      The Employment (scientific researcher) visa

      To be eligible for the Employment (scientific researcher) visa, you must be a researcher under a hosting agreement with an accredited organisation.

      A hosting agreement allows non-EEA researchers to come and work for an accredited organisation in Ireland and even bring immediate family members with them.  An approved organisation has received accreditation from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

      Typically, the hosting agreement should last the duration of your employment contract. Also, you must have a contract of employment from the organisation and enough money to support yourself while in Ireland.

      Employment (scientific researcher) visa application process

      Like the General Employment visa, you should apply for your Scientific Researcher visa up to three months before your planned travel date.

      You can apply through AVATS. After applying, print the summary application form, which you need to sign, date, and submit alongside your supporting documents. If you must provide biometrics, you will do that in the same visa office you submit your documents.

      To secure this visa, you must submit:

      • A copy of your hosting agreement
      • Two colour passport-sized photographs that are not more than 6 months old
      • An application letter
      • Proof you can support yourself financially
      • A copy of your contract of employment
      • Medical or travel Insurance
      • Previous Visa Refusals

      If your visa application is successful, you can travel to Ireland to work with the approved accredited institution. Holders of this visa are not permitted to access public funds and do other paid or unpaid work.

      If your spouse/partner and dependent children intend to join you in the State, and they are not Irish, or EEA nationals, each one of them is to make a separate application for a family visa that applies to them.

      Employment (Van der Elst) visa requirements and conditions

      The Employment (Van der Elst) visa is for non-EEA nationals legally employed and resident in an EU state but need to work temporarily for the same employer in Ireland. You may be eligible for this visa if you are:

      • A lawful resident of an EU country
      • Lawfully employed and on the payroll for an employer that is established in the same EU country
      • Coming to Ireland to provide services or products on behalf of your employer
      • Coming to the State temporarily or in the short term (not more than 12 months)
      • An employee and not a company director

      Unlike most other employment visas, holders of the Employment (Van der Elst) visa cannot bring dependents with them. You can have visitors, but such visitors must have applied for a visitor visa (or another Irish visa) in their own right, not as your dependent.

      In addition, you are not allowed to take up any job in the country other than the one the immigration authorities gave you permission for, and you cannot reside permanently in Ireland.

      We can help you obtain an Employment (Van der Elst) visa. For immediate assistance or more information on how we can assist you, please call our immigration and visa specialists on (+353) 061 518 025 today.

      How to apply for the Employment (Van der Elst) visa

      The application process begins online on AVATS. After submitting the application, print the summary application form, sign, date, and submit it with your supporting documentation and visa fee. The supporting documents include:

      • Two colour passport-sized photographs
      • A valid passport and copies of all previous passports
      • Evidence of your right to reside in the country of your employment, such as Residence or ID card
      • Application letter
      • A letter from your employer stating:
        • You are legally resident and employed in the EU member state they are based
        • You are coming to Ireland on behalf of the company
        • You are going to return after you complete the project and before your permission expires
        • The details of the contract and duration
        • the name and contact details for the Irish company to which you are supplying the service
      • Letter from the Irish based host company giving details of the contract
      • Evidence of accommodation arrangements
      • Proof of comprehensive medical insurance.
      • Previous Visa Refusals

      Letters from the employer and Irish host must be on their respective official letterhead and show their name, postal address, general contact details, contact person, and the written signature of an authorised representative.

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        What is the Atypical Working Scheme?

        The Atypical Working Scheme (AWS) is different from all the other employment visas. DETE handles other Employment visas whereas AWS was developed by agreement between the Department of Justice and DETE to allow specialised and highly skilled workers to work in Ireland for less than 90 days.

        This scheme covers occupations that are not supported by current Employment Permit legislation and are based on the country’s needs as stated by other agencies and departments, including the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, the Department of Health, and the Health Services Executive (HSE)).

        In most cases, you cannot work for more than 90 days under AWS. However, some individuals may be permitted to work for more than 90 days. They include:

        • Non-EEA crew members in the Irish fishing fleet (12 months)
        • Doctors providing locum/stand-in services in a medical facility (6 months)
        • Nurses seeking registration in the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland based on their overseas qualification (6 months).
        • Paid interns whose positions are integral to their graduation from accredited institutions (maximum of 12 months).

        If you need to work for more than 90 days and do not fit one of the above, you must apply for any other employment visa.

        Conditions of the Atypical Working Scheme

        Only one permission is granted in any 12-month period and a gap/cooling period of 12 months must exist between any two permissions granted. The exception to this condition is doctors in a locum position in general practice or hospital.

        AWS permissions are valid from the first date of entry into the country and expire after 90 days or when you leave the country regardless of the total number of days spent in Ireland.

        You are only allowed to work in the role you were approved for when given AWS permission. You cannot transfer your AWS permission to any other role.

        Like with the Van der Elst visa, you cannot bring dependents with you if you hold the Atypical Working Scheme. If they need to visit, they must apply for any other Irish visa in their own right and not as your dependent.

        Also, AWS does not count as a reckonable residence for a Stamp 4 permission in Ireland.

        Furthermore, Irish companies that want to hire individuals to work on the AWS must be registered with the Company Registrations Office.

        We can help you acquire permission under the Atypical Working Scheme. Call us today on (+353) 061 518 025 for immediate assistance or advice.

        Eligibility criteria for the Atypical Working Scheme

        To be eligible for the Atypical Working Scheme, you must be a non-EEA national who has a contract from a company based in Ireland to:

        • Work in an occupation with a skill shortage
        • Provide a specialised skill to a business, industry, or institution
        • Do a paid internship that is necessary to your graduation for a third-level course in an approved institution that is outside Ireland
        • Work as a locum doctor in the hospital or primary care sector
        • Do the clinical adaptation and assessment programme or the RCSI exam

        Irish Immigration has also specified factors that can make you ineligible. You are not eligible for the Atypical Working Scheme if you:

        • Are already in Ireland
        • Want to work in an occupation that is on the Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits list
        • Are coming to work for 14 days or less
        • Are coming to attend a business seminar or do other business activities
          • You need a business visa for this
        • Are eligible for the Employment (Van Der Elst) visa
        • Can make use of the Highly Skilled Job interview authorisation initiative
        • Have an Employment Permit issued by DETE, are eligible for one, or awaiting one based on an already submitted application
        • Have an Intra Company Transfer Employment Permit for another jurisdiction
        • Are to work in an Irish organisation that defaults the 50/50 rule (over 50% of the employees in the company are EU citizens)

        Required documents for the Atypical Working Scheme

        The necessary documents depend on your AWS category. Your supporting documents may include:

        • A passport valid for the entire duration of your intended stay in Ireland
        • Resident ID or visa for the country you apply from if you are not a citizen of that country
        • Your employment contract, if it applies
        • A letter from the Irish host confirming the offer of employment, internship or service request, if it applies.
        • A letter of support from a State Agency, such as the Industrial Development Agency, where applicable
        • A letter from the academic institution confirming that the internship is integral to your degree course and that you will return when your internship is done if it applies
        • Evidence of registration with the Medical Council of Ireland, if it applies.
        • Evidence of compliance with tax obligations by the agency or the Primary Care employer and you, if it applies.
        • A letter from the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland that confirms your acceptance to the Clinical Adaptation process and is valid until you complete your Clinical Adaptation or RCSI Aptitude Test
        • A copy of your written contract of employment for 12 months that is certified by a practising solicitor and lodged with the Central Depository (CDPA) for Sea-Fishing Boats at the National Seafood Centre
          • Each lodged contract has a unique identifying number which you are to include on your AWS application form.
        • A copy of the letter from the CDPA stating the unique identifier

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          How to apply for the Atypical Working Scheme

          Applications for the Atypical Working Scheme are made through the Immigration Service Delivery online portal – INIS. You must be outside Ireland when you apply and remain outside the country until your application processing is complete.

          Fill out the application form on the online portal, submit all necessary documents and pay the appropriate fee online when submitting the form.

          If your application is approved, Irish immigration will send you a Letter of Approval valid for 90 days. You must use this permission to travel to Ireland within the 90-day window. If you don’t, the permission will expire, and you will need to apply again to enter Ireland under the Atypical Working Scheme.

          How much does the Employment visa cost?

          The Employment visa, Employment (Scientific Researcher) visa, and Employment (Van Der Elst) cost the same amounts.

          There are two options: single-entry and multi-entry). Single-entry allows you to enter Ireland once within its validity period, and multi-entry will enable you to enter Ireland more than once within its validity period, subject to your visa conditions.

          Here are the fees:

          • Single entry: €60
          • Multi entry: €100

          The price for the Atypical Working Scheme is €250.

          All of the above fees are not refundable, and you must pay them in full before your application can be accepted and processed. Also, you may be required to pay additional charges such as consular fees for submitting documents if it applies to the visa and the visa office, embassy or consulate in charge of your application.

          What is the processing time of the Employment visa?

          Much like the fees for the visas, The Employment visa, Employment (Scientific Researcher) visa, and Employment (Van Der Elst) take the same time in application processing. Generally, that is eight(8) weeks from the date you submit your complete application and documents.

          The processing time for the Atypical Working Scheme is a minimum of 20 working days from when you apply and submit all necessary documentation.

          Beware that processing times vary between countries. Also, each employment visa application is processed in the order it is received. If there are many applications before yours, it may take longer to process your application. There is no way to fast-track the process.

          To reduce delays, ensure you submit all necessary and accurate documents. Nevertheless, if you have a criminal conviction or other personal circumstances, or your documentation needs to be verified, it may take longer.

          We can help maximise your chances of success and advise on all the documents to cut out delays from incomplete documents. Call us on (+353) 061 518 025 today.

          How can Total Law help?

          As seen above, there are many employment visa options. You may first have to get an employment permit, and each permit has its specific requirements, documents, and application process. Then, you need to apply for the correct visa that matches your needs.

          Although you can apply on your own, you may lose your money to trial and error. Making one mistake can result in a refusal. Professional guidance from immigration specialists can help prevent situations where you apply for the wrong permit or visa, provide the wrong documents or make a mistake in your application.

          At Total Law, we are immigration experts and lawyers that provide visa and immigration services, including assessing your eligibility for the Ireland employment visas and employment permits, advising on the right documents, and completing a high-standard application that makes the most of your chances. We will also liaise with the Irish immigration authorities, where necessary, and give you updates as they come.

          Call us today (+353) 061 518 025 to get started with helping you get permission to work in Ireland. You can also reach out to us through our live chat or contact form.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    The amount of time you can stay in Ireland depends on the type of visa you hold and the landing stamp you receive when you get past the Irish border control.

                    If you are successful with your Employment visa application, your passport will be stamped with the visa, and you can travel to Ireland. Although a validity period would be on your visa, that isn’t the duration of stay and the visa does not guarantee entry into Ireland.

                    When you get to the point of entry, you will be asked some questions and are to provide some documents. An immigration officer will then decide if you should be allowed into the country. If they are satisfied with your documents and answers, your passport will be stamped with your exact duration of stay.

                    Each Atypical Working Scheme immigration permission is based on your circumstances.

                    If you are coming to Ireland for a paid internship, you may get 15-90 days if:

                    1. Your school confirms that the internship is beneficial to your studies
                    2. The role isn’t on the list of Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits administered by DETE
                    3. The terms of your internship comply with the relevant employment law, including the minimum annual salary requirement

                    For the same internship purposes, you may get more than 90 days and up to one year if you need the internship to graduate and you meet points 2 and 3 above.

                    Applicants in China, Nigeria, and a few other countries must provide biometrics in the visa office when you submit your documents.