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Reactivation Employment Permit

The Reactivation Employment Permit is a scheme introduced to provide non-EEA nationals who hold Employment Permits a route to re-employment after falling out of employment through no fault of their own, being exploited or poorly treated by their employer.

For more information on Reactivation Employment Permit and support with your application, call Total Law on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

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    Overview of the Reactivation Employment Permit Program

    The Reactivation Employment Permits are issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) to foreign nationals not from the European Economic Area (EEA) who fell out of the system and wish to obtain a new Employment Permit to work in Ireland legally again.

    If you are an EU/EEA national, you are not required to apply for permission to remain in Ireland.

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    Benefits of the Reactivation Employment Permit Program

    The key benefit of this scheme is that it brings non-EEA nationals who had an Employment Permit in the past but fell out of employment. It is aimed to help bring those individuals back into legal work, allowing them to continue living and working in Ireland as legal immigrants.

    Eligibility Criteria for Reactivation Employment Permit


    You may be eligible for the Reactivation Employment Permit if you:

    • Have previously held an Employment Permit to work in Ireland
    • Have been out of employment through no fault of your own, but you have legally remained in Ireland


    • You have been exploited, poorly treated, or wrongly made dismissed from your job by your employer
    • You have been the holder of a Reactivation Employment Permit for at least 12 months and you wish to change employer.

    What are the Specific Eligibility Criteria?

    In addition to this, there are some specific eligibility criteria in relation to your pay, qualifications, and occupation.

    You must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage. As of 1 January 2023, the National Minimum Wage is €11.30 per hour.

    You must be able to demonstrate that you have adequate qualifications, skills and experience to be eligible for this scheme.

    All occupations are eligible including certain carers. If you are a carer you must provide additional documentation with the application to be considered. This documentation should include:

    • Copies of qualifications confirming that you are a trained medical professional and;
    • A letter from a registered medical practitioner specialising in the area of illness of the person for whom they will be caring, confirming that the person has a severe medical condition


    • A copy of P60, payslips, a notarised letter or an affidavit establishing that you have a long history of caring for the person concerned, and;
    • A letter from a registered medical practitioner specialising in the area of illness of the person for whom they will be caring, confirming that the person has special care needs

    How to Prove Eligibility?

    To prove your eligibility, you will need to supply your application with the following documents:

    • A passport-size photo – should be in the form of a digital file saved in jpeg format
    • Clear and legible copy of every page of your national passport – preferably in colour
    • Copies of all work permits held to date
    • Copy of current Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card
    • Details of any family members resident in Ireland
    • Details of any dependents you have in Ireland
    • Current employment circumstances in Ireland – offers of employment, remuneration offered
    • Evidence of all finances available to you (i.e. six months of bank statements, payslips)
    • Proof of private medical insurance
    • Any other information you consider relevant to your case.

    If you are unsure what information could be relevant to your case, contact one of our professional immigration advisers, who will check your paperwork and help you proceed with your application based on your circumstances. Call Total Law on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online today.

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      What are the Conditions of the Reactivation Employment Permit Program?


      To apply for the Reactivation Employment Permit Program, you must first apply to the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) for permission to be in the State and work or operate a business in Ireland (this temporary immigration permission is called Stamp 1).

      If you are granted a temporary immigration permission and have a “Reactivation Employment Permit ” letter from the Department of Justice and Equality. There are various conditions under which an applicant will be considered for this program. For example you might be eligible if you are:

      • A holder of current Employment Permit for a low skilled and low paid role and you wish to change your job but you don’t qualify for a General Employment Permit
      • A holder of a Spousal/Dependent Employment Permit and you wish to apply for a new Employment Permit for a new employer, however, you don’t qualify for the new Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
      • A holder of Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit and your circumstances have changed due to, for example, separation. In this case the Minister for Justice and Equality must be satisfied that you should be considered for a Reactivation Employment Permit.

      What are the Consequences of Violating Program Conditions?

      If you breach the immigration and Employment Permit legislation, it might affect your future Employment Permit applications. In some circumstances you might be allowed to re-apply for the program. However, these circumstances will have to be completely out of your making.

      Employer Criteria for Reactivation Employment Permit

      Employers must be genuine and legal to ensure that the employment rights of employees are in place and adhered to. Some of the employer criteria include:

      • Applications will only be accepted from employers registered with the Revenue Commissioners and, where applicable, with the Companies Registration Office/Registry of Friendly Societies which are currently trading in Ireland.
      • There must be an employer-employee relationship where the employee is employed, salaried and paid directly by the employer.
      • 50% or more of the employees in a firm must be EEA nationals. Unless, on the day on which the application is made, the employer has no employees, the foreign national will be the sole employee. The exception to the 50:50 Rule will also apply at renewal, provided the permit holder remains a sole employee.

      The Reactivation Employment Permit will only be issued if the employer criteria are met. A labour market needs test is not required.

      Employee Criteria for Reactivation Employment Permit

      Employees will be issued the Reactivation Employment Permit if:

      • They have previously entered the labour market legally under the Employment Permit,
      • They are currently unemployed in Ireland,
      • They have a genuine offer of employment in the State,
      • They hold a temporary Stamp 1 and have a “Reactivation Employment Permit” letter from the Department of Justice and Equality.

      The employee is expected to stay with the initial employer for 12 months. However, in the following circumstances, the Reactivation Employment Permit may be issued to change the employer if:

      • The holder is made redundant;
      • Unforeseen circumstances arise that fundamentally change the employment relationship.

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        How to Apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit?

        To apply to this scheme, you must gather the necessary supporting documents, complete the application form and submit it to Immigration Service Delivery. You can apply online on the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS). Your prospective employer can apply on your behalf, or you can apply yourself.

        The application must be received at least 12 weeks before the start date of your proposed employment.  The application process involves the following stages:

        1. Applying and awaiting processing
        2. Processing – the decision on your application will either be granted or refused.
        3. Review – if your application is refused, you can have your refusal decision reviewed within 28 days after the Submission of a Decision for Review Form.

        Processing Time and Fee

        The processing time for Reactivation Employment Permit is about 25 days. You can check current processing dates for Employment Permits on the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment website.

        The cost of your application will depend on the permit duration you’re applying for and whether you are applying for the first time or a renewal. You can pay the necessary fee online when applying through EPOS. The costs of Reactivation Employment Permits are as follows:

        New applications

        Duration of permitCost
        Up to 6 months€500
        Up to 2 years€1,000


        Duration of permitCost
        Up to 6 months€750
        Up to 3 years€1,500

        Please note that if an application is refused, the applicant will be refunded with 90% of the fee paid.

        Renewal of Reactivation Employment Permit

        You can renew your permit after 2 years for a maximum of 3 years. Then, after 5 years on an Employment Permit, you can apply to ISD for Stamp 4 permission, allowing you to work without an Employment Permit.

        You can renew your permit online through the EPOS within 16 weeks before the expiration date on the permit you currently hold. You must supply the supporting information and documentation you used to apply for your first Reactivation Employment Permit. This is to prove that you maintain your eligibility during the renewal process. After that, you can renew your permit, or your employer can renew it on your behalf.

        Changing Jobs

        If you are on the Reactivation Employment Permit for the first time, you must stay with your new employer for 12 months. You can change your job after 12 months and move to a new employer, but you will need to submit a new application for an Employment Permit.

        However, some circumstances may change through no fault of the applicants, and they may be made redundant. Therefore, if you lose your job, you will need to notify the Employment Permit Section of the DETE.

        Once you inform them of the redundancy, you will have up to 6 months from the date you were made redundant to find a new job. If you cannot find a job within those 6 months, you will have to contact the immigration authorities to establish your immigration status.

        Don't let your permit expire. Ensure continuous employment with Reactivation Employment Permit renewal. Contact us today. Contact Us

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          Transfer of Undertakings

          When the organisation you currently work for (or part of it) is transferred from one employer to another, the employer (whose name is on your existing Employment Permit) must complete and submit the Transfer of Undertaking Form. The completed form can be submitted by email to

          Failure to notify the DETE of changes in circumstances (such as a job change or transfer of undertaking), it can affect your future application for permit renewal.

          Cancellation and Revocation of Reactivation Employment Permit

          The Reactivation Employment Permit may be cancelled or revoked if the applicant had not started the employment in accordance with the Employment Permit within the prescribed period beginning on the date when the Employment Permit was issued.

          How Can Total Law Help?

          Employment Permit applications can be complicated, and you must be prepared to avoid common errors to ensure your application is considered.

          Total Law is a team of professional legal advisers who are experienced in helping foreign nationals with the submission of various immigration and Employment Permits. We can help assess your eligibility for the Reactivation Employment Permit and guide you through the application process to ensure your Employment Permit is granted.

          Contact us today to learn more about our services and ways we can help with your case. Call us on +353 061 518 025 or contact us online.

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Yes, you can bring your family and dependents to live with you in Ireland after 1 year since the permit was issued.

                    If your family is from a country requiring a visa to enter Ireland, all your family members must apply for separate visas. If they don’t need a visa, they must show proof at the airport or port where they enter Ireland that they are family members of a Reactivation Employment Permit holder in Ireland.

                    Before applying for the Reactivation Employment Permit, you must have a valid residence permit, such as temporary Stamp 1 immigration permission. Thus your residency status allows you to remain in the State as an employee.

                    Please note that the Reactivation Employment Permit itself is not residency permission.

                    You can request a review of the decision to cancel or revoke your application by submitting the ROD002/18 form stating the reasons for the review request and providing additional supplementary documentation. The form, along with the documentation, can be submitted by email to