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Ireland Work Visa Requirements

Working in Ireland as a non-EU/EEA citizen entails a complicated application process that requires individuals to obtain one of several available employment permits, before qualifying for an employment visa. As there are several available work permits, prospective applicants must understand their differences and which permit they may be eligible for.

If you or a loved one are planning to apply for an Irish work visa or have any other questions about employment-based emigration to Ireland, you can call us today at +353 061 518 025. Our friendly team of experts at Total Law is highly experienced in Ireland visa applications and can help you select the right work permit for your circumstances.

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    Applying for an Ireland Employment Visa

    Your path and eligibility towards an Ireland employment visa largely rely on your circumstances, job offer, and qualification/skillsets. In general, if you are a non-EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, and if your country is on the visa-required list for Ireland, you will need an employment visa to work in the State. To do so, you will need to first obtain one of the nine available work permits which are required for work-based visa applications. If your country is on the visa-exempt list, you will only need an employment permit to work in Ireland.

    Employment Permits

    While the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment offers several different permits, your eligibility will depend on your circumstances, the type of  offered employment, as well as any specific qualifications or skillsets that may be deemed desirable assets for the continued growth of the Irish economy.

    At a glance, these are the 9 Irish employment permits currently available:

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

    Once you have decided which permit might suit you and are ready, you can visit the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) to start your application, Here you will be able to upload the documentation required for your specific permit, pay your fee, and submit your application.

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    The Visa Application Process

    When your work permit has been granted, you will need to access the AVATS Online Application Facility and fill out your visa application form, before printing it, signing it, and submitting it to your local Irish Embassy, Consulate, Visa Office, or Visa Application Centre. The form will ask you to submit your personal details as well as reasons for travelling to Ireland and proposed employment. You will also be asked to provide specific documentation as evidence.

    Documents Required for Work Visa Application

    The supporting documents required for Ireland work visa applications will depend on your specific circumstances. In general, you should provide evidence of your identity, employment offer, payment details, and employer. You will need to have access to a scanner or camera to produce

    In general, you will need:

    • The biometric page of your valid passport, clearly showing your picture, passport number and date of birth
    • Details of any previous passports
    • Two passport-style photographs (in colour and no older than 6 months)
    • A signed letter of application stating your personal details and reasons for coming to Ireland
    • Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself
    • A clear copy of your current immigration stamp and visa (if applicable) or previous visas
    • A signed employment contract
    • Contact details for your employer
    • A statement from the Revenue Commissioners showing your employer’s monthly statutory returns from the last 3 months before your application
    • Details of Qualifications, skills, or experience
    • Any additional documents pertaining to your individual circumstances

    Be aware that applications for work permits will require additional documentation, depending on the permit you are applying for. Apart from personal information and your employment, you will have to prove your qualifications/ skills and might need to show proof that you have an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher to prove your English proficiency. You will also need to show the outcomes of the Labour Market Needs Test for your employment offer (not applicable for CSEP).

    Application Fees

    While the total costs for obtaining your Ireland employment visa and work permit may depend on your specific situation, the following are the expected costs for visa processing and permit applications.

    Visa Processing Fees:

    • Single entry: €60
    • Multiple entry: €100
    • Transit: €25

    Permit Processing Fees:

    • Up to 6 months: €500
    • Between 6 and 24 months: €1,000

    You will need a valid debit or credit card to make this payment.

    Note that while the visa processing fees are non-refundable in case your application gets rejected, you will be refunded 90% of your permit fees if no permit is granted.

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      Work Permit Application Deadlines

      You must submit your work permit application at least 12 weeks before your employment is supposed to start. Once you have started your application, you will have 28 days to complete it.

      For permits requiring a Labour Market Needs Test, a EURES ad needs to have been published for at least 28 days before a valid permit application can be submitted.

      You will have 30 days to complete your visa application form after starting.

      Work Visa Restrictions

      Holders of an Irish work permit will need to continue to meet their visa conditions. As permits are issued based on specific employment circumstances, permit holders will not be able to seek any different employment than the one specified.

      Ireland work visas have a limited duration of validity. It will be your responsibility to renew your permit before it runs out (if applicable) or leave the state when your permit has ended.

      After You Have Applied

      Applications for work permits are processed in the order they are received, so wait times may vary. You will receive emails informing you of the current processing state once you have submitted your application and will be informed when a decision has been made.

      You should note that a work permit is not an Irish residence permit. An immigration officer will conduct standard immigration control procedures and check your visa permission before you can enter Ireland. You will need to register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau as soon as possible to get your immigration permission.

      Speak to our legal team today so they can help you with obtaining a work visa of Ireland. Contact Us

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        Requirements for Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)

        Overview

        The Critical Skills Employment Permit seeks to encourage global workers with specific skills to move to Ireland and fill shortages in certain highly skilled positions. As workers with qualifying skills are deemed highly valuable for the continued growth of the Irish economy, eligible workers are offered Several incentives:

        • Skip the Labour Market Needs Test
        • Fast track to permanent residency in Ireland
        • Ability to petition the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for immediate family reunification.

        Requirements

        Applicants for a Critical Skills Employment Permit will be assessed based on several criteria including their skills and qualifications, offered employment type, and proposed salary. In general, applicants will need to secure a 2-year employment offer that meets the following requirements:

        • Offers a minimum annual salary of €38,000 for a position recognised on the Critical Skills Occupations List (as of January 2024; this is set to rise to €44,000 by January 2025)
        • Offers a minimum annual salary of €64,000 for a position not recognised on the Critical Skills Occupation List

        Additionally, applicants will need to show proof of relevant qualifications, skills, and experience.

        Requirements for General Employment Permit

        Overview

        The General Employment Permit differentiates itself from the Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) in that it is not limited to specific work sectors eligible under the Critical Skills List. It is open to a wide range of occupations and may be obtained for a 12-month employment contract at minimum.

        General Employment Permits are usually issued for an initial 2-year period and may be renewed once to reach a total maximum of 5 years, after which permit holders may petition the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) for long-term residency.

        Requirements

        Applicants will need to hold an employment offer that meets the following criteria:

        • The employer must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners
        • The offered position must not feature on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits
        • The applicant must have adequate qualifications, skill sets, or experience for the offered position
        • The offered position must pay a minimum annual salary of €34,000 (rising to €39,000 by January 2025) which may rarely be lowered given specific circumstances

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          Requirements for Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

          Overview

          Dependants and recognised partners, civil partners, or spouses of Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders may apply for permission to work in Ireland under a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit. Eligible individuals may apply free of charge and will be able to seek any form of occupation apart from that of domestic operative, as long as payment meets the National Minimum Wage requirements.

          Requirements

          To qualify for this permit, applicants must:

          • Be recognised as a dependent of a primary permit holder or researcher by the Department of Justice and Equality
          • Have resided in the state continuously since entering
          • Live with the primary permit holder
          • Not be in full-time education

          Applicants will require a letter from the primary permit holder’s employer confirming their continued employment and job title. This letter must be dated within 3 months of the dependant’s permit application.

          Additionally, the primary permit holder must continue to meet the terms of their Employment Permission or Hosting Agreement and have a valid Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) or residential permission under their Hosting Agreement (Scheme for Admissions of Third Country Researchers to Ireland).

          Ineligibility

          Non-EEQ dependents/partners/or spouses of Irish nationals, EU nationals or non-EEA nationals with employment permits other than a CSEP permit will not be eligible for a Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.

          If you or a loved one meet these conditions, you should contact the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

          You can also call Total Law at  +353 061 518 025 to get immediate advice on your options from one of our Ireland immigration specialists.

          Requirements for Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit

          Overview

          The Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit simplifies the transfer of foreign senior management, key personnel, or trainees to the Irish branch of a multinational company. It allows workers to stay on the foreign payroll and continue their overseas pension contributions while temporarily working in Ireland.

          Requirements

          Eligible transfers are subject to minimum annual income requirements:

          • Senior Management: €46,000 (rising to €53,000 by January 2025)
          • Key Personnel: €46,000 (rising to €53,000 by January 2025)
          • Trainees: €34,000 (rising to €39,000 by January 2025)

          Our team of legal experts can help you obtain an Irish work permit. Contact Us

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            Requirements for Contract for Services Employment Permit

            Overview

            The Contract for Services Employment Permit allows foreign contractors to provide services to an Irish employer. Once granted a permit, the contractor will be able to work for the Irish entity for a maximum of 2 years after having won the contract.

            Requirements

            Contractors seeking this permit must be recognised by the Revenue Commissioners as an employer and be listed with the Companies Registration Office, if applicable.

            The individual worker must:

            • Have worked with the contractor for a minimum of 6 months before transferring to Ireland
            • Work in a sector not included on the Ineligible Employment Permit List

            Requirements for Internship Employment Permit

            Overview

            The Internship Employment Permit offers an opportunity for non-EEA nationals who are in full-time education in a foreign third-level institution to seek employment in the Irish Republic to gain work experience in specific high-skill sectors. Internship-based work permits may be issued for a maximum of 12 months and cannot be renewed.

            This permit may be applied to by the student or their employer on the student’s behalf. If successful, the permit will be issued for the foreign student and a certified copy sent to the employer.

            Requirements

            To qualify for an Internship Employment Permit, applicants must currently be enrolled in a course of study that requires an internship in the proposed area of work.

            Additionally, the internship programme must:

            • Meet the National Minimum Wage requirements
            • Relate to employment sectors featured on the Critical Skills Occupations List
            • Provide training pertaining to the skill shortages laid out in the Critical Skills Occupations List

            The student is expected to return to their educational institution to complete their studies once the internship has finished.

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              Requirements for Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

              Overview

              The Exchange Agreement Employment Permit allows non-EEA nationals to come to Ireland as part of specific programmes:

              • AIESEC: A global, non-political student-run non-profit encouraging young people to explore their potential
              • The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience: A non-political and non-governmental organisation representing academic, industrial, and student interests
              • The Fullbright Programme: An agreement between the US and Ireland offering grants to study, teach, and undertake research abroad
              • The Bord Bia Exchange Agreement: An exchange agreement between St Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, and University College, Cork, involving the exchange of international food marketing students for work experience
              • The Vulcanus in Europe Programme: A scheme offering European work and language training opportunities to Japanese students of engineering, science, and technology.

              Requirements

              Applicants who qualify under one of these programmes will need to have adequate qualifications, skills, or knowledge to qualify for their employment. Additionally, their salary must meet National Minimum Wage requirements.

              Most employment permits under these exchange programmes cover a maximum of 12 months and cannot be renewed.

              Requirements for Sport and Cultural Employment Permit

              Overview

              The Sport and Cultural Employment Permit allows foreign nationals with exceptional qualifications, skills, knowledge or experience in sports or cultural activities to come to Ireland.

              Successful applicants will be expected to stay with their employer for at least 12 months and up to 2 years unless the contract is seasonal.

              Requirements

              Applicants for a Sport and Cultural Employment Permit will be assessed on their individual skills, qualifications, or outstanding experience/knowledge in operating, developing, and expanding the potential of sporting and cultural activities.

              The applicant’s employment offer must meet the National Minimum Wage requirements.

              If you have any questions about work visa for Irish, our team is happy to assist. Contact Us

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                Requirements for Reactivation Employment Permit

                Overview

                The Reactivation Employment Permit is reserved for rare circumstances where a foreign national has already worked in Ireland but lost status in the system to no fault of their own.

                Requirements

                Causes for the loss of status that may be eligible for a Reactivation Employment Permit may include exploitation or other mistreatment in the workplace, divorce or separation from a primary permit holder, or seeking work that does not meet the minimum income threshold of the General Employment Permit.

                Applicants must first petition the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) for permission to be in Ireland for the purpose of applying for a Reactivation Employment Permit.

                How Can Total Law Help?

                Ireland employment visas entail one of the more complex application processes out there, due to the many different permits that are available. To ensure a successful application and avoid possible delays that might interfere with the intended start date of your employment, it is important that you understand which permit you may qualify for and how to gather all the required documentation.

                Our specialists at Total Law are experienced in the complicated processes of Irish visa applications and will be happy to guide you through this complicated journey. You can call us today at +353 061 518 025 for immediate help with your application or if you have any additional questions.

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                          FAQ

                          No. Irish work permits are offered based on the specific employment details you have provided and you will not be able to seek different employment while remaining under status unless otherwise specified.

                          Yes, IELTS is required for certain Ireland work visas and you will have to prove your qualifications/ skills and might need to show proof that you have an IELTS score of 6.0 or higher to prove your English proficiency.

                          Depending on the permit you have been granted you may or may not be able to apply for your family to join you. CSEP holders will be able to do so faster, while family members and dependents of Sport and Cultural Employment Permit holders will need to apply for their visa independently.