What is a work visa for Ireland?
In order to enter Ireland to work, you are required to first obtain an Irish Employment Visa. The Irish Employment visa is under the Long Term ‘D’ Visa category and the official document that grants you permission to live and work in the country.
For this visa and to get immigration permission to work, you require a contract from any employer in Ireland or a valid job offer. To be accepted, it should be in a highly skilled position or one where there’s a shortage of skill in Ireland. There are nine Irish employment permits, all of which have varied requirements.
Do UK Citizens require work visas in Ireland?
Due to the long-standing Common Travel Area Agreement, UK Nationals do not require a work visa or any visa type for the matter in order to obtain a job in Ireland. The Common Travel Area Agreement states that a British or Irish citizen can move, live, work, do unpaid voluntary work, study and travel in each other’s countries without restrictions! This means that Irish citizens also do not require a UK work visa or a work permit to work in the UK.
Per immigration rules, any British or Irish citizen travelling to the other country should do so with their valid passport so the immigration officer is aware of your rights as a citizen of your home country.
However, if you call the UK home but are not a UK national, and are living there by way of a UK work visa, student visa, or some other work visa, and you are not a national of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, you will need to apply for the Employment Visa to enter Ireland for work.
What are the eligibility requirements for the Employment Visas?
As mentioned, there are 9 different employment permits so the process of obtaining an Employment visa to Ireland depends on your specific circumstances.
All nine of the employment visa types require that the applicant first secures a job offer or employment contract. Once that is secured, an applicant applies for immigration permission to work with the government department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI) and then apply for your visa. Applicants can apply online for their applicable work visas.
What are the nine permits and their requirements?
As mentioned, getting an Employment Permit requires you first to obtain your permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) before seeking immigration permission to legally enter Ireland.
The nine permits are:
- The General Employment Permit
- The Critical Skills Employment Permit
- The Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
- Reactivation Employment Permit
- Contract for Services and Employment Permit
- Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
- Exchange Agreement Employment Permit
- Internship Employment Visa
- Sports person and Cultural Employment Permit
Below will discuss a few of the requirements for the work visas.
The General Employment Permit
The General Employment Permit covers a large majority of jobs in Ireland. The general employment visa permit requirements are:
- Your potential, licensed employer must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners
- The job cannot be on the “Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits” list
- You must meet the skill set, hold the necessary qualifications and work experience required for the job
- The job’s minimum salary needs to be €34,000 (figure correct as of January 2024; this threshold is set to rise to €39,000 by January 2025), which can be reduced in exceptional circumstances, depending on personal or financial information.
The Critical Skills Employment Permit
One of the main benefits of this critical skills permit is that you can easily become an Irish permanent resident with this employment permit.
This permit is for a skilled job in highly-skilled industries with significance to the Irish economy.
Requirements for this employment visa permit include:
- The job offer must be for a minimum period of 2 years
- The roles must be for a highly skilled occupation with a minimum salary of €38,000 (figure correct as of January 2024; this threshold is set to rise to €44,000 by January 2025) or a non-highly skilled occupation with a minimum salary of €64,000
The Intra-Company Permit
The Intra-company employment permit is reserved for skilled workers in a multinational company to work for their overseas employer in Ireland. This permit is for people considered personnel or senior managers in the company and also trainees.
To qualify you must meet the following requirements:
- You must earn a minimum of €46,000 as a key personnel (rising to €53,000 by January 2025)
- You must earn a minimum of €46,000 as a senior manager (rising to €53,000 by January 2025)
- You must earn a minimum of €34,000 as a personnel attending training (rising to €39,000 by January 2025)
The Reactivation Employment Permit
The Reactivation Employment Permit is only ever given in extraordinary circumstances and rare occasions.
It applies only to overseas nationals who have already worked in Ireland but who have fallen through the system through no fault of their own. This would include being mistreated or exploited in the workplace, divorcing or separating from your partner or seeking low-paid employment that would not fall under the General Employment Permit route.
The Sportsperson and Cultural Employment Permit
This permit is interchangeable with talent visas as this work visa is open to international sportspersons and international cultural developers.
To qualify an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Hold the relevant qualifications
- Hold a relevant skill
- Have unique experience or knowledge for the purpose of developing, operating and expanding the capacity of sporting and cultural activities in Ireland
What is the cost of the work visas?
The costs for an Employment Visa to Ireland depend on which work visa you get and if you will be a temporary worker or a long term worker.
While the fees will vary, the estimates for work visas are as follows, as determined by the relevant government department in Ireland:
- €1,000 up to 24 months for a General, Critical Skills, Intra-Company Transfer, Contract for Services, Reactivation, Sportsperson and Cultural and Internship Permit or €500 for up to 6 months
- Exchange Agreement Permit has no charge
- €1,500 to renew a work visa for six months and up to 36 months
The fees per visa costs:
- Single entry (valid for 90 days) €60
- Long Stay ‘D’ Visa (valid for over 90 days) €60
- Multi entry €100
- Transit €25
However, not all applicants are required to pay the visa fee.
Sometimes, your Irish employer will cover the fee of the permit or even refund you.
How Can Total Law Help?
The Employment visa is considered to be one of the most complicated ways to enter Ireland due to the fact there are nine different permits, which means nine different entry requirements and criteria. To avoid disappointment, we suggest you work closely with our Total Law team.
Total Law is a trusted group of accredited and qualified lawyers who will be there to guide you every step of the way – from the starting stages, including picking the right work visa for your situation to helping with the application and ensuring you acquire the correct documents and submit a solid application.
We are available seven days a week and will ensure you are happy with the results of our work. You may call us on 0333 305 9375, or contact us online seven days a week via our live chat.
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With the Critical Skills Employment Permits, family members may join you in Ireland. In this case, family members are defined as dependents: civil partners, spouses and children under 18. With this permit, family members can work without a permit.
Other employment permit holders’ dependents may join them in Ireland but they won’t be permitted to work without an individual work permit.
Yes, Ireland offers the following visa routes for workers:
- Work for 14 days or less for a job/internship
- Working holiday for young people to enter Ireland for 1 year
- Accountant trainee
- Fishing fleet crew member
- Visiting academic professor at a university
- Work under the Third Level Graduate Programme
People in Ireland on this work visa are not allowed to take up another form of employment, other than that for which they have already been approved.
Yes, the Employment Permit Legislation allows for a refund of 90% of any fees paid in respect of refused or withdrawn applications. The applicant must submit a completed mandate form to our offices and provide a valid bank account. Should an applicant fail to submit the required mandate form within a set period of time, only one reminder will be issued from the Employment Permits Section. It takes approximately 4 weeks for a refund to reach bank accounts, from the time we receive the fully completed mandate form.