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Ireland Work Visa Requirements

If you are looking to launch your career in the Republic of Ireland or relocate through your current employer into the State, then you will need an Employment Permit. Once you have a type of permit, you will then need to meet the Employment Visa requirements in order to successfully and legally reside in the country.

Give us a call on (+353) 061 518 025 to see how the Immigration Advice Service can help you secure your Irish Employment Permit and Work Visa.

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    What is the Irish Employment Visa?

    Most workers from outside the EEA must have an Ireland Employment Visa in order to have the right to live and work in the State. The amount of time granted under this route depends on the type of entry clearance and Stamp the new entrant receives when they pass through Irish border control.

    However, this visa is often perceived as one of the most complicated and convoluted routes to enter into Ireland on the basis that there are nine different permits and therefore nine different entry requirements and criterion to meet.

    Alternatively, there is also the Atypical Working Scheme, the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP), the Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP), the ‘Van der Else’ route and the Researcher Employment Visa.

    In some ways, this can be advantageous: it means there is always a back-up plan should your initial permit application fall through. There are plenty of ways to secure work in Ireland. On the other hand, without professional legal guidance, applicants run the risk of losing a lot of money by trial and error of each permit and visa type – especially since securing an Employment Permit does not guarantee a visa.


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    How do I secure an Employment Visa to Ireland?

    There is no easy one-way ticket to securing an Employment Visa to come and work in Ireland. In fact, this route is particularly difficult to go down. This is because each case and query differs from applicant to applicant, depending on your plans, personal circumstances, work experience and the type of work permit you require. If none of the nine work permits suits your circumstances, you may be eligible for a different type of Employment Visa instead.

    However, before stepping foot in Ireland or even pursuing the work visa application, there are certain steps to follow if you want to legally and successfully enter the State.

    The first is that you need to apply for what is known as ‘immigration permission to work’. This may involve securing a job offer from your prospective employer first and then receiving a work permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) or you may need to apply via the Atypical Working Scheme if you intend on working in Ireland for less than 3 months.

    Get in touch with the IAS client care team today to see how we can help you secure your Work Visa to Ireland.

    What are the nine Employment Permits?

    Obtaining an Employment Permit is unlike any other Irish immigration pathway since you must obtain your permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) before seeking immigration permission to legally enter the country.

    The nine permits you can choose from are:

    Once you have your permit or have been granted permission to work, you can then seek an Irish Employment Visa which falls under the Long Term ‘D’ Visa category.

    Get in touch with our expert immigration consultants to learn how to seek an Employment Visa to Ireland Contact us

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      What are the requirements for the Critical Skills Employment Permit?

      The Critical Skills Employment Permit is arguably the most sought-after and advantageous Irish work permit. This is because Critical Skills permit holders are able to fast-track their way to permanent residency in Ireland – before the permit itself has even expired – as the Irish state wishes to retain and encourage skilled individuals to settle in the country.

      The Critical Skills Employment Permit exists to fill severe workforce shortages in highly skilled industries that the State considers to be a lifeline and backbone to the Irish economy. Since these vocations are so vital, the Irish Embassy prioritises foreign visa applicants and actively encourages their migration into the State.

      The requirements to receive this permit include:

      • Receiving a job offer in an occupation listed in the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and earning at least €38,000 (figure correct as of January 2024; this threshold is also set to rise to €44,000 by January 2025) or;
      • Receiving a job offer in an occupation that isn’t listed on the Highly Skilled List and earning a minimum salary of at least €64,000 and;
      • Securing a 2-year job offer from his or her prospective employer

      What are the requirements for the General Employment Permit?

      Although the Critical Skills Employment Permit comes with a list of specific eligible occupations, it is not the only way to come and work in Ireland.

      In fact, most jobs are not featured on the Critical Skills List. So to welcome additional overseas talent into the State, the Irish government implemented the General Employment Permit. This permit is open to almost all other vocations in the country.  In other words, the General Permit will most likely cover your occupation unless it is otherwise specified.

      However, in order to be eligible, applicants must abide by the requirements of this permit, including:

      • Receiving a job offer from a bona fide employer that is registered with the Revenue Commissioners but that is not a job featured on the ‘Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits
      • Meeting the qualification, skill set and/or work experience required for the job
      • Earning a minimum of €34,000 (figure correct as of January 2024; this threshold is set to rise to €39,000 by January 2025)
        • Some exceptions apply to this minimum threshold, such as those who work in certain professions or with certain qualifications. In these cases, the minimum salary may be as low as €27,000.

      Only once you have received this permit can you can then begin your Work Visa application.

      What are the requirements for the Intra-Company Permit?

      The Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit is a streamlined service that allows certain important people within a multinational company to transition to its Irish branch. It is specifically designed to welcome overseas key personnel, senior management and trainees who are then permitted to stay on the foreign payroll and continue their overseas pension contributions.

      The requirements to meet this permit are:

      • Key personnel – must earn at least€46,000
      • Senior management – must earn at least €46,000
      • Personnel attending training – must earn at least €34,000

      Note that all of the above figures are correct as of January 2024. These figures are set to be raised to €53,000 for key personnel and senior management and €39,000 for trainees as of January 2025.

      Get in touch with the IAS client care team today to see how an IAS immigration expert in Ireland can help you transfer your work and possibly even your family from overseas and into Ireland.

      What are the requirements for the Exchange Agreement Employment Permit?

      This particular type of permit is designed to bring foreign nationals to Ireland to work via a prescribed agreement or through another international agreement for no longer than 2 years.

      The current agreements are:

      • AIESEC – a not-for-profit organisation run by students and recent graduates of institutions of higher education
      • The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE) – a non-governmental organisation representing academic, industrial and student interests
      • The Fulbright Programme – a bilateral agreement between Ireland and the United States

      You will have to check with The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) if you qualify for this permit via one of the reciprocal agreement schemes.

      If you wish to find out how you can relocate with your family and take up a job in Ireland, our team is here to help. Learn more

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        What is the Contract for Services Employment Permit?

        The Contract for Services Employment Permit is granted to foreign employees to come and work on an Irish contract for up to 2 years after having won a contract to provide a certain service to an Irish entity.

        The requirements to be met to receive this permit include:

        • Working for at least six months with the contractor before transferring to Ireland
        • Working in a position that is not on the Ineligible Employment Permit List

        What is the Reactivation Employment Permit?

        The Reactivation Employment Permit is only ever granted in extraordinary circumstances and on 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 ‘reactivation’ route is a form of re-permission that such an individual is granted to work legally within the country again.


        What are the requirements for the Internship Employment Permit?

        The Internship Permit is applicable to overseas students who are already enrolled in a third level institution outside of Ireland but who wish to come to the State for the purpose of gaining work experience.

        The criteria to be eligible for an Internship to Ireland are as follows:

        • You must be earning the National Minimum wage or higher when you come to the State
        • The internship and/or course of study must align with one of the vocations outlined on the Highly Skilled Occupation List
        • You must already be a full-time student who is enrolled in a third-level institution outside of Ireland with the intent of pursuing a Degree or higher

        What are the requirements for the Sport and Cultural Employment Permit?

        The Republic of Ireland takes great pride in its prestigious sports teams and its rich, cultural heritage. To welcome international talent into its ranks, the State has a specific permit that is open to international sportspersons and international cultural developers.

        To qualify for this one-of-a-kind route, eligible experts must meet the requirements which stipulate:

        • Having relevant qualifications or;
        • Having a relevant skill or;
        • Beholding unique experience or knowledge for the purpose of developing, operating and expanding the capacity of sporting and cultural activities

        The Sport and Culture Permit also requires foreign applicants to earn the National Minimum Wage when in Ireland, or higher.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The fee to apply for an Employment Visa to Ireland varies on which type of permit you are in receipt of and how long you intend on working in the State. You may need to pay for your permit as well as your actual Employment Visa.

                  Roughly, the figures for the Permits are:

                  • €1,000 up to 24 months for a General, Critical Skills, Intra-Company Transfer, Contract for Services, Reactivation, Sport and Cultural and Internship Permit
                  • €500 up to 6 months for the same above permits
                  • Free of charge for an Exchange Agreement Permit
                  • €1,500 to renew the permit from 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 – and in some circumstances, your employer in Ireland may also cover the cost of the permit or even refund you in the event that it is rejected by the Irish Visa Office.

                  Not everyone can successfully qualify for an Employment Permit.

                  Fortunately, the Irish State opens its gates wide enough to allow eligible and skilled workers from all backgrounds and vocations into the country via alternative visa routes.

                  Generally, most dependents, partners and spouses of workers who hold a Critical Skills Employment Permit are able to enter and live in the Republic of Ireland with their loved one. In most circumstances, they will be able to access the labour market without an Employment Permit.

                  However, for all other Employment Permit holders and Researchers, their partners and children may be able to come to the State but may be barred from employment without first securing an approved Permit.

                  The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is open to business people from outside the EEA who are hoping to make a significant investment into the Irish economy.

                  The scheme offers four investment routes for potential investors:

                  • Enterprise Investment – involves investing €1 million into an Irish enterprise for a period of at least 3 years
                  • Investment Fund – involves investing €1 million in an approved investment fund for at least 3 years that has been approved by the Central Bank
                  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT) – involves investing at least €2 million in any listed Irish REIT on the Irish Stock Exchange for at least 3 years
                  • Endowment – Involves a €500,000 philanthropic donation to a project that is beneficial to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland

                  The money to be invested must be from the applicant’s own resources and not financed through a loan or other such facility

                  The advantage of securing an Investor Visa allows investors and their immediate family members to enter Ireland as they please and enter in the State for up to five years before needing to seek a renewal.

                  The Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) is applicable to budding entrepreneurs who originate from outside the European Economic Area who hold an innovative and unique business idea that would generously bring business to Ireland.

                  To meet the criteria, you must:

                  • Introduce a new or innovative product or service to international markets that is less than five years old
                  • Be able to invest at least €50,000 to come and set up a business in Ireland
                  • Be involved in manufacturing or internationally traded services
                  • Be able to create at least 10 new jobs in Ireland
                  • Make €1 million in sales within three to four years of starting up
                  • Be led by an experienced management team
                  • Be headquartered and controlled in Ireland

                  The Van Der Elst route is a status that is granted to an employee who is already working in the EEA or Switzerland but has been sent to work in Ireland for up to 1 year.

                  This status often does not require a permit to work in Ireland. However, it does require following all other Irish immigration procedures which may include securing a visa if you originate from outside the EU.

                  The advantage is that foreign and non-EU workers may be able to work in Ireland without actually securing a permit.

                  To qualify as a scientific researcher, applicants will need a hosting agreement. A hosting agreement lasts throughout the duration of the employment contract and even allows successful applicants to bring their loved ones and family members to Ireland with them. After two years under the hosting agreement, the researcher can then apply for residency otherwise known as Stamp 4 permission.

                  This route grants academic researchers from outside the EEA the opportunity to come and work in an accredited institution in Ireland.

                  However, you must first secure an Irish visa to enter the country. To do this you must submit a copy of your employment contract.

                  The Immigration Advice Service has a wide range of packages for you to choose from. Each service can be tailored to suit your individual needs.

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