Employment Scientific Researcher Visa Overview
This employment visa is an immigration scheme that allows third-country researchers to work (research) in Ireland without needing an employment permit.
In partnership with the Irish Universities Association, the Department of Justice, and the European Union, the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation developed the researcher immigration scheme in 2007. The purpose is to create a European research area – research, innovation, and technology EU market.
A researcher immigration scheme enables research institutes to access and employ talented researchers for a period. Before hiring researchers from other nations, research institutions must be accredited for the Hosting Agreement scheme.
Accredited institutes are universities and higher education institutions.
As a researcher, you must have an employment contract to access the hosting agreement scheme. The contract must be for at least three months. Unlike other employment visas, you do not need to take the Labour Market Needs Test.
What Is a Hosting Agreement Scheme?
A hosting agreement is a fast-track work permit that enables recruitment and quick visa processing of non-EEA research experts for Research and Development (R&D) projects. It is an immigration permission to work or carry out a research project in Ireland.
A hosting agreement allows you to travel with your family members, or they can join you through a join family visa. They get to stay for as long as your contract stands. Your spouse or de-facto partner can also work without a work permit.
After two years of holding hosting agreement permission, you can apply for Stamp 4 immigration permission. Stamp 4 lets you switch sectors and employers without an employment permit. You can apply for long-term residency with the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS).
Only academic research staff are eligible for hosting agreements, especially Research Assistants and Research Fellows.
Eligibility Requirement for Hosting Agreements
The criteria for eligibility are:
- You must be an academic researcher.
- You must have a means of subsistence.
- You must earn at least €23,181 or €30,000 if you have dependents.
- You must have an employment contract with an accredited research institute in Ireland.
What Documents Do I Need for Hosting Agreements?
The following are essential for documentation:
- Application letter.
- Proof of finance.
- Duplicate of hosting agreement.
- Duplicate of your employment contract.
- Two recent passport photographs.
- Letter of visa refusal (if any).
- Medical insurance.
Get a Research Job
You must have an employment contract before applying for an entry visa. Ensure that the organisation you apply to is accredited to host third-country researchers. Visit Euraxess to apply for hosting job openings. If the organisation finds you eligible or suitable for the position, its Human Resources Department will process your hosting agreement and contract.
The organisation will reach out to you to fill out a Hosting Agreement application form; ensure to fill it out accurately and submit it via the recommended channel.
Next, you will get an electronic copy of your contract and hosting Agreement for your signature and passport (in electronic form). After submitting the copies, the organisation will submit them to the Irish Universities Association for consideration and approval.
If the Irish Universities Association approves your application, the organisation will send you a hard copy of your hosting agreement and employment contract for final signature. The next thing to do is to apply for an entry visa.
Download the Application Form
The application process is online through AVATS. Download and complete the application form. Once you complete the form, print it, sign it, and date it. The form will indicate the channel of submission. Submit it with all supporting documents.
Pay Your Visa Fee
Pay the appropriate fee required for your application process. The fees are €60 for a single entry and €100 for a multi-entry. Certain countries and persons are exempted from paying visa fees.
Register Your Hosting Agreement
Register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau local office when you enter Ireland for a residence permit. You will get a GNIB registration card after registration. The registration costs €300.
Prepare Your Documents for Visa Application
You need to apply for a long-stay visa (more than 90 days) for Scientific Researchers. You must provide documents that prove your eligibility.
You have to submit an application letter that indicates your:
- Contact information.
- Purpose of migration to Ireland.
- Duration of stay.
- Information of family members in one of the EU member states, including Ireland (if any).
- Intended or acquired legal residence.
- Undertaking to adhere to all visa conditions, not to be a liability to the state and leave Ireland when your permission expires.
Proof of Finance
As proof of finance, you must present a recent bank statement. The account should have consistent transactions for the past six months.
The statement can be on headed paper or an internet copy. It should indicate your:
- Account number.
- Account type.
You must provide information about your statement showing a large deposit. Note that your internet statement must be certified by your bank.
If your statement is a deposit or savings account, you must present a confirmation letter from your bank affirming you can withdraw money from the account.
If your employer (host) is financing your stay in Ireland, you must present details and proof of the funding.
Medical or Travel Insurance
You will need to present proof of medical or travel insurance to the immigration officer upon arrival at the port of entry in Ireland.
You do not necessarily need to submit proof of medical or travel insurance with your application. However, it is advisable to have it handy if the immigration officer requests further information before deciding.
Print your name and visa application reference number on your passport photograph. It is necessary to adhere to the photo specification and rules.
Have copies of your contract and hosting agreement.
Have the original copy of your visa refusal ready if you have been denied a visa in any country.
You must attach translated copies if your documents are not in English or Irish. Each copy must indicate the date of translation and the translator’s:
- Confirmation of the accuracy of translation with the original copy.
- Full name.
- Contact information.
You may need to present additional information or documentation on request.
What is the Processing Time?
Application processing time may take eight weeks, depending on the application volume and country. You can start calculating the processing time from the date you submit your application at the visa office, embassy or consulate.
Other situations that can delay your application processing include incomplete documentation, document verification, and issues like criminal convictions.
Your ability to convince a hosting organisation and the Visa Officer that you are suitable for the Hosting Agreement Scheme is key to a successful application process. IAS is grounded in the Irish immigration system and has the expertise to assist you.
Last modified on June 17th, 2023 at 12:45 pm
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