Ireland Work Permit Information

The Ireland work permit allows you to legally live and work within the State for a specified period of time. To be eligible, you must be considered a visa national (Ie. You are not exempt from immigration control).  

You can request your permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI), however, it may be best that you receive a job offer first before submitting your work permit application. 

There are nine employment permits in Ireland that are available all year round. These include: 

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

What is the difference between a Work Permit and an Ireland Employment Visa? 

It is crucial you identify the differences between the Ireland Work Permit scheme and the Ireland Employment Visa as these two types of permissions vary in application processes and are issued by two different authorities. 

Whether you are a non-visa national or not, to legally enter Ireland you must apply for an Employment Visa. You will need this form of entry permission to bypass the border where an immigration officer will assess your credentials and information.  

To apply for an Employment Visa, you will need to prove you are who you say you are. The identity criteria can be satisfied by submitting 2 colour passport-sized images of yourself that are no more than 6 months old. You must also provide your current valid passport as well as a full copy of any other previous passports. In addition, you should submit a signed letter in your application which outlines your name, address and any other vital personal information and contact details. 

You will also be required to provide evidence of your prospective employment in Ireland. This can be your Work Permit that has been granted by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation as well as your employment contract. It may be beneficial to submit a letter from your prospective employer in Ireland too which details the job you will be performing, the salary you have been offered and whether you are receiving any supplementary benefits such as paid-for accommodation whilst in Ireland. 

To be successful in the Employment Visa process, you will need to apply in advance for medical and travel insurance which covers your length of stay in Ireland. You are required to submit evidence of this within your Visa application.  

Finally, you will need to prove that you will be self-sufficient when you are in the State. Most applicants can prove this by submitting a recent bank statement (within the last 6 months) which outlines your savings account. The State wants to ensure that you will not need additional financial support when you come to live and work in Ireland, so anything that can support this claim will be beneficial.  

The General Employment Work Permit 

The General Employment Work Permit is the most common avenue that foreign workers seek to come and work in Ireland. To be successful for this permit, you must be fulfilling a labour shortage in the State – I.e., a job that is short of skills and staff. 

You can receive this type of permit providing you have been offered a 12-month contract with a minimum annual salary of €30,000.  

What is the Critical Skills Employment Permit? 

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is one of the most sought-after work permits to the State. However, the application process is rigorous and complex as the permit is only granted to ‘high value’ individuals. A high value migrant is someone who can offer a specific set of skills to the State and where the State may be in shortage of workers. Occupations vary from time to time and fluctuate depending on the job market.  

Generally speaking, however, ICT professionals, engineers and technologists are always in short supply. 

How to apply for a Work Permit 

To apply for a Work Permit, you need to accept a job offer from an employer in Ireland. Your prospective employer must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners. Your application must be received within at least 12 weeks before you start your new job.  

 What a Work Permit allows you to do is remain in the State without facing any immigration restrictions. However, how long you can stay in Ireland largely depends upon your individual permit, which is granted on a case-by-case basis. Generally speaking, you should receive a work permit that lasts for 2 years. After 2 years, you can then renew the permit for a further 3 years. 

Alternatively, once you have accumulated five years of ‘reckonable residence’ in Ireland, you can switch onto a more permanent status. You can apply for permanent residency after only five years under an Employment Visa and Work Permit. 

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