Ireland is a great country to come to and work in. If you wish to work here or hire somebody from a non-European Economic Area (EEA), you need to apply for an Irish work permit. We specialise in helping employees and employers make successful employment permit applications to the Department of Enterprise Trade & Employment (DETE).
You should apply for a work permit at least three months before coming to Ireland. Our expert solicitors & immigration team are on hand to offer consultations via video conferencing wherever you are based to ensure you understand all of your options and select the best employment permit for your circumstances.
To speak to our immigration expert about applying for an Ireland work visa, call us now on +353 (0)1 264 5555 and we’ll be delighted to help you.
Types of Ireland Work Permits
There are various types of Irish work permits that we can help you with, but the three most common are:
General Employment Permit
A general employment permit allows non-EU citizens the right to work legally in Ireland. It covers a broad range of occupations, making it suitable for most applicants. Applicants must secure an offer of employment before applying for a general employment visa, and permits that last for up to two years.
Critical Skills Employment Permit
A critical skills permit is for a highly skilled individual who is applying for a job on the critical skills occupation list. Applicants applying for any occupation on the critical skills occupation list must receive an annual salary of more than €32,000, while occupations that are not on the list must have an average salary of over €64,000.
Industries in Ireland that have critical skills shortages range from Business, IT, Engineering, Healthcare, Science, Teaching, Sports, Media to Construction services.
Intra-company Transfer Employment Permit
The intra-company transfer employment permit allows non-EU management to come and work in the Irish branch of multinational companies.
Other types of employment permits include:
- Reactivation of employment permits
- Contact for services employment permits
- Exchange agreement employment permits
- Internship employment permits
- Sports and cultural employment permits
Either an employer or employee can apply for a work permit.
In order for an employment permit to be granted, it must be proven that an applicant possesses the skills, knowledge and qualifications to fulfil the position they are being offered and has a passport that is valid for at least six months.
For general employment permits the employer must be able to demonstrate that they were unable to secure an Irish or EU national for the role. In certain circumstances, employers are required to carry out a Labour Market Needs Test before applying for an employment permit.
There are also a number of roles that are not eligible for an Irish work permit (even when the employer cannot secure an Irish or EU national for the position). The full list of ineligible categories of employment can be found here.
An application for a work permit can only be made if a job offer has been made and a contract of employment has been signed – this must be submitted in support of the application. An employer must:
- Be registered with the Revenue Commissioners
- Have a valid employer-registered number (ERN)
- Be registered with the Company Registration Office
Any non-EU resident currently in Ireland cannot apply for a work permit from within the state and must, therefore, leave the state should they wish to apply for one.
What our clients say
Meet the team
Senior Legal Support
Senior Legal Support
Senior Legal Support
Mariana Sampaio Cambauva
Operations Manager – Immigration
We get a lot of general enquiries about Irish work permits – many of which are easily answered and don’t require our assistance. Before you get in touch with us today, please check if your query has already been answered below.
If you are unable to find an answer, and still require help with employment permit, we can help. Our quality fixed-fee service will ensure that the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Do I need to apply for a work permit?
A non-EEA national who has been granted permission to remain in Ireland on one of the following grounds does not need to apply for a work visa:
- Permission to remain as a spouse or dependant of an Irish/EEA national
- Permission to remain as the parent of an Irish citizen
- Temporary leave to remain on humanitarian grounds, having been through the asylum process
- Explicit permission from the Department of Justice and Equality to remain as a resident and employer in Ireland
- Permission to be in the state as a registered student who is permitted to work 20 hours during term time and 40 hours during holiday periods
- Permission to be in the state under the terms of the Diplomatic Relations and Immunities Act 1967, and are assigned to a mission of a country with whom the government has entered into a working dependents agreement
- Swiss nationals in accordance with the terms of the European Communities and Swiss Confederation Act 2001
All other non-EEA nationals are required to make an application for an Irish work visa.
Can you help me if I have an employment permit application refused?
We help with employment permit refusals. If you have had a work permit application refused, our experienced immigration team will help you to submit an appeal or a new application that follows all the relevant procedures and legislative requirements to ensure you stand the best chance.
Can you help with group work permit applications?
We can help you to submit group employment permit applications for your company, so you can bring employees from abroad to your business in Ireland. We have helped many multinational companies from various industries, including construction, haulage, health care and technology, to make successful group applications.
However, an employment permit will not be issued if it will result in more than 50% of a workforce being made up of non-EU/EEA nationals.
An exception to this rule is where a business is a start-up company, is within its first two years of establishment and is supported by the IDA Ireland or Enterprise Ireland.
What are the penalties of working without a relevant permit?
Under the Employment Permits Act, it is a criminal offence for a non-EU/EEA national to work without an employment permit.
Penalties, including a fine of up to €250,000 can be enforced on parties who breach regulations.
What is a Van der Elst visa?
A Van der Elst visa entitles non-EEA employees already working in an EEA member state to work for their employer in Ireland temporarily. Our immigration team can help you make an application for a Van Der Elst work permit.