Are you thinking about moving to Ireland or considering re-locating here to work but unsure of the Visa requirements?

Visa’s can be very confusing so we have tried to make it as simple; yet in-depth; as possible, covering the various different types of visas and work permits available in Ireland.

Right to work in Ireland?

Citizens of the EU/EEA are part of a single market that allows freedom to live and work in other member states without restriction (no visa requirements). Switzerland has an agreement that extends the single market to include it, though it is not part of the EEA.

Most often, citizens of countries in the single market do not need a visa or other special permission to come to or stay in Ireland.

There are 28 countries in the European Union.

The EEA is composed of all EU members states as well as the following:

If you are a member of the EU/EEA you are free to apply for any job vacancy – See all open roles HERE!

Non-EEA Nationals:

The employment of all non-EEA nationals in Ireland is governed by the Employment Permits Acts 2003 – 2014.

Under this legislation all non-EEA nationals require a valid employment permit in order to work in Ireland.

Alternatively, if you are granted the relevant immigration permission from the Minister for Justice and Equality; this allows you to reside and work in Ireland without the requirement for an employment permit.

All applications are processed in line with this legislation and are dependent on a job offer from an employer who is based in Ireland and who is registered with the Office of the Revenue Commissioners.

How to Apply for a Visa?

Step 1: Check if you need an Irish Visa

Click the below link to find out what you need to enter Ireland based on your nationality.

Step 2: Apply for Immigration permission to stay in Ireland (if you are a non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss citizen) for longer than 3months.

Step 3: (if applicable) After you receive permission to work, apply for a long stay Employment Permit (as per below).

What Visa Should you Apply For?

Under the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014 there are 9 different employment permits

  1. General Employment Permit

The General Employment Permit allows non-EU citizens to legally work in Ireland; granted in respect of a 12 month contract of employment.

This permit is only granted to applicants with a job offer from an employer who is registered and trading in Ireland.

To qualify for this permit, generally remuneration must be above €30,000 (in exceptional cases, work permits may be considered where the remuneration is less than €30,000.)

A General Employment Permit can be issued for an initial period of two years and can then be renewed for up to a further three years.

Occupations of which an employment permit may not be granted  are those on the Ineligible Categories of Employment List

A Labour Market Needs Test is required in most cases.

Spouses, dependants or partners of General Employment Permit holders are not eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit and must apply for a separate employment permit in their own right.

The fee for an application is €1,000 for an employment permit from 6 months to 24 months duration.

  1. Critical Skills Employment Permit

The Critical Skills Employment Permit (previously known as the Green Card Permit for Ireland) allows highly skilled workers to work in Ireland in an occupation where there are skills shortages.

This employment permit is granted for an initial 2 year period; which can be renewed indefinitely.

To qualify for this permit, remuneration must be above €60,000 or; for a restricted number of occupations (on the Highly Skilled Occupations List) with remuneration of between €30,000 and €59,999.

You must provide evidence that you have the required qualifications, skills and experience for the position, and the position must be for at least two years.

There is no requirement for a labour market needs test due to the fact that these skills are in short supply.

The fee for an application is €1,000.

Permit holder are eligible to apply for immediate family reunification and therefore once their Spouses, dependants or partners are residing in Ireland, they are eligible to seek employment / eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

  1. Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

The Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit allows the spouse, dependants and civil partners of a primary permit holder (of a Critical Skilled Visa or Researchers) to apply for an employment permit to work in Ireland.

There is no requirement for a labour market needs test.

The application is free of charge.

  1. Reactivation Employment Permit

Reactivation Employment Permits allow foreign citizens; of whom entered Ireland on a valid employment permit but, fell out of the system through no fault of their own or have been badly treated or exploited in the workplace, to work again.

In order to initially apply for this visa, applicants must apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service for permission to remain in Ireland for the purpose of making an application (stamp 1)

Click the above link for  the eligibility criteria & guidelines for this permit.

There are various other types of employment permits:

This permit is designed for foreign undertaking (Contractor) has won a contract to provide services to an Irish entity. This permit facilitates the transfer of non-EEA employees to work on an Irish contract in Ireland while remaining on an employment contract outside the State.

Generally, a labour market needs test is required.

This permit allows the transfer of senior management, key personnel or trainees (who are non-EEA nationals) working in an oversees branch of a multi-national company; to transfer to the Irish branch.

Senior management and key personnel must be earning at least €40,000 a year; while trainees must be earning at least €30,000 a year) and have been working for the company for a minimum of 6 months (one month if a trainee).

This permit facilitates the employment of foreign nationals who are full time students; enrolled in third level institutions outside of Ireland; for the purpose of work experience.

These permits can only issue for a maximum period of 12 months and are non-renewable

This permit allows the employment of foreign nationals who possess relevant skills, qualifications, experience or knowledge for the development, operation and capacity of sporting and cultural activities.

This permit facilitates the employments of foreign nationals in the State under prescribed agreements or other international agreements to which the State is a party.

For criteria eligibility – please click the above link.

Finding a job in Ireland:

If you are moving or re-locating to Ireland, finding a job is going to be one of your top priorities – do some research into the opportunities available here, and ensure there are no restrictions to prevent you from working here.

All employers who want to employ non-EEA nationals (i.e. those who need an employment permit) must be registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration Office (CRO).

NOTE: The employer must employ you directly in a permanent role (this would not be the case with temp roles) – this means that applications from recruitment agencies, agents, intermediaries or companies who intend to outsource or subcontract you to work in another company are not accepted.

Servisource Recruitment (powered by Recruit Island) are a recruitment agency and therefore will not provide you with / cannot apply for a visa on your behalf.

Employment Permit FAQs:

** Please Note that Servisource Recruitment are not visa specialists and information within this article has been obtained from various Government Websites; as follows:

  • Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation:
  • Department of Justice and Equality :
  • Citizens information :

Article Written By:
Donna Farrell

2 thoughts on “What are the Visa Requirements to Work in Ireland?

  1. My name is Sajan jose, from prosperous. This is for my sister Sajini joseph, she is a nurse, please advice me to get a work permit. Thank you

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