Do I need an employment permit?

If you are not resident in the European Economic Area, you’ll have to apply for an employment permit in order to legally work in Ireland.

Types of employment permits

1) Work Permit Employment Permit

A Work Permit Employment Permit is an employment permit that allows you to be employed in Ireland. All occupations are eligible unless otherwise specified. This permit allows you to be employed in a wider range of occupations than other types of permit.

2) Green Card Employment Permit

The Green Card Employment Permit is for those who are highly skilled in a qualified area and are looking at taking up permanent residency in Ireland.

3) Spousal/Dependant Employment Permit

If you get a job and a work permit, your family will be able to come with you and the Spousal/Dependent Employment Permit allows them to apply for employment in Ireland.

4) Intra-Corporate Transfer Employment Permit

The Intra-Corporate Transfer (Intra-CT) Employment Permit allows senior management, key personnel and trainees who are working in a branch of a multi-national company to transfer to the Irish branch. You’ll need to match a certain set of criteria to be eligible.  The permit may be granted for 2 years initially, and it can be extended up to 5 years.

Once you have the Intra-CT for over a year, you may apply for a Green Card or Work Permit Employment Permit from within Ireland. Applications can be made with this form.

Third Level Graduate Scheme

The Third Level Graduate Scheme allows non-EEA students who have graduated on or after 1 January 2007 with a level 7 degree to remain in Ireland for 6 months. Those with a degree at levels 8-10 can remain for 12 months. This allows them to find employment and apply for a work permit or Green Card permit.

What is a Tech Visa?

You may have heard of something called a Tech Visa. This is a name that the tech industry has given to a process by which those in the IT sector can go through the process of getting an employment permit quicker and easier than ever before.  The changes have been in effect since 10th April 2013. The employment permit application forms have been amended to reduce the amount of additional documentation you need to provide and processing times have been significantly reduced.

For IT graduates of foreign colleges and for technical or sales support roles with non EEA language requirements, the remuneration threshold is reduced from the current €30,000 to €27,000 per year in respect of employment permits applications under the Work Permits category. Ask your prospective employer if they will be able to get a Tech Visa for you.

Watch our video on how to apply for an Irish Tech Visa

How to apply for an employment permit

You need to make an application through the “Employ­ment Per­mits Sec­tion” of the Depart­ment of Jobs, Enter­prise and Innov­a­tion. All applications for employment permits are subject to qualifying criteria as specified by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. The application form for the Green Card, Work Permit and Spousal/Dependent Employment Permit is available on the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation’s website.

How much does an employment permit cost?

There’s no denying it, it’s costly but worth it. Most times your employer will pay the cost for you. If you are applying for a regular employment permit, it can cost between €500 – €1,000 depending on the length of time you want it for. There are various renewal fees to consider. A full list of fees are detailed on the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation site. There is no fee for a spousal/dependant work permit.

How can your employer help?

Should you secure a job, your employer is allowed to apply for an employment per­mit on your behalf. We would advise you to have a chat with your employer and see what works out best for you both.

Passport information

Don’t for­get that your pass­port must be valid for at least three months after the proposed expiry date of your work per­mit. If you’re apply­ing for per­man­ent res­id­ency or an unlim­ited work per­mit, your pass­port must be up to date and valid for at least 12 months.

Registering with Immigration

If you’re not an EEA or Swiss national, you’ll need to register with your local immigration officer when you arrive in Ireland. In the Dublin area, you can register at the Garda National Immigration Bureau. If you’re living elsewhere, you can register at your local Garda District Headquarters.

You will be registering for permission to stay in the country and it’ll make sure that you have the right immigration status. You’ll receive a GNIB card when you register. This does come at a price though, you’ll need to pay a registration fee of €300.

Am I free to move employer?

You’ll need to stay with your employer for 12 months if it’s your first employment permit in Ireland. After that, you’ll be able to move employer if you make a new application for a permit.

Which jobs in the tech sector are on the Highly Skilled Occupations list?

If you are qualified in any of the following areas, your chances on getting a work permit will be increased: IT/Computer Systems Managers; IT/Computer Analysts; Database Administrators/Architects; Business Process Specialists; Messaging & Communications Specialists; IT Architects; IT Security Specialists; IT Project Managers; IT Product Managers; Data Analysts; Web Developers including Social Media Specialists; IT Network Specialists; Computer Programmers; Software Engineers and Software Developers (all languages including JAVA); Application and Computer Testers; Application Developers; Computer Gaming Developers and Designers; Cloud Computing Specialists; IT Legal Specialists including IT Contract Specialists; Localisation Specialists; IT Intellectual Property Specialists; IT-Enabled Education Specialists; IT Foreign Markets Specialists and UI/UX Engineers.

Non-EEA national married to EU national

If you are a non-EEA national married to an EU national who is currently residing in Ireland, you are required to apply to the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to seek residency on that basis. You will want to get a “Stamp 4” which will mean that you won’t require an employment permit to work in Ireland.

Do I need an employment permit to attend an interview?

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service has just started a scheme called the Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation whereby you can come over to attend a job interview for a role in one of these Highly Skilled Occupations. If you are offered the job, you can stay up to 90 days in the country while your application for a work permit is being processed. This means that you won’t have the added expense of flying back into the country should you be offered the job and generally speeds up the process.

This is only running on a pilot basis at the moment, but should you find yourself lucky enough to be offered an interview for a job in the listed occupations. In order to avail of this, you must be a non-EEA national and meet all normal immigration requirements when you arrive and have proof that you have been invited to attend for interview by an employer based in Ireland.

Since this is a running on a trial basis, family and dependents are not permitted to accompany the interviewee but should the interview/employment permit application process prove to be successful, your spouse or dependent could then apply to join you.

You’ll need to have all of the necessary documents, including a passport valid for at least 12 months, an entry visa if you need one, your invitation for interview and a letter from your prospective employer detailing the job description and their contact details. You’ll also need to bring evidence that you have sufficient funds for the duration of your stay and medical insurance coverage.

Visas must be obtained in advance of travel and the invitation to attend interview must be included as a supporting document when applying for a visa. Processing a visa may take up to 8 weeks so it’s a good idea to keep this in mind when arranging a date for an interview.

I already have a Work Permit Employment Permit, can I apply for a Green Card?

Yes. You can apply for a Green Card Employment Permit if you already hold a Work Permit Employment Permit. You can contact the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation for more information.

Getting long-term residency

If you are not from the EEA, long-term migration in Ireland is available for those who have worked in Ireland for five years or more on a work permit scheme. If successful, the applicant will gain a stamp which is valid for five years. A spouse and any dependent children of the applicant can also apply for residency at the same time. Some nationalities do not need residence permits to live in Ireland.