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Irish Work Permit

In general, non-EEA nationals must have an employment permit to work in Ireland. EEA and Swiss nationals do not need an employment permit. Under the Employment Permits Acts 2003–2014 there are 9 types of employment permit including a General Employment Permit, (which have replaced the work permit and Green Card permit respectively) a Critical Skills Employment Permit (for highly skilled workers )and a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit. You can read about other types of permit in our overview document on employment permits. Either the prospective employee or prospective employer should apply for the permit. If an employment permit is refused for you, ask for an internal review within 21 days of being notified of a refusal.

Employers wanting to employ people who need employment permits have to meet certain requirements – they must be legally trading in Ireland – this means they must be registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) if the employer is a company (for further details click here). Furthermore, the employer must employ you directly, which 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. Employees who have employment permits are obliged to abide by the immigration rules. This means that you may need a visa in order to come here and you must register with the immigration authorities.


Please see below fee for particular applications:

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit: The fee for an application is €1,000.
  • Fees for General Employment Permit applications and intra-company transfer:  €500 for period of up to 6 months, €1,000 for between 6 months and 2 years


General Employment Permits are issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and either the employer or the employee can apply for a permit which must be based on an offer of employment.  Additionally, permits are issued to the employee and include a statement of the employee’s rights and entitlements. An employee with an employment permit is supposed to have all the employment rights of Irish or EEA citizens for the duration of the employment permit.

Generally, applications for General Employment Permits have to have a minimum annual remuneration (pay) of €30,000. Remuneration includes the salary for the job and health insurance.

Applications for jobs with annual pay of €27,000* are considered on an exceptional basis in the following cases such as:

  • Non-EEA students having graduated in the last 12 months, from an overseas third level institution, and have been offered a graduate position as an ICT professional from the Highly Skilled Occupations List.
  • Non-EEA students having graduated in the last 12 months, from an Irish third level institution, and have been offered a graduate position from the Highly Skilled Occupations List.
  • Applications for specialist language support and technical or sales support with a fluency in a non-EEA language for companies who are actually getting support from the State enterprise development agencies.

* The annual pay must be €30,000 when applying for a renewal of the permit.

Non-EEA nationals with a stamp 1, 1A, 2, 2A or 3 residence permission may apply for a General Employment Permit provided the job is not on the list of ineligible occupations.

Start Contracting in Ireland Guide:

Contracting in Ireland
Contracting in Ireland
 Capital  Dublin
 Population  Approx. 6.4 million
 Language  English, Irish
 Currency  1 Euro (EUR) = 100 cents
 Government  Republic