- What is the Irish Employment Visa
- How to secure an Employment Visa to Ireland
- The Nine Employment Permits
- Requirements for the Critical Skills Employment Permit
- Requirements for the General Employment Permit
- Requirements for the Intra-Company Permit
- Requirements for the Exchange Agreement Employment Permit
- What is the Contract for Services Employment Permit
- What is the Reactivation Employment Permit?
- Requirements for the Internship Employment Permit?
- Requirements for Sport and Cultural Employment Permit
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Irish Employment Visa?
If you plan on coming to Ireland to work from outside the EEA, you must obtain an Irish Employment Visa. The Irish Employment visa is a Long Term ‘D’ Visa and the official document that grants you permission to live and work in the country.
The Irish Employment Visa is not very difficult to obtain, although the process is somewhat complicated. This is mainly because you must first obtain immigration permission to work in Ireland before you apply for a work visa.
To get immigration permission to work, you need an employment contract or job offer. This must be in a highly skilled position or one where there’s a shortage of skill in Ireland. There’s a total of nine different Irish employment permits, and they have different requirements.
Aside from applying for an employment visa, you can as well follow the Atypical Working Scheme, ‘Van der Else’ route, Researcher Employment Visa, Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP), and Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) to work in Ireland.
How do I obtain an Employment Visa to Ireland?
Since there are different employment permits, the process of getting an Employment visa to Ireland depends on your specific case. This is why the route is said to be complicated. Sometimes, your case could match neither of the nine different permits. In that case, you’ll have to apply for a different type of Employment Visa.
Nevertheless, for all employment visa permit types, you have to first secure a job or employment contract. After that, you’ll apply for immigration permission to work with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI) and then apply for your visa. In addition, you have to pass the border control at the port of entry and apply for permission to stay with Irish Immigration.
If you intend to work in Ireland for a short period, less than 90 days, you can apply for the Atypical Working Scheme instead.
The Nine Employment Permits?
The nine different Irish employment permits include:
- The General Employment Permit
- The Critical Skills Employment Permit
- The Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
- Reactivation Employment Permit
- Contract for Services and Employment Permit
- Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
- Exchange Agreement Employment Permit
- Internship Employment Visa
- Sports and Cultural Employment Permit
You must know and apply for the right permit for your work type and conditions. You need to obtain the right permit before you apply for a visa. If you obtain the wrong one, you can’t get the visa.
Requirements for the Critical Skills Employment Permit
The Critical Skills Employment Permit is the most popular permit for Irish employment visas. It’s highly sought-after as it carries the most benefits. One of the main benefits is that you can easily become an Irish permanent resident with this employment permit.
Like every developed country, the Irish government aims to retain skilled individuals in certain critical sectors. You can become an Irish permanent resident even before your critical skills employment permit expires.
Occupations in this permit category are usually in highly-skilled industries with significance to the Irish economy. Hence, the Irish government prioritizes critical skills employment visa permit applicants.
Requirement for this employment visa permit include:
- The job offer must be for a minimum of 2 years
- The job offer must be for a highly skilled occupation with a minimum salary of €30,000 or a non-highly skilled occupation with a minimum salary of €60,000
What are the requirements for the General Employment Permit?
The General Employment Permit is open to a lot more employable positions than the Critical Skills Employment Permit. In fact, it covers almost all occupations in Ireland. As a result, if you can’t link your long-term job offer to a particular permit type, you can apply for a general employment permit.
The general employment visa permit still has its requirements which include:
- Your prospective employer must be registered with the Revenue Commissioners
- The job must not be on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits
- You must meet the skill set, have relevant qualifications, and work experience required for the job
- The job should have a minimum salary of €30,000. This can be reduced to €27,000 or €27,500 in exceptional circumstances.
What are the requirements for the Intra-Company Permit?
The Intra-company employment permit allows skilled workers in a multinational company to switch branches and come to Ireland. If you work for a company that has a branch in Ireland and get transferred to the Irish branch, you’ll apply for the Intra-company employment permit.
This employment permit, however, mainly favours staff occupying important positions in the company. You can easily obtain an Intra-Company employment permit if you’re key personnel or senior manager in the company. This permit is also open to trainees.
To qualify as key personnel, senior manager, or trainee, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must earn a minimum of €40,000 as a key personnel
- You must earn a minimum of €40,000 as a senior manager
- You must earn a minimum of €30,000 as a personnel attending training
What are the requirements for the Exchange Agreement Employment Permit?
The Exchange Agreement Employment Permit is exclusive to foreign nationals coming to work in Ireland through a prescribed or other international agreement. This agreement must not exceed 2 years. Circumstances
Current agreements for the Exchange Agreement Employment visa permit include:
- Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales (AIESEC): a not-for-profit organisation run by students and recent graduates of higher education institutions
- The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience (IAESTE): a non-governmental organization that represents student, academic, and industrial interests
- The Fulbright Programme: a bilateral agreement between Ireland and the United States
To apply for the Exchange Agreement Employment Permit under any of these 3 agreement schemes, you must check your eligibility with the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation (DBEI).
What is the Contract for Services Employment Permit?
If you win a contract to supply a service to an Irish company or entity, you can apply for the Contract for Services Employment Permit. This visa grants you legal permission to live and work in Ireland for up to 2 years.
The Contract For Services Employment Permit has the following requirements:
- You must have a prior business/work relationship with the Irish company or entity for at least six months
- The job position or service must not be on the Ineligible Employment Permit List
What is the Reactivation Employment Permit?
The Reactivation Employment Visa Permit is a rare permit and only granted in extraordinary circumstances. The permit is only open to previous foreign workers in Ireland that fell through the work system due to unjust circumstances or circumstances beyond their control.
These circumstances can include mistreatment, exploitation, divorce, and separation from a partner. The permit is also available for workers filling low-paid employment positions that are not under the General Employment Permit route.
With this permit, such a person gains re-permission ‘reactivation’ to live and work in Ireland again. The requirements for this permit depend on the reason for reactivation.
What are the requirements for the Internship Employment Permit?
This employment visa permit is open to foreign students enrolled in a third-level institution outside Ireland to visit and work in Ireland to gain experience. To qualify for this permit as a full time student, you must meet the following requirements:
- You must be a full-time degree or higher student of a third-level learning institution outside Ireland.
- Your course which you need internship experience for must be on the Highly Skilled Occupation List
- You must earn at least the national minimum wage during your stay in Ireland.
What are the requirements for the Sport and Cultural Employment Permit?
The Sport and Cultural Employment Permit allows international talent in sports and cultural industries to live and work in Ireland. It’s a unique permit and has the following requirements:
- You must have the relevant sport skills or cultural qualifications.
- You have unique knowledge or experience that can help develop and expand the capacity of sports and cultural activities in Ireland.
- You must earn at least the national minimum wage during your stay in Ireland.
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The nine DJEI Employment Permits are not the only routes to work in Ireland. Irish immigration allows eligible workers from different professions and backgrounds to enter the country via other visa options. Some of them include:
The Van Der Elst route is for employees who already work in the EEA or Switzerland but are relocated to Ireland for up to a year. If you qualify for this route, you don’t need to obtain a permit before your visa application.
The cost of applying for an employment visa in Ireland varies depending on the type of permission and the duration of stay. Also, you may pay different fees for your permission and employment visa.
Estimated fees for employment permissions include:
- €1,000 for up to 2 years employment permit
- €500 for up to 6 months employment permit
- €1500 to extend the permit from 6 to 36 months
The above applies to all employment visa permissions except the Exchange Agreement Permit, which is free.
For your visa application, the fees include:
- Single entry Long Stay ‘D’ Visa: €60
- Multi entry Long Stay ‘D’ Visa: €100
- Transit: €25
Most dependents, partners, and spouses of employees with Critical Skills Employment Permits can join their loved ones in Ireland. In most cases, they can work without a permit.
For all other employment permit holders, their partners and children may join them in Ireland but they can’t work without a permit.