Ireland Work Permits

Ireland is a fantastic place to come and work. Thousands of people can and do travel from all over the world in search of permanent residence or a General Work Permit in Ireland.


With the relevant documentation, individuals are therefore allowed to remain in the country and make a living as they please. A General Employment Permit in Ireland is required in a few circumstances, such as for those wishing to work here or wishing to hire someone from the European Economic Area (EEA).


You’ll be applying for a visa through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI), which maintains a formal and well-maintained system for approving work permits. It’s not necessarily an ‘easy’ process, as much as it’s a process in need of careful planning and diligent organisation.


There are plenty of legal obligations and small details tied to your specific General Work Permit that has to be adhered to. In this article, we can explain to you some of the basics of gaining a permit and the several types of employment permits in Ireland that fall under that.


Our experienced team of Irish citizenship, immigration and employment solicitors are on hand to support you right from day one of your work permit application, through to your approval and the process of moving into your new role in Ireland. Our teams, both Dublin and Donegal-based, are available to speak to today, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Types of Employment Work Permits

The type of work permit you require depends significantly on your background, including current residence and experience, as well as the status of your potential employment in Ireland. The two major categories are as follows:


EU/EEA Nationals Citizens

You won’t need to obtain a work visa to work in Ireland, and importantly, you don’t need an outstanding job offer. However, if you’re thinking of living and working in Ireland for more than three months consecutively, you will need to provide proof of employment or sufficient income.


Non-EU/EEA Nationals

If you aren’t applying from the EU or EEA, you’ll need permission to work from the Irish immigration authority. Applicants will need to obtain both a work permit and a work visa afterwards – what’s more, the types of work are limited by the permit you’re given. This can affect both types of jobs and the duration of your stay in Ireland.


There are also two types of permits available to you whether you’re applying from the EU, EEA, or neither:


Critical Skills Employment Permit

Previously referred to as the ‘Green Card’, the Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) is designed for the occupations that Ireland deems most in-demand or of very high skill. Typically, your occupation must reach a certain income threshold, and naturally, your occupation cannot fall on Ireland’s ineligible jobs list. This is not always the case, the critical skills occupation list names all jobs that Ireland has targeted as in direst need. You won’t have to apply for a permit continuation once your CSEP expires either.


General Employment Permit

If your job and salary aren’t qualifying or listed on the Critical Skills occupation list, it’s the General Employment Permit you’ll need. The ineligible jobs list is still relevant, so check your role against the list. These permits expire after between six months and two years, depending on the job you’re being offered, and they cost between 500 EUR and 1,000 EUR.


Outside of these two common permits, you can also apply for a variety of more specialist versions, some tied to your marriage or prior experience. The breadth of options, especially if you think you might fall into one of the below categories is good reason to consider speaking to an experienced legal professional about whether you qualify for certain visas.


  • Dependent/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
  • Contract for Services Employment Permit
  • Sport and Cultural Employment Permit
  • Reactivation Permit
  • Exchange Agreement Employment Permit
  • Contract for Services Employment Permit


How to Apply for an Ireland Work Permit

Irish work permits are very important legal documents and acquiring one demands quite a lot of information on your part. Irish authorities need to know precisely what you’ll be doing while in the country and how long you could stay. Typically, the high-level breakdown of what you’ll need to include to move and start working in Ireland is as follows:


  • A completed Irish work visa application form.
  • A verified Ireland work permit.
  • An in-date passport.
  • Passport-sized photo.
  • Contact details.
  • Proof of payment for your work permit fee.
  • Proof of legal residence in Ireland is usually done via utility bills or council tax documents.
  • A headed letter of intent to move for work.
  • Evidence of planned accommodation in Ireland.
  • Any historic records of approved or rejected visas.
  • A resume, or CV.
  • Any proof of educational qualifications and degrees (sometimes actual diplomas are requested).
  • Bank statements from the previous six months on bank letterhead including your contact details to prove you have the funds to move.
  • Proof of private medical insurance in Ireland, you must take out private medical insurance worth 25,000 EUR minimum for any serious accidents, illnesses, or use of hospitals.


Applying for the permit is the simplest part and is available via an online portal. Your employer may, in some cases, apply on your behalf, but it’s never guaranteed and you’ll need which permit you’re applying for before you start.


Why Choose McGinley Solicitors LLP?

McGinley Solicitors LLP are well-equipped to assist in attaining a work permit in Ireland, no matter your background or how long you intend to stay. Their main priority is to provide as much support during the application process so that you can focus on preparing for your exciting new role and new life in Ireland.


It’s McGinley’s mission to assist and represent people in a range of legal cases to the very highest standards – anything less simply won’t do.


Get in touch with our citizenship lawyers, Dublin or Donegal-based today, and learn how we can help you to start working in Ireland.


Irish Work Permit FAQs

How much does it cost?

As mentioned, a work permit in Ireland can cost between 500 and 1,000 EUR but it will vary on the length of validity, too. You should also take into account the added fees for the visa processing, and keep in mind this is non-refundable, even in the case of an unsuccessful application, although it’s much less than the cost of the actual application, usually between 25 and 100 EUR.


How long will it take?

Processing times for work permits applications in Ireland are usually resolved within eight weeks from the application being placed at the visa office, embassy, or consulate. However, during high-demand periods, or in cases where you’re seeking out a specialist permit, the processing time for an employment permit, Ireland or otherwise, may well vary.


Can I get a work permit without a clear job offer?

Yes – but only if you’re an EU citizen or living in the EEA. In fact, you won’t need a permit at all, or a job offer. However, if your stay will exceed three months, proof of residence and income will be required.

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