Steps to securing Ireland work visa
By Olushola Samuel
If you're a non-EU/EEA individual seeking employment in Ireland, it's necessary to obtain approval from Irish immigration authorities, i.e. an Ireland work permit. Additionally, residents of certain countries must first secure an Ireland work visa to enter the country.
Ireland work permits and visas are administered by separate entities in Ireland. Prospective foreign workers subject to a visa must first secure a job in Ireland and then apply for an Ireland work permit through the Department of Business, Enterprise, and Innovation (DBEI) before applying for the visa.
Am I required to apply for Irish Work Visa?
You only have to apply for an Ireland work visa if you are from a country whose nationals are subject to Irish visas.
However, keep in mind that whether you need an Ireland visa or not, if you are a non-EU/EEA national, you will still have to go through Border Control and request permission to enter from the immigration officers.
Types of Ireland Work Visas and Permits
There are about nine different types of Ireland employment permits, but the two most common ones are the Critical Skills Employment Permit and General Employment Permit.
Critical Skills Employment Permit
The Critical Skills Employment Permit in Ireland is designed for highly skilled international workers, with the goal of enticing them to contribute to the country by addressing skill shortage in specific high-demand occupations. These include professions in Natural and Social Sciences, Engineering, ICT, Health, Teaching, Education, Architecture, and more, as detailed on the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation's website.
Employers in Ireland hiring individuals qualified for this permit are exempt from the Labour Market Needs Test.
General Employment Permit
The General Employment Permit in Ireland is granted to professions that don't meet the criteria for the Critical Skills permit. Unlike the Critical Skills permit, there isn't a specific list of eligible occupations for the General Employment permit. You can seek this type of Irish employment permit for any profession, except those listed as "Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits."
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits
These types of permits are issued to spouses, partners, or other dependents of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder.
If you receive an Ireland employment permit as the dependent, spouse, or partner of a Critical Skills Employment holder, you can work in any profession, even those on the ineligible occupations list, except as a domestic operative. Your application will also be free of charge.
Inra-Company Transfer work permit
The Ireland Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit is granted to foreign employees seeking to relocate to the Irish branch of their current company. This applies to individuals in senior management, key roles, or those undergoing training.
Internship Employment Permit:
The Ireland Internship Employment Permit allows full-time foreign students from non-Irish educational institutions to gain work experience in Ireland for a maximum duration of 12 months, with no option for renewal.
Contract for Services Employment Permit:
The Ireland Contract for Services Employment Permit is issued to foreign workers employed by a foreign company but working in Ireland on behalf of an Irish national who has contracted their employer.
Sport and Cultural Employment Permit:
The Ireland Sport and Cultural Employment Permit is provided to foreign nationals with expertise in sports and culture, contributing to the advancement of these fields in Ireland.
Exchange Agreement work permit
The Ireland Exchange Agreement Employment Permit is available to foreign workers coming to Ireland under international exchange agreements, such as The Fulbright Programme, IAESTE, or AIESEC, to which Ireland is a participant.
Reactivation Employment Permit:
The Ireland Reactivation Employment Permit is offered to former Employment Permit holders who lost their right to work in Ireland due to reasons beyond their control, such as workplace exploitation or abuse..
How you can apply for an Ireland Work Permit
As Ireland is a member of the EU, individuals from other EU/EEA/Swiss nations can relocate to Ireland and engage in employment without the need for prior authorization.
If you are not a citizen of an EU or EEA member state or Switzerland, you will likely need to submit an application for an Ireland work permit, with some exceptions.
You are exempt from obtaining an Ireland work permit (meaning you can work without one) if you fall into one of the following categories:
- Holder of an Ireland Student Visa. You can work 20 hours in a week during school session and full time(40 hours) during holidays.
- Foreign national spouse, civil partner, or parent of an Irish citizen.
- Granted refugee status in Ireland.
- Granted permission to stay on humanitarian grounds.
- Engaged in scientific research for an approved research organization.
- Postgraduate student for whom employment is a mandatory part of the course.
Ireland Work Permit Requirements
To qualify for an Ireland work permit, you need the following:
• A work contract or job offer from an Irish company.
• If not applying for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, your employer must pass the Labour Markets Needs Test to ensure there's no suitable Irish or EU/EEA/Swiss candidate available.
• Critical Skills Employment Permit applicants must have a minimum annual salary of either €30,000 or €80,000, depending on the occupation.
• General Employment Permit applicants require a minimum annual salary of €30,000.
• For other types of work permits, the annual minimum salary should align with the National Minimum Wage. Additionally, at least 50% of the employers in the Irish company hiring you must be EU/EEA/Swiss nationals.
How to apply for work visa online
You need to first secure an offer. The following companies are eligible to sponsor your visa:
• Accenture PLC
• Trane Technologies
Check through their sites. They have various roles out of which you can find your own.
Application for an Ireland work permit is done online through EPOS, the Employment Permits Online System.
Once work permit is received, you can proceed with work visa
When you start an online application, you will receive a number, known as MyWork-ID, which allows you to pause the application and resume it later where you left off. However, once you start an Ireland work permit application, you will have to complete it within 28 days, since after that, your data will be lost.
To apply for an Ireland work visa, utilize the AVATS, the Irish online visa application platform. After accessing AVATS, complete the application form, print the summary, and submit it, along with necessary documents, to the specified address on the summary. Review the detailed Ireland visa application process here. Processing time is typically eight weeks, but factors like missing documents or peak travel times may cause delays. Apply well in advance, but not earlier than three months before your planned travel.
Documents required for Ireland work visa
When applying for an Ireland employment visa, ensure you include the following supporting documents:
1. Completed Ireland work visa application form.
2. Valid passport.
3. Photos meeting Ireland's photo requirements.
4. Proof of paid work visa fees.
5. Documentation confirming legal residence in your applying country.
6. Letter outlining the purpose of travel for employment.
7. Evidence of accommodation in Ireland, specifying details if provided by the employer.
8. Details of previous visas (if applicable).
9. Bank statements for the past six months on headed paper, displaying name, address, account number, and type, with all transactions, explained if large or unusual.
10. Proof of sufficient funds.
11. Evidence of plans to return to your home country.
12. Self-addressed, pre-paid envelope.
13. Employment Permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation.
14. Work contract or job offer details.
15. Letter from the Irish employer confirming employment specifics, salary, and duties.
16. Proof of qualifications (educational certificates or other credentials). This includes English proficiency test. Applicants from non-English speaking countries need IELTS scores for a successful visa application. Most employers in Ireland accept an IELTS band score of 5.0.
17. Previous work experience details.
18. Medical insurance covering at least €25,000 for accidents, disease, and hospitalization.
Ireland work permit and visa fee
The work permit fee is €1000. While the visa fee is €60.