Ireland’s work Visa: A complete guide

There are many reasons to want to live and work in Ireland. In a statistical report carried out by the United Nations Development Programme, Ireland ranked 4th in the world on the Human Development Index (HDI) for 2018. The HDI measures data in various areas including life expectancy, education and average income per person in each nation.

If you are considering coming to Ireland to live and work there will be many questions on your mind relating to potential job opportunities and the cost of living etc. Another question you may have may be regarding your eligibility to work in Ireland and whether or not you require a visa or work permit to do so.

Do I Require a Visa or Work Permit to Work in Ireland?

If you are a non-EEA (European Economic Area) national then you may require a work visa or work permit to allow you to work in Ireland. The type of visa or work permit that non-EEA citizens require may differ depending on various criteria such as nationality, education level, professional qualifications and marital status.

Types of Visa’s That Allow You to Work in Ireland

Stamp 1

A Stamp 1 visa allows you to work in Ireland once your prospective employer has obtained an employment permit for you. Not every profession is eligible for this and are subject to different criteria such as critical skills and remuneration levels. The Stamp 1 visa may also be issued to citizens of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea and United States of America for a working holiday.

Stamp 1A

Stamp 1A is specific to the accountancy industry and allows holders to engage in full time, paid accountancy training with an Irish organisation/company for a specified period of time. Holders are not permitted to work in any other profession unless they receive permission to do so by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service or INIS

Stamp 1G

Stamp 1G refers to graduates who have completed their 3rd level studies in Ireland and eligible to work up to 40 hours per week in a field related to their studies.

Stamp 2

Stamp 2 are given to students who come to Ireland to study English or to gain a diploma, degree, masters degree or PhD. Stamp 2 holders are allowed to gain casual employment up to 20 hours per week during the school term and up 40 hours per week during school holidays. Stamp 2 holiday periods, where the 20 hour restrictions are temporarily lifted, are stipulated by the Irish Government and not the College or the student.

Stamp 4

A Stamp 4 visa allows the holder to work full time in Ireland for it’s duration and is also reckonable if the holder applies for Irish citizenship. There are a number of different elements that can make you eligible for a Stamp 4 visa and some of those include holding a critical skills permit for 2 years, holding an employment permit for 5 years, joining your Irish spouse or joining a family member who has immigration permission based on Stamp 4EUFAM visa.

Stamp 5

Stamp 5 allows you to remain in Ireland without any restriction on time and is valid until the expiry date on your passport.

Stamp 6

Stamp 6 indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual-citizenship.

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit
  • Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
  • General Employment Permit
  • Contract for Services Employment Permit
  • Reactivation Employment Permit
  • Internship Employment Permit
  • Sport & Cultural Employment Permit
  • Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

The 4 most common Irish work permits are the critical skills permit, dependant, partner, and spouse permits. Other common work permits intra-company transfer permits and general employment permits.

The Critical Skills Employment Permit: This is targeted at highly skilled professionals to encourage them to come and work in Ireland Some of the professions included on this are doctors, engineers and IT professionals.

The Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit: This allows the dependants, partners civil partners and spouses of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders to apply for an employment permit to work in the State. Generally, it is illegal for spouses and dependants of employment permit holders to be employed in Ireland without a valid employment permit.

The Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit: This facilitates the transfer of senior management, key personnel or trainees who are foreign nationals from an overseas branch of a multinational corporation to its Irish branch.

A General Employment Permit: This is an employment permit which permits the holder to be employed in the State in a broad range of occupations. All occupations are eligible unless excluded under the list of Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits.

Documents Required For Applying For an Irish Work Visa
The documents you require when applying for an Irish work visa will vary depending on your nationality and the type of visa you are applying for. You can refer to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website which will provide you with guidance on this.

How to apply?

You can apply for a work visa or permit on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service website once you have received your employment permit from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise & Innovation (DJEI). An application for any employment permit must be received at least 12 weeks before your proposed employment start date. The cost of the permit may vary between €500 to €1,000 depending on the type of permit you apply for and the length of time you request it for.

In certain cases a fee will not be charged. For more information on this you can check out the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation website.

Author: Colm Reynolds, Senior Consultant at Kaizen Recruitment Solutions.

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