Ireland Visas

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Ireland Visas, Work Permits and Migration

Ireland visa, residency and permit regulations require expert guidance as they vary according to the country foreign nationals live in – the European Union, the European Economic Area and other foreign nationals are all affected by these complex regulations.

Our team is trained to research the latest information on Ireland visas and work permits – therefore, we created a guide to introduce you to the rules and requirements. By reading this guide you will get familiar with all the requirements so you or your employees can start working in Ireland in no time.

What Types of Work Visas, and Permits for Ireland are there?

Ireland is part of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Members of all these nations can visit, live, or work there without a visa or permission to work. Citizens of the UK and its Crown dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey, and the Isle of Man) may also visit, live, and work in Ireland as part of the long-standing Common Travel Agreement (CTA).

However, bringing family from outside the EEA, Switzerland or the UK may mean having to apply for a visa/preclearance to enter Ireland. Third Country Nationals on the visa-exempt list can also visit for up to 90 days without a visa.

Otherwise, they will need a Short-Stay C Visa. For longer stays then applicants must apply for an Irish National Long Stay ‘D’ Visa – plus register for a Residence Permit.

Third country nationals who want to work in Ireland will first require a job offer and apply for the relevant paperwork before entering Ireland from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) or the Department of Justice. There are several visa categories for Ireland:

Work Visa for less than 90 days:

  • Approval is needed from the Atypical Working Scheme Division of the Naturalization and Immigration Service
  • Apply for an Employment Visa (Atypical Working Scheme -AWS) from the Department of Justice

    Note: Eligibility is required e.g., Where there is a skill shortage or to provide a high skill to a company or industry for a short period. For more information, check out the Ireland Immigration website. To apply, applicants must register for an INIS account online.

Employment Permits for longer than 90 days:

  • A signed contract is required for all permits
  • Applicants will need to apply for permission to work through an Employment Permit from the Dept. of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE)
  • Long-Stay D Visa (if required) can be applied for upon receipt of Employment Permit to enter Ireland
  • When in Ireland, an employee needs to register for a Residence Permit with a local immigration office to receive an Irish Residence Permit (IRP)

Besides visas, individuals also need to apply for Work/Employment Permits if they want to work in Ireland, and eligibility for a work permit depends on their employment’s conditions:

General Employment Permit:

  • To attract Third Country Nationals to fill areas experiencing a skill shortage
  • The employer must have advertised the position through an EURES advertisement to offer the job first to Irish and EEA nationals according to the Labor Market Needs Test.
  • Excluded occupations are on the Ineligible Occupations list for general workers.
  • The permit can be agreed for an initial one or two years and renewed for a further three years. After 60 months, the employee may apply to the ‘Immigration Service Delivery’ (ISD) for a long-term Residence Permit
  • The employee can only work in the location and in the occupation as specified on the permit
  • The employer should be trading in Ireland, recorded with the Revenue Commissioners and if pertinent with the Companies Registration Office/Registry of Friendly Societies

Critical Skills Permit:

  • This permit is intended to attract highly qualified and skilled workers to live and work in Ireland such as ICT experts, professional technologists, and engineers (replaces the old Green Card)
  • Does not need a Labor Market Needs Test
  • Occupations determined by the labor market and Future Skill Needs 
  • This permit allows families to join the employed applicant immediately. However, for the Long-Term Residency Permit, 60 months of employment must be completed
  • Preferential treatment is also given to permit holder regarding naturalization and immigration once the Critical Skills Employment permit is completed
  • Contracts must be for a minimum of 2 years and permit holders are required to stay with initial employer for the first 12 month and a new permit for another employer will not be issued during those 12 months
  • The employer should be trading in Ireland, recorded with the Revenue Commissioners and if pertinent with the Companies Registration Office/Registry of Friendly Societies

Intra-Company Transfer:

  • Facilitates transfer of top management, trainees, and vital personnel from Third Countries to company’s branch office in Ireland
  • Top Management or key personnel must have a minimum salary of €40,000 a year. 
  •  Trainees in key positions must have a minimum salary of €30,000 a year.