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In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA National (unless exempted) must hold a valid Employment Permit. The Department's Employment Permits Unit administers the Employment Permits system.
Our goal is to Help Ireland's Economic Growth by helping to fill Key Skills Shortages having regard to:
• Current Labour Market conditions;
• Other Government initiatives for supplying skilled labour;
• EU Community Preference;
• Economic sectors with the best potential for growth; and
• the Protection of Employment Rights.
• In a manner that is Clear, Flexible and Useful to Employers and prospective employees.
To achieve this, Ireland has an Employment Permit system which:
• focuses on key sectors and skills shortages especially in economically strategic enterprises with potential for jobs growth;
• adheres to Community Preference and avoids disrupting the labour market or reducing the employment opportunities for the resident population;
• ensures that Employment Permit holders are making a positive net contribution to the Irish economy;
• minimises the potential for abusing the employment rights of migrants;
• is attractive to migrants and employers – and therefore is clear and consistent; and
• is administratively effective and efficient, has a clear legislative basis, and is sufficiently flexible to react quickly to changes in the labour market.
Types of Employment Permits
For any system to address all of these policy principles it must be capable of offering a suite of different types of Employment Permits depending on the policies being pursued. There are four types of Employment Permits namely:
The Green Card Employment Permit in particular, is designed to attract highly skilled people into the labour market with the aim of encouraging them to take up permanent residence in the State. Eligible occupations under this type of permit are deemed to be critically important, highly demanded and highly skilled and in significant shortage of supply in our labour market. Occupations such as ICT professionals, professional engineers and technologists are catered for under this type of Employment Permit.
The Spousal or Dependent Employment Permit (also known as Work Permits for Spouses and Dependants of Employment Permit Holders) permit the spouses and dependants of certain categories of employment permit holder (referred to here as the primary permit holder) to apply for an employment permit to work in the State. The objective of this type of employment permit is primarily to support the attractiveness of Ireland as a location of employment for potential and current Green Card Employment Permit holders. Spouses, recognised partners and eligible dependent unmarried children, who have been admitted to the State as family members (of holders of certain categories of employment permits) may apply. 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 (Intra-CT Employment Permit) is designed to facilitate 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. In particular, Intra-CT Employment Permit can be invaluable in the initial establishment of a foreign direct investment company. Therefore, they have a role in contributing to Ireland’s achievement of its job growth ambitions. The main attraction of this permit is that it facilitates the temporary injection of corporate or HQ personnel and also provides for such employees to stay on the foreign payroll. This can be desirable for the employee as it can ensure they retain certain benefits (e.g. foreign pension contributions).
A Work Permit Employment Permit is an employment permit issued to the employee, which permits his or her employment in the State by the employer in the occupation specified on the permit. Work Permit Employment Permits are the primary vehicle used by the State to attract 3rd country nationals for occupations of a general skill level. Unlike Green Card Employment Permits where the State specifies eligible occupations, Work Permit Employment Permits assume all occupations to be eligible unless otherwise specified. Therefore, all occupations are eligible unless excluded under the list of Ineligible Categories of Employment for Employment Permits. Therefore, main attraction of the Work Permit Employment Permit for prospective candidates is that it permits a broader range of occupations than the other types of Employment Permit. All occupations on the Highly Skilled Occupations List are deemed eligible.
Depending on the type of Employment Permit being applied for, an application is made on an official Application Form by either an employer or an employee. When the application is received by the Department, it enters our Employment Permits Process and is evaluated in line with the relevant rules and criteria applying to each type of Employment Permit.
Immigration & Employment Permits
An employment permit is not a permission to reside, but rather it is a permission for someone (who is not a national of Switzerland or an EEA state) who can reside in Ireland to be employed in the State. Employment Permits operate in parallel with the State's Immigration Processes.
Following a successful application for an Employment Permit, and if Visa required, an applicant should apply to his/her local Irish Embassy/Consulate for an entry Visa. An online Visa application form may be found at www.inis.gov.ie. Contact details for Irish Embassies/Consulates and a list of visa required countries may be found on the website of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.dfa.ie.
Any person wishing to enter the State, whether visa required or not, are subject to the usual immigration controls at the port of entry. Therefore, all relevant and supporting documentation, including the original Employment Permit, must be available for inspection by an Immigration Officer. Entry to the State is always at the discretion of the Immigration Officer.
In order to be lawfully resident in the State, it is a requirement that all non-EEA nationals in possession of an Employment Permit must register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). It is in the best interest of the persons concerned to register as soon as possible following arrival. Delay in registering with GNIB could affect applications in the granting of long term residency and/or citizenship. Immigration permission to remain should, where applicable, be renewed at least one month before the expiry date in order to avoid unlawful presence in the State.
Non-EEA nationals resident in the State must at all times have:
• Current permission from the Immigration Authorities to be present in the State, and
• An up to-date passport.
Important Notice: The Employment Permits Section does not have a public office and cannot facilitate personal callers to the office.
Note on Data Protection: In submitting a completed, signed application form to this Department, both the employer and prospective employee accept that the Department may share the information contained on the application with other Departments and State Agencies for the sole purpose of verifying the information supplied by the applicant.
Last modified: 16/05/2013