Ireland Green Card

Applying for an Irish Green Card permit is one of several employment based immigration services which enable foreign nationals from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) to immigrate to Ireland in order to undertake positions of employment.

In Ireland, Green Card applications are designed for those entering the country with valuable skills, qualifications and experience or to work in specific sectors in which a skills shortage is identified.

Immigration to Ireland through a work visa service is based upon candidates working in a pre-arranged position for at least two years, for a specific employer.

Irish Green Cards are granted for a period of two years, which is renewable, however after two years an application for permanent resident status can normally be made.

In addition, like a working permit, holders must work in the specified position for the named employer for 12 months after which a change of employment is permitted but only if a new application is submitted.

The popularity of Ireland immigration continues to grow and the country offers a comparatively uncomplicated system of immigration visa services. The Irish system offers a small number of clearly defined routes from the temporary Irish tourist visa to making an application for permanent residency in Ireland.

However, immigrating to a new country is an important step and getting it right first time is essential to the success of your relocation. As a specialist immigration consultancy, Visas To can help you to determine which immigration route is the right one for you.

Our immigration consultants can provide Irish immigration lawyer advice and will be happy to respond to any queries or concerns you may have.

Visa Benefits

The Irish system does not have a points based immigration service in place and no points assessment is necessary when migrating to Ireland. 

In Ireland Green Cards are the highest level employment based route for those who wish to live and work in Ireland, and unlike work permits, they offer the possibility of applying for permanent residence after two years.

Also, when applying for a Green Card, no labour market needs test has to be undertaken. This means that a foreign national can be offered a position without the employer needing to demonstrate that there is no local who can fulfil the position. 

This Irish visa service can be applied for by either the employer or the employee.


In Ireland, immigration through this route falls into two streams, based primarily on salary, as follows:

  • An application can be made where a specified position offers a salary of €60,000 or more. In this category, immigration to Ireland is available for any occupation except those considered to be contrary to the public interest.
  • Applications may also be made where the salary on offer is in the range of €30,000 - €59,999. In this category, applications are restricted to strategically important occupations including certain positions in IT, finance, healthcare, construction and engineering. 
  • In both streams, applications for Irish visas will take into account whether or not the applicant has the necessary skills, experience and qualifications to fulfil the position on offer. In addition, applications will need to include documentary evidence of a job offer which details the requirements of the position, the salary being offered and the proposed start date of the candidate.

Employer Requirements

In Ireland, visas for work of this class also require the employer offering the position to fulfill the following criteria:

  • An employer must be a registered company trading in Irish territory.
  • Employees who migrate to Ireland through this route must be directly employed by the company in question; this excludes agencies, companies who subcontract employees or any other intermediary organisations.
  • Companies will not be permitted to bring foreign nationals into the country if their presence would result in more than 50% of a firm’s employees being from outside the EEA.


As a Green Card visa for Ireland can be renewed and may lead to a grant of permanent residency in Ireland, it is likely that successful candidates will be living and working in Ireland for some years if not permanently.

As a result, spouse and dependent immigration are provided for and the spouse and/or dependents of a candidate may join them in the country.

In addition, dependents entering the country under this family immigration service will be permitted to study in Ireland and to work upon securing a spousal or dependent work permit. Find out further information on our Irish Intra Company Transfer page.

July 15, 2015

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