Ireland Work Permit

An Irish work permit application allows foreign nationals to live and work in Ireland on a temporary basis in order to undertake a specific position of employment with a particular company.

Ranked highly by the United Nations for its quality of life, those who choose Ireland immigration face a wealth of opportunities and a fairly liberal structure of immigration visa services.

Irish work permits apply to all non-EEA (European Economic Area) citizens and, for some categories, applicants wishing to migrate to Ireland can receive an Irish Green Card.

The Irish immigration system is a comparatively uncomplicated structure with a small number of clearly defined immigration services from the straightforward Irish tourist visa for short visits through to permanent residency routes.

However, applying for an Irish visa that best suits your needs is essential and as a specialist immigration consultancy, Visas To can help you to determine which route is the most appropriate for your relocation to Ireland.

Visa applications can be managed from your initial enquiry through a range of on arrival services to help you adjust to life in Ireland.

Visas are monitored throughout their progress and we can help you to obtain anything from a short-term Irish visa to a longer-term work or business based solution.

If Ireland does not suit you we suggest UK Immigration as alternative or visit our main page for Immigration services world wide.


Those migrating to Ireland may do so on the premise that they have an offer of employment from an Irish based company and that they will be living and working in Ireland to fulfil this specific position.

Work permits are not dissimilar to the Irish Green Card; it contrasts with UK working permits because a working visa of this kind can be applied for by either the employee or the employer.

Another advantage, which separates Irish working permits from Green Card applications, is that in some cases, job opportunities with lower salaries may qualify and in addition, jobs which offer salaries in the region of €30,000 are not subject to the same shortage sector requirements as Green Cards.

Although intended as a temporary immigration service, an Irish working permit may potentially lead to the opportunity to become a permanent resident in Ireland. The initial grant is for two years which can be extended for a further three years.

Beyond this the permit may be extended indefinitely, proving that the position of employment still exists, during which time an applicant, if they choose, may begin the process of naturalisation as an Irish citizen.


In Ireland, work permit applications are made where an agreed position of employment offers a salary of €30,000 or more. In Ireland, Green Card applications also make provision for job offers with salaries in this region.

However, the key difference is that these Irish visas for working do not restrict applicants to jobs in strategically important sectors, although occupations that are “contrary to the national interest” will not be considered.

In some circumstances a permit for work may be issued where a job offers a salary below €30,000, however, these instances are rare. A list of ineligible jobs is in place for which applications will not be considered.

The ineligible jobs list includes clerical/administrative, general operatives and labourers and a range of specific trades. A Visas To migration consultant will be able to discuss the excluded occupations in greater detail.

An additional requirement of Irish work permits is that all positions for which an application is being submitted must undergo a Labour Market Needs Test.

In Ireland, immigration requires this process to prove that no Irish residents are able to fill the role. The aim is to prevent the displacement of Irish workers by foreign nationals entering the country. The Labour Market Needs Test involves the advertising of the position to ensure that no Irish or EEA national is available for the position.

Finally, applicants must be able to provide documentary evidence of sufficient skills, qualifications or experience to fulfil the requirements of the role for which the application is being submitted.

Changing Employer

Changing employer is permitted for an applicant in possession of a permit to work in Ireland. However, the scheme is intended as a means to aid employers to fill positions rather than a vehicle for immigrants to live and work in Ireland per se.

Whilst changing employer is permitted, a new application must be made each time and in addition, whilst applicants are in possession of their first permit they are expected to stay in that position for at least one year.

Spouse Immigration and Dependent immigration

Whilst an Irish working permit does not grant its applicant free and unlimited access to the job market, it offers at least the potential for applicants to settle permanently in Ireland.

Even in cases where successful applicants do not achieve settled status in Ireland, it is likely that they will reside in the country for a period of some years.

As a result, family immigration for the spouse and dependents of an applicant is permitted. Once family members are legal residents in Ireland they may apply for a spousal work permit or dependent work permit in order to seek and undertake employment. Find out further information on our Ireland Green Card page.

July 15, 2015

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