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Guidelines To Apply For A Work Permit In Ireland 

Ireland is becoming an increasingly popular destination for migrants looking for easy access to Europe, strong job prospects, a high standard of living, and a relaxed lifestyle. Each year around 85-90,000 migrants move to Ireland, with the majority in recent years coming from the UK, Poland, Lithuania, Romania, and Latvia. The capital of Ireland, Dublin, is now home to many from predominantly European countries, including many from Eastern Europe who both enjoy and enrich the local culture.

According to the Diverse Neighbourhoods report, written by the Irish Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), many migrants in Ireland tend to live in “affluent areas with above-average educational profiles”. If you are planning to come to Ireland to work, whether on your own or with your family, you will need to understand how the immigration and work permit system works. In this article, we will explain how to apply for a work permit for Ireland.

What Are The Different Types Of Irish Work Permits?

If you are from a country outside of EEA (the EU, Iceland, Norway, and Lichtenstein), Switzerland, and the UK, you will most likely need a work permit before travelling to Ireland. Employment permits in Ireland are typically granted to migrant workers who have high skills levels or can fill a vacancy in a shortage occupation.

There are no less than nine types of employment permit in Ireland catering for different immigration scenarios; the two main ones being:

  • General Employment Permit: available for those with a job with a salary of €30,000 or more. There are no limits on which occupations are eligible under this scheme (unless on the list of ineligible occupations). A labour market test must be carried out by the employer to check if an Irish national or settled worker can do the job before offering it to an international candidate.
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit: this scheme is for those in occupations on the Critical Skills Occupation List. To be eligible, applicants with critical skills also need a salary of €64,000, or €32,000 if in an occupation on the Highly Skilled Occupation List. Due to the demand for skills in this category, employers do not need to carry out a labour market test.

In addition to the General and Critical Skills Employment permits, there is a range of others, including the:

  • Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit
  • Reactivation Employment Permit
  • Contract for Services Employment Permit
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
  • Internship Employment Permit
  • Sport and Cultural Employment Permit, and the;
  • Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

If you are unsure which permit you will need to apply for, speak to the Irish Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE) or an immigration Solicitor, who will be able to advise you.

How To Apply For An Irish Work Permit

Assuming that the employer has completed the labour market test (this is not needed for the Critical Skills Permit), you have been offered an eligible role, and the role meets or exceeds the minimum salary requirement, and that you have the relevant qualifications, skills or experience needed for the role, then you can then apply for your work permit. You will need to gather all of the information you need before completing the application. DETE provides a checklist for the General Employment Permit and the Critical Skills Employment Permit, which outlines all of the information you will need to gather. The application steps are as follows:

Step 1) Apply for your employment visa

DETE advises that applicants must send their work permit application no less than 12 weeks before their intended job start date. The application form is completed online on DETE’s dedicated Employment Permits Online website. You will also need to pay the application fee. This is currently €1,000 for both permit types. As part of the online application process, you will be asked to attach any key documents needed to support your case, such as a copy of your passport and your offer of employment (some documents are optional, and some are mandatory).

Step 2) Application is placed into a queue

Employment permits are processed in strict date order. The latest processing dates are available on the DETE website (these differ depending on whether the employer is a Standard Partner or a Trusted Partner).

Step 3) Application is assessed

Once your application reaches the top of the queue on the processing date, it will be assessed by a DETE case officer. At this stage, if any more details are required, these will be requested. If you are asked to send more information, you need to act quickly as you will have 28 days to do so. Once the case officer has all the information they need, they will make a final decision and advise you of the outcome.

Can I Appeal A Negative Decision?

Yes, as part of the application process, if you receive a negative decision, you can request a review of your case. To do so, you will have to lodge a Submission of a Decision for Review Form within 28 days of receiving your decision. That said, we would always advise speaking to an immigration lawyer as soon as possible if you have received a negative decision, as they will be able to advise you of your best option/s. They will assess why you did not receive a positive decision and help you to overcome this. And if you prefer, they can handle the process on your behalf to give you the best chance of securing a positive outcome. Where it is unlikely that an appeal or review will be successful, they will also explain the other routes available to you.

Final Words

Applying for an employment permit for Ireland is relatively straightforward, fast, and inexpensive. By applying early and providing all of the information requested, you will give yourself the best chance of securing a positive outcome on your employment visa application. We wish you and your family all the very best with your time in Ireland.

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