Work Permits for Non EU Nationals

If you are a non EU National, you will have to source a work permit. You cannot source a work permit yourself; your employer has to do this on your behalf.

Employers who apply for work permits are required to prove it has not been possible to source the required candidate within Ireland and the EU.

They must also prove they advertised the vacancy via the usual methods (papers, employment agencies, FÁS etc). As of January 2nd, 2002, all employers are requested to register their vacancy with FÁS CALLNET, in advance of any work permit application.

An employer must prove you are the best candidate, therefore be sure you bring letters of recommendation and other proof of your expertise.

A permit is granted when the employer establishes to the satisfaction of the officer examining the application.

As mentioned above, it is between your employer and work permit officials and unfortunately there is nothing you can do to speed up the process.

Some people suggest bringing the work permit form to the interview (however, ensure the employer sends the form away if you gain employment otherwise you risk deportation when renewal comes around).

Work permit forms are available from Work Permits Section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Tel + 353 21 661 4444 ext 3076)

Getting a work permit in Ireland is a hassle. As they only last one year and it costs €400 per application.

Employers won't be bothered unless you have skills that are in demand. Last year, 7,000 work permits were granted out of a total workforce of 1.5 million.

Permit Costs
1 month€50
2 months€75
3 months€100
4 months€125
5 months€150
6 months to 1 year€400

An application typically takes 4 weeks to process. Call 01-6313333 for latest update on how long it is currently taking to update a visa. You cannot work while waiting for the application to be processed; this is an offence. Are there any exceptions? Under new rules in April 1999, the following non-EU nationals may work without a permit:

  1. Employees of multinationals who are transferred to Ireland for a few years. Alternative and mush simpler documentation is required.
  2. People sent to Ireland for training (not college students). Employees transferred from an overseas firm to train with an Irish host firm will now need letters from both firms giving details. The government intends to monitor the training facilities.
  3. Spouses of Irish Nationals (however must apply for Residency permits)
  4. Parents of Irish citizens (however must apply for Residency permits)
  5. People in the process of applying for political asylum (however must apply for Residency permits)

Working Visa and Work Authorisation Scheme

Working Visa and Work Authorisation Scheme To facilitate the recruitment of suitably qualified people from non EU countires, where skills shortages are particularly acute, the above scheme has been introduced.

This makes it possible for prospective employees with job offers from employers in Ireland to obtain immigration and employment clearance in advance from Irish Embassies and Consulates.

The new scheme does not replace but is a faster alternative to the work permit procedure which continues to be available to employers in Ireland.

At present the designated categories are:

  • Information and computing technologies professionals
  • Information and computing technologies technicians
  • Architects, including architectural technician / technologist
  • Construction engineers, including engineering technician
  • Quantity surveyors
  • Building surveyors
  • Town planners and
  • Registered nurses

Who doesn't need a Permit?

Who doesn't need a Permit? EU Nationals

  • Citizens of member states (European Union together with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein)

If you need any further information, please contact

Useful links

Useful addresses

  • Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

    Kildare Street, Dublin 2

    Tel: 353 1 6312121 

    Fax: 353 1 6312827