Visa Information, Visa Requirements, Visa Application Guidelines, Immigration Rules and Inquiry

Working in Ireland

Ireland flag
If you are a citizen of a non-EEA country you may not have automatic permission to work in Ireland. You need to obtain a Work Permit or a Green Card Permit in order to work.

According to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation citizens of non-EEA countries who do not require Employment Permits include:
  • a non-EEA national who has obtained explicit permission from the Department of Justice and Equality to remain resident and employed in the State
  • a non-EEA national who has been granted refugee status
  • a non-EEA national who holds appropriate business permission to operate a business in the State
  • a non-EEA national who is a registered student working less than 20 hours a week
  • Swiss nationals.

Employment Permit System

Work Permit
Work permits are issued for up to 2 years. Generally the salary must be €30,000 or more and the employer must have carried out a labour market test. The cost for a 2 year work permit is €1000. After 12 months working in the country, work permit holders can apply for their family members to join them. Since 1st June 2009 there are new requirements for people who apply for their first work permit in Ireland. 

Green Card Permit
Green card permits are issued for jobs where the salary is over €60,000. Green card permits are also issued for certain jobs where the salary is between €30,000 and €59,999. There is no labour market test.

There must be a job offer of 2 or more years. Green card permit holders can apply for immediate family re-unification.

Spousal/Dependent Work Permit
Spousal/Dependent work permits are issued to spouses or dependents (who travel to Ireland before they were 18 years of age). If the main work permit holder was granted their work permit before 1st June 2009:
  • There is no labour market test
  • There is no fee for the work permit
  • There are no ineligible jobs
If the main work permit holder was granted their work permit after 1st June 2009, then the spouse or dependent will have to apply for a work permit in their own right which means
  • There is a labour market test
  • There is a fee for the work permit
  • There are ineligible jobs

NOTE: Job Offer First - Then the Permit or Green Card

You cannot apply for a work permit or green card and then travel to Ireland to look around and find work.

You can only get such permits AFTER you have a job offer. If you have been offered a job paying at least €60,000 you'll have no problems and will gain the Green Card easily. Some few exceptions are made for those with a job offer paying between €30,000 and €60,000 and such job seekers may be granted a work permit or green card.

Those with a job offer worth less than €30,000 per year will find it exceedingly difficult to get a work permit.

The Green Card is more desirable and allows you to gain permanent residency after only two years in Ireland.

Ineligible Jobs - No Workee & No Payee

A huge host of jobs are formally excluded unless they pay €60,000 per year. The application form for Work Permits lists the extensive categories of workers who are barred from even applying if they will be paid less.

This includes all clerical and administrative staff, all sales staff, all hotel staff except chefs, all general labourers, most construction workers, all childcare workers and just about any other non-technical job.

Excluded jobs included:
  • All Clerical and Administrative Positions
  • All General Operatives/Labourers
  • All Operator and Production Staff
  • All Domestic Workers (including Carers in the Home and Childminders)
  • All Work Riders (Horse Racing)
  • In the category 'Sales Staff'
  • All retail sales vacancies, sales representatives, Supervisory/ Specialist Sales
  • In the category 'Transport Staff':
  • All drivers including HGV
  • In the category Childcare Workers:
  • Nursery/ Crèche Workers, Child Minder/ Nanny
  • In the category 'Hotel Tourism and Catering':
  • All staff except chefs
  • In the category 'Craft Workers and Apprentice/Trainee Craft Workers':
  • Bookbinder, Bricklayer, Cabinet Maker, Carpenter/Joiner, Carton
  • Maker, Fitter - Construction Plant, Electrician, Instrumentation
  • Craftsperson, Fitter, Tiler - Floor/Wall, Mechanic - Heavy Vehicles,
  • Instrumentation Craftsperson, Metal Fabricator, Mechanic - Motor,
  • Originator, Painter And Decorator, Plumber, Printer, Engineer -
  • Refrigeration, Sheet Metal Worker, Tool Maker, Vehicle Body Repairer,
  • Machinist – Wood, Plasterers and Welders In short, high skills job seekers can apply, the rest of ye don't bother. So engineers, programmers, medical people and the like are welcome. Lawyers and accountants - the government needs you more than ever to keep track of all the finagling that the banks have been up to.


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