Atypical Working Scheme


The Atypical Working Scheme allows non-EEA nationals to do certain short-term contract work which is not covered by the Employment Permits Acts. Under the Scheme, non-EEA nationals, such as locum doctors or those on short-term contracts for a company, are permitted to work in Ireland.

Non-EEA fishermen: Since 15 February 2016, certain non-EEA crew members working in the Irish fishing fleet may apply for the Atypical Working Scheme.


Applications for the Atypical Working Scheme must be made from outside Ireland.

Family members are not allowed to accompany a person who has been approved for the Atypical Working Scheme.

Who is eligible

A non-EEA national may qualify for the Scheme if they are required by an Irish-based company to work in the following circumstances:

  • Where a skills shortage has been identified
  • To provide a specialised or high skill to an industry, business or academic institution
  • As a paid or funded short-term employee or intern. This applies to students studying on an approved third-level course outside Ireland where the Irish employment or internship is part of the course
  • As a locum doctor employed and paid by an agency (in the hospital or primary care sectors)
  • As a nurse or midwife on the RCSI Clinical Adaptation and Assessment Programme

You can read the criteria for the eligible categories described above.

Who is not eligible

The Atypical Working Scheme does not apply to non-EEA nationals who:

  • Are already living legally in Ireland
  • Are entering Ireland for employment purposes for up to 2 weeks
  • Are entering Ireland for business purposes for up to 90 days, for example, to attend a conference or seminar
  • Already hold an employment permit
  • Qualify for permission under the Van Der Elst Judgment
  • Have a Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation
  • Have an Intra Company Transfer Employment Permit in another jurisdiction
  • Would be working in a company where their employment would result in more than 50% of the employees being non-EEA nationals


The application fee is €250 which is non-refundable. Since 1 January 2017, payment must be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). You can find more information in the guidelines available on

How to apply

You must apply for the Scheme from outside Ireland and you must not travel to Ireland until you have an Atypical Working Scheme Letter of Approval. If an authorised representative is applying on your behalf, the application must include a letter of authorisation signed by you.

You apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) using the application form (pdf) available on The list of supporting documentation to be enclosed with your application form is listed at the end of the form. A letter of confirmation from the Irish-based host organisation must be included with your application.

Applications should be sent by registered post to the Atypical Working Scheme Division of INIS – see ‘Where to apply’ below. The processing time is at least 2 weeks (10 working days). If your application is approved, INIS will issue you with a Letter of Approval.

Payment may be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If you are paying by cheque or bank draft, please note that these must be drawn on Irish banks only. Euro cheques drawn on foreign banks will not be accepted and the application will be returned.

Since 1 January 2017, payment for the atypical working scheme must be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT).

The Atypical Working Scheme conditions and guidelines are available on


If you are a visa-required national, you must apply for an entry visa online. A copy of your Letter of Approval must be enclosed as part of the documentation for your visa application. You cannot apply for a visa before you get the Letter of Approval. You should allow 8 weeks for your visa application to be processed.

Registration and permission to remain

If you will be staying in Ireland for longer than 90 days, you must register with your local immigration officer in the area where you live. In the Dublin area, the registration is done at the Burgh Quay Registration Office. Since 15 September 2016, you must book an appointment online to visit it. If you are living outside Dublin, you should register at your regional registration office your local Garda District Headquarters.

Where to apply

Atypical Working Scheme Division

Department of Justice and Equality
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
13/14 Burgh Quay
D02 XK70

Page edited: 3 January 2017