Most non-EEA nationals must have an employment permit to work in Ireland. The employment permits scheme is governed by the Employment Permits Acts 2003–2014.
Since 1 October 2014, under the Employment Permits (Amendment) Act 2014 there are 9 types of employment permit. They include a General Employment Permit and a Critical Skills Employment Permit, which have replaced the work permit and Green Card permit respectively. New types of employment permit include a Reactivation Employment Permit for those whose employment permit has expired in certain circumstances. The Act also provides that a non-EEA national without an employment permit, who took all reasonable steps to get one, may be allowed to take civil action against the employer to compensate them for work done or services rendered.
The 4 main types of employment permit are as follows:
General Employment Permits (formerly work permits) are available for occupations with an annual remuneration of €30,000 or more. They will only be considered in exceptional cases for jobs with a lower annual remuneration. Normally, a labour market needs test is required.
Critical Skills Employment Permits (formerly Green Card permits) are available for most occupations with annual remuneration of over €60,000. They are also available for occupations with annual remuneration of at least €30,000 on the Highly Skilled Occupations List. There is no requirement for a labour market needs test.
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits apply to spouses, recognised partners, civil partners and dependants of holders of Critical Skills Employment Permits or existing Green Card permits or researchers under a hosting agreement. There is no requirement for a labour market needs test.
Reactivation Employment Permits allow foreign nationals who entered the State on a valid employment permit but who fell out of the system through no fault of their own, or have been badly treated or exploited in the workplace, to work again. Applicants for a Reactivation Employment Permit must first apply for a temporary immigration permission stamp 1 to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). You can find the eligibility criteria, guidelines and application form on inis.gov.ie.
There are 5 other types of employment permit, as follows:
If you have a question relating to this topic you can contact the Citizens Information Phone Service on 0761 07 4000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm) or you can visit your local Citizens Information Centre.