Atypical Working Scheme
If you are from a country that is not in the European Economic Area (the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), the UK or Switzerland, you need permission to work in Ireland. In most cases, this means you have to apply for an employment permit. There are 8 different types of employment permit.
The Atypical Working Scheme allows non-EEA nationals to do certain short-term contract work that is not eligible for an employment permit. Under the Scheme, non-EEA nationals, such as locum doctors or those on short-term contracts (of up to 90 days), are allowed to work in Ireland.
In addition, crew members of certain fishing fleets can get permission to work under the Scheme.
The Scheme is administered by Immigration Service Delivery (ISD).
You can only apply for the Scheme from outside of Ireland.
Who is eligible for the Atypical Working Scheme?
You can apply for the Scheme if you are offered a job in Ireland:
- 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 (Does not include medical internship or unpaid internship and job placements).
- 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
- As a crew member in the Irish fishing fleet
You can read the criteria for the eligible categories described above.
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
Atypical Scheme for crew members of fishing fleets
From 31 December 2022, you can no longer apply for the Atypical Working Scheme if you are a crewmember of an Irish-registered fishing boat. This is because an employment permit scheme for crew members is planned to begin in 2023.
Instead of applying for the Scheme, you can get a Stamp 4 immigration permission. If you have a Stamp 4 immigration permission, you can work without an employment permit.
You can get a Stamp 4 immigration permission if you hold:
- A valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) card which expires on or after 1 January 2023
- A letter of permission to work on a fishing crew issued under the Scheme on or after 3 October 2022
If your permission to work under the Atypical Working Scheme expired on or before 31 December 2022 and you have not renewed this, you cannot get a Stamp 4 immigration permission.
To get a Stamp 4 immigration permission, you should make an appointment with your local immigration office.
You can read more about how to get a Stamp 4 immigration permission on the Irish Immigration Service website.
The application fee is €250 which is non-refundable. Payment must be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). You can find more information in the guidelines available on irishimmigration.ie.
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 can apply for the Scheme online. Payment for the atypical working scheme must be made by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). You should allow for a processing time of at least 20 working days.
You can read the Atypical Working Scheme conditions and guidelines are available on irishimmigration.ie.
Immigration and registration
If your application is successful and you live outside of Ireland, you still have to apply for an entry visa online if you are from a country whose citizens need a visa to enter Ireland. You should include a copy of your Letter of Approval as part of the documentation for your visa application.
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. You must book an appointment online to visit it. If you are living outside Dublin, you should register at your regional registration office or your local Garda District Headquarters.
Your family cannot join you in Ireland under the terms of this Scheme.