Coming to work in Ireland

Introduction

Citizens of the EEA (the EU, plus Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein), Switzerland and the UK, can live and work in Ireland without an employment permit.

If you are from a country outside of the EEA, Switzerland and the UK, you need permission to live and work in Ireland.

If you want to come to work in Ireland you may have to:

  • Apply for an employment permit
  • Apply for a visa to enter Ireland

Some people can work in Ireland without an employment permit.

You should check the latest COVID-19 travel restrictions for Ireland.

Immigration rules in Ireland

If you are from the EEA (the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), Switzerland or the UK, you can come to Ireland to work without a visa or employment permit. If you are bringing family members to live in Ireland who are from outside the EEA, Switzerland or the UK, they may have to apply for a visa or preclearance to enter Ireland.

If you are from outside the EEA, Switzerland or the UK, you should check if you need a visa to come to Ireland. You have to apply for an employment permit to work in Ireland. Non EEA citizens who already live in Ireland and have certain types of immigration permission can work without an employment permit. You also might not need an employment permit if you are joining your family in Ireland. See ‘Immigration stamps and the right to work’ below.

Working holidays

If you are from one of the following countries you may be able to apply for a Working Holiday Authorisation through the Irish embassy in your country. This allows you to come to Ireland to work for a certain period and is only available to applicants who are under a certain age:

Note: The Department of Foreign Affairs is not currently processing Working Holiday Authorisation applications because of COVID-19.

International protection applicants

If you have applied for international protection (also called ‘claiming asylum’) you can apply for permission to work if are still waiting for the first decision on your application after 5 months. You have to apply for Labour Market Access Permission.

Immigration stamps and the right to work

If you are not from the EEA, Switzerland and the UK, you must have permission to live in Ireland. To get permission to come to Ireland to work, you have to apply for an employment permit. In general, you must get your employment permit before you come to Ireland. You can apply for an employment permit when you have been offered a job. This means that you have to find a job and then apply for an employment permit. When you have the employment permit, you can apply for a visa to come to Ireland (if you need a visa).

Some people do not need an employment permit to work and can get permission to work through the immigration system.

Non-EEA family members

If you are coming to Ireland to join a family member who already lives here, or you are moving to Ireland with a family member who already has a right to work in Ireland, you might not have to apply for an employment permit to work. Different rules apply depending on the type of relationship you have with the family member. For example, spouses generally have stronger rights to join their husbands or wives in Ireland than other types of relationships.

International students and graduates

If you have permission to study in Ireland and have an IRP with Stamp 2, you can work part-time (20 hours) during college terms and full time during college holidays. You cannot work if you have an IRP with Stamp 2A.

The holiday periods are:

  • June, July and September
  • From 15 December to 15 January

If you graduate from an Irish college or university with a qualification at level 8 or above (honours degree level or above), you may be able to apply for the Third Level Graduate Scheme. You can get an IRP card with Stamp 1G which allows you to work without an employment permit for the duration of the scheme.

People with Stamp 4

If you have an IRP with Stamp 4, then you can work without an employment permit. You get Stamp 4 if you have been given permission to live in Ireland:

  • As a refugee, following an application for international protection
  • With subsidiary protection, following an application for international protection
  • With leave to remain, following an application for international protection
  • As the spouse, partner or dependent family member of an Irish citizen
  • As the parent of an Irish citizen child
  • As the family member of an EEA citizen
  • Because you have long term residency
  • Following an appeal against a decision to deport you (under Section 3 of the Immigration Act 1999)

You may also get a Stamp 4 for another reason not listed above.

How to find work

If you want to come to Ireland to work, you have to find a job before you can apply for an employment permit. There are a number of different types of employment permit, depending on the type of work you are qualified to do.

You can find work in a number of ways:

You can read more about looking for work in Ireland.

You may have to get your professional qualifications recognised in Ireland.

Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation: If you have been invited to come to Ireland for an interview for a job on the Highly Skilled Occupations list, you can apply for a Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation. This allows you to remain in Ireland for a maximum of 90 days.

Finding somewhere to live

You may find that the cost of living in Ireland is high. You should look at accommodation websites like Daft.ie and MyHome.ie to find out how much you will have to pay for rent, and how much it costs to buy a place to live.

Social housing is available, but it can take a long time to be offered somewhere to live by a local authority or voluntary housing body.

Some people live outside of the main cities and commute to work.

Information about working in Ireland

Ireland has a minimum wage and many laws to protect workers.

If you lose your job or become sick and unable to work, you may be able to get social welfare payments.

If you have children, you can claim Child Benefit to help with the extra costs of raising children.

Primary and secondary school is free in Ireland. Third level education is funded by the State, but you normally have to pay some fees for going to third level.

The retirement age is 66 for men and women.

Further information and contacts

You can read more about:

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Employment Permits Section

Earlsfort Centre
Lower Hatch Street
Dublin 2
D02 PW01
Ireland

Opening Hours: Helpline only: Monday to Friday 9:30am - 5pm
Tel: +353 1 417 5333
Locall: 1890 201 616
Fax: +353 1 631 3268
Page edited: 6 April 2021