Reactivation Employment Permit

Introduction

If you had a valid employment permit and could not renew it through no fault of your own, or because you were mistreated or exploited by your employer, you may be able to get a Reactivation Employment Permit.

You must get permission from Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) and have a valid Irish Residence Permit before you apply for the permit.

To get a Reactivation Employment Permit you must:

  • Have previously held an employment permit
  • Be unemployed
  • Have a job offer
  • Have a temporary Stamp 1 immigration permission and a “Reactivation Employment Permit” letter from ISD.

The Reactivation Employment Permit is available for all occupations, except domestic jobs (other than certain carers).

A labour market needs test is not required.

Employment permits during COVID-19

Employment permits are processed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE).

DETE is issuing employment permits by email (in pdf format). Your original employment permit and a certified copy will be posted at a later date.

If your employer has arranged for you to work from home, your employer should inform the DETE.

You do not have to send your expired employment permit back to DETE within 4 weeks of expiry during COVID-19.

DETE has more information about employment permit processing during COVID-19.

Who is eligible for a Reactivation Employment Permit?

You can apply for the Reactivation Employment Permit if you are in one of the following categories:

General Employment Permit holders

  • If you had a General Employment Permit and you have fallen out of the system (you no longer have a valid IRP) through no fault of your own.
  • You have a work permit for a low-skilled and low-paid job and want to change employer but do not qualify for a General Employment Permit

Spouses and partners

  • You have a Spousal/Dependent Employment Permit and want to change jobs, but do not qualify for a new permit or Stamp 1G (because, for example, you are separated from your spouse).

Some other categories of former employment permit holders may also apply.

You cannot get a Reactivation Employment Permit if:

You can read more about the eligibility criteria (pdf) for the Reactivation Employment Permit.

Pay

You must be paid at least the National Minimum Wage.

Eligible jobs

The Reactivation Employment Permit is available for all occupations, except domestic jobs (other than certain carers).

Job offer

You must have a genuine job offer and have the qualifications, skills and experience required for the job. You must be directly employed and paid by your employer. The employer must be trading in Ireland, registered with Revenue and, if applicable, with the Companies Registration Office.

A Reactivation Employment Permit will not be issued to companies where more than 50% of the employees are non-EEA nationals. This is called the 50:50 rule.

A Labour Market Needs Test is not required.

How to apply

To get a Reactivation Employment Permit, you must first apply for temporary immigration permission with ISD. Once your temporary immigration permission is approved you can apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit.

Apply for a temporary immigration permission

To apply for temporary immigration permission, you must have a current job offer.

You need to complete the REP application form (pdf) and send it to ISD. There are guidelines (pdf) to help you with this form. ISD will assess the application and if you qualify for temporary immigration permission, you get stamp 1 permission for 4 months. You must register this permission at your local registration office.

Apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit

You apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit to the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE) using the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS). Your prospective employer can apply on your behalf or you can apply yourself. You must provide the supporting documentation required.

After you have applied

You can check the status of your application using the online status enquiry facility. The application processing times are on the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s website.

If your application is refused you must be given the reasons it was refused. You can appeal this decision within 28 days, using the review of decision to refuse an employment permit form.

Your family

People who have a Reactivation Employment Permit can bring their family to live with them in Ireland after 1 year has passed since the permit was issued. You have to show that you can support them, by earning more than the limits for Working Family Payment.

Family are from a country whose citizens need a visa to enter Ireland: they must all apply for separate visas.

Family are from a country whose citizens do not need a visa to enter Ireland: they must show proof that they are the family members of a General Employment Permit holder to an immigration officer in the airport or port where they enter Ireland.

Registration and work

Your spouse or de-facto partner and any child aged 16 and over must register and get an IRP.

They must apply for an employment permit to work in Ireland.

Applying for a Stamp 4 after 5 years

A Reactivation Employment Permit is issued for a maximum of 2 years and then can be renewed for a maximum of 3 years.

You renew the permit using the Employment Permit Online System (EPOS). You should apply within 16 weeks before your current permit is due to expire.

When you have completed 5 years on an employment permit you can apply to ISD for a Stamp 4 permission. Stamp 4 holders can work without an employment permit. After 5 years residence, you may also apply for citizenship by naturalisation.

Changing or losing your job

Changing your job

If this is your first Reactivation Employment Permit, you must stay with your new employer for 12 months (except in exceptional circumstances). After that, you can move to a new employer if you make a new application for an employment permit.

Losing your job

If you are made redundant you should notify the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. The Department will allow you 6 months to find another job. When you find another job you will be issued with a new Reactivation Employment Permit.

You must contact your local immigration registration office to confirm your immigration status. If you have more than 6 months before your immigration permission expires, you can reside in Ireland for 6 months. If you have less than 6 months' immigration permission you can have your immigration permission extended to 6 months which means you will have to pay for a new IRP. If you have not found a new job after 6 months you may have to leave Ireland.

If you then get an offer of employment in Ireland, you can apply for a new employment permit.

Fees

The fees for Reactivation Employment Permits are:

New applications
Duration of permit Amount
Up to 6 months €500
Up to 2 years €1,000

Renewals
Duration of permit Amount
Up to 6 months €750
Up to 3 years €1,500

If an application is refused, 90% of the fee will be refunded to the applicant.

The fee for the Irish Residence Permit (formerly GNIB card) Certificate of Registration is €300.

Renewals

An employer or an employee can apply to renew the Reactivation Employment Permit using the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) 16 weeks before the expiry of the existing permit.

Registration

When you are issued with your Reactivation Employment Permit you need to register with the Burgh Quay Registration Office (if living in Dublin) or the regional registration office or the local Garda District Headquarters (if living outside Dublin). You must do this to get permission to remain in the State as an employee. It is important to do this as otherwise you will not have the correct immigration status.

There is further information about Reactivation Employment Permits on the Department's website.

Further information

Residence Division Unit 2

Department of Justice

Immigration Service Delivery
13/14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
Ireland

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: 4 October 2021