Work Permit in Ireland: what you need to know before applying in 2023

Are you a non-National of the European Economic Area (EEA) and looking to work in Ireland? You must be aware that you need a work permit to be allowed to work Ireland. In this piece, we give comprehensive details about Ireland work permit. And you also get to know the documents required for a successful work permit application.

What Is an Irish Work Permit

The Ireland work permit is a document stating that you have been authorized to take up jobs in Ireland as a non-citizen of the EEA.

If you have found a job already in Ireland, you can apply for work permit. The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is responsible for reviewing and granting work permits in Ireland.

Who Is Eligible For Work Permit in Ireland

According to Irish laws, everyone who is not a national of the European Economic Area is eligible for Irish work permit. Such persons must get work permits before they can legally take up jobs in Ireland. An alternative in this regard is immigration permission from the Minister for Justice.

If you are a non-EEA citizen but married to an Irish/EEA national, you need to apply for Irish work permit if you coming and working in Ireland without your significant other accompanying you.  The interesting thing to note about this category of persons is that they don’t need to pay for the work permit.

Who Does Not Need Irish Work Permit

Generally, non-citizens of the EEA looking to work in Ireland need a work permit before they can take up jobs. But there are some persons that enjoy special status and they may not need to apply for Irish Work Permit

  • If you are a non-EEA nurse with valid employment in Ireland, you don’t need to apply for Work Permit. What you need to do is to ensure that you are accepted on clinical adaptation placement in Ireland. This arrangement is called Atypical Working Scheme under the Department of Justice

Other categories that don’t need Ireland work permit include:

  • Foreign national spouse, civil partner or parent of an Irish citizen
  • Ireland Student Visa holder (Note that you can only work up to 20 hours weekly and 40 hours during the holidays)
  • Scientific researchers working for approved research organizations
  • Persons with valid refugee status

Types of Work Permit in Ireland

Since there are different types of jobs and services in Ireland, it logically follows that there should be various types of Work Permits. Let’s check them out.

Critical Skills Employment Permit

If you’ve got qualifications in the Health sector or you are an ICT professional, you should apply for the Critical Skills Work Permit.

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is designed is such a way as to encourage professionals in the critical sectors to stay permanently in Ireland.

Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

Critical Skills Employment Permit holders usually come into Ireland with their spouse, partner or dependants. And the latter persons might want to take up job as well.

Therefore the authorities issue the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit to this category of persons.

Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit

To promote foreign direct investments in Ireland, the authorities usually issue the Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit. This type of permit is applicable to senior management members of multinational companies that are transferred to Ireland.

General Employment Permit

As the title suggests, the General Employment Permit grants the holder the right to take up any form of legal employment in Ireland.

You don’t have to possess critical skills to be issued a General Employment Permit in Ireland.

Contract for Services Employment Permit

Contract for Services Employment Permit is granted to contractors offering certain services to an Irish company. And the type of contract here is usually a contract for services.

Such third party contractor needs the Contract for Services Employment Permit before their employees can set out to work in Ireland.

Reactivation Employment Permit

Perhaps you had a valid Work Permit in Ireland but you suffered ill-treatment by your employer, you can reregister for a new Work Permit known as the Reactivation Employment Permit.

Note that you will not be granted a Reactivation Employment Permit if you fell out of the system as a results of faults on your part.

Internship Employment Permit

For full-time foreign students in Ireland, you can apply for the Internship Employment Permit if your discipline is among the Critical Skills Occupations in Ireland and you want to work in the same field so as to gain work experience.

Sport and Cultural Employment Permit

If you can offer value in Sports and Cultural activities, you can get the Irish Sport and Cultural Employment Permit. Likewise, you can take jobs in the entertainment sector with this type of permit.

Exchange Agreement Employment Permit

The Exchange Agreement Employment Permit applies to international agreements to which Ireland is a party. So, you can benefit from the permit and be gainfully employed in Ireland.

Required Documents for Irish Work Permit

When applying for Irish Work Permit, you are required to submit certain documents. These include:

  • Two recent passport photos
  • Employer Registered Number (ERN) and Company Name Registered Number
  • Company/Business Registered Address.
  • Registered Name of Company/Business and Trading Name (if different)
  • Type of Company
  • Nature of Business
  • Number of EEA and/or Swiss Nationals (including Irish) currently in your employment
  • Number of non-EEA nationals currently in your employment.
  • Details of previous visa permissions or employments in Ireland
  • Details of Employment
  • Title of Job
  • Details of the role
  • Location of employment
  • Proposed period of employment and proposed start date
  • Proof of qualifications/skills/knowledge or experience required for this role
  • Details of qualifications/skills/knowledge and experience of the non-EEA national

How to Apply For Irish Work Permit

You can apply for Irish Work Permit through the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS). This platform allows you to make applications, make the necessary documentations and pay the required fee for Irish Work Permit.

Ireland Work Permit Processing Time

Due to increase in the volume of applications for Irish Work Permit, it now takes about 8 weeks to get a reply from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

How to Take Passport Photo with Your Phone for Irish Work Permit

If you want to take passport photo for your Irish Work Permit, you should use photo app like Smartphone iD. Just download the app, take a photo and let the AI and biometrics team do the verification.

You can get delivery of your passport photo via email or doorstep delivery.


Irish Work Permits are not the same. You can be eligible for a type of permit, while another person is protected by a different type of Employment Permit. So make sure to identify the best Work Permit for you.

Additionally, be aware that you can accelerate the process of creating a valid passport photo for Irish Work permit using Smartphone iD.


How Long Is Irish Work Permit Valid For?

Irish General Employment Permits are valid for a maximum period of 2 years

Can I Renew My Irish Work Permit?

Yes. You can renew Irish Work Permit for additional 3 years

How Can I Get Approved Photos for My Irish Work Permit Application?

Create approved passport photos for Irish Work Permit on Smartphone iD

How Long Does It Take To Get Irish Work Permit?

It takes about 8 weeks to process Irish Work Permit

Can A Dependant Get Irish Work Permit?

Yes. Dependants and spouses of non-EEA citizens can get Irish Work Permit

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