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Work Permits & Residence Permits

Work Permits

EEA / EU nationals
If you are an EEA or Swiss national coming to work in Ireland you do not need a work permit.

The EEA (European Economic Area) is the European Union (EU) countries + Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

If you are unsure if your country is in the EU see list here: EU Member State Map

NON-EEA nationals – Work Permits – general situations
Non-EEA nationals must have a work permit to live and work in Ireland.

Bulgarian and Romanian nationals
Since 1 January 2007 Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are EU nationals but still have to have a permit to work in Ireland.

Romanian and Bulgarian nationals who have been resident in Ireland on a valid work permit for a continuous period of 12 months or longer prior to 31 December 2006 will not need work permits.

See Romania & Bulgaria Guide here.


From 1 February 2007 there are new arrangements for work permits.

*Working visas or work authorization issued before 31 December 2006 will not be affected. Current Working Visa / Work Authorization.

Holders are not effected by the New Employment Permit Arrangements and can continue to work on their current Visas or Authorizations till they expire. When they expire you can apply as normal to have them renewed.*

New Rules for everyone else:

Green Card permits: are available for people with an annual salary above €60,000 (excl bonuses) and for a restricted range of occupations with an annual salary between €30,000 and €60,000

Work permits: are available mainly for those with salaries between €30,000 and €60,000 who are not eligible for a Green Card. ONLY IF THE POSITION IS IN A CERTAIN WORK CATEGORY.

They are also available in exceptional circumstances for jobs with salaries below €30,000.

Your nearest Irish embassy or consulate will be able to tell you if you require a travel visa before coming to Ireland.

See a guide to “general work permits” here: Guide to Work Permits (.pdf)

See a guide to “green cards” here: Guide to Green Card Permits (.pdf)

What do the new rules mean for you?

Answer - For the Hotel, Tourism & Catering Industry – YOU WILL SEE FROM DOWNLOADING THIS GOVERNEMENT GUIDE You Will Not get a permit unless your salary is above €60,000. – Unless you are a Chef, then you can get one if your salary is 30,000 or above.

Once you have been issued with an employment permit you have all the employment rights of Irish or EU citizens for the duration of the employment permit.

Other types of special permits to work in Ireland:

Spousal/dependant work permits: allow spouses and dependants of work permit holders to apply for work permits for any occupation without the requirement of a labour market needs test by the employer.

In order to be eligible to apply for a spousal/dependant work permit the following criteria must be met:

(a) The spouse and the work permit holder must be married and have a legally recognised marriage certificate.

(b) The work permit holder must have a valid work permit which is one of the following: Green Card permit, Work permit, Intra-company transfer permit, Working visa or work authorization issued before 31 December 2006

(c) The work permit holder must still be working within the terms of his or her permit.

There is no fee for spousal/dependant work permit applications or renewals.

Applications for spouses or dependants living outside Ireland must go through the normal work permit procedures.

Intra-company transfer permits : allow for the transfer of staff from a multinational outside Ireland who has a branch here. See guide here: intra-company transfer permits

Applying for a permit:

Applications for work permits, either by yourself, or your employer can be made here:

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Employment Permits Section
Davitt House
65a Adelaide Road
9:30am-13:00 & 14:00-17:00
Tel: +353 1 631 3333/3308
Locall: 1890 201 616
Fax: +353 1 631 3268

Useful Links:

Employment Permits Act 2006
S.I. No. 682 of 2006
S.I. No. 683 of 2006
Migrant Workers-Work Permits
Employment Rights & Conditions
Citizens Information Board – Living in Ireland

Useful Points:
  • Either the employer or employee can apply for the work permit, based on an offer of employment
  • It will be granted to the employee and will include a statement of the employee's rights and entitlements
  • The employer is not allowed to deduct recruitment expenses from the employee's pay or retain the employee's personal documents
  • Once you have a work permit you have the same rights as an Irish Employee
Residence permits

If you are an EU national coming to Ireland to work you do not need a residence permit.

Nationals of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein and Switzerland still need residence permits

(if you are outside the EEC – you need a work permit – see above)

You must register within three months of your arrival and apply for a residence permit. If you live in Dublin, you should register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. In other areas, you should register at the local Garda District Headquarters.

You will need to show that you are in employment or self-employed.

A residence permit is granted for five years and is renewable.

Where to Apply in Dublin:

Garda National Immigration Bureau
13/14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2
hours: Mon to Thurs inclusive: 8am to 10pm
Tel: +353 1 666 9100
Fax: +353 1 666 9100

Outside Dublin:

Your local Garda District Headquarters.

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