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Reactivation Employment Permit

This application allows people who were originally working in Ireland on expired employment permits to reactivate their employment permit status in Ireland. Learn more below.

What is a Reactivation Employment Permit?

Reactivation Employment Permits are designed for situations where a foreign national entered the State on a valid Employment Permit but who fell out of the system through no fault of their own or who has been badly treated or exploited in the workplace to work legally again.

The foreign national’s new employer or Future Direct can help you apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit. The Employment Permit is issued to the foreign national, and a certified copy is sent to the employer, which permits the employment in the State, in the occupation and location/s specified on the permit.

Except in very exceptional circumstances, the Minister will consider the issue of one new Reactivation Employment Permit for a foreign national under this scheme.

The application procedure involves the following two steps:

  1. Apply to the Department of Justice for a Stamp 1 permission letter based on the Reactivation Scheme. This letter acts as a visa extension for you to remain in Ireland and apply for a new work permit.

  2. Once the Stamp 1 Permission letter is granted, you can apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit with the DETE online.

You could apply for this permit if you fulfilled one of the scenarios below:

  • Previously held an employment permit but fell out of the system through no fault of your own, and you remained in the State although you are currently not legally resident in Ireland.

  • Current Work Permit Employment Permit holders for low-skilled and low-paid positions wish to change employers but will not qualify under the new policies for a General Employment Permit.

  • A new Reactivation Employment Permit holder who is made redundant; you will have a period of 6 months (similar to other permit holders) to seek a new position and apply for a new Reactivation Employment Permit.

  • A new Reactivation Employment Permit holder who wishes to change employer. (You should note that, except in exceptional circumstances, employment permit holders are expected to remain with their initial employer for 12 months before moving to a new job).

However, specific scenarios will not be eligible for a reactivation employment permit. For further details, please contact us now!

Eligibility Requirements for the Employer

The DETE are to examine the employer by several criteria, including:

  • They are registered with the Revenue Commissioners and, where applicable, with the Companies Registration Office/Registry of Friendly Societies, which are currently trading in Ireland.

  • The employee will be employed, salaried and paid directly by the employer.

  • The employer holds at least 50% of EEA nationals within the organisation (the 50:50 rule), unless, on the day on which the application is made, the employer has no employees, the foreign national will be the sole employee

A labour market needs test is not required for this type of permit.

Eligibility Requirements for Family Reunion

Dependents/partners/spouses of Reactivation Employment Permit holders are not eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit and must apply for a separate Employment Permit in their own right.


The Critical Skills Employment Permit is issued for 2 years. After this, you can get a Stamp 4 permission to live and work in Ireland without an employment permit.

You must complete a request form to get a support letter from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment confirming your current employment. You apply by emailing the completed form to The decision on your application will be sent to you by email.

You then register with your local immigration officer – see above. You must have the following documents with you:

  • Your passport

  • Your Certificate of Registration (IRP card)

  • Your Critical Skills Employment Permit

  • A letter from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment confirming your continuing employment

If you are granted a Stamp 4 permission, it will be issued for 2 years and can be renewed provided you continue to satisfy the criteria. When you have been legally resident for 5 years, you can apply for citizenship by naturalisation.

If you are not eligible for a Stamp 4, you may be issued with a Stamp 1 and you will continue to need an employment permit to work in Ireland.

f you are eligible to change from temporary residency, you need to submit the following documents:

  • All your passports; or

  • IRP cards listing each of your immigration stamps.

  • Recent IRP or GNIB Card IRP duplicate.

  • Duplicates of all employment permits.

  • Duplicate of employment contract; or

  • Letter from your employer outlining the contract start date and employment terms.

  • Proof of continuous residency in Ireland.

The applicant will then be granted an entry stamp for Ireland for a maximum of 90 days. They are then required to make a written application to the De facto section of the INIS. The average processing time for these applications is currently 6 months.

When you require a letter of recommendation in a timely manner or if your supervisor is too busy to write it, you can write a self-recommendation and have it approved or signed at a later time. A self-recommendation may also help when you feel you possess a greater understanding of your strengths than your recommender.

You may be given Stamp 4, after you have had a permission to work in Ireland: With a valid Critical Skills Employment Permit for 2 years. With a valid employment permit for 5 years. As a researcher (with a valid Hosting Agreement) for 2 years.

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