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Work Visas Ireland

If you wish to work in Ireland you must hold an Employment Permit, which is issued by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). Here, you will find information about how to apply for the visa you need to travel to Ireland to work.

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Yes, if you are currently outside Ireland you may be permitted to come to Ireland to work. You must check if you need immigration permission from the Department of Justice or an employment permit from the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to work before you travel or apply for a visa (if you are a visa required national).

In general, in order to come to Ireland to work a non-EEA national must hold a valid employment permit or immigration permission.

Employment permit

All first time applicants for employment permits must make their application while resident outside Ireland. The Irish employment permit system, which processes these applications, is operated by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). Detailed information regarding the employment permit system can be found at the following link (DETE Employment Permit Information). If you are required to have an employment permit, you must obtain a permit before you apply for a visa (if you are a visa-required national) in order to travel to Ireland.

Atypical Working Scheme

The Department of Justice issues immigration permission under the Atypical Working Scheme. Information on who is covered can be found here.

Working Holiday Authorisation Programme

Information on the Working Holiday Authorisation Programme can be found here. This programme allows young people to fund an extended holiday through temporary work. Only certain nationalities may be able to participate in this programme.

Trainee Accountant

If you intend to come to Ireland to take up a position as a trainee accountant. Please click here for full details.

Minister of Religion

If you intend to travel to Ireland to work as a Minister of Religion, you will need preclearance approval. This applies to all Non-EEA nationals whether you require a visa or not. Please click here for full details.


If you intend to travel to Ireland to volunteer with an eligible body, you will need preclearance approval before traveling. This applies to all Non-EEA nationals whether you require a visa. Please click here for full details.

Start up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP)

The start-up entrepreneur programme (STEP) allows you to establish a business in Ireland and to work in the business on a full-time basis. You are not permitted to be employed in any other capacity and must not become a financial burden on the Irish State. You can find out more here.

Immigrant Investor Programme

The Immigrant Investor Programme (IIP) is open to non-EEA nationals who commit to an approved investment in Ireland. The IIP requires a minimum investment of €1 million, or €0.5 million (€500,000) if an endowment is made from the applicant’s resources and is not financed through a loan or other such facility. The closure of the programme was announced on 15 February 2024.  You can find out more here.

A non-EEA national who is legally employed by a company in an EU country may be permitted to provide services on a temporary basis to a company in another EU country, including Ireland, on behalf of his/her employer without the need to obtain an employment permit.

This is permitted under the Van Der Elst process, for more information and conditions see here. You will still be subject to Irish immigration rules and may require a visa before coming to Ireland.

You may be permitted to come to Ireland to carry out a research project with an accredited research institution under the Scheme for Accreditation of Research Organisations (Hosting Agreement Scheme).

Detailed information on this scheme, including on how to apply and accredited organisations can be found via the following link (DETE Hosting Agreement Scheme).

The scheme allows for a period of between three months to five years, to carry out a research project with an accredited research institution. You do not require a separate employment permit under this scheme.

You must have successfully obtained a Hosting Agreement before you apply for a visa (if you are a visa required national) and undertake travel to Ireland.

If you are a visa required national you must apply for a visa before travelling to Ireland. Find out if you need a visa.

You can apply for all employment visa types up to 3 months before your date of travel to Ireland. You should apply for a visa as soon as possible after the granting of an employment permit/hosting agreement/immigration permission.

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Table of Content:

Processing Time

Applications are processed in date order. You are advised not to purchase travel tickets before you know the outcome of your visa application.

Processing times can vary between countries. They can also vary during high volume periods during the year. However, you can generally expect a decision within 8 weeks from the date on which your application is lodged at the visa office, embassy or consulate.

Your application may take longer if for example you have not submitted all necessary supporting documentation, your supporting documentation needs to be verified or because of your personal circumstances (for example if you have a criminal conviction).

You can check the processing times for the visa office, embassy or consulate that is handling your application on their website. If your application is being processed by the Dublin visa office, you can check the date of the applications currently being processed on the visa decisions page.

Supporting documentation

The required supporting documents are vital because they provide information about your circumstances in the country from which you are applying. It is your responsibility to satisfy the visa officer that a visa should be granted for the purpose sought. Submitting any or all of these documents does not guarantee that your application will succeed. Original documents must be provided.

Submitting a document that is not in English or Irish must be accompanied by a full translation. Each translated document must contain:

  • Confirmation from the translator that it is an accurate translation of the original document

  • The date of the translation

  • The translator’s full name and signature

  • The translator’s contact details

All letters submitted from a business, company or other organisation must be on official headed paper so they can be verified, and show the organisation’s:

  1. Full name

  2. Full postal address

  3. Telephone number (fixed line – not mobile/cell phone)

  4. Website address

  5. ​Email address (Yahoo and Hotmail email addresses are not accepted)

  6. A contact person’s name and title/position

  7. ​Written signature of an authorised representative (electronic signature is not accepted)

The visa officer considers each application on its merits and may request additional information or documentation.

How to apply?

You can complete the visa application online. You must follow the instructions listed on the application form and prepare all the necessary documents. You must print, sign and date the application form and submit it. You may be required to provide your biometrics information. This could be a lengthy process in filling up the forms and the preparation of documents.


Need help with your work visa? Contact us now for instant help and assistance on your situation. Future Direct are committed to guide you through the whole process and do it for you. 

When can you apply?

You can apply for an visa to enter Ireland after obtaining your employment permit from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). DETE issues different types of employment permits based on your employment conditions, including Critical Skills Employment Permits or General Skills Employment Permits.

You can apply for an Employment (Permits etc.) visa up to 3 months before your travel date to Ireland. If you are visiting another state before travelling to Ireland, you must have the relevant visa for that state in your passport before applying for an Irish visa.

Need help with your work visa? Contact us now for instant help and assistance on your situation.


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.

However, if you are from a country outside of the EEA, Switzerland, or the UK, and you want to come to live and work in Ireland, you may have to apply for:

  1. Apply for an employment permit, with the DETE.

  2. Apply for a visa to enter Ireland, given that you are from a visa-required country.

Return of documents

All documents accompanying your application must be originals. You should keep copies of all the documents that you provide. Original documents such as marriage, birth or death certificates will be returned to you. However, other documents such as bank statements or letters of invitation will not be returned. Please provide a list of documents that you wish to have returned with the application.

Need help with your work visa? Contact us now for instant help and assistance on your situation. Future Direct are committed to guide you through the whole process and do it for you.


The visa application fee is €60 for single entry and €100 for multiple entry, payable to the Irish Visa Office. Some applicants are exempt from the requirement to pay the visa fee.

You may be required to pay additional charges when submitting the documents during the application process. You may be able to pay the fee in local currency. The visa office, embassy or consulate website will have details about additional charges and local payment options.

Have questions? Or need immediate help and professional advice with your situation?

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