Work Permits Ireland
In Ireland employers have the responsibility for making a work
permit application on behalf of a prospective
employee. Companies intending to process work
permit applications must advertise the position on
the Government employment agency (FÁS)
website for a minimum period of 4 weeks.
Exemptions may be granted to this requirement if
the individual being recruited has very specific
experience and qualifications for the role being
Current processing time for new work permit
applications at the Department of Enterprise,
Trade & Employment is between 8 and 10 weeks.
Intra-Company Transfer (“Pre-Clearance”)
In late 2002, the Department of Enterprise, Trade
& Employment (DETE) announced the temporary
suspension of the Intra Corporate Transfer (ICT)
scheme, which previously allowed multi-national
organisations to post workers to Ireland for a
temporary period of up to 4 years without the
requirement for a work permit, provided certain
conditions were satisfied.
The ICT scheme remains suspended indefinitely.
However, in certain circumstances where senior
individuals are required to fill critical positions, it
may be possible to apply for pre-clearance in
order to enable such individuals to work in Ireland
without the need for a work permit.
In addition, individuals who transferred to Ireland
prior to 29 October 2002 and who registered under
the ICT scheme before that date, continue to qualify
for the duration of the assignment, up to a maximum
of 4 years. However, if the assignment is extended
beyond 4 years, an application for a work permit must
be made as soon as the anticipated change in
departure date becomes known.
Work Authorisation / Working Visa
The work authorisation/working visa scheme only
applies to qualified individuals with key skills that are
in short supply and who are working in the IT, nursing
and construction sectors.
This scheme allows a prospective non-EEA
employee to apply to the Irish Embassy or Consulate
in his country of normal residence for a working
visa/work authorisation to enable him to work in
Ireland. In a recent initiative, the immigration
requirements for spouses of individuals who hold a
work authorisation/working visa have also been
Individuals applying for work authorisation/working
visa must have a valid contract of employment with
the Irish organisation. The working visa/work
authorisation is usually valid for a period of 2 years.
In contrast to a work permit, which issues on behalf
of the employer, the work authorisation/working visa
belongs to the employee. Once an employee obtains
a work authorisation/working visa, he is free to
change employers after arriving in Ireland.