As Theresa May launches Article 50 and the UK officially begins to leave the EU, it has become clear that a change is coming. As Brexit becomes a reality, Ireland is soon set to be the only English speaking country in the EU and an increasingly attractive location for international job seekers and employers.

Ireland is already an attractive location for EEA workers, meaning workers from all EU Countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and non-EEA workers.

What attracts this workforce are the large corporations which call Dublin home, such as: Google, Airbnb, Facebook, Yahoo and Guinness and diverse work opportunities which are set to potentially grow even further.

If you live in the USA or outside of the EEA these work opportunities could apply to you too.

What you Need to Legally Work in Ireland

If you are a non-EEA national, you will need an Employment Permit to work in Ireland.

Basically, an Employment Permit allows you to work in Ireland and gives you the same rights as any Irish or European employee.

Employment Permits last between 6 months and 2 years. If you fall in love with Ireland, Permits can be renewed for a further 3 years.

What to Know Before Applying for an Employment Permit

  • The Government’s policy is that Irish jobs should be offered to suitably skilled Irish and other EEA nationals, and should only be offered to non-EEA nationals where there are no suitable EEA job seekers to fill the vacancy.
  • Employment Permits can be applied for by employees or employers, but must be based on a job offer. Look for a suitable job in Ireland first, then apply for your Employment Permit.
  • You must be directly employed by a company trading in Ireland and registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration Office.
  • Like any job application you must prove you have the skills for the job. Be prepared with good work references or/and proof that you have a relevant qualification.
  • Work Permits are granted for jobs with an annual salary of €30,000 +
  • Permits for positions with an annual salary under €30,000 will be assessed in exceptional circumstances.
  • Permits generally take 4 weeks to process and you cannot work during this period.
  • Once you have a Work Permit you are entitled to all the same rights as an Irish or EU employee.
  • If this is your first Employment Permit you will be expected to stay with your new employer for 12 months (apart from in exceptional circumstances).

How to Make an Employment Permit Application

  • As of 2016 Work Permits can now be applied for by employees or employers online using the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS).
  • Once you have applied you will be given an indication of how long the process will take. Applications can then be tracked via the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation website using your Application ID.
  • If your application is refused you can appeal the decision within 28 days.

The Costs Involved

  • Employment Permits must be paid for by whoever applies for the Permit with fees ranging from €50 to €1000.
  • If an application is refused or withdrawn, 90% of this fee will be refunded.
  • Once your Permit has been approved there is a further €300 fee for the Certificate of Registration.

Are you on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List?

As of August 2016, occupations on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations list include: Engineering Professionals, ICT Professionals, Health Professionals.

If your profession falls into one of the above categories, you may be eligible for the Critical Skills Employment Permit.

The Critical Skills Employment Permit was devised to make life easier for employers in the above high-demand, high-skilled sectors to find the best international candidates for the job.

A Labour Market Needs Test is not required for these positions, making your Permit application quicker and easier.

7 Employment Permit Exceptions

If you fit any of the 7 below categories, you will not need an Employment Permit but you may need alternative paperwork or an alternative permit.

  • Employees of multi-nationals who are transferred to an EU country.
  • Employees sent to Ireland for training within a company.
  • Spouses of Irish nationals.
  • Parents of Irish citizens
  • Asylum seekers.
  • Full-time students seeking an internship.
  • You have secured a contract to provide services to an Irish company.

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