The Employment Permits Acts 2003–2014 governs the employment permits scheme. Under this Act, there are nine types of employment permit. Each permit has its own application form and specific criteria to apply.
General Employment Permit
Available for employment in occupations with a salary of €30,000 or more. A labour market needs test is generally required.
New regulations in Ireland (effective May 2018) will now allow General Employment Permits for meat processing operatives, farm assistants and horticultural workers. The permits are limited in number and the following criteria must be met in order to be eligible:
- annual salary of €22,000 minimum based on a 39 hour week
- labour market test
- employee must have suitable accommodation and training.
This useful employment permit checklist provides further information on criteria.
The application for a General Employment Permit can be made by either the employer or the employee and it must be made based on an offer of employment. The permit will be issued to the employee directly. An employee permit will provide the employee with all of the employment rights of an Irish or EEA citizen. The Citizen’s Information website provides full details of these rights.
Critical Skills Employment Permit
Available for most occupations with an annual salary of over €64,000. However they are also available for occupations on the Critical Skills Occupations List with a minimum annual salary of €32,000 minimum. These permits do not require a labour market test.
Dependent / Partner / Spouse Employment Permit
Applies to a dependant of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder or a researcher on a Hosting Agreement. Further details of this permit are available.
Reactivation Employment Permit
The Reactivation Employment Permit (REP) Scheme is operated by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. These permits allow foreign nationals who entered the State on a valid employment permit but who may have fallen out of the system or who have been exploited or badly treated in the workplace, to find employment again. In order to apply for a Reactivation Employment Permit, you must first apply for a temporary immigration permission stamp to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). Full details of how to apply can be found here.
There are also 5 other types of employment permit.
- Contract for Services Employment Permits
- Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits
- Internship Employment Permits
- Sport and Cultural Employment Permits
- Exchange Agreement Employment Permits
- Irish Refugee Council paper on the Right to Work for International Protection Applicants.
- Migrant Rights Centre Ireland Employment Permit FAQs
- Reactivation Employment Permit (REP) Scheme