International Immigration Summary – Ireland
Written By Madalina Philips | Thu, Aug 25, 2016
Ireland has a number of options for employers of foreign nationals:
Working in Ireland
There are a number of options for employment as a foreign national in Ireland. The most common are:
• Intra-Company Transfer Permit: This permit facilitates the transfer of foreign senior management, key personnel or trainees from an overseas branch or multi-national corporation to its Irish branch. They must be performing a specific role and can enter initially for up to two years with the option to extend to a maximum of five years (trainees for 12 months) or when the employment ends. This application can only be made by the employer. There are minimum salary requirements and the employee being transferred must have been working for a minimum of 12 months with the overseas entity before being transferred. Further detail on eligibility criteria, required documentation, the application process and renewals can be found here.
• Atypical Working Scheme: this allows non-EEA nationals to travel to Ireland and work on a short-term basis (between 14 and 90 days). You may also be employed on a trial basis with the option to apply for a permanent position which is on the Highly Skilled List and subsequently apply for a CSEP or General employment Permit (see details below). This scheme applies to applicants who have been offered a position from an Irish based employer. You can only lodge one Atypical Working Scheme application per calendar year. The processing time for the permit is about 2-3 weeks. Once approved you may also need a visa to enter Ireland (depending on your passport country). Dependent family members will not be allowed to accompany you under this scheme (they will need to have their own permit). More information can be found here.
• Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP): This was formerly known as the Green card. It is designed to attract highly skilled people into the Irish labour market with the aim of encouraging them to take up permanent residency. This is issued for an initial period of two years, after which is can renewed indefinitely. Eligibility for the CSEP includes a relevant job offer from a genuine company registered for trade in Ireland, there is a specific salary requirement and at least 50% of employees must be EEA national in order for the employer to be eligible (unless the company is a start-up organisation). Detailed information and criteria can be accessed here.
• General Employment Permit: This was formerly known as the Work Permit and is for third-country nationals who will work in skill short occupations but do not qualify for a CSEP. These are issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Either the employer or the employee can apply for the permit, which must be based on an offer of employment. This permit can be issued for an initial period of two years and can then be renewed for a further three years. Further information and criteria is available here.
Visitors may conduct any activity for up to 14 days without authorization to work.
Details of visa requirements for entering Ireland can be found here.
Studying in Ireland
Citizens of certain countries who would like to study in Ireland must apply for a visa to enter Ireland before they travel. If you are a non EEA national you must be enrolled in a full-time course on the Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP). You must have a Letter of Acceptance confirming your course of study which must last one academic year and have a minimum of 15 hours per week study time.
If you are a full time student, studying outside of Ireland and you would like to travel to Ireland to complete a paid internship for up to 3 months you will need to apply under the Atypical Working Scheme (as described above). Student visa requirements for Ireland can be accessed here.
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