Ireland Work Permit [General/Critical] How to Apply-A Guide for Foreigners

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Irish citizenship and permanent residency are possible after obtaining Ireland work permit. In addition, Ireland is the best destination in Europe to settle as a foreigner. 

However, the Irish labor market, continuously facing skills shortage challenges. Therefore, non-EU and third countries nationals have plenty of options to get employment in Ireland in various sectors. The other benefit is the free access to the European Union when living and working in Ireland.

Hence, this blog includes details about two significant categories such as;

1-General employment permit, and

2-Critical skills permit,

Because these work permit categories are related to the low-skilled workers and high-skilled professionals. 

ireland work permit visa

1-General Employment Permit of Ireland

The Irish immigration attracts 3rd country workers through the General Employment Permits. Furthermore, it targets high-demand occupations which are experiencing a labor shortage in the country.

Thus, all professions are eligible, unless they are excluded from:

Ineligible list of Occupations.

Furthermore, the immigration issues the Irish General Employment permits for 2-years. Despite that, it can be extended for up to three more years

Thus, after completing 5-years in Ireland, the foreign national may apply for a long-term residency.

Eligibility & Criteria

Individuals that are looking for General Employment Permit need to fulfill criteria like:

  • A job offer from an Irish employer
  • A full description of the proposed job
  • Proof of qualifications, skills, or experience
  • Minimum annual remuneration should be €30,000
  • €27,500 regarding an employment as a boner (meat)
  • The offered job (occupation) should not be on the Ineligible List of Occupations
  • In most cases, the employer has to pass the Labor Markets Needs Test

How to apply? 

The immigration department issues General Employment Permits to foreign nationals based on applications made by either the foreign national or the prospective employer. Also, they send a certified copy to the employer.

Thus, candidates can submit work permit applications on the Employment Permits system online

So, before you or your employer start an application for an Ireland work permit, see:

General Employment Permit Documents Checklist 

That will assist you in the application process. Moreover, there are three stages of employment permit processing.

Processing time for Ireland work permit (General Employment Permit)

Usually, the maximum processing time for an Ireland work permit (General Employment Permit) is 8-weeks. However, this will depend on the specific circumstances.

So, when candidates submit work permit applications with fees and supporting documents. 

Ireland’s immigration authorities then review it to decide whether to grant the application or deny it for specific reasons.

How much is the Irish work permit fee for the General Employment category?

A new General Employment Permit in Ireland will cost you the following:

6 months or less duration fee is €500, also,

The 2-years employment permit fee is €1,000.

2-Critical skills Employment Permit of Ireland

The Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP), Ireland’s work permit category, has replaced the Green Card system. The CSEP attracts highly skilled professionals to the job market and encourages them to settle permanently in Ireland.

In general, the CSEP grants for two years. Moreover, professionals working in ICT, engineers, and technologists may qualify for this type of employment permit. 

A Critical Skills Employment Permit requires your occupation to be listed on the Eligible Professions List.

Having an Employment Permit for Critical Skills can provide several distinct benefits, including:

If the holders of Critical Skills Employment Permits migrate to Ireland, their family members can also do so.

After the CSEP holders’ permits expire, they may apply for permission to live and work without requiring an employment permit;

There is no need for a labor market test;

In addition, family members of CSEP holders may apply for a dependent/partner/spouse work permit.

What jobs are listed under Critical Skills?

The Critical Skills Employment Permit covers an array of specific capabilities and skills. A complete list of eligible occupations you can find on the Irish immigration website, for example:

Critical Skills Occupations Full List (Eligible Professions).

As a further note, I am summarizing some jobs that qualify for the Irish critical employment permit, such as

  • Civil Engineers, Structural Engineers and Site Engineers
  • Teaching and Educational Professionals
  • Artistic, Literary, and Media Occupations
  • Sports and Fitness Occupations
  • Sales, Marketing, and Related Associate Professionals 
  • Medical laboratory scientists, Medical practitioners
  • Programmers and software development professionals
  • Web design and development professionals
ireland work permit jobs

Eligibility & Other Requirements 

The Irish Immigration authorities determine the eligibility for Critical Skills Employment Permits based on the offered salary and occupation. If you are seeking a CESP, you must meet some requirements, such as.

  • A genuine offer of employment from an Irish employer is required;
  • You must have a job offer from the prospective employer for at least two years in the eligible occupations;
  • If a proposed job is among the Critical Skills Occupations, it is eligible;
  • If you are a nurse or midwife, you must hold a third level degree or diploma recognized by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland:
  • Qualifications that require a degree or more if paying a minimum annual salary of €32,000;
  • If a job pays over €64,000 a year, you must have adequate experience.
  • A foreign worker must remain with their initial employer for at least 12 months.

How do you apply for a Critical Skills work permit in Ireland?

The applicants or their employers can apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit. Moreover, the prospective employee will receive a copy of the employment permit (the employer will receive a certified copy). 

Through the Employment Permits Online System, you can apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit online. Please review the Critical Skills Employment Permit Checklist before you begin the application process.

Fee for Irish Critical Employment Permit 

An Ireland’s work permit under the Critical Skills Employment Permit category costs €1,000. However, foreign nationals’ dependents, including their spouse, partners, and children, do not have to pay for employment permits.

The immigration rules clearly state that Irish employers must not deduct application fees from the remuneration of their employees. Moreover, if an employment application is unsuccessful, Employees will receive a refund of 90% fee.

ireland work permit application form official link

Irish work visa application process

Upon receiving a job offer, and Irish immigration approval of your employment permit application (for General Employment or Critical Skills). Your next step will be to apply for an Irish work permit if you are from a visa-required country.

Thus, you can fill out an online visa application form. After that, you must submit your supporting documents and the printed application to the Irish Embassy or Consulate in your country. So, you can apply for a national visa also, known as a D type.

So, you can find Irish consulate or embassy in your country here.

How can I get a valid job offer in Ireland?

There are many effective ways to get genuine employment offers from Irish companies and employers that are looking for suitable candidates. Therefore, you can explore the online platforms such as,

Indeed Jobs

Irish Jobs

Recruitment Agencies in Ireland


How easy is it to get a work permit in Ireland?

It is easy to get employment in Ireland for EE nationals and some other citizens.
Comparatively, for 3rd country nationals such as Indians, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese, and Africans, an Irish work permit may be easy to obtain if they meet the eligibility criteria.
Most importantly, you must have a real employment offer from an Irish employer that meets the salary threshold of €30,000 or €64k, depending on your work permit type.

How long does it take to get a work permit in Ireland?

Usually, there are a few stages for the Irish work permit processing.
For example, when a candidate submits an online application for an employment permit, it may take 8-weeks to get a final decision from Irish immigration.
However, work permit processing duration in Ireland may vary because it depends on the overall circumstances.

What jobs are in high demand in Ireland?

According to the labor market trends, in the year of 2021, the most in-demand job sectors in Ireland are;
Healthcare related occupations
IT & Tech related jobs
Farming & Food processing occupations
Accounting, sales & Marketing
Construction Industry. Also,
Automation industries Jobs.

Can I move to Ireland without a job offer?

You can move to Ireland as a visitor and it does not require an employment offer. In other words, you can get a tourist visa for Ireland that allows you to stay there 90-days maximum.
Unlike, if your intention is to work in Ireland, get a valid job offer from an Irish employer and move there on a work visa if you are a 3rd country national.


Professionals from outside of Europe planning to stay in Ireland have several options for obtaining an Ireland work permit.

Aside from that, the General and critical employment permit types are more popular among foreign nationals.

Additionally, the process of applying for an Irish work permit is relatively simple, fast, and inexpensive.

If you are moving to Ireland, make sure you go over the detailed requirements posted on the Irish immigration website.

Watch: Best Ways to Get Ireland Work Permit in 2021 || 2-5 years Employment Permit in Ireland || Hindi & Urdu

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