Ireland is home to a number of major tech companies, including Microsoft, Apple, and Meta. Known as a friendly country with high levels of education, Ireland is a booming talent hotspot for companies looking to recruit top talent. With significant growth in sectors such as IT, energy, environmental engineering, and medical devices, the country is quickly becoming one of the most important economies in the European Union.
If you’re a foreigner or an expat looking for employment in Ireland, you will likely need a work visa & permit to get hired and live in the country. Ireland’s labor market is booming, and the appeal of living in Ireland has attracted companies (ranging from small startups to major enterprises) to the country.
Here’s everything employees and employers need to know about the visa application process.
An Irish work visa is a document that allows individuals from outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA), and the United Kingdom (UK) to work in Ireland. Typically, this work visa is reserved for high-skilled work or those in sectors with a shortage of workers.
Ireland has two work visas: a short stay ‘C’ visa–good for three months–or a long stay ‘D’ visa–good for stays exceeding three months. If you intend to stay in Ireland longer, you must state your intention and apply for an Irish Residence Permit (IRP) using the right form.
An Irish work permit is a document foreign individuals must possess if they are from outside the EU, EEA, or UK. To obtain this permit, the individual must also have an official job offer or contract from an Irish employer or business.
You will need to present your work permit paperwork to the immigration officer in the airport or (if you arrive by boat) at the port of entry. Otherwise, you will not be able to move to Ireland.
To apply for a work visa and permit in Ireland, you will need to secure a job and receive a work permit before being issued a visa.
To land a job, you can visit job boards like Indeed, post your resume online, reach out to your network, and apply for positions that suit you. Once you have received an official job offer or contract, you can move on to the next step and submit your application.
Applications for an Ireland work permit are completed online through Ireland’s Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. To complete the work visa application, you will also need to apply online, but through Ireland’s Department of Justice and Equality. The website will list all relevant visa requirements, as well as instructions for how to submit your application and supporting documents.
In most cases, foreigner workers will need a work permit. This document is not required for expats from the EU, EEA, or UK.
The former is designed for highly-skilled individuals who will fill positions in a labor shortage and benefit the Irish economy. To qualify, your role must be included on a specified list of eligible positions. The latter, on the other hand, is much more open-ended and does not have a list of eligible positions.
Some roles, including exhibition organizers, home carers, and post office clerks, are on the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits.
There is an extensive list of requirements necessary to apply for an work permit in Ireland, which you can view here. Make sure you have a valid passport before beginning the process.
If a work permit is granted, it is good for two years with the possibility of being renewed for an additional three years’ time. After the five-year limit, the individual should apply for long-term residency.
An Irish work permit is only valid for the employer and employment stated on the permit. If you change employers, you must apply for a new permit.
You should reapply within 16 weeks of your permit’s expiration date using the Employment Permit Online System (EPOS) website.
If you’re looking for a job in Ireland as an expat, you want to make sure that the company has the HR structure to help you get onboarded and added to payroll legally.
Be sure to check that your employment contract has all of the necessary information. It might be helpful to look over the relevant documents with a local Irish lawyer.
Finding a job in Ireland can be done through online job boards like Jobs.ie, Monster.ie, Recruitireland.com, and job recruitment companies. But Irish employers must prove they cannot find natural citizens to fill the positions before hiring foreign workers, so finding a job in Ireland may be challenging. You will also want to check if your employer providers benefits such as travel insurance and health insurance.
It is worth mentioning Ireland recognizes two official languages–Irish and English. Most jobs require employees to speak English, so studying and speaking Irish is usually not a prerequisite for getting hired. However, there are options available for learning Irish if you should want the knowledge.
Employers in Ireland should be aware of the kinds of employees they can hire and what’s required of them regarding compliance.
To hire a foreign worker, an Irish employer must provide the individual with an official job offer or contract. Once the foreigner has these documents, they can begin the work visa & permit application process.
Hiring temporary foreign workers in Ireland is similar to hiring permanent foreign workers. However, the individual will still require a job offer or contract to apply for a short stay ‘C’ visa. Temporary employment usually gives holders permission to remain in Ireland for six months.
A foreign independent contractor performs a specific job for which they are paid–no employer-employee relationship exists. Companies do not have to withhold income taxes or pay Social Security, Medicare, or Unemployment tax. Foreign independent contractors are responsible for paying Self-Employment Tax.
In general, businesses hire contractors to accomplish very specific tasks, such as designing a website or developing a social media strategy. Contractors tend to be more efficient, which makes them appealing.
Hiring interns in Ireland is similar to hiring other workers. Interns are entitled to basic employment rights, which include the right to a safe work environment, data protection rights, protection against discrimination, breaks, holidays, and the option to join a union.
An intern’s wages depend on the type of internship and the company, but if they bear comparable duties and responsibilities to other employees, then they should be compensated at least at the national minimum wage.
As the employer, it is crucial to have a well-defined role in mind to select the right intern for the job, as interns often turn into permanent employees. Interns usually have fewer qualifications.
Maintaining compliance with foreign workers is vital. An employer can manage such information and legal logistics on their own, or they can work with an EOR. An EOR is well-versed in compliance and employment laws for any country they provide service.
Too many companies misclassify workers as contractors because it saves them time and money upfront. However, this approach is not scalable and can cause problems down the line.
Both large and small companies want to hire employees in Ireland, but are unsure of how to navigate the country’s payroll and labor laws. Via makes hiring talent in Ireland and building your global team seamless. Our easy-to-use platform helps you manage the local HR processes for benefits, international payroll services, background checks, and more. We have a local team of lawyers and on-the ground experts that understand compliance as you expand abroad.
As your employer-or-record/entity in Ireland, Via assumes full responsibility for employment liability, so that you can focus on what matters: recruiting and managing your team.
With Via’s transparent pricing, you can pay full-time employees or contractors in Ireland with no hidden set-up fees, no foreign exchange or transaction fees, and no minimums–start with 1 employee and scale up at your own pace.