What We Do

Employment Permits

In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA National, unless they are exempted, must hold a valid Employment Permit. The Department's Employment Permits Section administers the Employment Permits system.

Please note that from 1 January 2020, any employment permit application where a Labour Market Needs Test is required MUST have published a EURES ad for at least 28 days BEFORE a valid application can be submitted. 

Employment Permits Online System

Employment Permits Online System (EPOS): epos.djei.ie

There is a step by step User Guide available in the footer information on epos.djei.ie which includes documentary requirements for each application type.

The online application system for Employment Permits brings a number of significant benefits:

  • Faster turnaround of applications.
  • Easier, online submission of supporting documentation.
  • Secure Online Fee Payments (where applicable) by credit/debit card.
  • As the new system continuously validates your data and supporting documentation there will be fewer errors and rejected applications.
  • Intuitive user experience with help information and relevant mandatory fields.

The Department invites you to submit your application(s) electronically to avail of these benefits.  The Department would also welcome your feedback in relation to the online process. If you have any comments or come across any issues you can email us at the dedicated email account at epos@djei.ie.

An application for any employment permit must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date.

Please note that EPOS has a cut-off deadline of 28 days from starting any application to submitting it.  If an application form has not been submitted or completed within 28 days, it is deleted. This is for data protection purposes. In such instance, it is not possible to retrieve the application and the applicant must begin the application process again.

A contract of employment signed by both parties MUST be submitted with each application.

Latest updates and developments

Submitting Documents to Employment Permits Section

19 October 2020

Please be advised that the Employment Permits Section are accepting all correspondents electronically. Customers should only post documents if they have been advised by one our processing agents.

The relevant mailbox to send documents are as follows:

Trusted Partner applications (New/Renewal) - trustedpartner@dbei.gov.ie

EFT Mandate Forms - EPMS@dbei.gov.ie

Stamp 4 (Applications Only) - EPStamp4@dbei.gov.ie

Review of Decisions (Applications Only) - EPReviews@dbei.gov.ie

Surrender of Permits/ Notification of Redundancy/ Cancellation of Permits - EPMS@dbei.gov.ie

Further information can be found in our COVID-19 Employment Permits System Contingency Arrangements.

Processing times

19 October 2020

The current waiting times to process applications are as follows:

  • 2 weeks for Trusted Partner applications
  • 4 weeks for Standard applications

Further information about current processing dates

Please note that due to the number of refunds on hand it is currently taking 8 weeks (from date of receipt of completed mandate) to process a refund.

Apologies for this delay. However, the refund will be processed as soon as possible.

COVID-19 Employment Permits System Contingency Arrangements

19 October 2020

The Department's contingency plan sets out to ensure that the Employment Permits system will continue to operate in all scenarios for the duration of the crisis:

COVID-19 Employment Permits System Contingency Arrangements

The main points of the Contingency plan are:

  • Electronic (PDF) copy of permit will issue by e-mail;
  • Employment Permits Section will facilitate the changing of start dates to applications that have been received but yet to be processed;
  • 100% refund if applications are withdrawn, before they are processed, if withdrawal is as a result of the crisis
  • Applications for Stamp 4 Letters of Support can be submitted electronically; and
  • Applications to review a decision of an employment permit can be submitted electronically.

Update on Quota for Meat Processing Operatives

25 August 2020

The Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018, Statutory Instrument No. 163 of 2018, set a maximum quota of 1,500 General Employment Permits for Meat Processing Operatives.

This quota has now been filled. As such, no further permits are being issued at this moment.

Update on Quota for Horticulture Workers, Dairy Farm Assistants, Meat Processing Operatives and Deboners

2 July 2020

Horticulture Workers

The  Employment Permits (Amendment) Regulations 2018, Statutory Instrument No. 163 of 2018, set a maximum quota of 500 General Employment Permits for Horticulture Workers.

This quota has now been filled. Applications remaining in the processing queue will be rejected. Please do not submit new applications for Horticulture Workers at this time.

Dairy Farm Assistants

The Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2019, Statutory Instrument No.333 of 2019, set a maximum quota of 101 General Employment Permits for Dairy Farm Assistants

This quota has almost been filled. When the quota has been filled applications remaining in the processing queue will be rejected. Please do not submit new applications for Dairy Farm Assistants at this time.

Meat Processing Operatives

The Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018, Statutory Instrument No. 163 of 2018, set a maximum quota of 1,500 General Employment Permits for Meat Processing Operatives, quota increased by 1,000 on 1/1/20

This quota has almost been filled. When the quota has been filled applications remaining in the processing queue will be rejected. Please do not submit new applications for Meat Processing Operatives at this time. 


The Employment Permits Regulations 2017, Statutory Instrument No. 333 of 2019, set a maximum quota of 300 General Employment Permits for Meat Deboners.

There are a limited number of Employment Permits available before the quota is filled. When the quota has been filled applications remaining in the processing queue will be rejected.

New Procedures for applications to seek a Review of an Employment Permit Decision and Stamp 4 Letters of Support

31 March 2020

Effective immediately, Employment Permits will be accepting applications to seek a review of an employment permit decision and applications for a Stamp 4 letter of support electronically.

Review of Employment Permit Decisions

New electronic procedures for applications for reviews of employment permit decisions have been put in place. Applications for reviews should now be submitted by filling out the required form and emailing it to EPReviews@dbei.gov.ie.

Decisions will be communicated to applicants by way of email correspondence.

The application form to request a review can be found here: Submission of a decision for review under section 13 or 17 of the Employment Permits Act 2006 (as amended)

Stamp 4 Letters of Support

Applications for Stamp 4 letters of support should now be submitted by filling out the required form and emailing it to EPStamp4@dbei.gov.ie.

Any decision on an application, including the grant letter, will be communicated to the applicant by way of email. Applications that have been made by post in the last few days, can be resubmitted through the online process.

The application form to request a Stamp 4 letter of support can be found here: Request for Support Letter for Green Card/Critical Skills Employment Permit Holders seeking a “Stamp 4”

Processing of Employment Permits following announcement by An Taoiseach

27 March 2020

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation wishes to advise following the announcement by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar TD, we have implemented our contingency plan to ensure the continued processing of employment permit applications and applications for Stamp 4 Support Letters.

All medical applications for permits will continue to processed as a priority.

We will provide updates as and when they are available.

Update on Processing of Employment Permits

27 March 2020

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation wishes to advise of the following important notices in respect of the processing of employment permits.

Prioritising all medical employment permits

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) a public health emergency of international concern.

The Employment Permits service is considered a vital part of the jigsaw in keeping the economy moving and in ensuring that key medical staff are available for our health services at this critical juncture as the country tackles this emerging situation.

As such, the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has begun the process of expediting all applications for employment permits for medical staff in our processing queue. It is expected that this process will take approximately a week to complete and, as a result, there will be some impacts on the timelines for the processing of all other employment permit applications.

The Department will notify Trusted Partners when this process has been completed.

Contingency Planning

Employment Permits has a contingency plan in place for dealing with this public health emergency.

Currently our offices are functioning as normal. In the event of a slowdown, or a shut down, this office will be able to continue to carry out its priority work such as processing employment permits and carrying out reviews. At some stage it may not be possible to print and distribute employment permits, if this happens the Department will update all stakeholders informing them of its solution.

DBEI would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused and will be working hard to keep any disruption to a minimum.

We will continue to provide updates as they are available.

Employment Permit Checklists

2 March 2020

If you are unfamiliar with the employment permit application process, please be advised that various employment permit checklist documents have been prepared to assist you with the application process:

Critical Skills Employment Permit Checklist

General Employment Permit Checklist

Horticultural Worker, Meat Processing Operative, Meat Deboner & Dairy Farm Assistant Checklist

Chef Employment Permit Checklist

Intra-Company Company Transfer Checklist

Further information on setting your company up as a Trusted Partner can be found here:

Trusted Partner Registration Checklist 

Employment Permit Types

Critical Skills Employment Permit

Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit

Exchange Agreement Employment Permit
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit

Contract for Services Employment Permit

Sport & Cultural Employment Permit
General Employment Permit

Reactivation Employment Permit

Internship Employment Permit

Quick links

Who needs an employment permit?

A non-EEA national, unless exempted, requires an employment permit to work in Ireland. The EEA comprises the Member States of the European Union together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.  More details on who needs an employment permit.

Ineligible List of Occupations

Employments in respect of which an employment permit shall not be granted.

Critical Skills Occupations List

Employments in respect of which there is a shortage in respect of qualifications, experience or skills.

Application Processing Dates

Check the current processing dates for Employment Permit applications.

Employment Permits Online Status Update Enquiry

Check the current status of Employment Permit applications.

Trusted Partner Initiative

New Trusted Partner Initiative for applicants for Employment Permits.

Application Forms 

Application forms and other forms in respect of employment permits.


Fees in respect of Employment Permits. 

Important Notice: The Employment Permits Section does not have a public office and cannot facilitate personal callers to the office. Please contact the Employment Permits Call Centre if you have a query relating to the employment in Ireland of a non-EEA national.

Note on Data Protection: In submitting a completed, signed application form to this Department, both the employer and the prospective employee, accept that the Department may share the information contained on the application with other Departments and State Agencies for the sole purpose of verifying the information supplied by the applicant.

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