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.

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

Latest updates and developments

COVID-19 Employment Permits System Contingency Arrangements

30 March 2020

The Department's contingency plan to ensure that the Employment Permits system will continue to operate in all scenarios:

COVID-19 Employment Permits System Contingency Arrangements

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.

Processing times

27 March 2020

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation would like to apologise to customers experiencing difficulties as a result of delays they may be encountering in the processing of employment permit applications.

We’ve experienced a high volume of applications in recent weeks and, unfortunately, this has led to some delays. We are working to reduce the current waiting times of:

  • 6 weeks for Trusted Partner applications
  • 14 weeks for Standard applications

Further information about current processing dates

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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