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.  Further information on the Labour Market Needs Test is available at the following link: Labour Market Needs Test

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 has now been up-dated to include the 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 therefore invites you to submit your application(s) electronically from now on to avail of these benefits.  The Department would also welcome your feedback in relation to the online process and 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

Processing times

17 February 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
  • 12 weeks for Standard applications

Further information about current processing dates are available at Employment Permit Processing Dates.

Changes to Employment Permits Critical Skills and Ineligible Lists of Occupations and other technical amendments

1 January 2020

The Employment Permits (Amendment) (NO. 3) Regulations 2019, Statutory Instrument No. 633 of 2019, introduced the following changes as of January 1st, 2020:

Levels of Remuneration for Critical Skills Employment Permits

In order to reach the eligibility criteria to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, the position on offer must be listed on the Critical Skills Occupations List and the foreign national must have at least a relevant 3rd level degree qualification where the minimum annual remuneration is between €32,000 and €63,999.

Where the position is not listed on the Critical Skills Occupations List or on the Ineligible List of Occupations or where the position is listed on the Critical Skills Occupations List and the foreign national does not have a relevant 3rd Level Degree qualification, the minimum annual remuneration required to be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment is at least €64,000.

Further information on Critical Skill Employment Permits can be found here.

Revised Critical Skills and Ineligible Occupations

Inclusions to the Critical Skills Occupations List – Following a comprehensive consultation process, a revised Critical Skills Occupations List was published. The following occupations have been included to the list:

  • Site Manager
  • Structural / Site Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineers (without specialist skills)
  • Electrical Engineers (without specialist skills)
  • Setting Out Engineer
  • Façade Designer
  • Architect
  • Architectural Technologists

The Critical Skills Occupations List can be found here.

Ineligible Occupations – As part of the consultation process, a revised list of ineligible roles was published. The following occupations were removed from the Ineligible List:

  • Commis Chef (with two years’ experience)
  • Construction Safety Manager
  • Civil and Structural Engineering Technicians
  • Architectural Technician
  • Draughtspersons
  • Construction Safety Officers
  • Foreman

This Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits can be found here.

Labour Market Needs Test

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.  Further information on the Labour Market Needs Test is available at the following link: Labour Market Needs Test

Sector Specific Changes

Health – Nurses registered with the NMBI and who have achieved a Diploma level qualification can now apply for a Critical Skill Employment Permit.

Catering – The quota of Employment Permits applying to all roles of eligible Chef grades is now removed and the limit on the number of Employment Permits that may be in force in one establishment for all roles of eligible Chef grades has also been removed.

Transport – Quota on the number of Employment Permits issued to the role of Heavy Goods Vehicle drivers has been increased by 200.

Food Manufacturing – Quota on the number of Employment Permits issued to the role of Meat processing Operative has been increased by 1000.

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

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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