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.

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 the online website 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.

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

Latest updates and developments

Processing Times

17 June 2019

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:

  • 3 weeks for Trusted Partner applications

  • 12 weeks for Standard applications

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

Update on Quota for Dairy Farm Assistants

16 May 2019

The Employment Permits (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2018, Statutory Instrument No. 163 of 2018, set a maximum quota of 50 General Employment Permits for Dairy Farm Assistants.

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

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

3 April 2019

From 22 April 2019, new employment permits regulations will come into existence. The regulations include changes to the Critical Skills and Ineligible Lists of Occupations (formerly the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and Ineligible Categories of Employment List), as well as other technical amendments.

Changes to the Critical Skills Occupations List:

The following occupations will be added to the Critical Skills Occupations List and will be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit from 22 April 2019:

  • Civil Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers with BIM expertise
  • High Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organisations (where employment as a High Performance Director or Coach is in a national or high profile sports organisations engaging in international competition).

A checklist document to assist with the application process has been prepared and can be found here: Critical Skills Employment Permit Checklist

Further information on Critical Skills Employment Permits can be found on our website at: Critical Skills Employment Permits

Click here to make an online application (when making the application, please refer to our User Guide which can assist you step-by-step through the process: EPOS User Guide)

Changes to the Ineligible Lists of Occupations

The following occupations will be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List and will be eligible for a General Employment Permit:

  • Sheet metal workers
  • Welding trades
  • Pipefitters
  • Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Engineers
  • Shuttering Carpenters
  • Glaziers, window fabricators & fitters
  • Scaffolders, stagers & riggers
  • Crane drivers
  • Transport and Distribution Clerks and Assistants (Freight Forwarders; Cargo & Freight Agents; Brokerage Clerks) subject to a quota of 300
  • Plasterers subject to a quota of 250
  • Bricklayers subject to a quota of 250

As an employment permit for each of these occupations is subject to a Labour Market Needs Test being carried out (see below for more information) the earliest date that a valid application can be received is 6 May 2019.

All normal criteria for General Employment Permit applications will apply.

Further information on General Employment Permits can be found on our website at: General Employment Permits

A Labour Market Needs Test must be carried out prior to application. Further information on the requirements can be found on our website at: Labour Market Needs Test

A checklist document to assist with the application process has been prepared and can be found here: General Employment Permit Checklist

Click here to make an online application (when making the application, please refer to our User Guide which can assist you step-by-step through the process: EPOS User Guide)

To make a manual application please send an e-mail to EPforms@dbei.gov.ie requesting an application form.

Other technical amendments

Changes to provide for the new Revenue Commissioners PAYE Modernisation Initiative:

Revenue documentation that will now be required:

  • P30 or receipt for such return or a statement issued by Revenue Commissioners showing the monthly statutory return made by the employer dated within the 3 month period preceding the application.
  • P60 or a copy of or electronic access to an end of year income statement compiled by the Revenue Commissioners; demonstrating the foreign national employment history where applicable, and where necessary for each year that he or she has been employment pursuant to the employment permit or if not available a P21 issued in respect of the permit holder.
  • The P45 issued or evidence of the employment record held by the Revenue Commissioners indicating the end date of the employment following the foreign national’s redundancy.

Changes to the criteria for Chef employment permits

A change to criteria applying to the current chef quota will enable employers to replace permit holder employees who leave their employment prior to the expiry of the permit. This has now been changed to no more than two General Employment Permits for Chefs may be in force at the same time in respect of employment in a particular establishment, rather than to permits granted.

A second change is to recognise the total years’ experience gained by an applicant in any grade of chef rather than limiting their experience in one specific chef grade.

Change to Eligibility of Career Guidance Teachers

Secondary schools will be able to access career guidance teachers through the employment permits system, in the same way as other secondary teachers.

Ministers Humphreys and Flanagan announce change to immigration arrangements for spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit Holders and Researchers under a Hosting Agreement

6 March 2019

Change to give immediate and full access to the Irish Labour Market without the need for an employment permit

Heather Humphreys TD, Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, and Charlie Flanagan TD, Minister for Justice and Equality, today (Wednesday, 6th March 2019) announced that the spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders and Researchers under a Hosting Agreement as provided for under the EU Third Country Researchers Directive (Council Directive 2005/71/EC) will be able to access the Irish labour market without the need to obtain an employment permit. This change will streamline existing processes and result in a more attractive offering for both investors and international talent.

Revised Immigration Arrangements for the Spouses and De-Facto Partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) Holders and Researchers Under a Hosting Agreement

The requirement for spouses and de-facto partners to obtain an employment permit has now been removed by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI). The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will grant eligible spouses and de-facto partners of CSEP holders and Researchers under a Hosting Agreement permission to reside in this State on Stamp 1 Conditions which provides direct access to the labour market without the need to obtain an employment permit.

For more information, please go to INIS Website where further information can be found on INIS FAQs (PDF).

Stamp 4 Support Letter

19 December 2018

Important notice for Critical Skills Employment Permit holders intending to apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation for a Stamp 4 support letter.

The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation has experienced a large increase in demand for employment permits this year. Given the large increase in applications, the key focus to date has been on reducing employment permit processing times, which has resulted in an increase in processing times for Stamp 4 support letters.

The Department regrets the delays and arrangements have now been put in place to ensure an immediate reduction in processing times for these applications, with a view to resolving the situation by end January, 2019.

The Department advises that, as an interim measure, Critical Skills Employment Permit holders should apply 4 months in advance for a Stamp 4 letter of support once they have completed 20 months on their Critical Skills Employment Permit.

No person awaiting a decision on an application for a Stamp 4 letter of support, in these circumstances, will be asked to cease work or to leave the country. This is not the practice in Ireland.

Important information regarding Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits

A Dependent, or Partner, or Spouse of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder is permitted to work in Ireland while they are resident here and accompanying the Critical Skills Permit Holder. In order to take up employment in Ireland they must have a job offer and then apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit (see link below).

A dependant, partner or spouse of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder is issued with a Stamp 3 immigration permission by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS). A Stamp 3 permission does not, of itself, entitle a foreign national to work.  Only those Stamp 3 holders that are accompanying the Critical Skills Permit Holder as a dependant, partner or spouse, can apply for an Employment Permit which would allow them to work in the State.

This Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit has a number of benefits including: 

  • The application is free of charge. 
  • All jobs are eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, except that of domestic operative. 
  • Remuneration must be at, or above, the National Minimum Wage. 
  • The prospective employer is not required to undertake a Labour Market Needs Test, i.e. advertise the position.

Once the dependant, partner or spouse of a Critical Skills Employment Permit Holder has been offered an eligible job, they can then apply for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit. When an employment permit has been granted, the foreign national applies to INIS to have their immigration status changed to a Stamp 1 permission. 

Further details of the Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit can be found on this Department’s website at: Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit 

Change of address for Employment Permits Section

30 August 2018

Please note that the Employment Permits Section has moved address.

While the Employment Permits section is not open to the public, we are always accessible by email at: employmentpermits@dbei.gov.ie or by phone: +353 1 417 5333 or LoCall: 1890 201 616 (Note that the rates charged for the use of 1890 LoCall numbers may vary among different service providers).

New Postal address:

Employment Permits,

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation,

Earlsfort Centre,

Lower Hatch Street,

Dublin 2,

D02 PW01

Ireland

Update re Quota for Meat Deboners

15 June 2018

The Employment Permits Regulations 2017, Statutory Instrument No. 95 of 2017, set a maximum quota of 160 General Employment Permits for Meat Deboners.

Please note that this quota is now exhausted and new employment permits for Meat Deboners can no longer issue.

This will not affect the renewal of existing employment permits for Meat Deboners.

Information on the latest developments in respect to Employment Permits

Requirements for chefs can be found on the Checklist for Chefs

Requirements for Horticultural Workers, Meat Processing Operatives and Dairy Farm Assistants can be found on the Checklist for Horticultural, Meat Processing and Dairy.

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 Categories of Employment

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

Highly Skilled Eligible 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.