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

13 January 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
  • 13 weeks for Standard applications

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

Update on Quota for Horticulture Workers

4 December 2019

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. As such, no new permits are being issued at this moment. 

Public Consultation on the General Scheme of an Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill

3 December 2019

The Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation invites submissions on the General Scheme of an Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill, with a closing date of 17 January 2020:

Public Consultation on the General Scheme of an Employment Permits (Consolidation and Amendment) Bill

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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