How do I Apply for an Irish Working Visa?

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You must have a job offer to apply for an Irish working visa.
You must have a job offer to apply for an Irish working visa. (Image: Ireland landscape image by apeschi from Fotolia.com)

Obtaining a visa that allows you to work in Ireland is a challenge. It can be a lengthy process and your application is only likely to be considered if you're earning more than 30,000 Euros (about $38,000) per year. There are two types of visa that will allow you to work in Ireland: work permits and green cards. The latter is harder to come by, as holders can apply for permanent residency after two years. Most applicants are awarded work permits, which allow them to work and live in Ireland, but with conditions.

Look for sponsored placements or jobs in Ireland that are open to foreign nationals. You can apply for a new position online or ask your existing employer if a transfer is possible.

Use the Department of Trade, Enterprise and Innovation website to verify your job position is eligible for a work permit. Many jobs are automatically excluded from eligibility including retail jobs, clerical positions, administrative roles and general laborers.

Go through the job interview process. You can't apply for a working visa in Ireland unless you have a job offer first. The higher paying the job, the more likely it is that you'll be given a green card. According to immigration information website, Move to Ireland, job offers worth 60,000 Euros ($76,000) per year or more will be accepted by the Immigration Department; jobs between 30,000 Euros and 60,000 Euros ($38,000 and $76,000) will be considered. It will be difficult to get a green card for jobs under 30,000 Euros.

Wait for your employer to submit a labor market needs test. To do this, your employer will have to advertise the job vacancy for eight weeks and prove they couldn't find any citizens from the European Union with the right skills for the job. The employers will also have to pay the Irish government 1,500 Euros (about $1,900) per year for two years after your employment starts.

Verify your passport will be valid for at least three months after the expiry date of your work visa. If not, you will need to apply for a new passport before traveling to Ireland, otherwise you could be denied entry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Workers from the European Union as well as Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland don't need a working visa to work in Ireland.
  • Citizens of Argentina, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea can apply for a working holiday visa, which entitles them to stay in Ireland for an extended period of time (six to 12 months depending on their country of nationality) and take up casual work to fund their stay.
  • If you are awarded a work permit at one job, you are legally bound to working there for at least 12 months. If you want to change jobs within five years of your arrival in Ireland, your new employer will have to apply for a work permit on your behalf again.

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