Tips on working in Ireland

Tips on working in Ireland

If you are a citizen of a non-EEA country you may not have automatic permission to work in Ireland. You may need to obtain a Work Permit or a Green Card Permit in order to work. According to the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation citizens of non-EEA countries who do not require Employment Permits include:

  • a non-EEA national who has obtained explicit permission from the Department of Justice and Equality to remain resident and employed in the State
  • a non-EEA national who has been granted refugee status
  • a non-EEA national who holds appropriate business permission to operate a business in the State
  • a non-EEA national who is a registered student working less than 20 hours a week
  • Swiss nationals.


Permission to take up employment in Ireland
There are two things you need to consider before taking up employment in Ireland; Employment Permit and Visa. For both employment permits and visas, in most cases, you must secure an offer of employment first with an employer who is willing to support you through this process.
Employment Permit System
Types of Permits
There are a number of different types of employment permits and they are specific to the type of job on offer and also the duration of the contract.
Critical Skills Employment Permit
This permit is used to help attract highly skilled workers in demand in Ireland and puts the least onus on the employer to show a need to offer an employment permit. In order to be eligible for this type of employment permit, the job should be listed on the highly skilled eligible occupations list available at the following link:
General Employment Permit
For all other jobs not on the highly skilled eligible occupations list, there is the General Employment Permit. Typically the salary must be €30,000 or more and the employer must have carried out a labour market test.
Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment permit
These permits are for dependants, partners or spouses of employment permit holder and the criteria is much more relaxed. The most important things to consider when applying for this type of permit is to ensure that your proposed employer will wait for the permit to be processed and to have satisfactory details of the main employment permit holder.
Even if you have completed the employment permit process and hold a permit for Ireland, you may be refused entry into Ireland if you do not have a satisfactory visa.
The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service publish a list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Ireland. You can find this list at:
Nationals of most countries and their families can apply for a visa for Ireland online at the following link:
Visa processing can take up to 3 months, so applicants should allow plenty of time for this process to be complete.
Once you arrive in Ireland, you will need to get a Garda National Immigration Bureau Card/GNIB Card.
You do this by making an appointment to meet the Immigration Officer at your nearest Garda District Headquarter. You can find a full list of these at the following link:
If you are in or near Dublin, you can also apply for a GNIB card at:
Department of Justice and Equality Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service,
13/14 Burgh Quay
Dublin 2

You should have a Personal Public Service (PPS) number. Your PPS number is a unique reference number which your employer uses to make the required tax and social insurance contributions on your behalf. You also use your PPS number when accessing social welfare and health benefits.

You apply through the Department of Social Protection. Not all social welfare offices issue PPS numbers so you should contact your local social welfare office go to ‘Contact Us’ on

In order to receive a PPS number, you will need to fill out an application form and provide proof of your identity. You will need to produce the following documents:

  • Your passport or immigration card
  • Evidence of your address in Ireland, for example, household bill (ESB, telephone, gas) or a rental agreement in your name.


Usually 10 working days from the date you applied

This will depend on the nature of the qualification and the country where it was obtained. It may be possible for you to get formal recognition of your qualification in Ireland. The National Qualifications Authority of Ireland provides a way of relating foreign qualifications to the nearest comparable qualification in Ireland. You should contact Qualifications Recognition Ireland. This service is free of charge.

Qualifications Recognition National Qualifications Authority of Ireland
5th Floor Jervis House, Jervis St. Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 8871500
Email: [email protected]

  • Update your CV
  • Get written work references from current and previous employers
  • Have details of your qualifications with an English translation and contact Qualifications Recognition Ireland to get a formal recognition of your qualifications.
  • Send your CV to [email protected]

CVs can take many formats. The most important criteria are that your CV is clear and easy to read. It should contain personal contact details, educational history, relevant skills or interests and most importantly work experience details.

Volunteering can also be a great way of gaining work experience in Ireland:

In Dublin you can also contact:

  • EPIC – Employment for People from Immigrant Communities aims to assist citizens of both EU and non-EU countries (stamp 4) to find employment and/or further training and education in Ireland: 31 Lower O’Connell Street, Dublin 1
    Telephone: 01 8743840/1
    Email: [email protected]