See also ‘Employment Permits’- A work permit is a legal authorisation which allows a non-national to legitimately enter into employment in Ireland to work in the position specified on the permit itself. In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA national must hold a valid employment permit and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation (DJEI) are the only body authorised to issue such work permits. In addition, in order to secure an work permit, the applicant in question must have already secured a job offer from an employer who has made every reasonable attempt, but failed, to recruit an Irish or EEA national for the position.


An EEA national is any individual from any of the European Union Member States but also includes Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. In certain circumstances a non-EEA national is not required to hold an Irish work permit:

  • Where the non-EEA national is from Switzerland
  • Where the non-EEA national is a registered student
  • Where the non-EEA nationals holds a valid Work Authorisation/Working Visa
  • Where the non-EEA national holds a valid employment permit to work in one EU Member State and are only being temporarily sent to work in Ireland
  • Where the non-EEA national has been granted permission to remain in Ireland on one of the following grounds:

–    Permission to remain as spouse or a dependent of an Irish/EEA national

–    Permission to remain as the parent of an Irish citizen

–    Temporary leave to remain in the State on humanitarian grounds

–    Explicit permission from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform to remain resident and employed in the State

–    Where they have appropriate business permission to operate a business in Ireland