Ireland Critical Skills Employment Permit

If you are from a country that is outside the European Economic Area (the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein), the UK or Switzerland, you need permission to work in Ireland. In most cases, this means you have to apply for an employment permit.

You apply for it before you come to Ireland in most cases. You may also need to apply for a visa to come to Ireland.

Once you have arrived in Ireland, you have to register and get an Irish Residence Permit.

There are other types of employment permit issued by DETE

Who is eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit?

You (or the employer) can apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit if you are offered a job that has either:

  • An annual salary of at least €32,000 a year in an occupation that is on the Critical Skills Occupation List
  • An annual salary of €64,000 a year in an occupation that is not on the list of ineligible occupations

You cannot get a permit to work for a company where more than 50% of the employees are non-EEA nationals. This requirement may be waived in the case of start-up companies which are supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland.


You must have the relevant qualifications, skills and experience needed for the job.

For eligible jobs in the €32,000 or more salary range you must have a degree or higher qualification.

For eligible jobs with an annual salary of €64,000 or over, you must have a degree or equivalent experience.

For nurses and midwives, you must have a qualification that is recognised by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland for registration to work in Ireland.

You must have a job offer from a company or employer who is registered with Revenue, trading in Ireland and registered with the Companies Registration Office.

You must be directly employed and paid by your employer in Ireland. Job offers from recruitment agencies and other intermediaries are not acceptable for this permit.

The job offer must be for 2 years or more.

You apply online with the required documentation, using the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS). You can use the Critical Skills Employment Permit checklist to help you apply.

Either you or your employer must pay a fee of €1,000. If your application is refused you will get 90% of your application fee back.

After you have applied

The application processing times are on the Department’s website. If your application is refused, you must be given the specific reasons it was refused. You can appeal this decision within 28 days, using the form to submit a decision for review.

People who have a Critical Skills Employment Permit can bring their family to live with them in Ireland.

Family are from a country whose citizens need a visa to enter Ireland: they must all apply for separate visas.

Family are from a country whose citizens do not need a visa to enter Ireland: they must show proof that they are the family members of a Critical Skills Employment Permit holder to an immigration officer in the airport or port where they enter Ireland.

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