How to get a working visa in Ireland

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To apply for a visa you must go to: www.visas.inis.gov.ie. The most common way Non-EEA residents get a working visa is through the student visa (Stamp 2). You can get a student visa by enrolling in an approved course. You can work 20 hours per week during school term and 40 hours during holidays. There is also a critical skills visa. There are a shortage of certain skills in Ireland. If you have a skill on the list and an offer from a company which meets the conditions below you can qualify for a visa. There is also graduate visa and a trainee accountant visa. Finally, if you’ve been in Ireland legally for 5 years you can apply for long term residency.

Stamps

Your immigration status is defined in terms of Stamps in Ireland.

  • Stamp 0 – Permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary period subject to certain conditions
  • Stamp 1 – Permission to work or operate a business subject to certain conditions
  • Stamp 1A – Permission to work full time in an accountancy training position for a specific period of time subject to certain conditions.
  • Stamp 1G – You have completed your studies and been awarded accreditation by a recognised institution. You have permission to look for employment under the Third Level Graduate Programme subject to certain conditions.
  • Stamp 2 –  You have permission to study a full time course which is listed on  Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) for a specific period of time. eg English courses, degree, masters etc. You can work 20 hours per week during school term and 40 hours per week during school holidays.
  • Stamp 2A – You have permission to study a course which is not listed on Interim List of Eligible Programmes (ILEP) for a specific period of time but you are not allowed to work.
  • Stamp 3 – You have permission to stay in Ireland for a specific period. You cannot work or engage in any business trade. ssued to allow a non-EEA spouse or dependent who has an employment permit.
  • Stamp 4 – You have permission to stay in Ireland for a specific period. You cannot work or engage in any business trade. Issued to allow you join your Irish spouse/civil partner, join your minor child who is an Irish citizen.
  • Stamp 5 – Permission to stay in Ireland without limits on the time you can remain here subject to certain conditions.
  • Stamp 6  Indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual citizenship.

For more detailed information please visit: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/registration-stamps

Student Visa – Stamp 2

Typically most students enrol in an English course for 25 weeks which can cost between €1,800 and €2,500 depending on where you want to study. The quality of tuition varies greatly between schools so make sure you research thoroughly. Some English schools are visa factories and the quality of tuition will be quite low. There are schools which pride themselves on providing high quality tuition, a positive experience for their students and helping them find a job.

With a student visa you can work up to 20 hours per week. You are permitted to work 40 hours per week during the school holidays. Students I spoke to stated some employers pay cash and keep no record of their working hours. This enables them to work far more than the normal 20 hours per week. If you would like more information on the student visa click here.

Critical Skills Visa

Ireland has a a number of skills shortages. To combat this legislation was passed which gives people with certain skills a visa to work in Ireland. However, there are a lot of conditions attached.

  • Job Offer
    • You must have a job offer from the company who is registered with Revenue, the CRO and operating in Ireland. You have to be directly employed ie no recruitment agencies / intermediaries. The job offer must be for at least two years.
    • The company’s Non-EEA staff cannot not be more than 50% of their total staff.
  • Qualifications
    • You must have the relevant qualifications to perform the job. You either need to have a degree or relevant work experience.
  • Changing your job
    • You must stay a minimum of 12 months with your first employer. After which you are free to switch jobs must you must make a new application again for the Critical Skills Permit.
  • Losing your job
    • You must notify the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation within 28 days of losing your job. You will be given 6 months to find a new job. When you find a new job you can reapply again for a new permit.
  • More information
    • If you would like more information on this type of visa please click here.
Third Level Graduate Scheme – Stamp 1G

Legislation allows Non-EEA graduates who received an award from a recognised Irish body to stay on in Ireland after their studies to seek employment. The is open to anyone who has complete their studies and has been awarded a level 8 qualification and above.

Graduates who have received a level 8 qualification will be granted 12 months residence in Ireland. For a level 9 or above you are given 24 months. You are allowed to work 40 hours per week.

There is more detailed information here.

Stamp 1A Trainee Accountants Scheme

The maximum amount of time allowable under this scheme is 4 years & 6 months. You are required to sit at least 4 exams per year, pass two and complete two performance objectives per year. If you would like further information please click here.

Long Term Residence

If you have been legally a resident in Ireland for the last five years on the basis of work permit/visa conditions you may apply for a five year residency in Ireland. During these five years you may be exempt from employment permit requirements. If you would like more information on the topic please click here.