Relocating to Ireland for Work: What You Need to Know

It is exciting moving to a different country to take up a new job, but there are some procedures you need to follow to make sure it all goes smoothly. One of these is ensuring you are authorised to take up your new employment. If you are considering a science or technology job in Kerry, here is what you need to know to make sure it is all legal:

Your right to work in Ireland

Good news if you are from an EU member state, a European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland: You do not need an employment permit to work in Ireland, nor do any dependants who will be living with you. Your spouse or civil partner will need to seek permission to remain under EU Treaty Rights if they are from outside the EEA, however. You can apply for any job vacancy, including jobs in the Irish army and the Garda Síochána

Anybody from outside the EEA will probably need an employment permit before they can take up a job in Ireland. There are 9 different employment permits. These include the General Employment Permit and the Critical Skills Employment Permit, which is designed to encourage highly skilled individuals to take up permanent jobs in Ireland.

Critical Skills Employment Permit

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is appealing for several reasons:

  • For a start, your prospective employer won’t need to complete a Labour Market Needs test because your skills are already categorised as being in short supply.
  • Once you secure the permit, you can apply to have your family relocated immediately via the Department of Justice and Equality’s Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service.
  • Your dependant, recognised partner, or spouse can apply for the (free) Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit as soon as they are resident in Ireland.
  • When your Critical Skills Employment Permit has expired (after two years), you can apply to your local immigration officer for Stamp 4 permission to live and work here without an employment permit.


Check out the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List to see if you are eligible. ICT professionals, professional engineers, and technologists are all included. Once you have secured an interview for employment on the list, you will be granted Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorisation, which allows you to stay in Ireland for up to 90 days.


To qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, your job must either:

  1. Offer an annual salary of at least €60,000 and not be contrary to the public interest or feature on the list of ineligible job categories.
  2. Offer an annual salary in excess of €30,000 and feature on the Highly Skilled Occupations List.

Employer Requirements

It’s not all about you: Your prospective employer needs to fulfil certain criteria too:

  • Employers seeking candidates in need of employment permits must be registered with Revenue. (If they are a company, they must also register with the Companies Registration Office (CRO)).
  • The company must employ you directly, so applications from any kind of agency or intermediary are not acceptable.
  • You must have a job offer from the company, and the job must be for a minimum of two years.
  • Either you or the employer can apply for the permit, but the permit stays with you if your application is successful. Keep it carefully because it includes a statement of your rights and entitlements.
  • The employer cannot dock your pay for any expenses associated with your recruitment.

Changing or losing your job

Once you secure your Critical Skills Employment Permit, you are allowed to change employers after one year, as long as your new employer makes a fresh permit application.

If you are made redundant, contact the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation using the redundancy notification form within 28 days of receiving notice. You will be given six months to find another job, at which point you can apply for a new Critical Skills Employment Permit even if the new job is not on the critical skills list. If you fail to secure a new job within six months, you will be expected to leave Ireland.

What else do you need to work in Ireland?

You won’t get far without a Personal Public Service (PPS) number. Your PPS number is the unique code your employer uses to make tax and social insurance contributions on your behalf. It is also necessary for securing social welfare and health benefits.

You can get a PPS number by completing an application form from the Department of Social Protection and providing proof of identity (passport or immigration card). You will also need to produce proof of your Irish address, such as a household bill or rental agreement. The process takes about ten working days.


Interested in moving to Kerry to work in science or technology? Check out our job seekers’ page.