crosscare migrant project
LIVING IN IRELAND: An Integration Website for Migrants living in Ireland

Working in Ireland

Share |

What are the requirements for 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.

Back to Top

Employment Permit System

Work permit

Work permits are issued for up to 2 years. Generally the salary must be €30,000 or more and the employer must have carried out a labour market test. The cost for a 2 year work permit is €1000. After 12 months working in the country, work permit holders can apply for their family members to join them. Since 1st June 2009 there are new requirements for people who apply for their first work permit in Ireland. For a list of eligible jobs and the new rules go to:

Green card permit

Green card permits are issued for jobs where the salary is over €60,000. Green card permits are also issued for certain jobs where the salary is between €30,000 and €59,999, for an up-to-date list of eligible jobs go to: There is no labour market test. There must be a job offer of 2 or more years. Green card permit holders can apply for immediate family re-unification.

Spousal/Dependent work permit

Spousal/Dependent work permits are issued to spouses or dependents (who came to Ireland before they were 18 years of age). If the main work permit holder was granted their work permit before 1st June 2009:

  • There is no labour market test
  • There is no fee for the work permit
  • There are no ineligible jobs

If the main work permit holder was granted their work permit after 1st June 2009, then the spouse or dependent will have to apply for a work permit in their own right which means

  • There is a labour market test
  • There is a fee for the work permit
  • There are ineligible jobs

What else do I need to work in Ireland?

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.

How do I apply for a PPS Number?

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 to get information on where to go.  Alternatively follow this link: 

What do I need in order to apply for a PPS number?

In order to receive a PPS number, you need to show you have a reason for needing one.  For example, you have a job offer or you need to apply for a social welfare payment or child benefit. 

Go to this page for detailed information on the PPS number, process and requirements:

How long will it take to get a PPS number?

Usually 5 working days from the date you applied.

I have qualifications obtained in a country outside of Ireland. Will these qualifications be recognised by employers in Ireland?

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

I’m looking for work. Where should I start?

  • 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.

What kind of CV should I prepare?

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:

Where can I go to get help with my CV?

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
  • Jobcare helps people find jobs by providing training, resources, expertise and opportunities for personal development: 28a Pearse Street, Dublin 2
    Telephone: 01 6773897

Where can I begin looking for employment?

FÁS is the national training and employment authority. For more information you should check out their website: or call in to your local FÁS office.

If you have stamp 1 and have been made redundant you can register with FÁS otherwise FÁS will only register people who have stamp 4.

You can also contact your Local Employment Service (LES).

You can check local and national newspapers: The Irish Times and The Irish Examiner (job supplement on Fridays), The Irish Independent (job supplement on Thursdays), The Sunday Independent and The Evening Herald.

Use personal contacts, for example, relatives or friends who may know of current vacancies.

You can also check the internet for details of current vacancies – here is a sample of some websites for job-seekers:

Can I get assistance looking for work if I have a disability?

FÁS runs a Supported Employment Programme to assist jobseekers with a disability to find employment in the open labour market.

To apply for Supported Employment, call into your local FÁS Office or Local Employment Service and register with FÁS.

I have lost my job, am I entitled to a social welfare payment while I am looking for another job?

There are two categories of payments for unemployed people: Jobseeker’s Benefit and Jobseeker’s Allowance. To qualify for either of these you must be:

  • Capable of work, and
  • Available for and genuinely looking for full-time work

It is important to note that you can get part-time or casual work and still be considered unemployed. So you may be eligible for a part-payment if you are in part-time or casual work.

Back to Top

Jobseeker’s Benefit

How do I qualify?

This payment is based on insurance contributions paid while in employment in Ireland (PRSI) or another country covered by EC Regulations (see Social Welfare Section). You will qualify for Jobseeker’s Benefit if:

  • You are less than 66 years of age
  • You have suffered a loss in employment
  • You have paid enough social insurance contributions (search for ‘Jobseeker’s Benefit on for more information)
  • You are available for and genuinely seeking work
  • You are capable of work
  • You must be unemployed for at least 3 days in any period of six consecutive days

How do I apply?

To apply you must register (sign-on) with the Department of Social Protection at your local Social Welfare Office. You should apply straight away because Jobseeker’s Benefit is not paid for the first 3 days you are unemployed. Complete Form UP1 and bring this to your local Social Welfare Office.

What do I need to provide?

  • Proof of identity (Long Birth Certificate or passport)
  • Proof of address
  • P45 and P60 Forms from your employment in Ireland

What if I do not qualify?

If your claim for Jobseeker’s Benefit is refused, you have the right to appeal the decision. If you still do not qualify, you may be eligible for Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Jobseeker’s Allowance

How do I qualify?

To qualify you must:

  • Be over 18 and less than 66 years of age
  • Be unemployed
  • Be available for and genuinely seeking full-time employment
  • Satisfy the Habitual Residence Condition (See Social Welfare Section)
  • Satisfy a means test
  • Be capable of work

How long can I claim Jobseeker’s Allowance?

You can claim Jobseeker’s allowance for as long as you need, as long as you satisfy all the requirements.

How do I apply?

You must complete Form UP1 and bring it to your local social welfare office.

What do I need to bring with me?

  • details of efforts to find work
  • P45
  • Child dependant details
  • Proof of your identity (long version Birth Certificate/Passport)
  • Proof of your address

What if I do not qualify?

If your claim for Jobseeker’s Allowance is refused, you have the right to appeal the decision. If you still do not qualify, you may be entitled to other payments. You can contact your Community Welfare Officer (CWO) in your local Health Centre or you can contact your local social welfare office for further information.

Back to Top


If you have lost your job provides practical information in English.

Information on all social welfare payments is available at: and

Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed represents the interests and views of all unemployed people and their dependents at a national level:

Araby House, 8 North Richmond Street, Dublin 1
Telephone: 01 8560090

Back to Top

Starting a business in Ireland

What are the requirements for setting up a business in Ireland?

If you are from a non-EEA country you may need business permission to start a business in Ireland depending on your immigration status.

You do not need to get business permission if you:

  • Have been granted refugee status by the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform (stamp 4)
  • Are a dependant relative of an EEA national exercising a valid right to reside in Ireland (stamp 4 EU FAM)
  • have been granted permission to remain in the State on one of the following grounds:
  • as the spouse of an Irish national (stamp 4)
  • as the parent of an Irish born child (stamp 4)
  • granted temporary leave to remain in the State on humanitarian grounds, having been in the asylum process (stamp 4).

For further details see: or contact the Business Permission Unit:

Immigration Services Section
Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service
1st Floor, 13/14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2

What help can I get if I want to start a business in Ireland?

Enterprise Ireland provides advisory and financial support to High Potential Start-Up businesses and encourages all forms of entrepreneurship:

City and County Enterprise Boards support the start up and development of local businesses in Ireland. This includes advice, mentoring and grants or financial supports for training and growth:

Chambers Ireland: A chamber of commerce is an organisation made up of local business representatives who join together to promote the economic and social development of their community in order to make it a better place in which to live, work and do business:

Emerge Skillnet works to develop and expand Ethnic Minority Enterprises (EME) and to assist EMEs in overcoming business obstacles within the regulatory and cultural environment:

Toil and Trouble is an excellent guide on the various procedures that you need to go through to become self-employed in Ireland.

Supported by

This project is co-financed by the European Commission under the European Integration Fund and is supported by the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration in the Dept of Justice & Equality & Pobal.