Guide to Work Visas

As the war for talent is an ongoing concern for all hiring companies (and this is most companies; be it to replace people moving on or to fill new jobs as your firm expands) it’s important to know where you stand in terms of Work Visas in Ireland. Knowing exactly what your alternative options are (and being aware that it’s less complicated than you probably think) can allow you to access exceptional talent that your competition may be missing out on. Another point to note is that with the continuing uncertainty over Brexit, Ireland is becoming a far more attractive destination for candidates looking to move to English speaking nations in Europe.


Over the past number of years the Irish State has made it easier to bring in non EU candidates to Ireland through what’s called the Critical Skills Employment Visa. This link goes through in detail how it works and who can qualify, but essentially the previous requirements of having to advertise a given role in a given place for a certain amount of time has been removed as (especially within IT here) there is to all intents and purposes full employment so Ireland as a nation can afford to move straight to non EU candidates.


Having gone through the process both for colleagues and on behalf of clients it is relatively straight forward with as of early 2017 the entire process being online. In brief, if you are looking to hire technical staff (who hold a degree) on a permanent basis for at least €30kpa on basic salary, you can look beyond the EU (or indeed non EU candidates who have already moved here).  The candidate cannot leave your employ within the first twelve months and this visa allows them to work for you for two years (they can apply for a Stamp 4, leave to remain and work visa within this time).


Pros and Cons

  • The positives are obvious, as mentioned, access to a massive pool of potential candidates and an awareness of this process can give you an advantage on local companies who hire similarly skilled candidates
  • On the other hand, there is a cost of €1,000 attached to this process and there is a delay of between four and seven weeks between submission of application and granting of visa. (Current processing dates in real time are here
  • More than 13,000 Critical Skills visas were issued in 2018 (4,000 more thank in 2017 (although not all in the IT Sector) so it’s clearly an area taken extremely seriously by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  • A further point that is well worth considering is becoming a “Trusted Partner”.  This process is again relatively simple to set up, but it allows visa process waiting time to be reduced to three to four weeks only. If you are looking at multiple hires in IT over the coming period, this is a way to access a wider skills pool with minimal effort
  • Many firms are hiring candidates who hold the Stamp 1G Educational visa, which allows non EU candidates who have completed a Bachelor’s to work for 12 months or 24 months if they have completed their Master’s or PhD