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Ireland Simplifies Work and Residence Permits for Foreign Workers



In a significant move to attract and retain skilled talent, the Irish Government has announced changes to employment permits, allowing spouses and partners of current permit holders to work in Ireland.

This development aims to ease the process for foreign workers and their families, enhancing Ireland’s appeal as a destination for skilled professionals.


Current Application Process

Presently, applicants seeking to work and live in Ireland must undergo a two-step process: applying to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for a work permit, followed by a visa application to the Department of Justice.

The new single permit system will consolidate these steps, reducing administrative burdens and costs for both employers and applicants.

Single Permit for Work and Residence

The Government has also agreed to roll out a single permit that will combine both work and residence permissions. This initiative is a step towards aligning with the EU’s Single Permit Directive.


Currently, applicants must navigate a cumbersome process involving separate applications to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for work permits and to the Department of Justice for visas.

“By introducing a single permission, we can reduce the cost and complexity for both employers and applicants,” stated Minister for Justice Helen McEntee. “This will ensure that we can respond effectively and quickly to meet the skills needs of the economy.”

Also Read: Ireland: Get a Fast-Track Work Permit with Critical Skills Program


Benefits of the Single Permit Directive

The Government emphasized that opting into the EU Single Permit Directive will eliminate barriers to attracting essential skills in sectors like healthcare and construction. The simplified system is expected to lower costs and reduce the administrative burden on both employers and employees.

Ongoing Review of Family Reunification Policies

The Department of Justice is also reviewing family reunification waiting periods and other aspects of the Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy to further streamline the process for families wishing to settle in Ireland.

Support from the Business Community

The business community has welcomed the Government’s commitment to the single permit system. Chambers Ireland highlighted the significant challenges businesses face in recruiting employees with the necessary skills and qualifications.


The streamlined decision-making process is anticipated to alleviate these challenges, improving the overall competitiveness of Irish businesses in the global market.

Enhancing Competitiveness

The single permit system represents an important step towards increasing Ireland’s competitiveness in the global race for talent. By simplifying the application process and reducing delays, Ireland aims to stay agile and attractive to highly skilled professionals from around the world.

Also Read: Ireland Will Pay You $90,000 to Live on a Remote Island!



The introduction of a single work and residence permit, along with the permission for spouses and partners of permit holders to work, marks a pivotal shift in Ireland’s immigration policy.

These changes are set to make Ireland a more attractive destination for skilled professionals, ultimately benefiting the country’s economy and addressing critical skills shortages in various sectors.

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