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Excerpted from the Ireland Career Guide

Overview

Ireland is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA), as are the other members of the European Union. The EEA combines the countries of the European Union (EU) and member countries of European Free Trade Association (EFTA). Countries that belong to the EEA are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein are EEA/EFTA member countries but are NOT part of the EU.

Visa Types

An Irish visa is not entry permission itself but is rather a document giving permission to present at a port of entry to seek admission to the state. Bearing a visa may not be sufficient to gain entry to the state if the immigration officer at the port of entry, who makes the actual decision as to whether to permit entry, reasonably forms the view that entry should be denied. Foreign travelers should have in their possession information regarding accommodation bookings, return flights and contact persons in Ireland in case this information is requested by an immigration officer.

Student Visas

Unless a visa waiver exemption applies, a student visa is required to enter Ireland prior to starting an educational program.

The following documents are generally required:

  • Completed and signed summary application form.
  • Signed letter: 1) outlining the applicant’s reason for wishing to come to Ireland, 2) giving details of any members of the applicant’s family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU State, 3) stating how long the applicant plans to stay, and 4) statement from the applicant that he/she will observe the conditions of his/her visa, will not become a burden on the state and will leave the state on the expiry of his/her permission to remain... (more)

Business Visas

A business visa is required to enter Ireland for all commercial purposes, such as attending business or sales meetings, unless the traveler is a citizen of a country that qualifies for a visa waiver.

The following documents are generally required:

  • Fully complete and signed application form
  • Signed letter of application 1) outlining the applicant’s reason for wishing to visit Ireland, 2) giving details of any members of his or her family who are currently in Ireland, or any other EU State, 3) stating how long the applicant plans to stay and 4) statement by the applicant that he/she will observe the conditions of his/her visa, will not become a burden on the state, and will leave the state on the expiry of his/her permission to remain.
  • Passport, valid for six months after the intended date of travel, and copy of previous passport if applicable...(more)

Work Permits

If one is neither a national of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area (EEA) nor a Swiss national and wishes to work in Ireland, he/she must have work authorization; however, EEA and Swiss nationals do not need an employment permit. Note: as of January 1, 2012, nationals of Romania and Bulgaria no longer need an employment permit to work in Ireland.

There are four types of employment permits: work permits, Green Card permits, spousal/dependent work permits and intra-company transfer permits.


Work permits can only be applied for directly through the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Resources

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Ireland Guide.



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