Global Country Overview

March 17, 2017 All, Global


Global Country Overview

The Republic of Ireland  Introduction Ireland has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973 and in recent years, attracted a large number of international organisations investing into…

The Republic of Ireland 


Ireland has been a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973 and in recent years, attracted a large number of international organisations investing into Ireland and to set up Headquarters or hubs in Ireland. In 2015, the Industrial Development Agency (IDA) recorded a growth of 7.8% in the Irish economy, making it the fastest rate in Europe. Corporate tax in Ireland is 12.5% and currently 72 countries have tax treaties in place.

Further details about Ireland and its’ benefits can be found at the IDA website (The IDA is a part-owned government body providing assistance in setting up business in Ireland).

The objective of this document is to provide an overview of the Immigration categories available to companies and individuals looking to move and work in Ireland. Ferguson Snell’s Global team and Irish Co Counsel can assist companies in the evaluation and implementation of your corporate immigration strategy and business plans.

Immigration Processes for Ireland

In 2014Ireland introduced the Trusted Partner (TP) initiative. Open to any employer in Ireland, the TP application takes approximately 3-5 days business days to finalise. Once approved, the amount of information required by the Irish employer is significantly reduced and they will no longer be required to sign the application form. The approval timeframe for applications submitted by a TP client is also reduced to approximately 5-10 business days.

There are a number of different immigration categories available to sponsor foreign nationals in Ireland. The appropriate immigration permit will depend on various elements. The most common categories are the following:

  • Intra Company Transfer (ICT) – Secondment/Assignment/Training
  • Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)
  • General Employment Permit (GEP)
  • Van Der Elst Visa
  • Atypical Working Scheme (AWS)


Intra Company Transfer (ICT) – Secondment/Assignment/Training

The ICT permit is limited to Non-EEA senior management or key personnel from an overseas branch of a multinational corporation (Foreign Employer) who are required to transfer temporarily to its Irish entity. The Employee must have a minimum of 6 months’ employment with the Foreign Employer prior to the application. And must earn a minimum remuneration of €40,000 per annum (€30,000 for Trainees), for the duration of the secondment (after the minimum wage criterion is met, the remaining salary can be made up of allowances). The employment contract and basic annual salary (up to Irish minimum wage) must be held with the Foreign Employer (i.e. the entity who holds the employment contract). The duration of the transfer is for a minimum period of 91 days. The Employee must return to the Foreign Employer’s overseas branch when the assignment has been completed or his/her when work permit expires. Also, the number of non-EEA employee cannot exceed 50% of the EEA workforce.


Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP)

This permit is designed to address a shortage of highly skilled occupations in the Irish labour market, with the aim of encouraging the specialised foreigners to take up permanent residence in Ireland. The CSEP applicant must show evidence of a full time permanent offer of a minimum two years from the Irish employer with an annual salary of €60,000 and the occupation is not referenced as an ineligible category of employment by the DJEI. A CSEP may also be granted for occupations where the remuneration falls between €30,000 and €59,999 and the applicant has the relative skills and experience.  Following 24 months employment under a CSEP, the applicant is eligible to apply for the “Stamp 4 GNIB Card” The Stamp 4 is a residence permission which also allows the holder to work in Ireland without the requirement to hold an employment permit. In addition, this card is not linked to an Irish company/employer.


General Employment Permit (GEP)

This permit has been designed to offer a broader range of occupations with a reduced salary requirement. All occupations under the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List are deemed eligible. Before applying, the Irish employer is normally required to complete Labour Market Testing. This requirement can be waived if the company has IDA/Enterprise Ireland support. The applicant’s job role may not be an ineligible categoryof employment. The employment period must be for at least 91 days and up to 24 months and must earn a minimum salary of €30,000 per annum (€27,000 per annum for recent graduates and non-EEA language fluency).


Van der Elst Visa

This is an employment permission, granted for a maximum of 12 months and is not renewable. The applicant must be a non-EEA national employed in an EU member state on a local contract and must continue to be paid in the sending EU member state during the duration of their assignment in Ireland.Holders of an ICT permit in another EU country are not eligible to apply. Visa required nationals must obtain a Van der Elst entry visa to travel to Ireland. If their intention is to remain in Ireland longer than 90 days, the applicant must also obtain a GNIB card (residence permit).


Atypical Working Scheme (AWS)

This is an employment permission designed to enable short-term employment in Ireland. The AWS is valid for a minimum of 15 days and to a maximum of 90 days and cannot be renewed. Notably, there is a cooling-off period of 12 months for this permission. Holders of an ICT permit in another EU country are not eligible to apply. Also, anyone eligible for a Van der Elst would not be eligible to apply for approval under the AWS.



Ferguson Snell & Associates’ Global Team specialises in Irish immigration and currently assist large international corporations with their Irish visa and immigration requirements. We provide end-to-end services on the provision of employment permits, visas, residence permits (GNIB card) and re-entry visas. We work alongside our local partner in Ireland to assess all cases, prepare application forms and supporting letters as required. On your behalf, our team will submit applications to the Irish authorities and liaise with them regarding ongoing applications or enquiries/projects as required.

For consistency of service, we offer a single point of contact dedicated to you. We will also provide a detailed process overview which includes a step-by step guidance, document checklist and timelines. Once this has been sent to the assignee, we will set up a call to discuss the process with the assignee and your HR/mobility team to ensure all questions are answered and everyone involved is aware of the visa application process.

We monitor all employment permits and notify our clients three months ahead of the expiration date to enquire if a renewal or deregistration is required.

Our aim is to provide our clients with a seamless and efficient immigration programme. As a company, we exercise a “Sundown Rule”. This ensures that all enquiries and correspondence receives a response within the day. If detailed advice is required, assurance is provided that this will be delivered within 24 hours of the enquiry. If you would like further information on Immigration Processes for Ireland, please feel free to contact our Global Team.


FSA Global Country Overview – Updated March 2017

Your key contacts are:

David José

Managing Director


Irene Boccardo

Global Immigration Manager


Ferguson Snell&Associates