Ireland General Employment Permit Review: All You Need to Know 

Work permit on the table

The General Employment Permit in Ireland is issued to nonnationals of the European Economic Area (the EU, plus Norway, Iceland, and Lichtenstein), the UK, or Switzerland. It allows foreigners under this category to work in Ireland, specifically in occupations with labor shortages, and some are visa sponsorship jobs.

If you are interested in relocating to Ireland for work but not skilled enough to apply for the critical skill employment permit, what you need is the general employment permit is what you need. Read this content to the end to know more about how to apply, who is eligible, and what you need to do after your application is approved.

About the General Employment Work Permit Ireland

The General employment permit in Ireland allows non-EU nationals to work in Ireland in occupations where there’s a recognized labor shortage. Unlike other permits tied to specific professions, the GEP offers greater flexibility, covering a wider range of jobs unless they’re on the “Ineligible List.”

Let’s break it down, Ireland operates with different work permits. For instance, critical skills employment permits are issued to specific skilled occupations as listed in the Critical Skill List. However, the General Employment Permit assumes every occupation to be eligible “except those excluded under the Ineligible List of Occupations for Employment Permits’ However, all occupations listed in the Critical Skills Occupation List are eligible for the General Employment Permit. 

So, it is safe to say that, with the General Employment work permit, more prospective candidates from a broader occupation range have the opportunity of living and working in Ireland, than the other types of Employment Permit. 

Also, note that unlike the Critical skills employment permit which is only valid for 12 months, the  General Employment Permit can be issued for 2 years which can be renewed further to three years. At the end of 5 years, you may refer to the Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) for further extension or long-term residency.

Relevant: Top Best Recruitment Agencies in Ireland 2023 (Edited)

Eligibility Criteria for General Employment Permit

The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment examines different criteria when assessing employment permit applications.

As with the critical skill employment permit, obtaining the General Employment permit requires you to satisfy all the rules stipulated by the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment, one of which is job employment from an employer that is registered with the Revenue commissioners and is trading in Ireland. 

In this section, we have outlined the basic requirements as indicated in the registration document for the General Employment Permit:

  • Nationality: You must be a non-EEA/Swiss national seeking employment in Ireland.
  • Job Offer: You must have a genuine job offer from a registered Irish employer that meets the GEP conditions.
  • Minimum Salary: The minimum remuneration should be€34,000 per year. Exceptions exist for Healthcare assistant jobs with Level 5 QQI qualifications, Meat Processor Operative, with a minimum yearly salary of €30,000 and a  minimum hourly rate of  €14.79. Also, For Health assistant roles and home carers, the minimum annual salary is retained at €27,000

Eligibility Hurdles:

  • Ineligible Occupations List: Your offered job must not be listed on the Ineligible List of Occupations. This list includes roles already sufficiently filled by the local workforce.
  • Labour Market Needs Test (LMNT): In most cases, your employer must demonstrate that they couldn’t find a suitable EU/Swiss candidate for the role through LMNT advertising and recruitment attempts. Exceptions include; Critical Skills Occupations., Jobs offering €64,000 or more.
  • 50:50 Rule: Over 50% of the employer’s existing workforce in the company or organization of interest must be EU/Swiss nationals. Start-ups within 2 years of establishment and supported by specific agencies may be exempt.

Relevant: Factory Jobs in Ireland with visa sponsorship 2023

Further Considerations:

  • Qualifications & Skills: You must possess the required skills qualifications and experience for the offered job.
  • Medical Insurance: You must have private health insurance covering your stay in Ireland.
  • Documentation: Prepare all necessary documents (passport, job offer, LMNT evidence, etc.) as outlined by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE).

How to apply for the General Employment Recruitment Permit.

There is no specific rule stating who should handle the application. Either you or your employer can proceed with the application in the Employment Permits section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment via the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS)

However, you are expected to pay a fee of $1000, You will get a 90$ refund if your refund is refused.

General Employment work Permit Ireland checklist 

If you meet all the eligibility requirements as stated above, you can proceed with your application. Below is a checklist for you as found in the employee section.

1. Personal Information:

  • Copy of your passport: Valid for at least 6 months for a new permit or 3 months for renewal.
  • Passport-size photo: Meeting Irish photo requirements.
  • Proof of address: Recent utility bill, bank statement, etc.
  • Contact information: Phone number and email address.
  • PPS Number (if already assigned): Personal Public Service Number.

2. Job Offer and Qualifications:

  • Signed work contract: Outlining job title, duties, salary, and duration.
  • Detailed job description: Highlighting responsibilities and required skills.
  • Proof of qualifications and experience: Diplomas, certificates, transcripts, etc.
  • Previous employment verification letters (if applicable).

3. Immigration Status:

  • Current immigration stamp/visa (if resident in Ireland).
  • GNIB/Irish Resident’s Permit pin (if applicable).
  • Proof of any previous visas for Ireland (if applicable).

Relevant: Farm jobs in Ireland with Visa Sponsorship

After Application 

After you’ve submitted your General Employment Permit (GEP) application in Ireland, here’s what you can expect:

Relevant: Data Scientist Jobs in Ireland with Visa Sponsorship: 2024 Guide

1. Application Received

You’ll receive an email acknowledging receipt of your application and outlining the current processing timeframe. You can track the progress of your application online using the Employment Permit Online System (EPOS).

2. Processing time 

The processing time for a general employment permit varies depending on the employer’s “Trusted Partner” status, and the current workload of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE).

Standard processing times:

  • Trusted Partner employers: 4-8 weeks
  • Standard employers: 8-12 weeks

However, complex applications or those requiring further clarification may take longer.

3. Decision Made

Once a decision is made on your application, you’ll receive an email notification. If your application is successful, you’ll receive your employment permit and instructions on how to apply for your visa (if required). However, If your application is unsuccessful, you’ll receive a letter explaining the reasons for the refusal and your right to appeal the decision.

4. Next Steps – Successful applicants:

  • Apply for your visa if required (usually takes 4-6 weeks).
  • Book your travel to Ireland.
  • Register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) upon arrival to optain your residency permit.

5. Unsuccessful Applicants:

If your application is rejected, you will receive a 90% refund of the processing fee paid from the onset. However, ensure you carefully review the refusal letter and understand the reasons for rejection.

What to do if your application is rejected or not approved:

  • Consider addressing the issues raised and resubmitting your application by writing a professional Personal statement that addresses these concerns.
  • Appeal the decision to the Immigration Appeals Unite
  • Seek legal advice.
Need our Assistance for your LOE/SOP? Contact Fasthire today.
Need our Assistance for your LOE/SOP? Contact Fasthire today.

Application Fee

The processing fee for either a new employment permit or a renewal must be done by the 

Processing fee for a new General Employment Permit:

  • €500 for an employment permit of up to 6 months or less 
  • €1,000 for an employment permit for 2 years

Processing fee for renewal of a permit:

  • €750 – for renewal up to 6 months 
  • €1,500 – for renewal up to 3 years

N/B: You can find more details about the processing fee kindly visit the official application page referenced in this content.

Facts to Note about the General Employment Permit in Ireland 

  • Except for a few exceptional circumstances, with your first employment permit in Ireland, it is required you stay with your current employer for 12 months before proceeding to change to a new employer or applying for a General Employment Permit
  • If you wish to extend the validity of your General Employment Visa to 3 years, you must wait until 2 years is over before you apply for an extension.
  • After completing your first year, you’re eligible to bring your family to Ireland under your GEP. But be sure you can comfortably support them, as your income needs to exceed the Working Family Payment limits.

Conclusion on Ireland General Employment Permit

If you are interested in working in Ireland, there are several opportunities to make that possible. With the General Employment Permit, you can work in companies experience low labour shortage in Ireland. 

However, before you proceed with your application, ensure the skill or profession of interest is listed as eligible as described in this content. 

Moreover, meeting the eligibility criteria is just the first step. The application process itself involves gathering different documents, getting a job offer from an eligible employee, and paying the processing fees.

Therefore, ensure you confirm the details needed to fulfill your application. Always fall back to the website to get sufficient details before proceeding with your application.

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