Our website uses cookies to enhance your browsing experience and to collect information about how you use this site to improve our service to you. By not accepting cookies some elements of the site, such as video, will not work. Please visit our Cookie Policy page for more information on how we use cookies.

What We Do

Employment Permits

In order to work in Ireland a non-EEA National, unless they are exempted, must hold a valid Employment Permit. The Department's Employment Permits Section administers the Employment Permits system.

Status of the Quota for Meat Processing Operatives - 28 April 2022

The Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment wishes to advise all those concerned that the number of employment permit applications for Meat Processing Operatives has now exceeded the 1,500 General Employment Permits for Meat Processing Operatives provided for under Statutory Instrument No 559 of 2021.

While we are continuing to process the applications received, we are not accepting any more applications.

Please do not submit new applications for Meat Processing Operatives at this time. Applications which are submitted from now will not be processed.

Apply, make payments and submit documents online

The Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) allows applicants for Employment Permits and Trusted Partner Registrations to apply, make payments and submit supporting documentation online. The step by step User Guide (PDF, 1.9MB) available in the footer information of the system includes the documentary requirements for each application type.

The online application system for employment permits brings a number of significant benefits:

  • faster turnaround of applications
  • easier, online submission of supporting documentation
  • secure online fee payments (where applicable) by credit/debit card
  • as the system continuously validates your data and supporting documentation there will be fewer errors and rejected applications
  • intuitive user experience with help information and relevant mandatory fields

Please submit applications online to avail of these benefits. The Department welcomes feedback on the online process. If you have any comments or issues you can email us at the dedicated email account epos@enterprise.gov.ie.

Any employment permit application where a Labour Market Needs Test is required must have published a EURES ad for at least 28 days before a valid application can be submitted. 

An application for any employment permit must be received at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date.

EPOS has a cut-off deadline of 28 days from starting any application to submitting it. If an application form has not been submitted or completed within 28 days, it is deleted. This is for data protection purposes. In such instance, it is not possible to retrieve the application and the applicant must begin the application process again.

A contract of employment signed by both parties must be submitted with each application. 

Application checklists

Checklists to assist with permit applications

Application processing dates and status

Current processing dates for applications 

Enquire about the status of your application

Latest notices and developments

Latest notices and developments

Who needs an employment permit?

A non-EEA national, unless exempted, requires an employment permit to work in Ireland

Ineligible List of Occupations

Employments in respect of which an employment permit shall not be granted

Critical Skills Occupations List

Employments with shortages in respect of qualifications, experience or skills

Types of permit 

The nine different types of employment permit

Important notice about queries: The Employment Permits Section does not have a public office and cannot facilitate personal callers to the office. Please contact the Employment Permits Call Centre if you have a query relating to the employment in Ireland of a non-EEA national.

Note on Data Protection: In submitting a completed, signed application form to this Department, both the employer and the prospective employee, accept that the Department may share the information contained on the application with other Departments and State Agencies for the sole purpose of verifying the information supplied by the applicant.