Ireland: Employment Contract Required; Other Changes to Employment Permit System

Effective March 26, 2018, Ireland will introduce a number of changes to Employment Permit rules: • Signed employment contracts will be required for all initial and renewal Employment Permit applications; • The list of ineligible occupations will no longer apply to applications for Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits; and • More highly-skilled occupations will be introduced.

Go to the profile of Fragomen
Mar 23, 2018

The situation

Effective March 26, 2018, Ireland will introduce a number of changes to Employment Permit rules.

A closer look

  • Employment contract required. All initial and renewal Employment Permit applications filed on or after March 26, 2018 will require a signed employment contract to be submitted as part of the application.
    • Impact. It is not clear whether foreign nationals with pending Employment Permit applications as of March 26 will need to submit an employment contract, or whether alternative documents might be accepted; Fragomen will contact clients individually as the situation develops.


  • Ineligible ICT occupations. The list of ineligible occupations will no longer apply to applications for Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permits.
    • Impact. More foreign workers will be able to benefit from this permit type.


  • More highly-skilled occupations. A number of animation occupations will be added to the list of highly-skilled shortage occupations. This list determines which occupations qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) for local hires and which occupations are waived from labor market testing under the General Employment Permit (GEP).
    • Impact. More foreign workers can benefit from these permit types and from the waiver under the GEP.


  • Update on asylum seekers. Further to ongoing efforts to grant eligible asylum seekers work authorization, effective March 26, 2018, asylum seekers will receive a Temporary Residence Certificate to allow them to access the labour market. This interim measure will apply until a new law implementing a relevant EU Directive takes effect.
    • Impact. This measure clarifies how asylum applicants can currently obtain work authorization.



The new rules mostly update a number of practical points following recent changes to Irish immigration practice, such as new rules relating to asylum seekers and the introduction of the Irish Residence Permit.

The change relating to employment contracts may be in line with ongoing developments relating to EU posted workers, where written terms of employment must be maintained by employers per current document retention requirements.

Looking ahead

  • Employers seeking to transfer foreign workers to Ireland are advised to consult with their human resources department and a labor lawyer to ensure employment contracts are in place, if they are not available yet.
  • Applications filed on or after March 26, 2018 will fall under the new rules.


This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to

Go to the profile of Fragomen


Immigration Alerts, Fragomen

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

No comments yet.