Wallace Myers International Executive Recruitment & Professional Staffing


A Quick Guide to Hiring Non-EU citizens in Ireland

Posted on 10 July 2018 by Client Support at Wallace Myers International

Ever received a CV with the phrase 'Stamp 3 / Dependent Work Permit' on it and been confused about the person's eligibility to legally work in Ireland? If so, you're not alone but your company may be missing out on potentially talented professionals as a result.

Here are the 6 most frequent questions we receive from Hiring Managers and HR teams about hiring non-EU citizens in Ireland.

1. What is a work permit?

When a non-EU citizen enters Ireland for any purpose, be it studying or work, he/she is granted a GNIB/ IRP (Irish Residency Permit) card with a specific stamp issued. The GNIB/IRP is a legal document for Non – EU persons to reside in Ireland. The stamp categories are divided as follows:

Stamp 1: Individuals with Work Permits
Stamp 1G: Graduate Visa
Stamp 2: Student Visa
Stamp 3: Dependent Visa
Stamp 4: Permanent Residence Status

2. Can Stamp 3 holders work in Ireland?


3. What is a Stamp 3?

A Stamp 3 employment permit is held by the dependant/partner/spouse of a someone who has been granted a Stamp 1 (see below for What is a Stamp 1)

4. Does a Stamp 3 holder require sponsorship to work?

No. There is no further cost associated with a Stamp 3. Processing of the work permit is free of cost.

5. What do we need to consider when hiring a Stamp 3?

A Stamp 3 holder is eligible to work in Ireland once he/she receives an offer of work for 12 months or more.

Employers who make an offer Stamp 3 holders do not have to advertise the job with Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection employment services/EURES before making the application also known as the Labour Market Needs Test.

When an offer of work has been accepted you will need to give the candidate a letter stating that they have been offered employment with your company and a copy of the company’s P30. The candidate will then submit these to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) who will update their stamp type to Stamp 1. UPDATE: "In March 2019 the Irish Government has announced a significant change to the Critical Skills Employment Permit (Stamp 3), which will give partners and spouses of Stamp 1 visa-holders immediate and full access to the labour market without the need for a separate employment permit"

It can take up to 2 months for the DBEI to respond. The candidate can begin work only when they receive Stamp 1.

6. What is a Stamp 1?

A Stamp 1 is a Work Permit of two types – General Skills and Critical Skills. The Critical Skills Work Permit is designed to attract highly skilled people into the labour market with the aim of encouraging them to take up permanent residence in the State. Eligible occupations under this type of permit are deemed to be critically important to growing Ireland’s economy, are highly demanded and highly skilled, and in significant shortage of supply in our labour market

One of the ways companies in Ireland hire employees that don’t have an EU passport is by applying for a Critical Skills or General Skills Work Permit which costs €1,000* following successful application.  That employee is then eligible to live and work in Ireland.

Individuals who are on Stamp 1 Critical Skills move onto Stamp 4 after 21 months of continuous employment with one employer.


*Note: This charge applies only to a Stamp 1 being issued before a person enters the country and not when another type of Stamp is changed. When a Stamp 3 holder is awarded a Stamp 1 on the receipt of a job offer, there is no charge to them or the employer.

Read More About Frequently asked CV questions


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