The mobility of researchers is one of the elements contributing to the goals of the Lisbon Strategy and implementation of the European Research Area. Ireland’s ability to attract high quality researchers is a key element of our Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation.
The entry of third country researchers and their families into Ireland for research purposes has up to now been governed through the green card/work permit system administered by the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Researchers are included in the eligible categories of employment for green card purposes. Third country researchers or host institutions, as the case may be, continue to have the option of applying for green cards or work permits.
The regime being established under the Third Country Researchers Directive puts in place an alternative mechanism for entry into Ireland of researchers who come within the scope of the Directive. Existing visa rules continue to apply, i.e. visas are required for citizens of certain countries to enter Ireland.
The Directive provides that the admission of third country researchers into a Member State for more than three months for the purposes of carrying out research is to be on the basis of a “Hosting Agreement” drawn up between the Member State research organisation and the researcher. Only research organisations which have been accredited by the Member State may enter into hosting agreements covered by the Directive.
For further information on hosting agreements, please visit:
It is necessary for anybody who does not hold European citizenship wishing to live in Ireland for more than 90 days to receive an Immigration Card. All international staffs are required to register with immigration within one month of arrival in Ireland. Immigration registration takes place at the Garda Siochana (Police) barracks at Anglesea St. in the city centre during normal office hours: 9.30am – 12 noon and 2.00pm – 4.00pm, Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.
If you are a national who requires a visa, this is still a requirement even if you do not need a work permit. You should obtain a visa before travelling to Ireland. Your nearest Irish embassy or consulate will be able to advise on whether you require a travel visa.
For general information on Visas, please visit:
In general, non-EEA nationals must have a permit to work in Ireland. EEA and Swiss nationals do not need an employment permit, except for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals – see below. Since 1 February 2007 there are a number of changes in relation to the application and granting of employment permits. Under the Employment Permits Act 2003 and the Employment Permits Act 2006 there are 4 types of employment permits:
Note: the EEA (European Economic Area) consists of the EU member states together with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.
If you are a non-EEA national you do not need a work permit if:
You will be refused a work permit where you:
It is a primary condition of entry into the state for students that they are in a position to maintain themselves while studying here. Students given permission to remain in Ireland for study will not be given permission to work (defined as up to 20 hours part-time work per week or full-time work during holiday periods) unless they are attending a full-time course of at least a year leading to a recognised qualification.
Graduate Scheme: Non-EEA students who have graduated on or after 1 January 2007 with a level 7 degree may be permitted to remain in Ireland for 6 months and those with a level 8 or higher degree may be permitted to remain for 12 months. The Third Level Graduate Scheme will allow them to find employment and apply for a work permit or Green Card permit. During this 6-month period they may work full time. They must be legally resident in Ireland and should apply for this extension of their student permission (stamp 2) to their local immigration registration office.