Coming from the EU to work?

As an EU national you are entitled to come to Ireland to take up employment or self-employment. There are certain requirements in connection with residence permits that you need to fulfill.

The same position applies for nationals from the European Economic Area countries (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).


Residence Permits

As an EU national coming to Ireland to work or take up self-employment in Ireland, you are entitled to a residence permit.

When you come to Ireland you do not have to report your presence in the country immediately.

You must register within three months of your arrival and apply for a residence permit. To get a residence permit you should, if in Dublin, go to the Immigration Office and fill out the application form. In other areas, you should go to the local Garda station.

You will need to show that you are in employment or self-employed. If you are employed, your employer must complete part of the form. If you are self-employed, you must show some evidence of this, for example, VAT registration or documents showing evidence of activity.

A residence permit is granted for five years and is renewable.

If you are refused a permit or if it is withdrawn, there are special procedures for appealing.

The overall responsibility for residence permits rests with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. A form for an application for an Irish residence permit may be obtained from the Department.

Returning to Ireland

If you are an Irish citizen who has worked in another EU country and are returning to Ireland, you are officially a migrant worker under EU legislation. This means that, among other things, your social security rights are extensively affected by EU Regulations.

If you are unemployed, you should claim unemployment benefit in the country you are leaving and then asked for it to be transferred to Ireland. You must, of course, comply with the rules for getting benefit in the country that you are leaving. Your benefit may be transferred after you have been receiving it for four weeks. When you arrive in Ireland, you should sign on at your nearest employment exchange. You will then receive your benefit for 13 weeks; you get the same benefit as you would get if you stayed in the country you have left.

After 13 weeks have expired, you return to the normal Irish social welfare system. In order to qualify for benefits in Ireland, you need to get a job and pay at least one Class A PRSI contribution. At this point, your contributions from the other country you worked in may be added to your Irish contribution(s) to help you qualify for benefits.

When you are coming back, you should bring back a record of your contributions on Forms E301 and E104 from the social security institution in the country you are leaving. These forms will help speed up the payment of benefits under EU Regulations.

You are entitled to medical card services in Ireland while you are receiving unemployment benefit from the other country.

If you are employed when you come back then you are covered by the normal Irish rules relating to social welfare.

Rights while working in Ireland As an EU national working in Ireland, you are entitled to exactly the same rights as Irish citizens with regard to social welfare, employment and social rights generally.

If you are posted here by your employer on a temporary basis, you are entitled to the equivalent of medical card services. If you are employed or self-employed and staying on a permanent basis, you come under the same rules for entitlement to health services as Irish nationals generally. Therefore, you must pass a means test to get a medical card.

Where to apply Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform,
Immigration Office,
Harcourt Square,
Harcourt Terrace,
Dublin 2

Your local social welfare office.

Your local Garda station.

All information received from

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