Relocating business to Ireland – What do I need to consider in relation to employees?

As travel restrictions ease globally many businesses are focusing on strategic expansion in a post-pandemic, post-Brexit world. In many cases this expansion is driven by the business need to have an English-speaking European base.  In addition, the desire of key employees who having reassessed their own lifestyle over the past 18 months and now wish to relocate with their family to explore new opportunities is also a driving factor. Compared to other EU member states Ireland’s immigration policies and work permit procedures are relatively straightforward and this is something that continues to attract multinationals and foreign direct investment to Ireland.

“Our Employment and Immigration team have seen a significant increase in work permit applications over the past 3 months driven by the activity in the market. The records published show 9526 work permits were issued to non EEA nationals in the period January to August 2021. In our practice we focus on our clients’ commercial requirements and provide strategic advice to businesses to assess what are the best work permits for them, that will afford them the desired expertise in their new business and give their employees the opportunity to achieve residency and potentially citizenship in Ireland.  Focusing on practical challenges clients’ have we also manage their permit application process and provide ongoing assistance with employment documentation and support” said Emma Richmond, Employment & Immigration Partner with Whitney Moore.

Which Work Permit to choose?

All non-EEA citizens require a work permit to work in Ireland and certain non-EEA citizens will also require a visa to enter the country. Typically, the type of work permits that Companies investing in Ireland are interested in are the Critical Skills Work Permit and the Intra Company Transfer permit and I have set out a summary of these below.

Critical Skills Work Permit:

Easily the most popular type of work permit sought by companies relocating to Ireland. The key advantage of this permit is that it provides a long-term access to citizenship in the event the employee wishes to relocate to Ireland on a permanent basis and provides easy access for the spouse or dependant of the work permit holder to the jobs market. These are all key considerations where there is a long-term goal for either the company or the employee. Other criteria include;

  • Role needs to be on the Critical Skills Occupation List and have a salary of at least €32,000 per annum;
  • All roles with salary of €64,000 (and not on the Ineligible List) are eligible.

Intra Company Transfer Permit:

This permit provides for the temporary transfer of key personnel to Ireland on an initial two year basis which may be extended up to five years. Typically, this is used for key personnel who are required to establish the business in Ireland, ensuring the right local personnel are hired and providing a key decision maker on the ground when critical start up decisions are made. The maximum duration of this work permit is 5 years so ultimately it is not suitable for someone looking to relocate permanently or to achieve citizenship. Other criteria include;

  • Senior Management/Key Personnel on salary of at least €40,000;
  • 6 months service with employer pretransfer.

What Employment Documents will I require?

As part of the permit application a copy of a valid contract of employment or letter of appointment will be required. The employer will also need to show they have registered with Revenue as an Employer and their ERN will be needed on the application.

Additional documents such as Employee Handbooks and Policies will assist the employer in running their business as it grows but will not be required to be furnished at application stage.

“We focus on being practical as we appreciate that our clients just want these permits quickly so our team assist in preparing these documents and providing any employment advice needed also” concluded Emma.

Should you require any further information on this please contact Emma Richmond at


Whitney Moore is a full-service law firm with extensive experience and expertise in Employment and Immigration issues. The Firm works with a range of indigenous and multinational clients.


Whitney Moore LLP
2 Shelbourne Buildings, Crampton Avenue, Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4, D04 W3V6, Ireland.
t  +353 (0)1 611 0000