n recent years, Ireland has changed from being a country of emigration to a country of immigration. Unemployment is very low and nine percent of the labor force in Ireland is foreign born.
While in most cases individuals from European Economic Area (EEA) countries do not need a work permit to take up employment within Ireland, non-EEA nationals will require authorization from the government.
In the past, the Work Visa/Work Authorization scheme, instituted in 2000, handled work permits for employment of non-EEA nationals in Ireland. However, the scheme was recently replaced by new arrangements. The aim of these arrangements is to find high level skills which are strategic to the development of Ireland's economy and cannot be sourced from within the EU/EEA.
Ireland prefers to work with a system based on job offers in skills shortage areas rather than quotas or points based systems, such as the UK. Ireland has set up a system divided into the following categories:
- Green Card Permit Scheme
- Work Permit Scheme
- Intra-company Transfer Permit Scheme
- Spouse/Dependent Permit Scheme
- Third Level Graduate Scheme