Ireland is a beautiful island country located in the North Atlantic Ocean, west of the United Kingdom across the Irish Sea. Famous for its spectacular landscapes, picturesque castles and scenic coastlines, Ireland has a population of  4.8 million people (2018). In addition to its breathtaking beauty, Ireland is also a safe place to live, ranked as the 10th most peaceful country in the world out of 163 countries assessed in the 2017 Global Peace Index. The 2018 Legatum Prosperity Index rated Ireland #12 overall for prosperity out of the 149 countries that were evaluated, and also ranked Ireland #5 in the world for personal freedom, #10 for education, and #10 for safety and security. Therefore, if you are searching for international jobs in a beautiful, peaceful, prosperous country with a high quality of life, you may want to live and work in Ireland!

The largest city in Ireland is Dublin (population 1.8 million), which is also the national capital. Among the top business sectors in Dublin are financial services, technology and pharmaceuticals. In March 2018, the Mercer international human resources firm ranked Dublin #1 for quality of life in Ireland and the UK and #34 in the world out of 240 global cities. Other major cities in Ireland include Cork (population 126,000), Limerick (population 94,000), Galway (population 80,000) and Waterford (population 54,000).

Ireland has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and boasts the highest rate of economic growth in the European Union (EU). According to the EU’s European Commission, the Irish economy grew at an impressive 7.3% during 2017 (the best economic growth in the EuroZone). The European Commission also reports that economic growth in Ireland was  a robust 5.1% in 2016 and it is predicted to grow at a healthy rate of around 4.4% during 2018. Furthermore, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) forecasts that Ireland will continue to have the fastest growing economy in the EU during the 2018-2024 timeframe. Much of Ireland’s strong economic growth is being driven by major multinational corporations that have opened offices in the country and created many new jobs in Ireland.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported that during 2017, approximately 75% of the people who work in Ireland were employed in the services sector; around 20% worked in industry; and about 5% were employed in agriculture. Some of the fastest growing business sectors creating many new jobs in Ireland include: finance, pharmaceuticals, marketing, information/communications technology (ICT), construction, and healthcare, among others. According to a recent study in 2017, approximately 75% of employers in Ireland reported difficulty finding enough skilled workers (particularly in construction, technology and life sciences). With an ongoing skills shortage, low unemployment rate (6.0% as of February 2018), very low inflation, low poverty rate, and many international job opportunities, Ireland is a great place to live and work abroad.


There are several ways to live and work in Ireland, including with the:

  • Critical Skills Employment Permit – This temporary work visa to Ireland was created for highly skilled foreign workers who are needed to fill high-demand jobs in Ireland. Many of the highly skilled eligible occupations are in the engineering, technology/communications, healthcare, business/financial, sales and marketing, media, and quality control sectors. Either the skilled foreign worker or the potential employer can submit the application for the Critical Skills Employment Permit, which requires a two-year employment contract in an eligible occupation. A major advantage of the Critical Skills Employment Permit is that it has an option to apply for Irish Permanent Residency once the criteria are met.
  • General Employment Permit – This temporary work visa allows a foreign national to live and work in Ireland for up to two years (an employment contact for at least 12 months is required). A key advantage of this work visa to Ireland is that a wide range of occupations qualify. Once the skilled foreign worker receives an offer of employment in Ireland, he/she or the potential employer can file the application for the General Employment Permit.
  • Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit – This temporary work visa to Ireland allows an eligible non-EEA foreign worker (including trainees, senior managers, or other key employees) of a qualifying multinational corporation with an office in Ireland to work legally in the country. The Irish branch of the multinational corporation must file the application for the Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit. This work visa to Ireland is granted for a period of up to 24 months and may be renewed for a maximum of five years.
  • Internship Employment Permit – This temporary work visa permits a full-time foreign student who is attending university outside of Ireland to get job experience working in Ireland. The international student or the potential employer in Ireland may submit the application for the Internship Employment Permit. If approved, the foreign student may be able to work in Ireland for up to 12 months maximum.

This is, of course, a brief overview about several of the temporary work visas to Ireland and some of their criteria, which is subject to change at any time by the Irish government.

Please note that International Job Master does not currently provide assessment and assistance related to a work visa to Ireland and provides this information as a service to the public. For more details about applying for a work visa to Ireland, please visit Ireland’s Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) website.