Assessing travel and visa obligations in Ireland

When traveling to Ireland, your nationality and the types of activities you will conduct during your trip will determine whether you may travel lawfully as a business visitor or if you require a work permit. Please seek advice from your immigration counsel if you are uncertain about the specific types of activities that constitute business or work.

Traveling for business

What types of activities may I engage in as a business visitor?

As a business visitor to Ireland, you may engage in the activities below. While this list is not exhaustive and other activities could qualify as business, you may:

  • Attend business meetings or conferences
  • Visit or conduct fact-finding missions at an affiliated branch office, subsidiary or current project site
  • Attend contract negotiations and business transactions


If I qualify as a business visitor, do I need a visa for Ireland?

Nationals of the European Union, United States and many other select countries are eligible for a visa waiver and are not required to obtain a visa in order to enter and conduct business activities in Ireland.

Nationals of select countries, who have Short Stay “C” U.K. Visas, can enter Ireland for business purposes without needing to obtain an additional Irish Visa. Eligible applicants can travel to Ireland only within the time remaining on their leave to remain in the United Kingdom.


What types of activities require a work permit?

The activities below, whether paid or unpaid, generally constitute work under Irish law. This list is not exhaustive, and many other professional activities are considered work in Ireland, even if conducted for a short duration.

  • Hands-on technical work
  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Performing audits
  • Foreign nationals can request temporary work authorization permission at the border if the productive work activities will be performed for a very short duration. An individual assessment is recommended to determine whether you are eligible for temporary work authorization on arrival.


If I am traveling to Ireland for work, what type of work permit do I need?

The requirements for a work permit depend on your qualifications, on the nature and duration of your work and on whether your employer has an entity in Ireland. The most common Irish work permits are:

  • Atypical working scheme (short-term work authorization)
  • General employment permit (direct hire work permit)
  • Intra-company transfer employment permit (ICT work permit)
  • Contract for services employment permit (assignee work permit)
  • Critical skills employment permit (highly skilled work permit)


Is it possible to be exempted from work permit requirements?

Nationals from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland are not required to obtain a work permit in order to work in Ireland. However, registrations or other formalities may be required prior to working or residing in Ireland.

Additionally, the U.K.-Ireland Common Travel Area provides reciprocal rights to Irish and U.K. citizens to travel, work, and reside in each other’s country on the basis of their passport and without further immigration processing, such as work or residence permit procedures.

What else should I know?

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA), which governs post-Brexit relations between the EU and the U.K., has altered immigration regulations in the affected countries. Please be sure to contact your immigration representative for full details regarding the TCA’s impact in Ireland.

Inevitably, the legal and strategic considerations impacting visa selection, as well as visa waiver and work authorization eligibility, entail the careful consideration of many factors. We recommend that you consult with your immigration counsel before taking any course of action.


Copyright ©2024 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. Government immigration agencies often change their policies and practices without notice; please consult an immigration professional for up-to-date information. This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. BAL maintains comprehensive immigration information and processing specifics for our clients.