There can often be confusion about what working rights different visas give to employees in the jobs market in Ireland. With that in mind I have summarised the main visa options below. Please note that this is list isn’t necessarily exhaustive but it does give a brief overview of the main visa stamps currently available.


  1. Stamp 0


  • Stamp 0 indicates permission to stay in Ireland for a temporary period, subject to conditions. This Visa does not give working rights in Ireland. An instance of stamp 0 may be whereby someone retires to or lives in Ireland as a person of independent means.


  1. Stamp 1


  • Stamp 1 indicates permission to work or operate a business in Ireland, subject to conditions. In order to obtain a stamp 1 permission, you must hold a valid employment permit, or a letter stating that you can work without an employment permit. This letter will also state if you are allowed to set up a business or be self-employed in the State.


  1. Stamp 1A


  • You will commonly encounter stamp 1a’s when people are studying accountancy as a trainee and are employed as a trainee accountant.


  1. Stamp 1G


  • A commonly encountered visa. There are 2 versions of such:


4a) Graduate 1G


  • Allows individual to work full time for up to 12 months. It may possibly be then extended for a further 12 months (Typically this applies if you have done a masters)


4b) Spousal 1G


  • If you are a spouse of a critical skills…permit holder, you may be eligible for a spousal 1g. This Visa is simply renewed annually, allowing individual to work full time. It is worthwhile noting that when someone has been on this visa for 5 years, they may be able to move to stamp 4.


  1. Stamp 2


  • This visa will allow you to work up to 20 hours weekly during school term time and 40 hours weekly during holidays from schooling. Stamp 2 visa holders should not be dismissed for full time roles as if for instance an individual has say finished their Masters in May, they may be able work full time on a stamp 2 visa over summer and then perhaps have graduate stamp 1g for example to move onto directly afterwards.


  1. Stamp 2A


  • Stamp 2A indicates permission for full-time study in Ireland for a course that is not on the official Interim List of Eligible Programmes, for a specified period. Students with stamp 2A permission are not allowed to work


  1. Stamp 3


  • You may for instance be given Stamp 3 if you have permission to join your non-EEA/EU/Swiss spouse/civil partner or family member who is here based on a work permit. You cannot work or engage in any business, trade or profession, unless you are granted a work permit by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment


  1. Stamp 4


  • This visa is often viewed as the desirable amongst employers. If you have a stamp 4, you will have no complications securing a new role in the market as a move of employer is seamless. If you are granted a stamp 4 permission, it will be issued for 5 years and can be renewed provided you continue to satisfy necessary criteria


  1. Stamp 4S


  • This scheme closed on 20 January 2019 (the scheme applied to non-EEA persons who commenced their presence in the State lawfully under a student permission with a limited right to work and maintained that lawful presence for at least two years)


  1. Stamp 4D


  • For eligible non-EEA family of UK citizens who are seeking to reside here after 01/01/2021 (Brexit)


  1. Stamp 5


  • Stamp 5 indicates permission to stay in Ireland without change to conditions on the time you can remain here, subject to other conditions. For this visa you have to have completed has to have completed 8 years legal residency in the state to attain this stamp. The stamp will be valid up to the expiry date on your passport


  1. Stamp 6


  • Stamp 6 indicates you are an Irish citizen with dual citizenship


If you have any queries on what different visas might apply to you or your company, please get in touch at [email protected] or on (01) 507 9260.