Labour market access for international protection applicants

The Government is to introduce a temporary interim measure for access to the labour market for international protection applicants. This measure will be active from 9 February 2018 until the introduction of the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive

From 9 February 2018, international protection applicants will be able to access the labour market in two ways:

  1. All applicants can apply to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation for an employment permit. This is an existing scheme and the same conditions for eligibility will be applied to international protection applicants as for all other non-EEA nationals. Full details can be found on the Department’s website by following the link to ‘Employment Permits’.

  2. The Minister for Justice and Equality is setting up an administrative scheme to provide eligible international protection applicants with permission to be self-employed. To be eligible for this scheme applicants must, on the date they apply for a permission under the scheme, be waiting on a first instance recommendation on their protection application for 9 months or more.

Please note that no applications to access the labour market will be accepted by from international protection applicants before 9 February.

Detailed information on how to apply for permission to be self-employed, including an application form, will be available on from 9 February. Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation will also accept applications for employment permits from this date.

Further information on this measure is provided below.

Press release


Minister Flanagan announces interim arrangements for labour market access for international protection applicants, pending Commission approval of Ireland’s opt in to the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive

Today (Tuesday), Minister Flanagan briefed Cabinet on his proposals for temporary interim arrangements for access to the workforce for international protection applicants from February 2018 until the date of entry into force of the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive.



If you have questions, contact us.

Updated: 08 February 2018

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