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What do I need before leaving?

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Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to carry out research in Ireland? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

If you are a researcher who is planning on working in an Irish research institution, you may be eligible to participate in a Hosting Agreement Scheme for accredited research organisations.

The entry of third country researchers and their families into Ireland for research purposes is also governed through the Critical Skills Employment Permit administered by the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. Researchers are included in the eligible categories of employment for Critical Skills Employment Permit purposes.

You must obtain a visa unless you are visa-exempt.


Where and how to apply Hosting Agreement

The Third Country Researchers Directive (Council Directive 2005/71/EC) provides for a fast track procedure (Hosting Agreement) for admitting third-country nationals, (i.e. persons from countries outside of the European Economic Area) for a period of between three months to five years, to carry out a research project with an accredited research institution

More on accredited research organisations.
Documents required You must show:
  • that your research project has been accepted by the research organisation after examination of the purpose and duration of the research, the necessary financial resources and your qualifications;
  • sufficient monthly resources to support yourself and return travel costs without recourse to the social assistance system;
  • that you have sickness insurance;
  • presentation of a valid travel document;
  • presentation of a Hosting Agreement;
  • that the hosting agreement specifies the legal relationship and your working conditions.
Where applicable, you must present a statement of financial responsibility issued by the research organisation.

You will not be admitted if you pose a threat to public policy, public security or public health.


You must obtain a D-visa unless you are visa-exempt.

You must apply online unless you are already living in Ireland and are making a re-entry visa application.
Duration of validity of hosting agreement Accreditation under the scheme is normally made for a period of 5 years, but may be renewed for a further period of 5 years on the basis of a signed letter confirming continuing compliance with the criteria of the scheme.
Further requirements Following admission to Ireland, you must register with your local immigration officer and obtain a certificate of registration.

If you are in Dublin this is with the Garda National Immigration Bureau. Otherwise you should register with the District Headquarters in other Garda districts.


You can appeal a refusal decision on a Critical Skills Employment Permit application within 28 days by completing a Submission of a Decision for Review Form. The appeal will be considered by a separate and more senior official. The refusal of an application on appeal does not prevent you submitting a new application.

More on appeals

Further information

More on visas

More on registration

More on Critical Skills Employment Permits

Jobs Portal for Researchers

More information on the Hosting Agreement, including application details is
available from


Family Reunification You may be accompanied by your spouse and dependants if you have been issued with a hosting agreement, provided that they comply with the same admission conditions which applied to you. Normal immigration rules regarding visas, entry and registration apply.

Your family members will be granted residence permits of the same duration as the one granted to you. Your spouse, partner or dependant may be eligible for a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit.
Long-term residence status

Currently, there are no arrangements in place for researchers or holders of hosting agreements to apply for long-term residence.

It is proposed that in the future, after two years of legal residence, researchers or holders of hosting agreements will be entitled to apply for a long-term residence permit.

All holders of Critical Skills Employment Permits, including researchers, may apply for a Stamp 4 immigration permission at the expiry of their Critical Skills Employment Permit. This permission allows a foreign national to live and work in Ireland without an employment permit.