Employment Permits

Hosting Agreements

The hosting agreement replaces the need for researchers and the University applying for annual work permits as the agreement is valid for the duration of the employment contract.  The hosting agreement has the same benefits as the Green Card, for example, immediate family re-unification and application for residency after two years.

As an accredited research organisation, University of Galway must ensure that certain conditions are fulfilled in order for a valid hosting agreement to be signed.

The Hosting Agreement applies to:

  1. Non-EEA nationals employed in research
  2. Academic staff involved in research
  3. Visiting researchers / over 3 months stay

The Hosting Agreement does not apply to:

  1. Foreign Language Assistants
  2. Fixed-term Lecturers

In order to be eligible for a hosting agreement the proposed employee must have

  • A contract for a minimum duration of 3 months
  • Salary amounting to €23,181 or more per annum (or €30,000 for those with dependents)
  • Health insurance

Hosting Agreements are a quick and cost effective form of work authorisations - there is no approval process or fee (however the researcher must still pay €300 to register with the immigration authorities each year) Furthermore, the hosting agreement is valid for the duration of the employment contract, thus removing the need for annual renewals. 

How to process a Hosting Agreement (HA).

Step 1

Upon receipt of an approved post proposal form, recruitment paperwork, and Hosting Agreement Form (for PI to complete) (hiring manager to complete) the HR office will send an offer letter, contract and instructions on the hosting agreement process to the proposed employee via e-mail.

Step 2

The proposed employee must;

  • Return the signed Employment Contract & Copy of their Passport to HR - HR cannot start the HA application without these. 
  • Complete step 3 'Researcher' and 4 'Address & Dependents' of the hosting agreement
  • Please carefully follow guidelines for Photo (ID) as per the Euraxess website
  • Ensure legible signature is added
  • Inform the recruiter (who issued your offer) that you have completed the above. 

Step 3

When the employee has completed the above, the HR office will

  • Review and send to Euraxess for approval
  • Once approved the employee will receive an email and can request a copy from HR for visa purposes. 


Proposed employees from visa-required countries must make an application to the Irish Embassy for a visa to enter Ireland.  The visa process can take approximately 8 weeks. 

Although the Hosting Agreement process is considerably faster, due to tighter immigration controls, especially to visa-required nationals, sufficient notice must be given for both Hosting Agreement + Visa processes be in place:

  • Non visa-required nationals: minimum 5 weeks' notice – from receipt of paperwork by HR to proposed start date (shorter notice may apply if the candidate is already in Ireland)
  • Visa-required nationals: 12 – 16 weeks' notice – from receipt of paperwork by HR to proposed start date (shorter notice may apply if the candidate is already in Ireland)

Do I need a visa? 

Map showing which countries need a visa and work permit to enter ireland or just a work permit only. Map provided by Magda from Euraxess.

How to apply for a long stay employment visa? 

Visa requirements for entering Ireland (citizensinformation.ie)

Please note:

  • The researcher/principal investigator must notify the Dept of Human Resources of any changes to the research project or to the researcher’s personal circumstances.
  •  If an employee ceases work with the University before the end date of the Hosting Agreement then he/she must immediately return the original Hosting Agreement and provide the reasons for cancellation.
  • The process for Hosting Agreement Renewals is the same as above. The same reference number will be used for extensions of research projects or a new reference number will be issued if it is a new project
  • The Hosting Agreement does not take the place of a visa or registration with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). The College cannot assist in the securing of visas and, if necessary, a visa must be secured before travelling. Equally, researchers with a hosting agreement must register upon arrival and annually with their local GNIB office.
  • All hosting agreements issued will be given a unique identifier and registered through the Researchers Mobility Office of the IUA with the Office of Science Technology and innovation, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.  This database will be accessible by immigration officers.
  • Upon early termination of the researchers' employment contract, they must cancel their hosting agreement with Human Resources. This is the responsibility of both the researcher and their PI to inform Human Resources of the early termination of the contract.
  • If a Hosting Agreement has been issued and it transpires that the researcher will no longer be taking up the position offered, it is the duty of the PI to inform Human Resources of the same to ensure the Hosting Agreement is cancelled.


Hosting Agreement Form (for PI to complete)

Work Permits / Critical Skills Permit (for non Research staff):

Employees coming to University of Galway  from outside the EU/EEA generally require an employment permit to work legally in Ireland. As there are a number of options available please consult the information below to find out who needs an employment permit, which form of permit is most suitable and how to acquire one. Managers should familiarise themselves with the information below prior to engaging the employee on contract.

The Employment Permits Act 2003 states that a Non-EU national may not work in the State without an employment permit having been granted by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade, & Employment. It is an offence for both the employer and the employee where employment is entered into in the absence of a requisite permit. Penalties for such an offence is punishable as follows:

  • fine up to € 3,000 and/or up to 12 months in prison on summary conviction
  • fine up to € 250,000 and/or up to 10 years in prison conviction on indictment

Work permits are issued to individual employers and are not transferable.

Under a special agreement between the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment (DETE), FÁS, and the Conference of Heads of Irish Universities (CHIU), new operational procedures relating to Work Permit applications apply to the seven Universities established under the Universities Act 1997 and represented by CHIU, which includes the National University of Ireland, Galway.

The Human Resources Office will process and make contact with the Department of Enterprise, Trade, & Employment in relation to all work permit applications in respect of prospective employees or renewal of work permits for existing employees of University of Galway. The importance of accuracy and full completion of work permit applications is essential, as the Work Permits Section will not process applications which have not been completed correctly - the application will either be returned to the University or refused outright.

For further information on work permit requirements, please refer to the  Department of Enterprise and Employment website 

Once the application has been fully considered, a decision by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment will be taken to either issue or refuse a permit. The period of validity of a permit will normally begin on the date of issue and will not, in any case, exceed one calendar year.

After the work permit is issued, it is necessary for the employee to ensure their residency stamp is up to date. In order to do this, they must contact the Garda Immigration Bureau on Harcourt Square, Harcourt Street, Dublin 2 (phone 01 4755555) or the Immigration Office at their local Garda station.

Further Information

It is the responsibility of the applicant to obtain, where necessary, a valid visa for entry to the country for the purposes of interview or to take up residence. Applications for working visas will be accepted from persons outside the country only. Visa applications must be made to the Irish Embassy or Consulate in the country of origin. Immigration Officers retain discretion in particular circumstances to refuse entry to any non-national. Further detailed information regarding entry visas is available from the Department of Justice website

More detailed information regarding the work permits is available from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment website