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Applying for the Right to Work


Certain asylum seekers in Ireland have the right to employment from July 2nd, 2018, as part of the country’s opting-in to the EU Reception Conditions Directive.

Am I Eligible?


  • If you have been waiting 6 months or more for a first instance recommendation.
  • If you have been transferred to Ireland from another EU Member State under the Dublin Regulation, and it has been 6 months since lodging your application.



  • If you have received a first instance recommendation and are currently awaiting an appeal decision.
  • If you have received a transfer decision to another EU Member State under the Dublin Regulation.

Where Can I Work?

Individuals with valid, in-date permission are able to access any legal employment, outside of the following three sectors:

  • Defence Forces
  • An Garda Síochána
  • Civil or Public Service

How Long is My Permission Valid?

Permissions are granted for a 12 month period and can be renewed until such time as a final decision is made on the individual’s International Protection application.


To renew your permission, apply one month in advance of its expiry date. Applications will be available here and can be sent by post or email. Be sure to include your Personal ID number and original Permission number on the renewal form.

Do I Have to Remain in Direct Provision?


Asylum seekers who are granted permission to work may remain in Direct Provision accommodation or seek private accommodation.


If you choose to remain in Direct Provision while engaging in employment, you may be required to contribute toward the cost of your accommodation after 12 weeks. This contribution will be calculated based on this table:


The contribution will be capped at €238.00, and will be relevant only to employed individuals, not spouses or children.










Can I be Self-Employed?


Self-employment is permitted with a valid, in-date labour market access permission. Self-employed individuals are not permitted to employ, or enter into a partnership with, any other person.

Right to Work History

On 2nd July 2018, the EU (recast) Reception Conditions Directive was transposed into Irish law. Ireland has now introduced new provisions to facilitate access to the labour market for eligible international protection applicants. The Minister of State, David Stanton TD, said these changes “will promote the integration into Irish society of asylum seekers and their families,” in a June 27 press release.


The decision to opt-in to the Reception Conditions Directive followed a Supreme Court declaration, in February 2018, that Ireland’s ban on employment was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court case was taken by a Burmese national who had spent eight years living in Direct Provision. This decision provided the Government with an opportunity to align itself with EU standards regarding reception conditions by introducing increased support for asylum seekers, broader access to education and training, and improved monitoring for vulnerability and children’s rights.

See the full timeline on our Campaigns page.

If you have any questions about the provided information, our staff in the Advice & Information Centre can help you determine whether you are eligible, and can assist you in making an application to the Minister for this permission.


Applications can be found here, and can be submitted by post or email.

Send completed application form and supporting documents to:
Labour Market Access Unit (LMAU)
PO Box 12931
Freepost FDN5264
Dublin 2

Print completed form, sign it, scan it and email with supporting documents to: