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Mcgrath Mullan Solicitors Dublin

What is the Labour Market Needs Test?

The Labour Market Needs Test is a requirement for certain types of employment permit applications in Ireland. The government’s policy dictates that job openings should first be offered to suitably skilled Irish and other European Economic Area (EEA) nationals. And these opportunities should only be extended to non-EEA nationals if no suitable candidate emerges from within the EEA to fill the vacancy.

This policy aligns with the Community Preference principles of EU membership. To ensure job opportunities are accessible to Irish and EEA nationals, employers must satisfy a Labour Market Needs Test before a General Employment Permit or Contract for Services Employment Permit can be issued to a non-EEA national.

Where the employer must advertise the vacancy and for how long:

The employer must advertise the vacancy with the Department of Social Protection Employment Services/EURES employment network for at least 4 weeks, and in a national newspaper for at least 3 days, and in either a local newspaper or jobs website (separate to Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection/EURES websites) for 3 days.

What information the employer must include in the vacancy:

  • a description of the employment
  • the name of the employer
  • the minimum annual remuneration
  • the location/s of employment
  • the hours of work

Do all applications for General or Contract for Services Employment Permits require a Labour Market Needs Test?

Yes, generally speaking, the Labour Market Needs Test is required for employment permit applications. However, there are exemptions:

  • If the job falls under the Critical Skills Occupations List.
  • If the job offer is for an eligible position with a minimum annual salary of €64,000.
  • If there is a recommendation from Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland, applicable only to client companies of these organisations.
  • If the job offer is for a Carer of a person with exceptional medical needs, and the non-EEA national has been providing care before the application, and the person has developed a high level of dependence.
  • For General Employment Permit applications, if the job is offered to a non-EEA national who held a General Employment Permit or a Work Permit Employment Permit, was made redundant after October 1, 2014, and the redundancy occurred within the previous 6 months. This waiver is valid if the department is notified of the redundancy within four weeks of dismissal.

If you have any queries about employment permit applications or immigration related matters in general, please do not hesitate to contact us at

Author Bio

Taise Azevedo

Taise Azevedo, Parner, can assist you with all areas of Irish Immigration – e.g. applications for visas, regularising status in the State, naturalisation applications, employment permits applications, long term residency, immigrant investor programme etc. Taise can accept instructions in English or in Portuguese. Contact Taise if you would like assistance with any of these matters. or +353 (0) 1 873 5012

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