Do you require sponsorship to work in Ireland? Are you frustrated by recruitment consultants who say that a role isn’t accepting sponsorship candidates? Discover why this happens and get some tips on how best to find a role and a company who will sponsor your visa.

I need to be sponsored for a visa – what are my chances to be hired in Ireland?

Recruitment consultants, you know the feeling. The CV is well designed. The font is nice. You see a solid list of skills, industry specific. You can’t even see any typos! Your heart starts to race, palms sweaty. This person is amazing. You’re in love. Wait … what’s that? Their last job was outside of the EU? Ohh nooooooooo.

The news is constantly full of how Ireland is starving for tech skills. Jobs galore – no one to fill them. Every single one of our friends who has a LinkedIn profile is inundated with InMails from recruiters Statistically, most recruiters will get a response rate of less than 50%, even from personalised and well-crafted InMails.

Nearly everyone in the tech industry can pick and choose at this stage as the market is increasingly candidate driven and competitive.

So, why are recruitment consultants terrified of someone who requires sponsorship?

In general, a candidate requiring a visa comes in three shapes:

1) Graduate from a third level institution in Ireland – holds a visa that allows them to work for two years after college and then they’ll need to be sponsored for a full-time work permit.

2) Just immigrated to Ireland seeking a critical skills permit. This person requires an offer letter and then they’ll be able to work for the sponsoring company for two years. Then they can get a Stamp 4 which allows them to work anywhere.

3) Not in Ireland seeking a critical skills permit. Exactly the same as above but this person isn’t in Ireland yet.

It comes down to the core facet of our job – we fill client requirements. We can advise and cajole but when it comes down to it, clients are going to do what they feel is best of their business at that time.

From our perspective, we’d love to fill roles with candidates who require a visa. If you have the skills, we don’t care where you’re coming from or what your passport says. However, our clients are frequently hiring us to fill a speedy requirement. Arranging a visa takes time and if a client is happy to wait for that amount of time, they’re generally happy to fill the role themselves – sans external recruitment consultant.

We rarely get a role onto our desks for which the client is happy to consider sponsoring a candidate.

Generally, when they do consider sponsorship, it’s for an extraordinary candidate. So here are a few tips to become that stand out candidate and get the sponsorship you need.


  • Apply directly to companies. Search about on the jobs pages to see who has placed the advert – it’s more likely that a direct application will net you an interview and a job. We don’t generally advocate going around the recruitment consultant but in this instance, it might be worth it. Just remember our sacrifice and come back to me for your next move! 😉
  • Really target your applications. You should be doing this anyway but it’s even more important when you’re seeking sponsorship. Make sure you’re applying for the right jobs for you and your skillset/experience.
  • Write personalised cover notes. We can’t count the number of boring template cover letters we see (we know, we know, recruiters are basically the spirit animals of boring templates). Companies like to feel like you’re applying to them personally, rather than throwing your CV into the void. Think of it like executing a really good chat up line at the bar rather than just frantically swiping right on Tinder and hoping for the best.
  • If you’re not in Ireland yet, be aware that you’re competing against people who are already physically in the country. You are fighting an uphill battle and need to stand out.
  • Assess your skills – you need a strong set of skills that are in demand to get that job. Remember, employers in Ireland have the entire EU to pull candidates from!

While getting sponsorship can be a difficult process it is possible. A recruitment consultant may not be the best avenue to follow but with the tips above you should start to stand out from the crowd and become that extraordinary candidate that a company will sponsor.

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