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The Irish Stamp 4 Visa

Did you know it’s possible to work in Ireland without holding an employment permit?

The Irish Stamp 4 Visa permits entry into Ireland through various routes e.g., marriage, entrepreneurship, long-term residency or investment.

When an individual has a Stamp 4 Visa, they may work in Ireland for up to 90 days, which includes operating a business.

Eligibility for the Irish Stamp 4 Visa

Anyone who is interested in applying for a Stamp 4 Visa must already have permission to reside in Ireland.

Most applicants have secured permission through long-term residency, the Start-up Entrepreneur Programme (STEP), the Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP), the Join Family Member Visa or the Ireland Immigrant Investor Programme.

The eligibility requirements for these four main routes are as follows.

Long-term residency

  • Be a person of good character
  • Have a clear criminal record
  • Possess proof of 5 years of residency in Ireland (demonstrated through passport stamps)
  • Have proof of current employment (which must continue after the application has been submitted)
  • Own a valid employment permit or CSEP
  • Demonstrate ongoing compliance with Irish immigration law
  • Have proof of not causing an unnecessary burden on the government

Ireland immigrant investor programme

  • Have a minimum net worth of €2 million
  • Be a person of good character
  • Possess an interest in investing in entreprise investment, real estate investment trusts, endowment or investment fund
  • Have no criminal convictions


  • Possess proof of current employment (which must continue after the application has been submitted)
  • Be a person of good character
  • Be a CSEP holder for at least 21 months before the date of the application


  • Be a person of good character
  • Have an innovative business proposal
  • Work full-time in the business
  • Have no history of criminal charges or convictions
  • Have access to €50,000 for funding

Join family member (D) visa

  • Be married (marriage must be legally recognised in Ireland)
  • Be at least 18 years old

Other eligible candidates include individuals who have:

  • Held a valid employment permit for 5 years
  • Moved to Ireland as a convention or programme refugee
  • Had a valid researcher Hosting Agreement for 2 years
  • Joined a refugee family member (or member with Subsidiary Protection) in Ireland

Documentation Needed for the Irish Stamp 4 Visa

Again, the documents that you will need depend on the route you are applying through. All routes require a valid passport, but each pathway has additional unique documents.

Long-term residency

  • Evidence of ongoing Irish residency
  • Current Irish Residency Permit (IRP) card
  • Letter from employer outlining employment terms and contract start date
  • Coloured copies of employment permits

Ireland immigrant investor programme

  • Details of the source of the funds
  • Evidence of net worth of at least €2 million
  • Proof of good character
  • Letter of permission from the Minister for Justice


  • Irish Residency Permit (IRP) card
  • CSEP
  • Proof of employment in the form of a letter from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment


  • Proof that money can be transferred
  • Residency Permission
  • Evidence of €50,000 funding

Join family member (D) visa

  • 2 copies of coloured photographs
  • Bank statement from the last 6 months
  • Signed application letter (including intention for moving to Ireland and contact details)
  • Proof of relationship (marriage certificate, photographs, passport stamps etc)
  • Signed and dated application form
  • Letter of permission from the Minister for Justice

Application Steps for the Irish Stamp 4 Visa

First and foremost, anyone from a visa-required country must secure the appropriate Irish visa before applying for Stamp 4 Ireland. Countries that are excluded from this include:

  • EU and EEA countries
  • Canada
  • Brazil
  • Guatemala
  • Botswana
  • El Salvador
  • Bahamas
  • Guyana
  • Chile
  • Andorra
  • Belize
  • Costa Rica
  • Antigua & Barbuda

Immigration Service Delivery (ISD) has a full list of countries that are not associated with an obligatory visa to enter Ireland.

UK citizens usually need a visa to enter Ireland, but there are exceptions to this. Individuals who qualify for a short-stay waiver or the British-Irish scheme (part of the UK Short-Stay Visa) do not need a visa.

Once you have received a visa (if necessary), you must choose the suitable Stamp 4 route and check that you are eligible to apply. The application form can be downloaded and completed, with the relevant supporting documents, on the Online Visa/Preclearance Application Facility section of the ISD website.

You must register your permission to remain in Ireland within 90 days of your arrival in the country. To do this, book an appointment at the ISD (Dublin residents) or the GNIB (non-Dublin residents).

After you have completed all of the above steps, and the ISD has approved your application, you can expect to receive an Irish Residency Permit (IRP) card in the post. This is the evidence you need to prove you are living and working in Ireland legally.

Associated Fees for the Irish Stamp 4 Visa

Stamp 4 Visa Ireland applicants are charged according to the eligibility route they have taken to access this visa. There is a standard registration fee of €300, but additional fees may apply.

If you take the IIP route, there is an additional €1500 visa registration fee.

The STEP route costs €350 for registration and €50,000 to pass the minimum funding requirements. These funds can be proven through Venture Capital funding or a business loan.

It isn’t always necessary to pay a fee to get an IRP. People with an Irish spouse/civil partner and/or Subsidiary Protection access this permit free of charge. Under-18s are also not obliged to pay.

Benefits of the Irish Stamp 4 Visa

The Irish Stamp 4 Visa is a great way to gain access to the Irish workforce without applying for an employment permit. People with this visa get to live and work in Ireland for at least one year without worrying about complex visa routes.

When you have the Stamp 4 Visa, you are entitled to use Irish public services and state funds, just like Irish citizens. This means the visa provides not just basic entry into Ireland, but a brief taster of life as an Irish citizen.

Many people who move to Ireland have Irish citizenship in mind as a long-term goal. Acquiring the Stamp 4 Visa means you are one step closer to citizenship, as the time you spend in Ireland will class as qualifying residence years.

There are several routes to the Stamp 4 Visa, and absorbing the information about each one can get overwhelming. Too many applicants have made mistakes as a result of this overwhelm, and ultimately failed to acquire Stamp 4.

To avoid missing out on this fantastic opportunity to work in Ireland, it is strongly recommended that you find an immigration lawyer who will assist you with your application. This means you do not have to deal with potential issues alone, and your application will be of a higher quality.

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