The demand for skilled software engineers in Ireland continues to grow. Ireland’s new opportunities and booming tech industry make it attractive for software engineering professionals. If you want to immigrate to Ireland as a software engineer and get that high coding salary, read this article fully to get the help you need. This article will explain the process, requirements, visas, and essential tips for settling in the country and working in Ireland as a software engineer.
Are Software Engineers in Demand in Ireland?
Let’s start with an initial important question: “Is there a shortage of software engineers in Ireland?” Yes, software engineers are in high demand in Ireland. Many multinational tech companies and startups are seeking skilled professionals in the tech industry.
Are Software Engineers Paid Well in Ireland?
There are good salaries and benefits for software engineers in Ireland. Flexibility, health insurance, pensions, and professional development are all typical benefits. In addition to a dynamic work environment, software engineers in Ireland can enjoy tech career advancement.
How to Immigrate to Ireland as a Software Engineer?
Immigrating to Ireland as a software engineer involves a series of steps:
- Researching visa requirements
- Language proficiency
- Securing a job offer
- Applying for an Irish work permit
- Applying for a visa
- Settling in Ireland
Step 1. Researching Visa Requirements
Requirements for Software Engineering in Ireland
Several types of visas are available for software engineers looking to work in Ireland, each with its own requirements. Here are the ones you need to know:
Critical Skills Employment Permit (The most Common Visa)
- It aims to attract high-demand professionals like software engineers.
- Applicants must have a job offer with a minimum salary of €32,000 for recently graduated software engineers or €64,000 for more experienced ones. Your job has to be listed on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List.
- After two years, it gives you permanent residency and immediate family reunification.
- It’s initially for two years, but you can extend it.
General Employment Permit
- It’s for jobs that don’t qualify for the Critical Skills Employment Permit but still need skilled workers.
- You need a job offer with a minimum salary of €30,000. Employers must have completed a labor market needs test, or the position shouldn’t be in the ineligible employment categories.
- With this permit, there’s more flexibility in job types, but it doesn’t have the fast track to residency.
- Two-year initial issue, then three-year renewal.
Green Card Permit
- Due to the Critical Skills Employment Permit, it’s less popular now. Historically, it was used to attract highly skilled individuals.
- Salary thresholds and job specs are similar to the Critical Skills Employment Permit.
- Family reunification is similar to the Critical Skills Employment Permit.
- It’s initially for two years and can lead to permanent residency.
Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit
- It is for transferring multinational employees to the Irish branch.
- Employees must have worked for the company for at least six months and have relevant qualifications and experience.
- This is great for temporary relocations, and it’s linked to the parent company.
- It’s good for two years, then it’s renewable for three more.
Contract for Services Employment Permit
- An overseas company contracts foreign workers to provide services to an Irish company by sending them to Ireland.
- A labor market needs test is included, like the General Employment Permit.
- It’s specific to contract work, and you can’t change employers as easily.
- This contract is for two years, renewable for another three.
Researcher Hosting Agreement
- It’s for researchers (including tech and software developers) joining Irish research organizations.
- It’s a hosting agreement with a government-recognized research organization.
- It makes it easier to get jobs in academia and research.
- It is valid for up to two years and renewable.
Step 2. Language Proficiency
While specific language requirements can vary by employer and job role, and a specific language proficiency level is not mandated, proficiency in English is generally expected for software engineer immigration.
The proficiency level commonly expected is around B2 level, according to the CEFR.
- A score of 6.0 to 6.5 (B2 level) for the IELTS exam
- A score ranging from 80 to 100 (B2 level) for the TOEFL exam
Step 3. Securing a Job Offer
Working in Ireland as a foreigner requires having a job offer from an Irish employer. To find a job offer and immigrate to Ireland as a software engineer, you can use the following resources:
- Indeed Ireland
- Monster Ireland
- Glassdoor Ireland
- ComputerJobs.ie (specifically for IT jobs)
- Hays Recruitment
- Morgan McKinley
- Robert Walters
- Sigmar Recruitment
Immigration as a Software Engineer: Read our other articles to learn about immigration as a software engineer to other countries.
Step 4. Applying for an Irish Work Permit
To immigrate to Ireland as a software engineer, you or your employer must apply for a work permit. For software engineers, the Critical Skills Employment Permit is a good choice. You can fast-track your residency with it.
To qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit, your job offer must be in an occupation listed on the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List. It must be a full-time position (at least 39 hours per week) from an Irish employer. The contract should be for a minimum of two years. Software engineers typically do things like software development, systems engineering, etc. There’s a salary threshold of €32,000 for jobs that require a degree or €64,000 for jobs with more than five years of experience. Additionally, you should have relevant experience or qualifications.
Here are the steps for getting a work permit:
- You can apply for the permit yourself or through your employer. Employers usually do it.
- Make sure you have the right documents. Passports, job offers, employment contracts, copies of relevant qualifications or certifications, and maybe other documents.
- Fill out the Application Form. Get your work permit online with the Employment Permit Online System (EPOS). Make sure all the required paperwork is attached to the form.
- You’ve got to pay the application fee. A Critical Skills Employment Permit costs €1,000, which you or your employer can pay. If your application is rejected, this fee isn’t refundable.
- Wait for the processing. The standard processing time is about 4-6 weeks.
- The employment permit is issued once your application is approved. You’ll get an approval letter and then the permit.
Step 5. Applying for a Visa
Depending on your nationality, you might need to apply for an entry visa after obtaining your work permit. Based on your work permit (e.g., Critical Skills Employment Permit), you will typically apply for a ‘Long Stay (D)’ visa. The process can vary slightly depending on your nationality, but here’s a general guide:
- Visas are not required for all nationalities to enter Ireland. You can find out if your nationality requires a visa on the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) website.
- Make sure you have the right documents:
- Your passport. It must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure date.
- Two color passport-size photos
- A signed letter of application, including your full contact details, explaining why you’re coming to Ireland and committing to abide by visa conditions
- Your job contract and a copy of your Critical Skills Employment Permit
- Proof of financial resources to support your stay
- Evidence of medical insurance
- Details of housing arrangements
- History of previous visa refusals, if any
- On the INIS website, fill out the visa application. After completing the form, you’ll get a summary application form to print, sign, and date.
- Pay the application fee. A single-entry long-stay visa costs €60, and a multiple-entry visa costs €100. Even if your visa application is denied, this fee isn’t refundable.
- Sometimes, you may need to schedule an appointment at the Irish embassy or consulate nearest you. Don’t forget your application form, which is printed and signed. Depending on your application, you might have to provide biometric info.
- Wait for the processing. It usually takes 8 weeks, but applying early is a good idea.
- You’ll get a notification when your visa application is approved. If approved, ensure the visa stamp is accurate and that you understand the conditions.
- You can travel to Ireland once your visa is approved. Upon arrival, you may need to show all your documents to immigration officials.
Step 6. Settling in Ireland
You’ll need to consider a few things when planning your move to Ireland as a software engineer after your visa and work permit are approved:
- Accommodation. You can rent an apartment or house, share with others, or stay in a hostel or serviced apartment while you find something permanent. Websites include Daft.ie, Rent.ie, MyHome.ie, and property.ie.
- Cost of Living. Rent, food, transportation, and leisure activities might cost you between €2,000 and €3,000 a month.
- Arranging Your Travel. Once you get your visa, book your flight. Get the best price by comparing different airlines and booking sites. Don’t forget to get travel insurance.
- Health Insurance. Options include VHI Healthcare, Laya Healthcare, and Irish Life Health. You might need health insurance to get a visa and register with immigration.
- Banking. A bank account is necessary for everyday transactions and salary payments. Major banks in Ireland include the Bank of Ireland, AIB (Allied Irish Banks), Ulster Bank, and Permanent TSB.
- Healthcare and Social Security. Get a Personal Public Service (PPS) number essential for getting health care. PPS numbers are also used for social welfare benefits, tax assessments, and public services.
- Cultural Integration. Get to know Irish customs, traditions, and culture. Take part in cultural events, read, and talk to locals.
- Networking. Become a member of a local networking group or one that focuses on your industry. You can find events and groups in your field on Meetup.com and LinkedIn. Getting involved in local community activities and clubs can also help you settle in.
Register with Immigration
It is mandatory. When you get to Ireland, you have to register with the local immigration office if you’re staying longer than 90 days. Make an appointment with the nearest immigration office, show up, and provide all the paperwork. You’ll need your passport, work permit, address proof, and health insurance. After registering, you’ll get an Irish Residence Permit (IRP).
Immigrate to Ireland as a Software Engineer: Salary
Let’s talk about salaries. How much does a software engineer earn in Ireland? Salary ranges for software engineers in Ireland depend on experience, location, and company size.
- Entry-level: Around €35,000 to €50,000
- Mid-level: €50,000 to €70,000
- Senior-level: Upwards of €70,000 to €100,000 or more. Salary may be even higher for AI or machine learning specialists.
What is the Minimum Salary for a Software Engineer in Ireland?
In Ireland, entry-level software engineers typically make around €35,000 a year. Different companies, locations, and roles have different salaries.
Software Jobs in Ireland with Visa Sponsorship
- Software Developer
- Systems Engineer
- DevOps Engineer
- Data Scientist
- Front-end Developer
- Back-end Developer
- Full Stack Developer
- QA Engineer
Software Jobs in Ireland for Foreigners
- Mobile App Developer
- Cloud Solutions Architect
- Software Tester
- UX/UI Designer
- Database Administrator
- Cybersecurity Specialist
- Network Engineer
Required Software Engineering Skills in Ireland
- Knowledge of database technologies such as SQL, NoSQL, Oracle, or MySQL
- Skills in web development like .NET, Angular, React, or Ruby on Rails
- Knowledge of agile development practices and tools
- Familiarity with cloud services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud Platform
- Skills in machine learning algorithms and AI development
- Understanding of DevOps principles and tools like Docker, Kubernetes, Jenkins, or Git
- Knowledge of security protocols, data protection, and network security
How to Become a Software Engineer in Ireland?
Becoming a software engineer in Ireland as an international student involves several key steps:
- Finding a software engineering university in Ireland
- Getting admission into a university
- Getting an Irish student visa
- Studying in Ireland
Step 1. Finding a Software Engineering University in Ireland
To find a software engineering university in Ireland, use university search platforms like QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education, and Study in Ireland. Focus on universities with strong computer science or software engineering programs. Famous universities in Ireland for studying software engineering include Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, National University of Ireland Galway, University College Cork, and Dublin City University.
Step 2. Getting Admission into a University
To apply for an Irish university, submit your application through the Central Applications Office (CAO) or directly to the universities’ own application portals. The application requirements generally include your high school transcripts, English language proficiency (IELTS, TOEFL), letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and sometimes relevant test scores (like SAT or ACT).
- IELTS: Usually, a minimum overall score of 6.0 to 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 to 6, is required.
- TOEFL: A score ranging from 80 to 90
- SAT (Scholastic Assessment Test): A score of 1100 to 1300 is often considered competitive.
- ACT (American College Testing): A score of around 22 to 26 is typically considered good.
Step 3. Getting an Irish Student Visa
Almost all international students need a ‘Study Visa’ (Long Stay ‘D’ Visa). You must:
- Get an Irish university offer and accept it.
- Show proof that you have at least €7,000, the estimated cost of living in Ireland for one academic year for a student.
- If applicable, pay your tuition fees or show proof of scholarships or funding.
- Obtain private health insurance.
- Fill out the online visa application on the INIS website and gather all the documents you need, like your passport, university acceptance letter, proof of funds, and health insurance.
- Pay the fee. Visa application fees are €60 for one entry and €100 for multiple entries.
- Wait. The processing time varies, but it usually takes 4-8 weeks. Make sure you apply well in advance of your trip.
- Some Irish embassies and consulates require you to attend an interview.
- Upon arrival in Ireland, register with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB).
Step 4. Studying in Ireland
Bachelor’s programs in software engineering last 3-4 years, while master’s programs last 1-2 years. Besides programming and software development skills, the curriculum includes artificial intelligence, data analytics, and cloud computing.
Tuition fees for non-EU students vary greatly depending on the school and level. The cost of undergraduate programs can range from €9,000 to €25,000, while postgraduate programs can cost between €9,150 and €37,000. These factors shape aspiring software engineers’ educational journey and financial considerations.
Immigrate to Ireland as a Software Engineer: Let’s Recap
Being a software engineer in Ireland can be rewarding. Irish tech professionals have a bright future thanks to its thriving tech scene, welcoming atmosphere, and high quality of life.
If you have any questions about immigration to Ireland as a software engineer, write them in the comment section. You can also use our free consultation sessions.
Is Ireland a good country for programmers?
Yes, there is no doubt that Ireland is an excellent country for programmers. You’ll find many leading tech companies here, a dynamic tech ecosystem, and a high programmer demand.
How hard is it to immigrate to Ireland?
Immigration to Ireland isn’t easy for everyone. With job offers from Irish companies, the process can be simple for skilled professionals like software engineers.
Is Ireland good for the IT sector?
Ireland’s IT sector is hot, with a vibrant tech scene, multiple multinational tech headquarters, and a supportive startup environment.
How to immigrate to Ireland as a software engineer from the UK?
Thanks to the Common Travel Area agreement between the UK and Ireland, UK citizens can still live and work in Ireland after Brexit.
How to immigrate to Ireland as a software engineer from India?
By securing a job offer with an Irish company and getting a Critical Skills Employment Permit, Indian software engineers can immigrate to Ireland.
How much do coding jobs pay in Ireland?
There are many coding jobs in Ireland, with entry-level positions starting at around $35,000 and going up to over $75,000 for experienced coders. Salary can be higher for specialists and in high-demand areas.