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Hosting Agreements

EU Council Directive 2005/71/EC - Admission of Third Country Researchers to Ireland through a Hosting Agreement

Background

The Third Country Directive puts in place an alternative mechanism other than employment permits (work permits and green cards) for entry into Ireland of researchers to accredited institutions. TCD has now been approved as an accredited Research Institution with permission to issue hosting agreements to third country researchers.

Full details of the scheme are available at: https://www.djei.ie/en/What-We-Do/Innovation-Research-Development/Hosting-Agreement-Scheme/

The advantages of the hosting agreements over other employment permits are:

  • Agreements are issued by Human Resources and do not need to be approved by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, therefore reducing the turnaround to issuing greatly
  • There is no charge for a hosting agreement
  • They will allow for immediate family reunification, provided certain criteria are met
  • They will last for the duration of the employment contract
  • The researcher will be eligible to apply for residency after two years continuous employment under a Hosting Agreement. Full details in relation to application for a Stamp 4 is available here.
  • If the researcher was previously a student, they will no longer need to leave the country to be issued with a hosting agreement

As agreements are being issued by Human Resources, we have put in place a number of security measures to ensure the validity of the process

We envisage that once all paperwork has been received by Human Resources, hosting agreements will be issued within 10 working days.

Important Points to Note

  • A hosting agreement is only valid when issued with an employment contract
  • The Researcher must have sufficient monthly resources to meet his of her expenses and return travel costs 'without recourse to the Member State's social assistance system'. The salary threshold for Hosting Agreement Holders having single status (Researchers without dependants) is currently €23,181 (Point 3, IUA salary scale). The minimum salary for researchers with dependants is €30,000 per annum.
  • The hosting agreement does not take the place of a visa or registration with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). The College cannot assist in the securing of visas and, if necessary, a visa must be secured before travelling. Equally, researchers with a hosting agreement must register upon arrival and annually with their local GNIB office.
  • All hosting agreements issued will be given a unique identifier and registered through the Researchers Mobility Office of the IUA with the Office of Science Technology and Innovation, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. This database will be accessible by immigration officers.
  • Upon early termination of the researchers' employment contract, they must return their hosting agreement to Human Resources. This is the responsibility of both the researcher and their PI to inform Human Resources of the early termination of the contract.
  • If a Hosting Agreement has been issued and it transpires that the researcher will no longer be taking up the position offered, it is the duty of the PI to inform Human Resources of the same to ensure the Hosting Agreement is cancelled.
  • Hosting agreements can only be issued to researchers - Research Assistants and Research Fellows. We have been advised that they cannot be issued to non-research staff working on research projects or Academics whose principal role is as a lecturer.

New Employees

Principal Investigators intending to employ a third country researcher must fill out a nomination form as previously. The nomination form should clearly indicate that the employee will need a hosting agreement, and email contact details for the employee and the PI.

The application form requires detailed information concerning the research project and the PI will be required to furnish this. The employee will also be required to complete aspects of the form and supply identification documentation and photographs.

Once all of the paperwork has been received, the hosting agreement and employment contract will be couriered to the employee to assist with securing a visa (if the researcher is from a country requiring one).

Please note: Although the Hosting Agreement process is considerably faster, due to tighter immigration controls, especially to visa - required nationals, an eight week turnaround time is required before the proposed start date of the Researcher/Research Assistant.

Existing employees

Researchers currently in possession of an employment permit may move to a hosting agreement upon the renewal of their current permit. We unfortunately cannot accommodate converting all researchers at once. If a researcher wishes to convert to allow for family reunification, individual requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Frequently Asked Questions


Will I still need a visa if I have a hosting agreement?

Yes, the hosting agreement does not replace any of the immigration requirements (visas or GNIB registration) and only allows the researcher to enter the state. Through the IUA we are working with the Department of Justice to revisit the requirement for registration each year - but for the moment, it has not changed.

Researchers that do not register with GNIB risk jeopardising the withdrawal of their hosting agreement, risk delays in their residency applications and ultimately risk deportation.

Do I need to get a visa each time I travel with my Hosting Agreement?

Yes. The initial visa issued to you is valid for a single entry to the State. If you wish to leave the State for a short period of time you must apply, in advance of making any travel arrangements, for a re-entry visa. Applications must be made to the Re-entry Visa Processing Office, Irish Naturalisation & Immigration Service, 13-14 Burgh Quay, Dublin 2.

NOTE: Before a re-entry visa can be issued, you must be registered with the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB). As previously, the College cannot assist in the securing of visas.

Can the spouse of a researcher work?

Yes, spouses and dependants of a researcher coming within the scope of a hosting agreement will be able to apply for employment permits under the same conditions as apply to work permits for spouses and dependants of employment permit holders. Additional information is available through the following link:
Dependant Partner Spouse Employment Permit

If I am close to residency through the previous employment permit process,
must I move to a hosting agreement?

No, researchers can opt to remain in the work-permit or green card system. Any time accumulated on a work permit cannot be transferred over to the Hosting Agreement.