Hosting Agreements

Hosting Agreements Guidelines


UCC is an accredited research organisation and as such can form hosting agreements with third country nationals (non-EEA nationals) for the purpose of conducting research in the University.

The hosting agreement replaces the need for work permits for the following category of staff; Researchers Academic Staff involved in research

In order to be eligible for a hosting agreement the proposed employee must have

  • A contract for a minimum duration of 3 months
  • Salary amounting to €23,181 or more per annum (or €30,000 for those with dependents)
  • Health insurance

Hosting Agreements are a quick and cost effective form of work authorisations - there is no approval process or fee (however the researcher must still pay €300 to register with the immigration authorities each year) Furthermore, the hosting agreement is valid for the duration of the employment contract, thus removing the need for annual renewals.

On approval

The hosting agreement is used by the researcher for visa applications where applicable,  entry into the State and immigration registration. Those from visa required countries may apply for multi-entry visas once they register in Ireland. Within three months of arrival to Ireland, non EEA researchers must register with their local immigration registration officer. An immigration certificate of registration (GNIB Registration Card) is issued by the Garda National Immigration Bureau to a non-EEA national who registers. A fee of €300 is charged in respect of each immigration certificate of registration (residence permit) issued. Those on contracts for 18 months or less will be granted a GNIB card for that total duration of Hosting Agreement, which is normally renewable after 12 months, subject to immigration rules. It is an employee's own responsibility to keep his/her permission to remain up to date, and any costs associated with this must be borne by him/her.

Position regarding Family of Researcher

Family members (i.e. spouse and dependants) may accompany a researcher on admission into the country, subject to compliance with usual admission conditions. The duration of the residence permit of family members will be the same as that of the researcher. Spouses and dependants of a researcher coming within the scope of the Directive will be able to apply for work permits under the same conditions as apply to work permits for spouses and dependants of employment permit holders.

Additional Immigration Arrangements, with effect from 1st January 2012 for persons who have worked as a researcher as a Hosting Agreement holder for 2 year or longer

Revised Arrangements

Hosting Agreement holders whose Hosting Agreement and immigration registration card (GNIB card) are due to expire, after 1st January 2012, having completed 2 years working in the State are not required to apply to the Irish Universities Association to have their Hosting Agreements renewed/extended. Such persons may present in person to the Garda Registration Office for renewal of their immigration registration, and may be issued with a Stamp 4 of two years duration


Persons in the above situation must have complied with their previous Hosting Agreement and immigration conditions and be of good character. Stamp 4 may be granted but it should be noted that the Garda National Immigration Bureau is entitled to refuse registration where there is a valid ground for doing so e.g. the person has come to the adverse attention of the Gardaí or there is evidence that the person lived outside the State for most or all of the previous period of immigration permission, etc. The immigration Stamp 4 which issues will be valid for 2 years. However, where the person's passport expires earlier than 2 years after registration the Stamp 4 will be given up to the expiry date of the passport. The person concerned may present again to have the remaining period of registration endorsed in their new passport.

Family members

The Spouse, partner or dependants of Hosting Agreement holders will be granted an extension on their current immigration permission and will be granted for the same duration of time as the Hosting Agreement holder or the Stamp 4 holder, as appropriate. For the spouse or partner who wishes to work in the State, it may be possible to change the immigration stamp from 3 to 1 where an Employment/Spousal/Dependant permit is issued by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

Hosting Agreements Procedures

All agreements new and extended must be issued and posted to the IUA at least two weeks in advance of the starting date of the contract OR the extension date of an existing contract.

Step 1: Responsibility of the Researcher / Principal Investigator

  •  The proposed employee should download and complete 2 copies of the Hosting Agreement Form (must be typed).
  • The start/end date must correspond with the contract start / end dates
  • Return 2 copies of the signed forms, along with 2 passport photographs and photographs of dependents (if applicable) to Department of Human Resources
  • The researcher should also send verification of details provided on the Hosting Agreement – photocopy of the personal details page of his/her passport, copy of his/her qualifications and copy of marriage certs/birth certs (where applicable)
  • To expedite the process it is advisable to send these documents by courier

Step 2: Responsibility of the Department of Human Resources

Upon receipt of the hosting agreement forms the Department of Human Resources will;

  •  Assign a unique reference number to the hosting agreement
  • Sign and endorse Hosting Agreement with the University stamp.
  •  Forward the Hosting Agreement and Contract of Employment to the Irish University Association (IUA) Mobility Office by post
  •  Courier the original hosting agreement and employment contract to the proposed employee.

Step 3: Responsibility of the IUA / Dept of Justice

  • The IUA Mobility Office forwards the hosting agreement / researcher information to the Department of Justice and stores the Researcher information on an extranet which is shared by Dept of Justice, Dept of Foreign Affairs and the Universities
  • The Department of Justice forward the information to the relevant local GNIB Office. Please note that it takes a minimum of 10 working days for the information to go live in the Dept of Justice / GNIB system

Step 5: Responsibility of the Researcher

  •  The Researcher will use his / her own copy of the Hosting Agreement and accompanying contract to apply for an entry visa (if applicable) and to register with GNIB


Please note:

  • The researcher/principal investigator must notify the Dept of Human Resources of any changes to the research project or to the researcher’s personal circumstances.
  •  If an employee ceases work with the University before the end date of the Hosting Agreement then he/she must immediately return the original Hosting Agreement and provide the reasons for cancellation.
  • The process for Hosting Agreement Renewals is the same as above. The same reference number will be used for extensions of research projects or a new reference number will be issued if it is a new project

Human Resources

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