Multinationals are being forced to wait up to four months to get work permits for staff arriving from abroad to work in Ireland.
Long delays in the processing of residency permits has left some employees in a state of panic, it has been warned.
Frank Morley, managing director of Corporate Care Relocation, which has offices in Dublin and Cork, said that anyone seeking permits from outside the EEA (European Economic Area) to live and work in Ireland was facing major challenges.
Some companies apply for employee work permits through the special Trusted Partner Register, set up some years ago to ensure that documentation was processed in two weeks.
"We're dealing every day with multinationals who are irate at the long delays experienced with both the normal application process and the Trusted Partner Registration system," Mr Morley said.
In a statement, the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation said it had experienced "a high volume of employment permit applications in recent months which has led to some delays in processing applications".
At the end of October 2018, the total number of employment permit applications was up 28pc increase over the same period in 2017. The department's employment permits section was working to reduce the current waiting times, it added.