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How hard is it to obtain an Ireland work visa?

Posted in Ireland forum

Here is my rather atypical situation,

I have a Canadian citizen friend who accepted a job offer from Google for a permanent position
at their Dublin branch. The offer is for over over 60K+ Euros and it is for an IT/Computing Science related career[so its part of the Critical Skills list if that in any way is relevant]. Moreover he has no degree but has relevant work experience from high-school summer internships.My questions are therefore two-fold, how hard is it for him to obtain a work visa to Ireland and also what should his previous employer write in my friend's reference letter?
Moreover the employer told my friend that they hired him for his "unusual" skill set.
Any replies will be welcomed since I have not gotten any conclusive answers as of yet

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