Sinnott Solicitors are delighted to confirm that this morning the 6th of March 2019, the Minster for Business Enterprise and Innovation along with the Minister for Justice and Equality announced changes to the Dependant Spouse Employment Permit System for spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders.

In a much welcomed change to the previous regime where dependant spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders had to apply separately to the Department of Business and Innovation for an employment permit to enable them to work in the State, they can now access the labour market directly and are no longer required to go through the burdensome and cumbersome application process which often resulted in opportunities of employment being missed out upon due to the lack of understanding amongst employers of the rules concerning the spousal/partner permit system along with lengthy delays in the processing of the applications by the DBEI.

The immigration team at Sinnott Solicitors have encountered many extremely talented, highly skilled and educated individuals who have missed out on job opportunities due to the previous system and so welcome greatly the announcement of what we view as crucial changes to the system to ensure that Ireland continues to maintain a highly skilled workforce to safeguard the country’s economic competitiveness.

Upon arrival to the State, eligible spouses and partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders will register with their local immigration office as they previously would have done, however they will now be issued with a Stamp 1 permission to remain (previously granted a Stamp 3). This means that they can immediately enter into any employment which they wish, without the need to apply for an employment permit which is a fantastic much needed development.

Spouses and defacto partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders who are currently resident in the State pursuant to a Stamp 3 permission to remain are also entitled to change their permission conditions to a Stamp 1 by attending their local immigration office.  Individuals residing in Dublin will need to book an appointment with the Garda National Immigration Bureau to do this whilst anybody living outside of Dublin will need to register with their local immigration office and should contact same to arrange a suitable time to attend.

The Critical Skills Employment permit holder must attend the registration appointment with their spouse/partner and must bring a copy of the CSEP.

We understand that from the 1st of April 2019, a new preclearance procedure will be introduced by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service which will apply to visa and non-visa required spouses and partners of CSEP holders. Sinnott Solicitors will publish further information on this procedure as soon as details are announced.

It is important to note that the Stamp 1 permission is granted to spouses and partners of holders of Critical Skills Employment permits only. It does not extend to the other categories of employment permits.

The Immigration Department of Sinnott Solicitors has extensive experience in dealing with all categories of Employment Permit Applications and related immigration permissions. If you have any queries on the employment permit process or any matters raised in this article, do not hesitate to contact our immigration team today on 0035314062862 or