At present the Irish economy is one of the fastest growing in the world. Figures recently released by the Central Statistics office show that employment levels in the third quarter of 2018 rose by 3%, or 66,700, to 2,273,200 – which is the highest point in the history of the State.
Non-Irish nationals make up a record 16.2% of total employment in Ireland.
In 2017 11,361 employment permits were issued. Official figures for 2018 have yet to be released but current indications suggest the total number of employment permits issued by the end of November 2018 amount to 12,338.
With increased expansion of tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and scores of Start-Ups in Dublin’s “Silicon Docks” alone, it is clear that the demand for employment permits to hire non EEA nationals in 2019 in order to fill gaps in the labour market will further increase with migration playing a key role in the future to ease labour market pressure.
Employment permits are issued by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) to highly skilled non EEA nationals who wish to work in Ireland.
There are nine categories of Employment Permits which are issued by the DBEI, the most common of which are as follows:
- General Employment Permits;
- Critical Skills Employment Permits;
- Intra-Company Transfer Permits;
- Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permits
The following additional employment permissions are issued by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service in agreement with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation:
- Atypical Working Scheme.
- Van der Elst.
In this article we focus on the Atypcial Working Scheme which was introduced by the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Services to facilitate short term and other employment circumstances which would not generally be covered by the Employment Permits legislation.
It applies to Non EEA nationals who in specific situations, are required by an employer who is based in the State to fill a specific post.
The following are examples of where this permission is granted;
- when a highly skilled worker is required to undertake a short-term project;
- a skills shortage has been recognised to fill a short-term post;
- a locum doctor is required on a short term basis;
- a researcher who not eligible for an Employment permit or a Hosting Agreement.
Applications for the Atypical Working Scheme must be submitted from outside of the State to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service. Applications will not be accepted from persons who are already in the State.
Permission to remain under the Scheme will be granted for a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 90 days under the Scheme. Only one application under the Atypical Working Scheme can be submitted per person in a twelve month period.
The minimum remuneration required under the scheme is the National Minimum wage which from the 1st of January 2019 is €9.80 per hour (€19,874 per annum).
Job roles which are listed on the ineligible categories of employment permit list by the Department of Business and Enterprise are not eligible for permission under the Scheme and will be refused – https://dbei.gov.ie/en/What-We-Do/Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Employment-Permit-Eligibility/Ineligible-Categories-of-Employment/.
Visa required nationals still need to apply for an entry visa on receipt of a letter of approval from the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.
The approval letter is only valid for a period of 90 days from the date of issue. There is no provision for an extension of the letter so if it is not used within the 90 day timeframe, so a new application (along with the non-refundable application fee of €250) will be required under these circumstances.
The Atypical Workers Scheme is an extremely useful arrangement which can be utilised to fill short term labour shortages for employers allowing employees to enter the State to undertake short term employment thereby alleviating the need to apply for employment permits in qualifying situations.
It is not however a means of circumventing employment permit rules and legislation so employers and employees alike should be cognisant of this when submitting applications under the scheme.
Sinnott Solicitors has extensive experience in all aspects of Employment Permit Applications including applications under the Atypical Working Scheme.
If you have any queries or require assistance do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department on 0035314062862 or [email protected]