It has been announced by the Minister for Justice that as of the 15th of May 2024, eligible spouses and partners of General Employment Permit and Intra-Company Transfer Employment Permit holders are now eligible for a Stamp 1G permission to remain.

To date spouses in this category have only been entitled to permission to remain on Stamp 3 conditions.  The announcement is a significant development and certainly a further step towards increasing the competitiveness of Ireland to attract additional skills and talent to the State.

As above outlined, to date spouses of persons who hold General Employment Permits and Intra-Company Transfer Permits have only been eligible to be granted a Stamp 3 permission to remain.  A Stamp 3 permission to remain does not allow the holder to work or engage in any business trade or profession.  This has been a huge barrier for family members of GEP and ICT permit holders in circumstances where they have not been permitted to work in the State and if they wished to do so, have been required to obtain an independent employment permit in their own right.  Whilst many spouses and partners in the above category are highly skilled and qualified, they may not have been eligible to obtain employment permits for various reasons thereby preventing them from entering the labour market.  Many such persons who were employed in their own country, building their own independent careers were to date left in a state of effective limbo where they were unable to enter the Irish labour market since moving here.

The extension of Stamp 1G permission to remain to eligible spouses and partners of GEP and ICT permit holders is a huge development which is widely welcomed by the affected parties, their family members, employers, businesses and stake holders alike.

A Stamp 1G permission to remain allows the person to work full time in accordance with Irish employment law requirements.  Holders of a Stamp 1G permission do not require an employment permit in order to work in the State.  It is important to note that they are also not permitted to operate a business or be self-employed. The permission allows them to enter into employment for a third-party employer only.

The ISD have confirmed that the permission to remain on Stamp 1G conditions is valid from the 15th of May 2024 however, updated IRP cards to reflect the change in immigration permission will not issue until a person is renewing their IRP card prior to the usual expiry dates.

The ISD has also confirmed that eligible spouses and partners do not need to obtain a new IRP card to enter into employment.

A Notice to Employers has been posted on the ISD website available aquí which confirms that eligible spouses and partners of GEP and ICT permit holders have had their permission to remain in the State amended to Stamp 1G conditions, allowing them access to employment without the need to obtain an Employment Permit.

The Notice confirms that the persons in question must have applied for and been granted family reunification in accordance with the Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy and hold a Stamp 3 endorsement on their in-date Irish Residence Permit card.  The document confirms that the notice is valid proof of the persons entitlement to a Stamp 1G permission to remain until the expiry date of their current IRP card.

Whist this Notice should assist persons in securing employment, we submit that the decision not to issue updated IRP cards showing the Stamp 1G permission to remain may hinder a person’s ability to secure employment in circumstances where employers may not be happy to accept an IRP card showing a Stamp 3 permission, notwithstanding the contents of the Notice.

Moreover, we submit that employers are being left in a difficult situation having to accept an IRP card showing a Stamp 3 permission to remain in circumstances where the Stamp 3 endorsement on the card does not confirm that it issued on foot of a person being granted family reunification in accordance with the Non-EEA Family Reunification Policy.  Persons receive a Stamp 3 permission to remain due to a variety of reasons and there is no distinction on IRP cards to confirm on what basis they have received the Stamp 3.  We submit that this is likely to cause confusion for employers in the interim period and may deter some employers from hiring the spouses and partners in question.

This issue is of particular relevance this week following indications of the Government that an increase in Workplace Relations Commission inspections is likely to take effect which may further render employers to be additionally cautious in this regard.

The full ISD Notice is available to read aquí.

Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork have a dedicated team of Immigration Solicitors and Consultants who are experts on all Irish immigration matters. If you have any queries on the contents of this article, or require assistance with your employment permit application, do not hesitate to contact our offices today on info@sinnott.ie o 014062862