The Employment Permits Act was amended in October of 2014 and is up to date as of February 2016. There are now two main work permit types for Ireland which are; The General Employment Permit and The Critical Skills Employment Permit. There are also 7 additional types of permission to work in Ireland which are also explained in the comprehensive guide to working in Ireland below.

Contents

  • Work Permit update & general information
  • General employment permit
  • Critical skills employment permit
  • Dependent/partner/spouse
  • Reactivation of employment
  • Contracts for services
  • Intra-company transfer
  • Internship
  • Sport and cultural
  • Exchange agreement

Work Permits update and general information

Under the Employment Permits Act it is a criminal offence to work when not entitled with the appropriate permit.  Work Permits will only be allocated to those for highly skilled roles.  There are recent changes in relation to Chefs because of the shortage of Chefs in particular areas.

You can only apply for a work permit when you are on a valid visa.  You cannot obtain a work permit whilst on a leave to remain application or whilst not here on a different type of visa.  A person would have to leave the Country if they were not here on a valid visa whilst applying for a work permit.

 

Conditions for granting a work permit

In order for a work permit to be granted to an applicant, it is necessary to prove to the Department of Enterprise that the applicant possesses the skills, knowledge and qualifications in order to fulfil the position. It is also necessary to show that the employer has not been able to secure an Irish or EU national to fill the position.

It is vital that this is done exactly as set out on the DBEI website, otherwise your application will fail –

The Government’s policy is that employment opportunities which arise in Ireland should, in the first instance, be offered who fulfil the Labour Market Needs Test. The link to that test is as follows:

https://www.djei.ie/en/What-We-Do/Jobs-Workplace-and-Skills/Employment-Permits/Labour-Market-Needs-Test/

 

Documents required to apply for a work permit

If you wish to apply for a work permit the following non-exhaustive list of documentation will need to be submitted in support of the application:

  1. Fully completed new employment permit application form specifying that it is a Critical skills application and including all relevant documentation. The form must be signed by both you and the employee. It is an online form now, so you should complete and send it to your employer to sign after completing it.  https://epos.djei.ie/EPOSOnlineportal#/app/findForm.
  2. Copy of employee passport – all pages.
  3. A letter of offer of employment from you setting out the background to the business, job description, salary, future intentions, why you cannot find an Irish or EU national to fill the position etc.
  4. Signed contract of employment.
  5. Detailed job description.
  6. Copy up to date CV of applicant.
  7. Copy of any qualifications certificates which he has been awarded – with translations if not in English.
  8. Copy company registration with the Company Registration Office.
  9. Business name registration with Company Registration Office if applicable.
  10. Letter from the Office of the Revenue Commissioners confirming registration of company as employer and copy most recent p30/p35 dated within 3 months preceding the application.
  11. Copy of letter of registration of business name with the CRO if applicable.
  12. Up to date tax clearance certificate for employer company.
  13. Labour markets needs test fully carried out as per the above link – you would need to furnish copies of the newspaper advert and website advertisements.
  14. DBEI Application fee – €1000.
  15. Evidence that more than 50% of the employees of the company are Irish/EU nationals – a permit will not be granted if it results in more than 50% of the workforce being non-EEA nationals.
  16. Passport photos of Applicant – should be in the form of a Digital File Photo saved in a Jpeg format with the following specifications: o Minimum width and height of the image should be 413 x 531 (35mm x 45mm @240dpi), o Maximum width and height of the image should be 448 x 590 pixels (38mm x 50mm @ 300dpi).
  17. Any other documentation which you feel might be relevant.

 

General employment permit

This applies to people earning an annual pay of at least €30,000, which includes their salary and health insurance.

Employees earning an annual income of €27,000 annually are only rarely considered for this and under the following circumstances:

He/She is a non-EEA, Irish institutional third level graduate (within the last 12 months), who has been granted a graduate position from the Highly Skilled Occupations list.

He/She is a non-EEA, Overseas institutional third level graduate (within the last 12 months), granted a graduate position as a ICT professional from the Highly Skilled Occupations list.

He/She has applied for specialist language support and technical or sales support, who is fluent in a non-EEA language for companies who are being supported from the State enterprise development agencies.

Either an employer or an employee can apply. When it has been granted, it is issued to them by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The employee is also issued, along with the permit, a statement of the employee’s rights and entitlements. Any employee with this permit has all the rights of an Irish/EEA citizen for the time period allowed to them.

An employee applying for this must have the qualifications, skills and experience essential for the employment.

The employer must employ and pay the employee directly, and must be trading in Ireland, registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration office.

Any applications from hiring agencies are not accepted.

If an excess of 50% of a company’s employees are non-EEA nationals than this permit will not be issued. However this specification may be set aside if the company is just starting up or the applicant would be the only employee.

Proof that a market needs test has been completed is required for all new applications.

The requirements of this test is that the position has to have been advertised with

  1. a) The Department of Social Protection Employment Services Employment Network for 2 weeks, and
  2. b) In a newspaper for a minimum of 3 days and either on a jobs website.

(This is to demonstrate efforts were made to find a EEA national to fill the position but that the efforts were unsuccessful.)

An employer might be unable to find an EEA or Swiss national. In such an situation, they can request their local employment services office or Intreo to make a decision on the vacancy. Any such request must be made within 4 weeks. In response to these efforts, the Employment Services Office decide whether this application is justified to fill the position. If the employer decided not to do this, their advertisement will remain but a permit cannot be issued.

This permit cannot be issued to employees of certain occupations listed on the Ineligible Employments List.

An employee will first be issued a permit for 2 years and fit may be renewed following that, for a further 3 years. A Stamp 4 permission may be granted upon next renewal.

Critical skills employment permit

This applies to people who fit the criteria of either of the following categories.

  1. a) The employee is earning a minimum of €60,000 annually.
  2. b) The employee is earning a minimum of €30,000 annually and the occupation they are practicing is listed on the highly skilled occupations list.

Either an employer or an employee can apply for this. When they it has been granted, it is issued to them by the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

The employer must directly employ and pay the employee. The employer must be trading in Ireland, registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration office.

If an excess of 50% of a company’s employees are non-EEA nationals than this permit will not be issued. However this specification may be set aside if the company is just starting up or if the applicant would be the only employee.

There is no requirement for a labour market needs test here.

An employee applying for this permit must have the qualifications, skills and experience essential for the employment. For occupations in the €60,000 annual income spectrum, employees must have a degree and corresponding experience.

The employer must employ and pay the employee, and must be trading in Ireland, registered with Revenue and with the Companies Registration office.

There are a further 7 other employment permit types outlined below in addition to the two main ones above.

Dependant/Partner/Spouse

This applies to spouses, recognised/civil partners and dependants of holders of critical Skills Employment permits/current green card or researchers under a hosting arrangement. There is no requirement for a labour market needs test here.

Reactivation of Employment

This type allows overseas nationals who have arrived in the State on a credible employment permit but dropped out of the scheme and not because it was their fault but because they were treated badly or overworked and they want to work again. Candidates must apply first for a brief immigration permission Stamp 1 to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service.

Contracts for Services

This permit type is for overseas operations with a contract to cater services to an Irish individual. These enable the alteration of non-EEA employees to work on the Irish contract in Ireland while remaining on an employment contract outside the State. Usually, a labour market analysis is needed.

Intra-Company Transfer

These permit types enable senior management, key personnel and trainees working in a foreign branch of a multinational firm

Internship

These are accessible to non-EEA national full-time students who are enlisted in a overseas third-level institution and have a work experience employment offer in the State.

Sport and Cultural

These are accessible for jobs in the State for the advancement, procedure and quality of sporting and cultural activities.

Exchange Agreement

These permit types apply to people who have jobs in the State under pre-written arrangements.

All applications need to be done through the Employment Permit Online System. Applying in the form of paper is not accepted.

For further information and assistance regarding any of the above, or to obtain a quote for your application CONTACT US USING THE ENQUIRY FORM BELOW and your enquiry will be passed along to a solicitor specialising in this area.

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