Review of occupations list for employment permits to launch Q2 of 2022

The Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment have announced that a review of the Employment Permit Occupations List will launch during the second quarter of 2022. The Department acknowledges that following the COVID-19 pandemic the Irish labour force is dealing with significant issues including upskilling and reskilling the labour force to deal with issues caused by COVID-19, Brexit, automation and climate change needs. Other factors under consideration which may affect the pool of workers available to the Irish labour market are numbers of Ukrainian citizens now available to work in Ireland, the ending of the PUP Scheme on the 25th of March 2022 along with changes already made to the Occupations List on the 27th of October 2021. The Department confirms that it will continue to review the Employment Permit system having regard to evolving labour market circumstances. Submissions will be invited from relevant stakeholders and interested parties via a public consultation forum regarding further changes to the Occupations List. The relevant form on which to make submissions will be published on the Department’s website during this consultation period.

In light of the ongoing difficulties faced by employers desperately trying to secure qualified staff, Sinnott Solicitors looks forward to the opening of this consultation period. It is evident that employers across all occupations are struggling at present to hire and retain staff and under these circumstances we submit that significant changes must be made to the Occupations List as soon as possible. Sinnott Solicitors will be making submissions to the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment on behalf of numerous employer clients setting out changes which need to be made to the Occupations List in order to assist with their business and recruitment needs. We will publish further information as soon as the consultation period opens. If you would like Sinnott Solicitors to make submissions on behalf of your organisation, do not hesitate to contact our Employment and Immigration Department for further information.

Changes to processing queues for Employment Permits

Significant problems have been ongoing for months regarding delays in the processing of Employment Permits and the impacts which this is having on employer businesses and proposed employees alike. The Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment has confirmed that it recognises the problems which the delays in employment permit processing is causing and has confirmed that it has created an action plan to reduce processing times which have grown to unacceptable levels over the past year.

The Department confirms that it plans to maintain processing times for Critical Skills Employment Permit applications at approximately six weeks for all of quarter two of 2022. It also confirms that it is working on reducing processing times for other Employment Permits such as General Employment Permits, and Intra Company Transfer Permits. It is the intention of the Department to greatly reduce these processing times in quarter two and confirms that once the 3,000 once off applications for meat processing workers and horticulture workers are completed, that more rapid progress will be made on clearing the backlog. It is expecting to see a fall in waiting times from the middle of May and it is their further intention, in quarter three of 2022, to decrease waiting times on the processing of all permits. We hope that these commitments will materialise and will monitor the situation closely providing further updates when relevant.

Stamp 4 for non-EEA Doctors – deadline to apply 29th of April 2022

On the 8th of March 2022 the Tánaiste along with the Minister for Justice and Minister for Health, announced that non-EEA national doctors who have been working in Ireland for more than two years on a General Employment Permit are now entitled to a Stamp 4 permission to remain in the State. Previously doctors on a General Employment Permit had to wait for five years to apply for a Stamp 4 permission.

In order to obtain the Stamp 4 permission to remain, qualifying doctors must complete a Stamp 4 Support letter from which is available here and email it to along with a recent payslip. Applicants should write ‘Doctors Stamp 4 Request’ in the subject title.

Once an application is approved, the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment will notify the relevant applicant and send a request on their behalf to the Department of Justice to process and issue them with a Stamp 4 permission to remain.

Applications opened on the 10th of March and will be accepted until Friday the 29th of April for processing. We urge all eligible doctors to submit their applications by this deadline to obtain their Stamp 4 permission to remain.

Should you require any assistance with your application, do not hesitate to do not hesitate to contact our immigration department in Cork or Dublin today on 014062862 or