On the 11th of October 2022 the Irish government published its review of the Atypical Working Scheme for non-EEA national Crew in the Irish fishing fleet.

At present non-EEA national fishermen seeking employment in the Irish fishing fleet must apply for permission to work under the Atypical Working Scheme.

Unfortunately many non-EEA national fishermen have been subjected to significant exploitation and abuses whilst employed on Irish fishing vessels under this scheme.

The primary recommendation of the review is that non-EEA national fishermen seeking employment in the Irish fishing fleet should be eligible to apply for Irish employment permits under the Irish Employment Permits System (overseen by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment). 

Moving the work authorisation process of non-EEA national fishermen to the Employment Permit System will provide greater rights and protection and will allow them in future, to obtain a Stamp 4 permission to remain like all other non-EEA nationals who have been granted employment permits to work in the State.

It has been announced that a cross departmental group of senior officials in the relevant departments (Justice, Enterprise, Agriculture) and various agencies will be created to deal with the transition from the Atypical Workers Scheme to the Employment Permits System for non-EEA national fishermen.  It is expected that the transition will take approximately 12 months before the relevant fishermen may apply for an employment permit.

Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork are delighted to learn that non-EEA national fishermen will be eligible to apply for employment permits in the future, which will make them eligible for long term immigration permissions in Ireland.  We are aware of a number of fishermen who have been subjected to significant abuse and exploitation in recent years when working under the Atypical Working Scheme, particularly in circumstances where this is a short and temporary form of immigration permission which gives no long- term immigration options to the holders. We greatly welcome the inclusion of non-EEA national fishermen in the employment permit system and look forward to the implementation of same in the future.

With offices in Dublin and Cork, Sinnott Solicitors have a dedicated team of Immigration Solicitors and Consultants who are experts on all Irish immigration matters including Irish Employment Permits and Employment Visas. If you are a non-EEA national currently residing in Ireland without a valid immigration permission looking to apply for an employment permit, or are an employer seeking to hire a non-EEA national who does not hold a valid immigration status, do not hesitate to contact our offices today on info@sinnott.ie or 014062862 for assistance.