Critical Skills Employment Permits for highly skilled workers in Ireland are issued for a period of two years.
Unlike General Employment Permits where a renewal application must be submitted to the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) in order to continue in employment, Critical Skills Employment Permits holders are instead entitled to apply for a Stamp 4 permission to remain at the end of the two years.
The Critical Skills Employment Permit holder must apply to the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation for a Stamp 4 “Support Letter”.
On receipt of this letter the holder should then attend their local Garda Immigration Office in order to apply for a Stamp 4 permission to remain in the State.
When attending the immigration office, the following documentation should be produced:
- Original passport;
- Certificate of Registration (IRP card);
- Critical Skills Employment Permit;
- Stamp 4 Support Letter from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation confirming continuing employment.
The general rule surrounding the application for a Stamp 4 Support Letter is that the Applicant must have completed 21 months of employment in Ireland before applying for the letter.
On the 19th of December 2018 the DBEI announced that they are experiencing considerable delays in the processing of applications for Stamp 4 Support Letters.
We are informed that the DBEI is working hard to reduce the waiting times however as interim measure they have advised that Critical Skills Employment holders should now apply for the Stamp 4 Support Letter 4 months in advance once they have completed 20 months of employment on their Critical Skills Employment Permit.
This is an important update and departure from the usual strictly applied 21 month rule. Any Applicant who is nearing 20 months of employment on their Critical Skills Employment Permit should now be making immediate arrangements to apply for the Stamp 4 Support Letter to ensure that they do not fall out of permission to remain in the State.
We understand that the DBEI are working hard to reduce the processing times for all Employment Permit Applications in 2019 which is a welcomed development.
Sinnott Solicitors has extensive experience in all aspects of Employment Permit Applications including applications for a Stamp 4 Support Letters.
If you have any queries or require assistance do not hesitate to contact our Immigration Department on 0035314062862 or [email protected]