In November 2013 the practice of Stamp 4 support letters issuing by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment for Critical Skills Employment Holders was abolished.  Since then, persons applying for a Stamp 4 permission to remain on completion of a Critical Skills Employment Permit or Non-Consultant Hospital Doctors on a Multi-Site General Employment Permit apply to their local immigration office or the Immigration Service Delivery online portal for an upgrade the Stamp 4 Permission to Remain.

The ISD have further reviewed the Stamp 4 upgrade process and have announced the following changes with immediate effect:

  • Employees on a Critical Skills Employment Permit, a Hosting Agreement as a Researcher, or a Multi-Site General Employment Permit as a Non-Consultant Hospital Doctor, who have completed 21 months of employment in the State, may now apply for a Stamp 4 permission to remain.

Previously the 21 months took effect from the date of first registration however it is now from the date of commencement of employment.  This is an important change in circumstances where persons may often enter the State on an employment permit and take up employment immediately however they may not be able to register their immigration permission for a number of months which has often negatively affected the date upon which they could apply for a Stamp 4 permission to remain.

  • Holders of General Employment Permits may now apply for a Stamp 4 permission to remain on completion of 57 months of employment from the date upon which the employment commenced.

The ISD have confirmed that time spent on a General Employment Permit is not interchangeable with the other above-mentioned categories.

The commencement date of employment is determined from a person’s employment Detail Summary which is available on

Sinnott Solicitors Dublin and Cork welcome the changes as it should greatly reduce the chances of prospective Stamp 4 applicants requiring a second employment permit or a hosting agreement to satisfy the 21-month criteria.

Our specialist team of Immigration Solicitors and Immigration Consultants located in our Dublin and Cork offices are experts on all Irish immigration matters. Should you have any queries with respect to any of the information contained in this article or any other immigration matter, do not hesitate to contact our immigration department in Dublin or Cork today on 014062862 or