Employment permit rules changing to address skills shortages
The government made three recent changes to immigration regulations which we take a closer look at below.
Changes for dependants/spouses/partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders
- Changes affecting dependants/spouse/partners of Critical Skills Employment Holders
- Changes to prepare for Brexit and address skills shortages in the construction sector
- Abolition of re-entry visas for residents with an Irish Residence Permit
In March, the government announced a change affecting dependants/spouses/partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) holders. From 1 April 2019, spouses and partners of CSEP holders (along with Researchers under a Hosting Agreement) are entitled to access the Irish labour market without the need to obtain an employment permit. This change cuts red tape and is designed to make a more attractive immigration offering for both investors and non-EEA international talent.
Under the new arrangements, the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will now grant eligible dependants/partners/spouses of CSEP holders a stamp 1 permission to reside in Ireland which provides them with direct access to the labour market without the need to obtain an employment permit. A new preclearance system has also been introduced for dependants/partners/spouses of CSEP holders who are both visa and non-visa required nationals.
More roles added to the Critical Skills List
The CSEP is intended to attract highly-skilled talent into Ireland to fill roles that demand skills that are not readily available in the Irish/EEA labour market. New employment permits regulations came into force from 22 April 2019. The regulations have been introduced as part of the government’s preparations for Brexit and to address skills shortages in the construction sector. The regulations amend the Critical Skills and Ineligible Lists of Occupations (formerly the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and Ineligible Categories of Employment List).
The following occupations will be added to the Critical Skills Occupations List and will be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit from 22 April 2019:
Changes to the Ineligible Lists of Occupations
- Civil Engineers
- Quantity Surveyors
- Construction Project Managers
- Mechanical and Electrical Engineers with BIM expertise
- High-Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organisations (where employment as a High-Performance Director or Coach is in a national or high profile sports organisations engaging in international competition).
The following occupations will be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List and will be eligible for a General Employment Permit:
Abolition of re-entry visas for residents with Irish Residence Permits
- Sheet metal workers
- Welding trades
- Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Engineers
- Shuttering Carpenters
- Glaziers, window fabricators & fitters
- Scaffolders, stagers & riggers
- Crane drivers
- Transport and Distribution Clerks and Assistants (Freight Forwarders; Cargo & Freight Agents; Brokerage Clerks) subject to a quota of 300
- Plasterers subject to a quota of 250
- Bricklayers subject to a quota of 250
From 13 May 2019, visa required non-nationals who hold a valid Irish Residence Permit/Garda National Immigration Bureau card will no longer need a re-entry visa to travel to Ireland. An IRP/GNIB card and passport will be sufficient. This brings Ireland in line with other EU Member States. Over 40,000 visa holders will benefit from this change.
If you have any questions in relation to the recruitment of foreign nationals, please contact Peninsula’s expert employment law advisors on 1890 252 923 or if you would like one of our advisors to call you backfill in your details here.