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Can I Apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit for Ireland?

For many prospective migrants, the case for moving to Ireland to work is compelling. Ireland has a strong economy, rich culture and heritage, laid-back lifestyle, and stunning scenery. It also sits on the edge of the European Union, providing access to travel on the continent, and businesses enjoy unfettered access to the world’s largest trading bloc of 446 million people. If you are planning to move to Ireland in 2021 to work, you will need to apply for the correct visa and permit to meet your needs. In this article, we will review the critical skills employment permit for Ireland, who it is intended for, the eligibility criteria, and how to apply.

What Is The Irish Critical Skills Employment Permit?

The critical skilled employment permit (which replaces the Green Card type employment permit) is intended for highly skilled migrants who wish to enter the labour market in Ireland, with the ultimate aim of acquiring permanent residence; in other words, it is a work to residence immigration scheme.

In order to apply for this permit, applicants need to have the necessary skills for occupations for which there is a strong demand and a lack of supply. These occupations are listed on the critical skilled occupation list, as decided by the ‘Expert Group on Future Skills Needs’ whose role it is to assess the Irish labour market requirements and strategically important skills.

The benefits of the Irish critical skills employment permit are as follows:

as the critical skills employment permit is for shortage occupations only, there is no need for employers to complete the labour market test process (whereby they are mandated to advertise the role in Ireland for 28 days to determine if a citizen or settled worker can do the job) critical skills employment permit holders can be joined by their partner/spouse and dependant children dependants/partners/spouses are eligible for an employment permit which is currently issued free of charge, allowing them to work freely in Ireland permit holders can apply for a job with a new employer after completing one year of work with their original employer (they will need to apply for a new employment permit, however)

Am I Eligible For An Irish Critical Skills Employment Permit?

In order to apply for an Irish critical skills employment permit, the following criteria must be met: you have a job offer of at least two years your job offer must be for a role on the Critical Skills Occupations List you have a job offer for a role with a minimum annual salary of €32,000 per year for a restricted number of strategically important occupation on the Critical Skills Occupations List – you will need a relevant degree qualification or higher, or; you have a job offer for a role with a minimum annual salary of over €64,000 – in this case, if you do not have a degree qualification or higher, you must have the necessary level of experience for nursing or midwifery roles, a third level degree or diploma accepted by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Ireland as a sufficient qualification for registration you must have the relevant qualifications, skills and experience required for the role for which you have an offer of employment.

Prospective migrant workers should be aware that there is a restriction relating to which companies can hire non-EEA nationals. This rule states that an “employment permit will not be granted to companies unless 50% or more of the employees in the firm are EEA nationals at the time of application. However, this restriction may be waived in respect of start-up companies within two years of their establishment”. As such, this is something you will need to verify with your prospective employer before you apply for a work permit.

How Do I Apply For An Irish Critical Skills Employment Permit?

Full details of how to apply for an Irish critical skills employment permit are available on the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment website. An application can be made online using the ‘Employment Permits Online System’ by either the employee or employer.

When applying, you will need to provide details of your employer, including the type of company, number of EEA and non-EEA staff, and nature of the business.

The details of the employee are also required, including personal details, contact information, your GNIB/Irish Resident’s Permit Pin, your qualifications, and previous Irish visas.

The details of the role are then required, including the title of the job, location, the period of employment, experience and qualifications needed, and the experience and qualifications of the non-EEA national who has been offered the role. Details of the payment must also be entered.

Once the application is submitted and payment made (currently €1,000), your case will go into an ‘awaiting processing’ queue; this means that applications are processed in strict date order. Once ready for processing, your application will be assessed and a decision made. If your application is not successful, it is possible to request a review within 28 days.

If your application is successful, where a visa is needed, you will need to contact your local Irish Embassy/Consulate to apply for a visa. An online visa application form can be found at http://www.inis.gov.ie/.

Final Words

Before completing and submitting your application for a critical skills employment permit, it is worth double-checking that this is the best visa for your needs. You can verify this by speaking to the Irish immigration authorities, or an immigration lawyer. Once you are at the application stage, it is recommended that you take your time and ensure that all of the information provided is accurate and complete, as any gaps in the details provided may delay a decision being made. If you do choose to apply for a critical skills employment permit, we wish you the very best with your life and work in Ireland.


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