A person coming from a non-EEA country (with the exception of Switzerland and the United Kingdom) must have explicit permission from the Minister of Justice to work in Ireland. This can either be granted by way of a free-standing immigration permission that permits an individual to work in the State or by way of an employment permit.
There are several types of potential employment permits on offer for those who wish to live and work in Ireland and who do not possess an alternative work permission. One such permission is the Critical Skills Employment Permit.
The Critical Skills Employment Permit is targeted at professionals with skills in certain areas that are deemed to be of critical importance for growing Ireland’s economy. This permit is designed to address types of employment where there is a shortage in respect of qualifications, experience or skills which are required for the proper functioning of the Irish economy.
What are the advantages of obtaining a Critical Skills Employment Permit for a prospective employee and employer?
There are several advantages to obtaining a critical skill work permit over a general work permit for an employee:
- As the skills are identified as being in short supply it is not necessary to conduct a labor markets test. In essence this means that the employer does not have to advertise the role in various places as they would normally have to for a general work permit.
- Critical Skill Employment Permit Holders are entitled to immediate family reunification for various family members. Certain family members of a critical skills employment permit holders such as spouses and de-facto partners are also entitled to access the labour market without the need to apply for a separate work permit.
- If an employee has complied with their previous immigration and employment permit conditions for two years and being of good character, they will be issued with an immigration permission which allows them to reside and work in the State without the need for a further employment permit.
What is an ‘Eligible Occupation’
What is an ‘eligible occupation’ for a Critical Skills Employment Permit is mainly determined based on periodic reviews from the Expert Group on Future Skill Needs. The Expert Group is comprised of an independent, non-statutory body comprising of representatives from business, the education and training sector, the enterprise development sector, the trade unions and government departments. The Group focuses on determining strategically important labor market requirements and strategically important skills.
When determining whether your job is an ‘eligible occupation’, you can be offered a job that is either:
- -Has an annual salary of at least €32,000 a year and appears on the Critical Skills Occupation List as set out in Schedule 3 of the Employment Permit (Amendment) Regulations 2022
- -Has an annual salary of €64,000 a year in an occupation that is not on the Ineligible List of Occupations as set out in Schedule 4 of the Employment Permit (Amendment) Regulations 2022
- -For certain roles you may be required to register with a relevant accredited body or regulator as set ot in Schedule 2 of the Employment Permit (Amendment) Regulations 2022 . You should seek appropriate advice on what roles require registration with an appropriate body prior to applying.
Are there other Eligibility Criteria that my company needs to be aware of?
You cannot get a permit to work for a company where more than 50% of the employees are non-EEA nationals. This requirement may be waived in the case of start-up companies which are supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland. A sponsoring company is also required to be registered with the Companies Registration Office and the Revenue Commissioners and a company is required to produce certain documentation as part of the application process.
Should you have any specific queries in respect to apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Immigration and International Law Team
The Immigration and International Law Team in KOD Lyons have extensive experience in dealing with these applications. Should you require any assistance with this application please contact a member of our team who would be very happy to help.