IrelandSeptember 9, 2015

As confirmed by the Irish Department of Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation (DJEI), the changes outlined in the Employment Permits (Amended) Regulations came into force as of September 1, 2015. Many of these changes have been made in response to Ireland’s current labor market needs and general maintenance to the Employment Permit scheme.

What’s Changed?

Revision to the Ineligible Occupations List
Like many other countries, the DJEI provides a list of occupations for which they will not grant an Employment Permit to foreign nationals. Referred to as the “Ineligible Occupations List,” this list is based on the country’s current labor market needs and aimed at protecting the local labor force. After reviewing the current status of the Irish workforce, the DJEI has made the following amendments to the Ineligible Occupations List:

• Occupations Removed (i.e. those occupations that will now be eligible for Employment Permits due to an increased need for these skills):

· IT Engineers;
· Chiropractors (must be members of the Chiropractor Association of Ireland);
· Mobility Instructors for the visually impaired; and
· Limited number of Meat Boners.

• Occupations Added (i.e. those occupations that will no longer be eligible for Employment Permits due to a decreased need for these skills):

· Healthcare Practice Managers;
· Senior Social Services Managers & Directors;
· Dispensing Opticians; and
· Certain Managers – betting shop, graphic design, library, plant hire, production, property, housing, estate.

Expansion of the Highly Skilled Occupations List
In order to attract highly skilled foreign nationals into Ireland’s economy and workforce, the DJEI created the Critical Skills Employment Permit in 2014. Aimed at occupations that are “highly demanded and highly skilled, and in significant shortage of supply in the labour market,” this permit provides eligible applicants with streamlined application procedures and a faster route to Irish Permanent Residency than other Employment Permit categories.

Eligibility for this Critical Skills Employment Permit is determined, in part, by the applicant filling an occupation listed on the “Highly Skilled Occupations List.” As with the Ineligible Occupations List, this directory is determined by Ireland’s current workforce needs.

Thus, with the new regulation amendments, the following occupations have been added to the Highly Skilled Occupations List to address a current shortage of medical professionals:

• Radiation Therapists;
• Orthotists; and
• Prothetists.

Other Changes
Finally, other miscellaneous administrative changes have also been implemented as of September 1:

• Employers will now have 3 months after the date of the Employment Permit application filing to submit the P30 Tax Form to the Irish Revenue Department. Previously, the submission period was only 2 months.
• In order to simplify the Employment Permit renewal process, an applicant’s passport is now required to only have a minimum of three (3) months validity rather than the long-standing twelve (12) month requirement. Please note that this change is for renewal processes only: applicants will still be required to have at least twelve (12) months validity on their passports for initial Employment Permit applications.
• The DJEI also rolled out a new line of application forms for the following procedures:

· Employment Permit applications (initial and renewal);
· Dismissal by Reason of Redundancy;
· Change of Name; and
· Decision by Review.

These new application forms must be used for all applicable submissions going forward. The DJEI will not accept previous versions of these forms.

How these Changes Affect You

Global Mobility teams should take note of the changes to the Ineligible Occupations and Highly Skilled Occupations Lists. The amendments have modified which occupations are eligible even to apply for an Employment Permit, as well as which occupations now qualify for the Critical Skills Employment Permit.

In addition, the new line of application forms should be noted as the DJEI will require that you use these new forms for all affected applications going forward.

Short-term delays may be experienced as the DJEI immigration officers adjust to the new regulations.

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Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. We would like to remind you that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your immigration specialist or your client relations manager at Pro-Link GLOBAL should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by your Pro-Link GLOBAL Knowledge Management team. We worked with our PLG | KGNM Ireland Office “Actus, Business Immigration LTD.” to provide you this update.

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