July 6, 2005
The Bill was introduced by the Minster of Enterprise, Trade and Employment. It allows the Minister to introduce a “green-card” type system for highly skilled migrant workers.
The Bill specifically gives the Minister the power to make regulations to grant permission for non-European Economic Area (EU-25 plus Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland) nationals with specified skills to reside and work in Ireland for a defined period of time.
Additionally the legislation permits the Minister every two years to:
- To set the maximum number of employment permits to be issued both in total and by sector,
- To identify the skills and qualifications required for the grant of a permit, and
- To identify the categories of employment that may or may not be the subject of granting employment permits.
Currently 7% of Ireland’s workforce is made up of foreign nationals.