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:

  1. To set the maximum number of employment permits to be issued both in total and by sector,
  2. To identify the skills and qualifications required for the grant of a permit, and
  3. 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.