Republic of Ireland to grant foreign talents work visas in critical areas

The Republic of Ireland under its Critical Skills Employment Permit, which targets skilled workers in professions where there are skills shortages in Ireland is awarding work visas to talented foreign nationals. The process entails securing an employment permit which makes you eligible for employment within Ireland.

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What to know about the Critical Skills Employment Permit 

This program targets skilled workers in occupations where there is a skills deficit in Ireland which the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE) has identified as critical skills occupations.

Applications must be made in advance of travel to Ireland through a visa. Registration and the acquisition of an Irish residency permit are also required upon arrival.

Eligibility criteria

  • Eligibility for a Critical Skills Employment Permit involves an annual salary of €32,000 or more (on the Critical Skills Occupation List) or €64,000 for other occupations.
  • Permits are not granted for companies where over 50% of employees are non-EEA nationals, with possible exemptions for start-ups supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland.
  • Qualifications, relevant skills, and a job offer from a registered employer are crucial. The job offer must be for two years or more.
  • A labour market needs test is not required for this permit, eliminating the need for advertising the job. For those invited for a job interview on the Critical Skills Occupations List, a Highly Skilled Job Interview Authorization allows a stay of up to 90 days.
  • Applications are made online through the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS), with a fee of €1,000 paid by either the applicant or the employer. Refused applications are refunded 90% of the fee.
  • If successful, applicants outside Ireland may still need a visa, presenting their employment permit to immigration upon entry.
  • Registration at a local office upon arrival is required, leading to an Irish Residence Permit.
  • Families can join permit holders, with separate visa applications for family members from countries requiring visas. De-facto partners may need preclearance or a visa, and children follow the same process.

How to Apply

The application for a Critical Skills Employment Permit can be submitted by either you or your employer to the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment.

The Employment Permits Online System (EPOS) needs to be utilized to apply online, providing necessary documentation. The Critical Skills Employment Permit checklist is available for assistance during the application process.

A fee of €1,000 must be paid by either you or your employer. In case of application refusal, a refund of 90% of the application fee is applicable.

Important information

In order to work without a permit, spouses or de facto partners who are 16 years of age or older must register and receive an IRP; they may also choose to use a Stamp 1G IRP. Applying for a Dependent/Spouse/Partner Employment Permit is possible for other family members.

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