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Republic of Ireland grants work permits to foreign talent in critical areas 

The Republic of Ireland is granting work permits to foreign talent under its Critical Skills Employment Permit which targets skilled workers in professions facing a skills shortage in Ireland.

NewsTimes learns that this permit is typically for those who are from a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA), the UK, or Switzerland such as Nigeria.

The process involves obtaining permission to work in Ireland, typically through an employment permit.

About the Critical Skills Employment Permit 

This scheme targets skilled workers in professions facing a skills shortage in Ireland, listed on the Critical Skills Occupation List by the  Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment (DETE).

Applications are submitted before arriving in Ireland, often requiring a visa. After arrival, registration and obtaining an Irish Residence Permit are mandatory.

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.

How to bring in dependents 

Spouses or de-facto partners aged 16 and over must register and obtain an IRP, with the option for a Stamp 1G IRP for work without a permit. Other family members may apply for a Dependent/Spouse/Partner Employment Permit.


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