Insights

IRELAND (April 4, 2019) – DBEI announces updates to occupations lists and a new preclearance process for de facto partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders

IMPACT – MEDIUM

Ireland’s Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation has announced changes to the employment permit system, including amendments of the Critical Skills List and Ineligible List of Occupations and to revenue documentation requirements. The chances will take effect April 22.

Key Points:

• Five occupations will be added to the Critical Skills Occupations List. This list, formerly called the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List, provides eligibility guidance for certain workers seeking Critical Skills Employment Permits. The occupations that will be added are:

  • Civil Engineers
  • Quantity Surveyors
  • Construction Project Managers
  • Mechanical and Electrical Engineers with BIM expertise
  • High Performance Directors and Coaches for high-level sports organizations (i.e., where employment as a High Performance Director or Coach is in a national or high profile sports organizations engaging in international competition).

• Eleven occupations will be removed from the Ineligible Occupations List. Workers in occupations that are not on this list, formerly the Ineligible Categories of Employment List, are eligible for the General Employment Permit. The occupations that will be removed on April 22 are: Sheet metal workers

  • Welding trades.
  • Pipefitters.
  • Air-Conditioning & Refrigeration Engineers.
  • Shuttering Carpenters.
  • Glaziers, window fabricators and fitters.
  • Scaffolders, stagers and riggers.
  • Crane drivers.
  • Transport and Distribution Clerks and Assistants (Freight Forwarders, Cargo and Freight Agents, Brokerage Clerks) (subject to a quota of 300).
  • Plasterers (subject to a quota of 250).
  • Bricklayers (subject to a quota of 250).

 Revenue documentation requirements will be updated in line with to the Revenue Commissioners PAYE Modernisation Initiative. The documentation that will be required is as follows:

  • A P30, a P30 receipt or a statement issued by Revenue Commissioners showing the employer’s monthly statutory return dated within three months before the application is submitted. 
  • A P60 or copy of electronic access to an end-of-year income statement compiled by the Revenue Commissioners. The P60 and/or end-of-year statement must demonstrate the foreign national’s employment history (if applicable).
  • A 45 or evidence of the employment record held by the Revenue Commissioners indicating the date on which employment ended after the foreign national’s redundancy.

The DBEI made technical changes to the requirements for employment permits for chefs and announced that secondary schools will be able to sponsor career guidance teachers through the employment permits system in the same way in which they sponsor other secondary school teachers.

More information is available here. The regulations can be located here.

Analysis & Comments: The changes will affect all employment permit applications filed on or after 22nd April 2019. Employers are encouraged to review the changes before they take effect.

New preclearance scheme for de facto partners in place

What is the change? The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) has launched a new immigration preclearance scheme for de facto partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders.

What does the change mean? Under the scheme, non-EEA de facto partners of CSEP holders will be required to obtain a preclearance letter before traveling to Ireland. A de facto partner is an unmarried partner who has lived with the CSEP holder for at least the past two years, in a relationship akin to marriage. While the change will add to the time it takes to travel to the country, de facto partners of CSEP holders will, after arriving in Ireland and attending an in-person registration appointment, be granted Stamp 1G permission if requested, rather than Stamp 3 permission. This will allow them to work in Ireland without obtaining a separate employment permit.

• Implementation time frame: April 1.

• Visas/permits affected: Entry process of de facto partners of CSEP holders.

• Who is affected: Non-EEA de facto partners of CSEP holders. The same preclearance procedure has also been put in place for de facto partners of non-EEA Researchers on a Hosting Agreement.

• Impact on processing times: Applications for immigration preclearance will generally be decided within eight weeks, according to the INIS.

• Next steps: The preclearance form is available here. It must be completed and sent to the preclearance section of the INIS visa division.

Additional information: Last month, INIS announced that spouses and de facto partners of CSEP holders would be able to obtain Stamp 1G immigration permission if requested. INIS has now provided guidance on how the process will work for de facto partners of CSEP holders who are coming to Ireland with their partner.

The new scheme applies to all non-EEA de facto partners of CSEP holders, whether they are from a visa-waived country or not. Visa-waived nationals will be required to present their preclearance letter of approval to an immigration officer upon arrival in Ireland. Most visa-required nationals will be required obtain preclearance and then include their letter of approval in their visa application. Applicants from countries that require biometrics as part of the visa application process (currently China, India, Nigeria and Pakistan) should first file the preclearance application and can then immediately proceed with the visa application, before the preclearance approval letter is issued.

Applicants and their sponsors will be required to provide a copy of their current and previous passports, police clearance certificates for every country in which they have resided for the past five years, bank statements, a detailed relationship history and evidence of contact, co-habitation, financial inter-dependence, and health insurance. Applicants will additionally be required to provide evidence of fee payment, residence outside of Ireland and, if applicable, evidence of legal residence outside their country of citizenship. Sponsors will be required to provide a copy of their CSEP and employment contract as well as evidence of educational qualifications and work experience.

Additional information on the application requirements is available on this INIS site.

Analysis & Comments: While the new scheme adds to the time it will take for de facto partners of CSEP holders to travel to Ireland, it will ultimately benefit both de facto partners and employers. Applicants who obtain preclearance and an entry visa (if required) will be able to work freely in Ireland once they register with the authorities after arriving in Ireland, and businesses will be able to employ them without needing to sponsor them for an employment permit.

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