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Manpower Shortage: Ireland Grants Work Permits To Nigerians, Others


The government of Ireland has perfected plans to entice Nigerians and other foreign workers with work permits.

The potential beneficiaries are those with critical skills who require permission to work in the country.

According to the Citizens Information Board, the scheme under the name ‘Critical Skills Employment Permit’ applies to countries outside the European Economic Area including the EU, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, the United Kingdom, or Switzerland.

Ireland, with the programme, aims to address a shortage of skilled workers in the country with exists various sectors like production management, ICT, health and social services management, natural and social sciences, engineering, information technology, and telecommunications.

Additionally, roles are available for health workers, teaching professionals, business and administrative professionals, architects, artistic and media professionals, design, sports and fitness, as well as sales and marketing.

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is for skilled workers who are qualified in disciplines that are experiencing a deficit of qualifications and experience required for the proper functioning of the Irish economy.

These disciplines, however, require specialisation from candidates to qualify for a Critical Skills Employment Permit.

Who is eligible?

The Irish government those eligible are interested participants offered a job running for two years or more from a company or employer that is registered with revenue, trading in Ireland and registered with the Companies Registration Office.

The applicant must be directly employed and paid by their employer in Ireland. Job offers from recruitment agencies and other intermediaries are not acceptable for this permit.

It also disclosed that job offers must have a minimum of €32,000 in annual salary in an occupation that is on the Critical Skills Occupation List or an annual salary of €64,000 a year in an occupation that is not on the list.

Work permits cannot be obtained for companies where more than 50% of the employees are non-EEA nationals. This requirement may be waived in the case of start-up companies which are supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland.

Further details iterate that permits have to be obtained before entering Ireland and applicants may also need to apply for a visa. The scheme requires qualified individuals to register and get an Irish Residence Permit once they arrive in Ireland.

Applicants who already live in Ireland and have a valid Irish Residence Permit (IRP) with stamp 1, 1G, 2, 2A or 3 permission can apply for the permit if they satisfy the criteria.

However, labour market needs tests are not required for the permit. This means that the employer does not need to advertise the job with the Department of Social Protection, European Employment Service (EURES) or in newspapers.

Who can apply?

The applicant can be the employer, the employee, a connected person or contractor, or an authorised agent. Payments are to be made by electronic fund transfer (EFT) to the Employment Permits Section of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment at Earlsfort Centre, Lower Hatch Street, Dublin 2 D02 PW01, Ireland.

Applications can also be made online with the required documentation, using the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS), with a supplied checklist for assistance.

Applications cost €1,000. If an application is refused or withdrawn, 90% of the fee will be refunded.

The Board assures that rejected applications will be justified and applicants will be granted an appeal within 28 days.

Successful applicants who live outside of Ireland are required to apply for a visa to enter Ireland if their country requires it. They are to present an employment permit to the immigration officer before entry.

They are also to register with their local registration office in the area where they intend to live. Once registered, they will get an Irish Residence Permit (IRP). The fee for registering with immigration and getting an IRP is €300.

If already living in Ireland with another immigration permission, candidates must visit their local registration office for a change of registration permission.

Qualified candidates invited to Ireland for a job interview on the critical skills occupations list can also apply for a highly skilled job interview authorisation. This allows an applicant to remain in Ireland for a maximum of 90 days.

How about bringing family members?

Ireland allows individuals who go through the Critical Skills Employment route to bring their family to live with them in Ireland.

If their family is from a country whose citizens need a visa to enter Ireland: they must all apply for separate visas. If not, they must show proof that they are the family members of the Permit holder to an immigration officer before entry.

If a skilled worker brings a de-facto partner, they must apply for either a visa if their country requires it or a preclearance if not. This is the person they are in a committed relationship with but not married to.

Children must also apply the same way as the de-facto partner. However, spouses or de-facto partners and any child over 16 must register and get an IRP.

Ireland also offers opportunities for partners of skilled workers to work in the country without a permit through the Stamp 1G IRP. Other family members can apply for a Dependent/Spouse/Partner Employment Permit.

What of citizenship by naturalisation?

The Critical Skills Employment Permit is issued for two years. After this, skilled workers can apply for a Stamp 4 permission to live and work in Ireland without an employment permit.

Stamp 4 permission will be issued for 2 years and can be renewed provided candidates continue to satisfy the criteria. After legally residing in Ireland for 5 years, skilled workers can apply for citizenship by naturalisation.

If not eligible for a Stamp 4, candidates may be issued with a Stamp 1 and will continue to need an employment permit to work in Ireland.

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