Call for Submissions to the Review of the Occupations Lists for Employment Permits

The mid-year review of the Critical Skills List and the Ineligible List of occupations (formerly the Highly Skilled Eligible Occupations List and Ineligible Categories of Employment List), has commenced and the request for submissions is now open.

Submission Form

Economic Migration Policy Unit is conducting a review of the Critical Skills and Ineligible Lists of Occupations and is now seeking wider submissions on these occupations.

Submissions will only be accepted using the form attached below.

Key dates

Submissions open:       31 May 2019

Closing date:                12 July 2019

Enquiries and submission

All enquiries and submissions should be directed to


The employment permits system is managed in part through the operation of the Critical Skills and Ineligible Lists of Occupations for the purpose of grant of employment permits. Occupations not included on either list are considered eligible occupations but are not eligible for Critical Skills Employment Permits. The current lists, effective from 22 April 2019, can be found at Employment Permit Eligibility.

Objectives of the review

The employment permits regime is designed to facilitate the entry of appropriately skilled non-EEA migrants to fill skills shortages. However, this objective must be balanced by the need to ensure that there are no suitably qualified Irish/EEA nationals available to undertake the work and that the shortage is a genuine one.

An occupation may be considered for inclusion on the Critical Skills list or removal from the Ineligible list provided that:

  • There are no suitable Irish/EEA nationals available to undertake the work;
  • Development opportunities for Irish/EEA nationals are not undermined;
  • Genuine skills shortage exists and that it is not a recruitment or retention problem;
  • The Government education, training, employment and economic development policies are supported;
  • The skill shortage exists across the occupation, despite attempts by industry to train and attract Irish/EEA nationals to available jobs.

Submission process

In order to maintain the relevance of these lists of occupations to the needs of the economy, and to ensure the employment permits system is aligned with current labour market intelligence, a bi-annual review process is applied. As part of this review process, the Economic Migration Policy Unit is seeking submissions from representative bodies, Government Departments, Agencies, and other interested parties relating to occupations currently included on or absent from the lists.

The submission process is an opportunity for stakeholders to provide additional information and potentially different perspectives on the nature and extent of skill shortages. Stakeholder submissions are a vital source of information, helping inform the Department’s final assessment of the status of occupations.

If you feel that there is a skills deficit or surplus relating to occupations in your sector, you are invited, either through your industry representative or directly, to make a submission on the attached form and return it to with your observations. A closing date for submissions of Friday 12th July 2019 will be strictly applied. Submissions received by close of business on this date will be considered as part of the review process.

The information you provide is important to our assessment process. You are encouraged to be as specific and detailed as possible when providing information. For example, you may have evidence or other data such as industry surveys or reports. We are also interested in any other factors that you consider are appropriate to add or remove an occupation from the lists for example, you may have information on recruitment and retention difficulties or changes in relevant training.

Respondents should note that changes to the lists must be based on evidence that there is a skill or labour shortage for the specified occupation and that they therefore should indicate, where possible, data to support their case.

Respondents are advised that copies of submissions will be forwarded to the relevant lead Government Departments for their sector and their guidance/input sought in respect of those submissions. Economic Migration Policy Unit will also undertake any necessary follow up with submitters and consultation with Government Departments/State Bodies and industry groups. This review process will involve consultation with an Interdepartmental Group (IDG) chaired by the Department of Business, Enterprise & Innovation with membership drawn from senior officials of key Government Departments and offices. At the end of the consultation process the Department will make recommendations to the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation. Changes to the lists approved by the Minister will then be given legal effect by way of a statutory instrument.

Publication of Submissions and Freedom of Information

Please note that the information provided in the submission form will be shared with relevant Government Departments and State organisations. This is to promote an integrated approach to addressing skills shortages in the State. The Department will also publish on its website all submissions received under this consultation. However, if you wish to submit information that you consider commercially sensitive, please identify that information in your submission and give reasons for considering it commercially sensitive. The Department will consult with you regarding such information before making a decision to disclose it. Any personal information, which you volunteer to this Department, will be treated with the highest standards of security and confidentiality, strictly in accordance with the Data Protection Acts 1988 and 2003.

Additional information

The rationale underpinning the inclusion on or omission from the lists of any particular occupation is driven by skills demands in the economy, and is based on, in the first instance, the research and labour market intelligence undertaken by the Skills and Labour Market Research Unit (Solas), the Expert Group of Future Skills Needs, the National Skills Council, education outputs, sectoral upskilling and training initiatives and any known contextual factors (e.g., planned expansions in sectors, if known). The observations and input of relevant Government Departments are also incorporated in addition to the public consultation process. Submissions to the review process are also considered by the Economic Migration Policy Interdepartmental Group chaired by the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation with membership drawn from senior officials of key Government Departments and Solas.  

Parties considering making submissions to the review process should be aware that a range of criteria in addition to the eligibility of an occupation apply to the grant of employment permits. The criteria vary according to the type of employment permit application which is submitted.

Information on the criteria for other types of employment permit can be found by accessing the link relating to each type, available at Employment Permits.

Topics: Employment Permits