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Latest employment permits notices and developments

150 employment permits for Sea Fishers

Wednesday, 3rd July 2024

The role of sea fisher in the Irish fishing fleet is now eligible for a General Employment Permit with a minimum salary requirement of €34,000, up to a quota of 150 permits. This has been introduced to address skills shortages in the Irish fishing fleet. This new quota has been introduced following a recommendation by a Cross-Governmental group to move the role of sea fisher from the AWS to the Employment Permit System.

See press release for full details Minister Higgins announces 150 employment permits for sea fishers - DETE (enterprise.gov.ie)

Notice regarding Temporary Suspension of 'Return and Refund' process

18 June 2024

The Employment Permit System is currently experiencing a high level of demand. In order to meet this demand and improve the way in which the service is delivered, a review of the ‘Return and Refund’ process is currently being conducted. 

Therefore, from 19 June 2024 the Return and Refund process for General Employment Permit applications will be temporarily suspended. All General Employment Permit applications will now be processed in full. Therefore, the 100% refund will not apply. Any refused or withdrawn applications will receive a 90% refund

For the attention of companies in the agricultural sector

9 February 2024

Following the outcome of the recent Review of the Occupational Lists by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, a number of quotas were established from 17 January 2024. 

  • 5431 – Butcher/ Boner (350)
  • 9119 – Horticulture Worker (1,000)
  • 8111 – Meat Processing Operative (1,000)

It is important to note that applications for these roles require a standard Labour Market Needs Test (LMNT) to be carried out in line with the new minimum salary thresholds, that is, €30,000 Meat Processing Operative and Horticulture Worker and €34,000 for Butcher/ Boner. As such the first applications for roles under these quotas should be submitted from 14 February 2024 (28 days after 17 January). 

If the EURES advertisement was commenced on 17 January 2024 it must run fully and unaltered through 13 February (28 full days). Therefore, valid applications can be submitted from 14 February 2024 at 9am.

Applications received before 9am on 14 February 2024 will be rejected. 

Outcome of the Review of the Employment Permits Occupations Lists and Minimum Annual Remuneration Thresholds

22 December 2023 

The public consultation on the review of the occupations lists launched on 26 June 2023. It provided an 8-week period for sector representatives and employers to make evidence-based submissions seeking changes to the lists of eligible occupations. 

In parallel to the 2023 Review of the Employment Permits Occupations Lists the department also carried out a review of the existing framework of minimum annual remuneration (MAR) thresholds applicable to employment permits. This review produced a roadmap for threshold increases announced in December 2023.

Note: There is no change to the remuneration threshold of €27,000 for the occupations of Healthcare Assistant and Home Care Support Worker.

Full details of the review and an advisory note can be found here: Outcome of the Review of the Employment Permits Occupations Lists December 2023 and MAR Review

Notice regarding Stamp 4 support letters

16 November 2023

Effective from 30 November 2023, applicants for a Stamp 4 immigration permission will no longer be required to obtain a letter of support from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). Stamp 4 applications and checks will be handled entirely by the Department of Justice.

Applications for a Stamp 4 letter of support received by the DETE prior to 30 November 2023 will continue to be processed.

Full details available here: Notice regarding Stamp 4 support letters Issued by the Dept. of Enterprise Trade and Employment - Immigration Service Delivery (irishimmigration.ie)

Update on Quota for Meat Deboners and Work Riders

18 August 2023

The Employment Permits Regulations 2017, Statutory Instrument No 333 of 2019, set a maximum quota of 300 General Employment Permits for Meat Deboners and introduced a new quota of 100 General Employment permits for Work Riders.  In October 2021 the quota for Meat Deboners was increased by a further 500 permits. 

These quotas have now been filled.  Applications submitted and awaiting processing will now be rejected.  No new applications for Meat Deboners or Work Riders should be submitted

Renewal of an Employment Permit: Health Care Assistant

11 July 2023

In June 2021 the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment provided access to the General Employment Permit for the role of Health Care Assistant. The framework agreed with the Department of Health included the requirement for the employment to offer a remuneration level of €27,000 or more and for the permit holder to achieve a relevant Level 5 Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) qualification after two years employment in the State.

The department has been engaged with the Department of Health regarding the requirement to ensure individuals working as Health Care Assistants have developed the skills and range of qualifications at the time of renewal of their general employment permit. This new approach agreed allows Health Care Assistants in possession of other relevant health and social care qualifications, comparable to a Level 5 QQI, be deemed to have met the skills and proficiency requirements for the renewal of their general employment permit.

The process will require the clinical lead in the healthcare facility to certify that the individual has demonstrated their technical ability, qualifications, and suitability to the Health Care Assistant role during their employment. The clinical lead, employee and employer will need to complete the required form and submit this to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment as part of the application process for the renewal of the general employment permit.

For all Health Care Assistants who have obtained the relevant Level 5 QQI qualification, please proceed with the standard renewal process. All other Health Care Assistants who have not attained Level 5 QQI, should download the Health Care Assistant renewal form and submit it through the EPOS (Employment Permits Operations System) along with the renewal documents. 

Stamp 4 for NCHDs in public hospitals

16 May 2023

Doctors who have completed 21 months employment on an employment permit in a public hospital are now eligible to apply for a Stamp 4 Letter of Support. This arrangement is similar to the arrangements in place for Critical Skills Employment Permits holders. Doctors can apply by completing the form available here: Request for Stamp 4 Support Letter. Applications must be accompanied by the documentation listed on the form.  

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