Ireland Critical Skills Employment Permit Review: All You Need to Know

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The critical skills employment permit is a document issued by the Ireland government that authorizes qualified skilled professionals from countries outside the European Economic Area, the UK, and Switzerland.

However, to be eligible for the critical skills employment permit, you must meet the criteria set by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (DETE). Also, your skill should be reflected in the Critical Skills Occupation List of the DETE.

Furthermore, the Critical Skills Employment Permit is used in place of the green card-type employment permit. This is designed to attract skilled professionals into the labor market of Ireland to fill up sectors in the labor industries with skill shortages by offering permanent employment to these qualified individuals. 

Therefore, if you are a skilled professional in your field and you are willing to emigrate to Ireland for employment opportunities, the critical skill employment permit can make that dream come true. 

Although there are other types of work permits in Ireland issued by the DETE upon arrival in Ireland after your employment has been confirmed, to get a critical skill permit you must meet the eligibility requirement, and your skill should be part of the Ireland critical skills list.

The purpose of this article is to review all you need to know about this permit type and the process of getting one if you are eligible.

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Eligibility for the Ireland Critical Skill Employment Permit 

The Department of Enterprise, Trade, and Employment determines who is eligible for a critical skill employment permit. They examine different criteria including the type of job offer, employment type, the company registration office, revenue commission, and remuneration level.

However, to be eligible for a Critical Skills Employment Permit in Ireland, you must meet two major criteria:

1. Occupation and Salary

  • Your job offer must be in an occupation listed on the Critical Skills Occupations List or have an annual salary of at least €32,000.
  • For occupations not contained in the list, the annual salary must be up to €64,000 and should not be contained on the list of ineligible occupations

2. Job Offer

  • You must have a genuine job offer from a registered company in Ireland, directly employing and paying you.
  • Offers from recruitment agencies or intermediaries are not accepted.
  • The job offer must be for a minimum of two years.

3. Qualifications and Experience

  • You must possess the relevant qualifications, skills, and experience required for the job.
  • Specific requirements vary depending on the occupation.

4. Further Criteria

  • The company applying for the permit on your behalf must have at least 50% of its employees as EEA nationals at the time of application. However, this requirement may be waived for start-up companies 2 years after their establishment, as supported by Enterprise Ireland or IDA Ireland.
  • You must apply for the permit before you come to Ireland. 

Note: The labor Market meet text is not required for the Critical skill employment permit. 

A labour market needs test is not required for a Critical Skills Employment 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.

Source: www.citizensinformation.i.e.

How to Apply for a Critical Skills Visa in Ireland 

If you meet the eligibility criteria for the critical skill employment permit, either you or your employer can proceed with the application. All application is done online via the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS)

Step 1: Prepare the Required Documents

  • Completed application form: Download and fill it out carefully.
  • Valid passport: Ensure it’s valid for at least six months beyond your intended visa validity period.
  • Proof of qualifications and experience: Provide educational certificates, work experience letters, and any relevant professional licenses.
  • Job offer letter: Obtain a signed letter from your employer detailing your position, salary, and contract duration.
  • Employer’s financial documents: The company must demonstrate financial stability to support your employment.

The following documents must be uploaded before submitting your application

  • Signed Declarations
  • Signed Contract of Employment
  • Applicants’ Passport ID page
  • If applicable Irish Residence Permit
  • A passport-style photo of the applicant
  • Copy Degree Certificate or evidence of relevant work experience
  • If applicable, copies of Labour Market Needs Test advertisements
  • Tax Clearance Certificate from Employer

Step 2: Apply Online

  • Access the Employment Permits Online System (EPOS)
  • Create an account and start your application.
  • Upload all required documents and pay the application fee (€1,000).
  • Submit your application and wait for a decision from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

N/B: Should your application fail or be refused, you will get 90% of your application fee back.

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Further Tips:

  • Start the process well in advance, as processing times can vary. According to the Work Permit for Ireland website, the processing time for a critical Skills Work Permit takes between  6-8 weeks.
  • Ensure your application is complete and accurate with all required documents.
  • Ensure to send in your application at least 12 weeks before the proposed employment start date to avoid rejection or failed application

After Application (Migration/Residency)

Upon successful application for an employment visa, the next phase is to apply for a visa to enter Ireland if you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) country. You can apply for an online visa here or Contact the Irish Embassies/Consulates in your country. 

Furthermore, after your Visa has been confirmed and issued, upon entry to Ireland, you are to present your relevant and supporting documents, including your employment permit for inspection by the Immigration officer at the airport.

Furthermore, once you are cleared at the airport, you need to obtain your Irish Residence permit (IRP) to lawfully live in Ireland as a non-EEA national. 

Therefore, head to the nearest Garda National Immigration Service (GNIS) registration office to register your permit and receive your Irish Residence Permit (IRP). This card serves as your official ID and work authorization in Ireland.

What Happens Next? Applying for a Stamp 4 after two years

As mentioned in the previous section, the critical skills employment permit was issued for 2 years. But at the expiration of these stipulated years, you can apply for a Stamp 4 permission

More so, this allows you to live and work in Ireland without an employment permit. Also, you can still renew this (The Stamp 4 Permission) after 2 years if you continue to satisfy the eligibility criteria. 

However, if you are not eligible for a Stamp 4 permission, you can apply for a Stamp 1. With Stamp 1, you can continue working and living in Ireland.

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As a skilled professional, you have the advantage of working in Ireland to fill up the vacancies created by the shortage of skills in these areas. If your skill is listed on the Critical skill list, you are eligible to apply for a critical skill employment permit which gives you the privilege to work in Ireland for 2 years. 

However, for skills not listed, the average annual salary must be above $64,000 to be eligible for the critical skill employment permit. Once you get your employment permit, you have to apply for a visa to be granted entrance to Ireland. Then your residence permits upon arrival.

However, before you proceed to make your application, ensure you confirm the critical skill list for your desired skill and profession, then meet the eligibility criteria for other requirements. Also ensure when making your application, you submit just the right document and on time, at least 12 months before the proposed employment start date.

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