Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.24 6 Mar 2019


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Spouses and partners of workers with critical skills, who hold an employment permit, will be able to access the Irish labour market without the need for a permit.

The Government has said this change will streamline existing processes, and result in "a more attractive offering" for both investors and international talent.

Jobs that have been identified as highly-skilled are needed across all sectors, particularly the ICT sector.

To meet this need, the Critical Skills Employment Permit (CSEP) is designed to attract highly-skilled individuals into the State to fill high-demand vacancies - where the skills are not readily available in the Irish labour market.

The Government has said one of the primary benefits of this permit over others includes the option for the holder to apply for immediate family reunification.

Business Minister Heather Humphreys explained: "Fundamentally, this is about ensuring Ireland's continued competitiveness as a place in which to live, work and invest.

"While up to now, the spouses or partners of Critical Skills Employment Permit holders have been entitled to broad access to the labour market, almost akin to an Irish citizen, the current process is administratively cumbersome and, in many cases, has acted as a barrier to these people securing work here.

"This is not what was intended when the policy was developed, and the process put in place."

She added: "We are talking about a small group of people here - less than 1,000 spouses and partners per year - but this small change will make a big difference in terms of Ireland's offering to both investors, and international talent."

Under the current process, a non-EEA national who is the dependant/partner/spouse of a CSEP holder and wants to work had seek a Dependant/Partner/Spouse Employment Permit, on the basis of Stamp 3 immigration permission.

On foot of a job offer, the holder had to make an application for a Dependent/Partner/ Spouse employment permit and if granted, they could re-apply to the Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) in the Department of Justice for a change of immigration status.

But the requirement for spouses and de-facto partners to obtain an employment permit has now been removed.

The Irish Naturalisation and Immigration Service (INIS) will grant eligible spouses and de-facto partners of CSEP holders permission to reside in the State on Stamp 1 conditions, which provides direct access to the labour market without the need to obtain an employment permit.


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CSEP Critical Skills Employment Permit Irish Labour Market Partners Permits Spouses Work Permits

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